MP January 12, 2007 12:57 PM

Interesting read. You mention you choose a PC, just out of interest what OS do you run on it? Windows, Linux or something else?

I don’t want to start a war in your comments, I just wondered is all 🙂

Tim January 12, 2007 1:34 PM

‘On Microsoft and security: “They’re getting a lot of things right, but Microsoft continually uses security as a way to solidify its monopoly position. Microsoft is right to treat security as a business issue — they’re not a public charity — but it hurts all of us when they use it to lock out the competition.”‘

Yes a very apt comment

sukotto January 12, 2007 4:29 PM

btw, they didn’t size your headshot picture correctly so you look kind of stretched. You might want to call them to fix it before the long weekend kicks in.

Davi Ottenheimer January 12, 2007 5:55 PM


How unusual to hear someone actually wish for the curse of the curmudgeon. Winokur (the great curmudgeon quotesman) once explained:

“Curmudgeons are mockers and debunkers whose bitterness is a symptom rather than a disease. They can’t compromise their standards and can’t manage the suspension of disbelief necessary for feigned cheerfulness. Their awareness is a curse. Perhaps curmudgeons have gotten a bad rap in the same way that the messenger is blamed for the message: They have the temerity to comment on the human condition without apology. They not only refuse to applaud mediocrity, they howl it down with morose glee. Their versions of the truth unsettle us, and we hold it against them, even though they soften it with humor.”

bill marriott January 12, 2007 8:55 PM

To Sukotto & MP –

He’s speaking at Linux World Open Solutions Summit and Penguicon – I doubt MS Windows is is on that box.
I still don’t like the question though – doesn’t PC stand for Personal Computer? How is a Mac not a personal computer?

Curiousity January 12, 2007 9:08 PM

“I don’t want to start a war in your comments, I just wondered is all :)”

Oh C’mon Bruce, don’t keep us guessing. Is it Unix/Linus or Micro$oft?

Bruce Schneier January 13, 2007 8:50 AM

Sorry to disappoint you all; I use the Windows OS.

I would very much like to be a Linux user, but my tech support options are all Windows. And I don’t have the mental bandwidth to be my own tech support person.

So Windows it is.

I don’t use IE or Outlook, though. I use Opera and Eudora.

Ben Rosengart January 13, 2007 11:19 AM

Somewhere out there, there must be an OSS company that would provide free tech support to Bruce Schneier just for the coolness points.

I tell you, I’d be thrilled if I could run the real Password Safe on POSIX platforms.

Neil in Chicago January 13, 2007 11:27 AM

Interesting that they casually refer to “the Bruce Schneier brand”. That’s an aspect of Bruce’s career which has interested me for a while.

Dave Page January 13, 2007 11:28 AM

If I lived in the US, I would provide free GNU/Linux support to Bruce.

Then again, providing GNU/Linux tech support to my family is a damn sight easier than providing Windows support was. Installing Debian on other people’s machines makes my and their lives easier.

Davi Ottenheimer January 13, 2007 11:45 PM

“I would very much like to be a Linux user, but my tech support options are all Windows”

Somehow I never pictured you as someone cornered by Windows. Last I heard there were still companies signing agreements with Microsoft that barred support of any other OS, but there are some obvious exceptions. Is someone barring your access to the Linux support options available (e.g. BT CounterPane), or are you afraid HP, Dell, IBM, RedHat, Novell, etc. won’t be able to answer your needs?

Curiousity January 14, 2007 5:52 AM


“Somehow I never pictured you as someone cornered by Windows.”

I was intrigued by the question of Bruce’s desktop OS and not really surprised by the answer. Imagine you are in charge of the (Windows) tech support for a fairly large company and things are ticking over reasonably nicely. Then your boss rings you: “Bruce thinks it would be really cool to use Linux on his machine instead of Windows. Let’s do it.”

To start supporting two OS may be a lot of work to set up, depending upon the requirements. For a 1000+ user system, it’s a mountain of work and to initiate it, the change must be financially justifiable. It’s easier to say it than make it happen. I note that a lot of company mergers run into difficulty when trying to integrate separate IT systems.

Please don’t take it that I am against Linux and Open Source; far from it. I have done tech support for a Windows system with 1000s of users and have done everything from desktop support to 3rd line server support, system design and contract drafting. Although Open Source is attractive, I suspect that the practical difficulties of fitting a new OS into a working IT system can be considerable.

In time, integrating Linux into a Windows environment will get easier (yes I have heard of Samba, OpenLDAP etc) but it seems to me that the best chance to get a viable Linux infrastructure up and running is when starting a new company i.e. no legacy Windows stuff to worry about.

Regarding MP’s comment “I don’t want to start a war”; me neither. No flames please.

Arghhhhhhh............!!!!!!! January 14, 2007 9:33 AM

The uber security guru CHOOSING(?!!!) Micro$h!t Wincrap as his desktop OS when lesser souls can manage with superior OSS solutions on the lame pretext of tech support?

Well we’re all gobsmacked!

Can we be sure that it’s even an authentic reply from the real Brucey?

All is SO wrong with Micro$hit any how you slice it from every conceivable angle: predatory business practices, software engineering, security, etc that damages anything it infects.

Brucey, the public and your “fans” demand to know the REAL reason(s). Not this less-than-flimsey “excuse”.

Say It Isn’t So!

Liam January 14, 2007 3:58 PM

You have good music tastes, I just sampled Crooked Still, folk genius. I’d have to recommend that you try some of the local music of Cape Breton Island, such as the Barra MacNeils, the Rankins, The Cottars, I have a feeling you’d enjoy.

Davi Ottenheimer January 14, 2007 8:27 PM

@ Curiousity

I meant “cornered by Windows” in the same sense as Bruce said his “options are all Windows”.

I was hoping he might find a doorway to escape through, especially as more and more of them are “open” now (see links above).

I confess I have seen this issue before, though, as my cats often stare longingly out the windows even when I open the doors for them.

Joe January 14, 2007 8:52 PM

You can run the real Password Safe under Linux – It works just great with WINE. I use it all the time – WINE is cool.

The Ranger January 16, 2007 3:20 PM

Bruce Schneier can roundhouse kick Microsoft operating systems into secure submission of his every whim!

derf January 16, 2007 4:18 PM

Actually – right now is one of the few times in the past few years where an OSS solution is possible to implement company wide. The cost to switch to Vista+Office 2007 will be more than switching to Linux+OpenOffice, in part due to Microsoft fees, but also because of the learning curve involved for the new Microsoft software.

The main problem is the lack of consolidated enterprise tools (i.e. AD/WSUS/SMS) for managing all of these desktop systems and their software.

Archon Magnus January 19, 2007 6:20 AM

I always hate when people refer to “Applied Cryptography” as, “the bible for hackers”. For the first point, that usually means the negative connotation of experienced computer users. The second point is, hackers (or as implied, “crackers”) shouldn’t be the only people that desire/need cryptography.

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Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.