Do You Really Need to Use Antivirus Software?

Pretty much everyone who has used a computer knows what anti-virus software is and what is does. In case you don’t know, anti-virus software basically gives you the potential to know if malware is trying, has tried, or maybe even has successfully infiltrated your computer system.

More and more people are starting to do away with anti-virus software because “they don’t need it”. Well I personally see anti-virus software as a tool…a tool that helps secure a computer system. When someone says that they “don’t need anti-virus software”, I think of the example that I gave to someone a while back on the Internet :

Let’s say you go around telling people that you don’t need to see a doctor to test for cancer, because you do not have cancer, nor will you ever get any. How do you have the potential to know that you do not have cancer, *if* you are not checked by a doctor? How do you know that you will *never* get *any* cancer at all? You don’t!

Your logic would not make sense in that situation because you are assuming something as fact, when *in fact* you are just guessing! The same applies to someone who says that they “don’t need anti-virus software” because they “know that they won’t get any malware” on their computer system or “I know that I am careful, hence I don’t need anti-virus software”. Sorry people but that logic just doesn’t add up!

Also it seems in my experience that many Linux users believe the idea that they won’t get any malware on their Linux systems, or at the very least they “don’t need an anti-virus” program running on their Linux system.

Like I have asked several times before, how can you have the potential to know if you have malware on your Linux system, if you do not run anti-virus software on your Linux desktop / server?

You are just guessing that you will not get any malware. You are even guessing when you say that you do not have malware currently on your Linux system!

Sure Linux has a lot less malware than Windows, but that is no excuse for ignoring security! 🙂

Also, I know that anti-virus software can have (and does have) security problems in of itself. However keep in mind that the companies that write the anti-virus software do update their software to fix security problems, so this is not necessarily a big deal (depends upon your situation).

Posted in Computers, Internet and Servers, Operating Systems, Software

Difference between Historical and Observational Science

Historical Science:  Non-repeatable, non-observational, non-testable   (e.g., the origin of the universe — Yes, the origin of the universe is historical science because no human was alive to observe it happening, nor could anyone repeat what happened even *if* they did observe it!)

Observational Science:  Is repeatable, is observable, is testable   (e.g., the study of medicine or the study of mechanics — You can actually observe things happening (e.g. mechanics), test and verify your findings.)

Read more about historical and observational science here:

Posted in Christian

How Good is pfSense?

About six months ago, I started using pfSense (uses FreeBSD) for my main router. I have been very pleased with it and will share a short description of my experiences with it.

Please take note this is not a “how-to” tutorial on installing pfSense. I am just giving my general opinions and experiences with using pfSense.

Install Procedure

The install has two different paths. 1) A quick install, or 2) a more detailed, custom install. I just went ahead and used the quick install. The actual installation took about 3-4 minutes to complete. The process was quick and painless.

Initial Setup

After pfSense installs and reboots, you will have the opportunity to tell pfSense which network card is for your WAN and which network card is for your LAN connections – all basic, routine information a router needs to know.

pfSense will give you the opportunity to setup a VLAN if needed. I had no problems with this part of the setup.

General Router Configuration

You can now access (via a web browser) the newly installed pfSense router using the default local (LAN) IP address pfSense assigned you.

Once in, you will need to modify the router’s basic settings (e.g., WAN settings, LAN settings, etc.). Having your old router configuration with you while setting up your new router helps a lot.

I setup a VPN (using OpenVPN) to my place of work. This has helped a lot in providing a safe and encrypted mechanism to transfer data between home and work.

I also assigned static IP addresses to the different computers at the location.

Powerful Gateway Control

pfSense gives you total control over your firewall’s gateway. For example, let’s say I have the following local networks: 10.x, 11.x, and 12.x Each of these networks are sand-boxed from each other for extra security.

Now let’s say I have computers on the 11.x network that only need to process data locally (e.g., computers that render 3d animated graphics). They have no need to use the Internet at all. All their work is assigned via a local computer.

I can now go to pfSense and tell it not to allow the 11.x network through the Internet gateway. So now I have the 10.x and 12.x networks with Internet, while the 11.x has absolutely no Internet access. This is a very good and effective way to secure important workstations from an outside attack.

I am pretty sure none of the consumer-grade routers you can purchase from your local retailer will have this ability out-of-the-box.

Backup and Restore

pfSense allows you to backup your entire router configuration. You can restore at any time you need to.


pfSense seamlessly upgrades to newer versions, keeping your previous configuration. This is one of the reasons I enjoy using pfSense. No more wasting time fixing configurations due to a system update.

I used to use OpenWRT (a Linux-based router OS) that required a complete reconfiguration, every…single…upgrade (no joke). I about had a heart-attack when I found this out. OpenWRT definitely was not a good fit for me.

Overall Opinion of pfSense

I am very pleased with pfSense. I have had almost zero trouble with it. pfSense handles many Internet connections well, allows for major flexibility in configuring my networks, and works perfectly with SSD drives.

If you want a extremely powerful router, but do not want to shovel out the money to buy a commercial setup, pfSense gives you a really great alternative.

To sum it up, pfSense is a great solution, open source, and available for free. I recommend you try it out for yourself. Click here to go to pfSense’s home webpage.

Posted in Internet and Servers, Operating Systems, Software

Is the Linux Operating System Older than Windows?

I recently read online someone saying that “Windows did not come out as an OS til 1995”. Is this person correct?

First some background information about Windows.

The first Windows was Windows 1.0 that ran on-top of MS-DOS. It was released on 20 November 1985. The most popular ancient version of Windows people sometimes talk about is Windows 3.1 (released on: April 6, 1992), not realizing that there were versions of Windows before 3.1.

Microsoft has Windows NT (a stable, secure, really well done OS brand still being used by millions today; not MS-DOS based) that initially was released as Windows NT 3.1 on July 27, 1993. Windows NT has *no* MS-DOS underneath it (in other words, the Windows NT line has nothing to do with MS-DOS at all; people just think it does).

Technically Windows as an OS did not come out until 1993, however Windows did exist as an MS-DOS shell way back in 1985…long before Linux. Also, Windows 1.0 is seen as the first official Windows on the market.

Non-Windows NT Operating Systems (MS-DOS based):  1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 3.1, 3.11, 95, 98, 98 SE, ME

Windows NT Operating Systems:   Windows NT 3.1, Windows NT 3.5, Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, 10

The first Linux came out by Linus Torvalds in 1991 (he uploaded Linux to a FTP server belonging to FUNET).

Linux first came out first as an actual OS in 1991. However Windows NT came out in 1993 (roughly two years after Linux; the guy’s statement about Windows being out as an OS in 1995 was off by two years).

So the answer is: While Linux (1991) is slightly older than Windows NT (1993), it really is not that big of deal since they both are good operating systems to get things done on, and seriously now, who would care anyway? 🙂

Update 10-04-2019:

I recently became aware of someone commenting on my post. This guy – who we will call “Frank” – was asked by a member of an online community to give his opinion about what I wrote.

Frank claimed my “Is Linux older than Windows?” question was “out of scope”, due to Windows having come out in the 1980s (before it became an operating system).

Frank is incorrect. My context when talking about “Windows” is the Windows NT family – released in 1993 – when Windows became an operating system. I made that clear in my post.

I was not comparing the DOS-based Windows (e.g., Windows 98) to Linux, as he misunderstood. It appears he did a “speed reading” of my post, and completely missed my context in the process.

To my surprise, the guy he responded to disagreed with Frank’s stance and instead agreed with mine.

To make it clear to everyone:

  1. I only mentioned the older, non-NT versions of Windows (e.g., Win98) to give background information to people who may not understand that there is more to Windows than XP (2001) and beyond.
  2. Windows (as an operating system – Windows NT 3.1) did in fact come out in 1993. The guy repeated the same misinformation about Windows coming out as an OS in 1995 😕. Seriously, this information is easily verified online.
  3. Unfortunately, several people “up-voted” his comment, even though he gave wrong information about Windows NT and technically misrepresented my article. They obviously did not verify the information he gave, and just assumed he was correct.

Please keep in mind that I do not hate the guy. I just wish he had taken the time to honestly review my post, before trashing it over a misunderstanding of what I wrote.

There was another guy who responded to Frank, telling him he was giving misinformation about Windows. Frank, to my knowledge, never replied back.

Posted in Operating Systems