Back to March 1996 Opinion Columns
Up to Table of Contents
Ahead to March 1996 Newstrends

March 1996 Letters

The issue of mail security raised quite a few eyebrows, while
the Luddite point of view sparked a strong defense of our computers.

Top Security vs. Convenience Blame humans, not computers MS Monopoly Knowing Left from Right

Security vs. Convenience

I agree totally with Fred Langa's article about Exchange security (Start, December 1995). Making something easier to use at the expense of security is not an acceptable answer. Microsoft should fix the Exchange default so that users are not required to perform any action at all to secure their mail.
Leroy Gharis, via the Internet

Fred Langa is right on the money. This is serious! When I first read about it, I immediately followed the steps you listed to secure my mail. The default should lean more toward security than ease of use on this issue.
Michael Jacques via the Internet

The biggest problem with Exchange security is not the limited security, but the fact that the password scheme looks secure. To most people, this will not be an issue. But to a small percentage (and that's a lot of individuals), there is room for disaster. Thanks for pointing out this problem. I can only hope that Microsoft will listen and make its security systems behave as expected.
Steven Triano via the Internet

I agree with Mr. Langa that having a user name and password log-on in Windows 95 is a total waste. This is another reason some businesses would rather go with Windows NT since Win95 is an open book to anyone. Another way to prevent others from using your PC without permission is to use the BIOS password feature.
Darrin Rodriguez via the Internet

Microsoft has given us a very powerful tool in Windows 95. I believe that making it easy to use is infinitely more important to its commercial success than any minor security problems caused by a default setting. However, I agree with you that it could have been handled better. The setup process should have explained the password options, which would have allowed us to decide at that point what kind of security we need on our particular system.
Damon Bowman via the Internet

Top Security vs. Convenience Blame humans, not computers MS Monopoly Knowing Left from Right

Blame humans, not computers

Kirkpatrick Sale points his finger at the computer for causing a variety of societal ills (Dialog Box, December 1995). His argument typifies the current American tendency to place the blame anywhere but where it usually belongs: on the individual. I would argue that one of the main factors behind a great many national (and world) problems is that there are simply too many people for the economy to support. Humans, not computers, are the main threat to global life-support systems. Humans, not computers, commit criminal acts.
Lynne Y. Williams via the Internet

Kirkpatrick Sale is wrong in virtually all of his comments. There has been no reduction in global or national employment due to computerization. The fact is that jobs which disappeared because they were inadequately productive have been replaced by more pleasant, more productive and more lucrative positions in the computer industry.
Peter Glaskowsky via the Internet

What Mr. Sale calls "high-techery" is just another tool to me, something I use every day to see what is new in the world, to provide entertainment, to converse with people I would never be able to meet if I were toiling in the fields to feed myself and my family. I agree that it is a choice to use computers. I can respect your choices. Please respect mine. The future is here, Mr. Sale. It may not be the one you want, just as the Industrial Revolution was not the future that the original Luddites wanted, but it is the one we have.
Conrad Rader via the Internet

I find Kirkpatrick Sale's attitude to be extremely disturbing. He wants a culture akin to that of the late Stone Age. Major advances in communications usually result in the betterment of human existence. I think Mr. Sale is going to be left far behind by his decision to cut himself off from the rest of the world.
Raymond Chuang via CompuServe

Top Security vs. Convenience Blame humans, not computers MS Monopoly Knowing Left from Right

MS Monopoly

I'd like to respond to Mike Elgan's article about Microsoft's monopoly (The Explorer, October 1995). When Ma Bell was forced to break up, my phone bill got bigger, and I got annoying phone calls asking me to switch companies. I'd hate to see what would happen if the government forced Microsoft to break up; the price of software is high enough now.
Craig Wagner via the Internet

I have been following with interest the bashing of Microsoft and follow-up letters in your magazine. I think many folks are missing the point. I am unconcerned about the monopoly that Microsoft may have created. What concerns me is the brilliant mind out there with an even better idea who decides not to pursue it and instead goes into soybean futures. Surely we all don't believe that the best way to compute revolves around Windows, OS/2 and Apple. What is lacking in the computer world today is a rival vision.
Don Beck via the Internet

Top Security vs. Convenience Blame humans, not computers MS Monopoly Knowing Left from Right

Knowing Left from Right

The letter from Robert Geiger (Letters, December 1995) really struck a raw nerve. Mr. Geiger states, "I have just about had it with this self-serving attempt by Congress to ingratiate itself with every far-right-wing, techno-incompetent, morally superior, small-minded insecurity case in the country." Mr. Geiger is obviously not aware that the author of the Communications Decency Act, Sen. Jim Exon, is a Clinton Democrat and is supported by the Democratic leadership. It is the Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, who has suggested that a parentally controlled approach to the Net, not the CDA, is the answer. If Mr. Geiger considers Sen. Exon and President Clinton as "far-right-wing," I would like to know what he considers the Republicans. Mr. Geiger should be more careful in the way he labels people.
Gregory B. West via CompuServe

We want to hear from you! Please send your letter and phone number, to: Letters, WINDOWS Magazine, One Jericho Plaza, Jericho, NY 11753, or by e-mail to We reserve the right to edit letters for length and clarity.

Back to March 1996 Opinion Columns
Up to Table of Contents
Ahead to March 1996 Newstrends

Copyright © 1997 CMP Media Inc.