[Mailman-Users] Challenge

Keith Mastin kmastin at beechtree.ca
Mon Feb 17 23:39:47 CET 2003

>At 04:11 PM 2/17/2003, you wrote:
>>At 20:13 17/02/2003, Cody Harris wrote:
>>Why not use Win 98 as a server platform on which to run Mailman?
>>Quite simply because it is not a robust Operating System with any real 
>>pretensions to being even a modestly secure server platform. Win 98, 98SE 
>>and ME have never been proposed for such use, even by Microsoft, and for 
>>the good reasons that they are not suitable for it.
>>Expending effort on getting Mailman to run on Win 98 is a waste of effort. 
>>Win NT has no future but might have been an arguable case, Win 2k and XP 
>>also an arguable case.
>>But, if you've got modest Wintel hardware,the best way to exploit it is 
>>with Linux. For effectively nothing, you get a robust, secure server 
>>platform which will do more work under Linux that under a modern Micrososft OS.
>I think that is the first time I've heard Microsoft accused of making an 
>OS!  Ha!   Which platform do they sell that could be considered an 
>OS?  Certainly not Win98, as you indicated.
>I couldn't agree more, though, about setting up a Linux box to run the mail 
>server, list server, etc., on.  Then you don't have to worry about lost 
>mail, etc., when you get the pop-up message on the Windows desktop that 
>says, "Warning!  Your mouse has moved, you must restart Windows  OK"

Here's a living example of the differences between the two systems, which 
might be extrapolated into more than just M$ vs linux or OSS vs 
proprietary... bacause M$, unfortunatley is not the only culprit in this 
little story.

I have a client who just spent $400k on upgrading a stack of systems so 
they could use ACCPAC as an accounting system, and have it available from 
their remote sites through a VPN. The 16 desktop machines are all 
P4's running WinXPPro and Win2kPro with NexLand 4000+ Symantec 
VPN/Firewalls running on the respective site gateways. They did this on 
their own and on advice from the clowns who built all their machines for 
them and also, BTW, sold them ACCPAC and the hefty training fee.

They had some network problems, and asked me to take a look to see if 
anything could be improved...

They now need to dish out about 200 hours worth of service time because I 
found that they got invaded with a subseven trojan and and irc-flood 
backdoor that's sending all their keystrokes out to some lucky recipient. 
I have to install and run Sophos AV on every machine and probably rebuild 
all their firewall configs. Because they're running XP, I can't suggest 
that they allow me to drop in a linux firewall because of the bugs in the 
XP tcp/ip stack, not unless they agree to back down to Win2k, which they 
can no longer purchase licences and support for.

In comparison, I run sql-ledger that does everything they bought ACCPAC to 
do. I run it on a AMD -based system that cost me $700 to build, and 
about 20 hours of time to configure it and secure the server system. I can 
access it from any point on the globe and feel secure because it's running 
through SSL. No trojans, no backdoors, no viruses. My firewall system is 
an old p166 with 198 MB RAM running iptables, portsentry, tripwire and 
swatch. I almost hate to show them...

If any linux dudes were onboard at the time they were making the 
accounting system decision, I'm sure they would have gone with sql-ledger, 
a set of nice little firewall boxen and run the VPN tunnel with FreeSwan. 
Total cost of the upgrade would have been about $390k less.

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