Patch Tuesday Sets Record

Usually when you set a record, there's celebration, champagne, press releases and fanfare.

None of that happened for Microsoft this week when it set a high mark for fixing no less than 28 bugs. The patches came out yesterday and fix remote code execution as well as graphic device interface flaws. All of the patches, save one, are aimed at clients.

The number of bugs is due to the sheer complexity of Microsoft operating systems and applications, and the fact that Microsoft publicly fixes as many flaws as it can. And you thought you were in for a nice holiday break!

Multi-Core Multi-Problems
Multi-core processors have such promise. Imagine: Instead of one CPU, you have two, four, eight, 16 or perhaps many more. Why, your performance would multiply! But performance increases aren't linear -- not even close.

I looked into this subject and found it stunningly complex. The bottom line is that unless a program is specifically designed for cores, there isn't a huge performance increase. Sometimes, apps even run slower because the clock speed on the multi-cores is slower.

Now there's another issue holding back multi-core: It seems that multi-cores can't efficiently use memory. The CPU may be ready to grind away, but the memory can't respond fast enough. One solution? Putting memory right on top of each CPU. Interesting.

Do you have a dual- or multi-core machine? And if so, how does it work? Share your experience at [email protected].

Macs Need Anti-Virus, Too
Mac bigots (three of my kids easily qualify for this label) love to make fun of PC users for all the viruses and malware we encounter. But not so fast, buckos! The Mac needs anti-virus too -- and not just one tool, but multiple anti-virus apps. Who said such a thing? Bill Gates, the girl Steve Jobs dumped 30 years ago? Nope. It was Apple itself.

This is great advice. Microsoft comes clean the second Tuesday of every month with a public list of its flaws. I'm glad Apple came a little bit clean on its potential flaws. Here's why it's so important: Many Mac users are so confident that they pile up gigabyte after gigabyte of personal documents, photos, data and songs. If a virus hits, they have lots to lose, and often haven't taken as many precautions as their PC brethren.

Has your Mac ever been hit by malware? Horror stories and bragging about your uninfected machines both readily accepted at [email protected].

About the Author

Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.

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