Letters to the editor
UPS review was flawed
In response to the uninterruptable power system review, 'Power Protectors': Your reviewer has successfully misinformed your readers.
Tripp Lite was informally asked to submit any UPS we so desired without being given the proper specifications for entry, test bed procedures or intent as to how the UPS review would be conducted. The only requirement was to submit either a tower UPS that could run three PCs or a 1U rackmount UPS that could run two servers. No volt-ampere (VA) or wattage requirements were outlined. Unfortunately, this produced a complete mix of incomparable products from all represented manufacturers. You were left to compare apples with oranges.
Your reviewer made no mention of the link between the VA power of a unit and how VA affects run-time based on specific load parameters. It is virtually impossible to compare UPS system run-times with different power capacities based on the preceding fact, yet you irresponsibly used run-time performance as a main statistic in grading UPS system entries.
In summary, this was a completely irresponsible product review that not only misrepresented quality Tripp Lite products, but failed miserably to accurately inform your readers.Priscilla W. Galgan
VP of Sales and Marketing
Chicago The real story on Mac viruses
In response to your recent editorial 'Et tu, Mac?', you are right in saying that the Mac community is small potatoes to malicious hackers and virus writers. But there are 30 million Mac users, so that explanation doesn't quite ring true.
A more plausible explanation is that writing viruses for Windows is easier than for Apple operating systems. Writing code for the AppleTalk network protocol is a little more complicated than for Microsoft, for which Visual Basic is a favorite virus-writers' coding tool.
The connoisseur hackers thrive on the challenges of breaking into a system. They look forward to recognition not from the public, but rather from their peers. Some even view themselves as part of the software development community, finding holes in operating systems and applications. I suspect these folks would be interested in getting into the Mac and in doing so may corrupt some of the software in the machines.
Apple's use of Berkeley System Design Unix in the kernel of OS X should make the job a little easier. Which brings us to the issue of open-source code versus proprietary. You could argue that open-source code would be more vulnerable to attacks. However, Unix is not new, and over the years many of the bugs and security issues have been worked out by the Unix community. That's not to say that a hacker can't ever find new doors into your system.
On the other hand, Microsoft's code is totally proprietary. While many vendors, as well as some hackers, have access to these codes, figuring out the causes and effects of new viruses is still a slow process.
I also want to note some of the different security philosophies between Windows and Mac. Windows by default leaves all its ports open, while OS X keeps them closed. Every time you want to make changes or add software to the root level on a Mac, a user name and password is required. By default, Windows XP does not require password protection for the administrator's account.
OS X has a software firewall built in. Windows systems preceding Windows XP don't. I've been using the Mac since 1984 and the last virus I personally encountered was in 1989. I credit that to my maintaining a good antivirus program, the use of a software firewall and my constant vigil downloading software security updates'which is easier to do on Macs.Larry Holyoke
Hazardous waste investigator