security pet peeve #2

“Well, you know, it’s a toolbox, I don’t care. You put the tools in and do the job, that’s all.” – Sam, Ronin, when asked what kind of gun he favors.
This is not so much a security pet peeve as it is a general geek pet peeve. I really do not mind discussions about operating systems and the benefits and drawbacks of each, but the eventual bashing and impassioned arguments that can result from talking about Windows vs Mac vs Linux vs Debian vs OpenBSD are amazingly unnecessary and unwanted.
When it comes down to it, the biggest factor in the security of each OS lies in the operator. I think they each have their own place. And I dislike seeing a Windows user completely refuse to learn Linux just as much as I hate seeing a Unix/Linux user be completely useless in Windows.
And let’s face it. All of these are going to be part of a security or IT person’s life at some point and we’ll have to at least be exposed to Macs, Windows versions, Linux boxes, etc. So basically live with it, and move on. My current job is 99% Windows, but my last job had a couple Macs, many Windows boxes, and some of our critical infrastructure systems were Linux (firewalls, DNS servers, monitoring servers, syslog…).
On a more personal note, I have used Windows versions since 95 (all but ME) and still run Windows XP today for the most part, pretty much just for easy wireless and World of Warcraft. However, I love tinkering and learning Linux versions (especially security live cds) and my next computer purchase will be a Macbook Pro. Someday after I get my Mac, I will convert a third oft-used laptop or desktop to be a permanent and oft-used Linux box so that I can really learn that as I also learn Mac. Eventually, I want to use Linux or Mac full-time, and only move to Windows for my work machine (most likely anyplace I work will provide only Windows XP, I bet), for gaming, and just to keep current on Windows (such as when Vista releases). Of course, my lab will always have a number of Windows boxes performing various roles.
I applaud how far Apple and especially Linux have come over the years to bridge the gap so that the only things I will not be able to carry over to Linux from my Windows world will be games. Even wireless is getting to be easy enough…