A Different Time

The story that malware was installed on hard drives was everywhere this morning.  Here’s an example.  “Russian researchers expose breakthrough U.S. spying program”.  There’s no doubt that this is scary stuff, although the article indicates who and what were the targets of this software.  It still is something to be wary of.  Presumably, it’s in the “right hands” now but what happens if this technology is reverse engineered (and it will be) and falls into the “wrong hands”?  It does serve as a reminder to make sure that you are installing updates as they come along and run security scans on your computer regularly.  At present, it appears as though current technology wouldn’t catch this vulnerability but you just might catch something else hiding on your system.

This, and my masterpiece creation for calculating wind chill earlier this week reminds me that it wasn’t always this difficult.  Now that we’re connected so often and installing, sharing, and just visiting web resources, it’s easier to catch malware than it is to catch a cold, it seems.  As I was plunking around looking for the state of the BASIC programming language, I stumbled into this website, Vintage BASIC.  It is a reminder of the old days.

In the old days, one of the things that we were all so fascinated with was the ability to take this inanimate object and make it act like it was human.  The best way to do this was to have it play games.  If you long for those days, you’ll love the collection you’ll find here.

Now this is quality and classic.  None of this 3-D realism and surround sound that makes you feel like you’re right in the middle of the battlefield.  The program and your mind did the thinking and virtualizing!

image

And, you were safe doing it.

The programs were written in BASIC and you typed it into an editor and then ran it on your system.

In addition to developing keyboarding skills, you were learning a second language.

10 PRINT TAB(26);"ACEY DUCEY CARD GAME"
20 PRINT TAB(15);"CREATIVE COMPUTING  MORRISTOWN, NEW JERSEY"
21 PRINT
22 PRINT
30 PRINT"ACEY-DUCEY IS PLAYED IN THE FOLLOWING MANNER "
40 PRINT"THE DEALER (COMPUTER) DEALS TWO CARDS FACE UP"
50 PRINT"YOU HAVE AN OPTION TO BET OR NOT BET DEPENDING"
60 PRINT"ON WHETHER OR NOT YOU FEEL THE CARD WILL HAVE"
70 PRINT"A VALUE BETWEEN THE FIRST TWO."
80 PRINT"IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO BET, INPUT A 0"
100 N=100
110 Q=100
120 PRINT "YOU NOW HAVE";Q;"DOLLARS."

If there was a statement that made your computer reformat your hard drive, you knew it immediately and just didn’t key it!  How’s that for the original malware checker?

Things were so much safer and black/white.

We didn’t have to be so paranoid but it wouldn’t enable things like Graham Culey’s “Targeted Attacks for Dummies”.

But we live in a completely different place and time.

When was the last time you scanned your computer for malware?

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2 Replies to “A Different Time”

  1. I have malware detection on all the time and run full scans fairly regularly. I hate that it is necessary though. In the early days we didn’t much think about such things. I think we had a different attitude back then. We were all still figuring things out and were more about helping each other learn than causing trouble.

    I remember those early BASIC games foundly though. So innocent.

    Like

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