Posted 17 March 2011 - 02:56 PM
Hello BleepingComputer members! I'm Charles (Tarq is a nickname I use on an open source RPG The Mana World). I got my start in computers back in 1983 when I joined the Barrie User's Group (BUG) in Barrie, Ontario, to learn about the Commodore 64 our family got. Shortly after my family realized the C64 had become my gaming computer instead of the tax machine it was intended as, and we bought the older model of IBM PS/2 Model 50 (the XT version as opposed to the 286). I got into BBSing and ended up getting my own XT-clone (which ran a NEC V20 chip) a year or two later.
In 1993 I started a Dating BBS in Toronto, Ontario called Passion Station. Initially it ran Remote Access until I came across Rob Swindell's Synchronet Multinode BBS Software. That BBS stayed online for a couple of years. About six months in I switched out the XT board and the 42MB hard drive for a 386DX33 motherboard and 2MB of RAM which a fellow systems operator gave to me (a big deal then since 2MB was fairly expensive). I met this fellow sysop at a TTC subway stop, it looked like we were doing a drug deal in the station. At this point I figured I would try multinode, but I quickly learned that 2MB was not enough even using QEMM and Desqview for task switching.
Fast forward several years and I was back in Barrie running the BUG BBS until a lightning strike damaged the modem. It took several months to get approval to buy a new modem and by this time (mid 1995) the Internet was really starting to catch on with club members. (That BBS ran on OS/2 Warp 3.0)
A couple of years later my younger brother arrived home with a "Slackware" disc, my first exposure to the Linux operating system. I tried getting into Linux, but ended up using FreeBSD until about 2001 when a printer driver made me decide to switch to Red Hat Linux.
Fast forward to 2005 when I took over the project management of a not-for-profit computer recycling project here in sunny, but still cold, Kitchener, Ontario. The project is both a Microsoft Registered Refurbisher and point for Linux computers. We target individuals on a fixed income and buy both Windows XP and Office 2007 BASIC licenses to be installed on applicable (I can tell you about this if you're interested) machines.
Interesting our Linux machines have been doing just about as well (in terms of sales) as Windows machines.
I don't pretend to know everything, in fact I feel terribly uninformed in the area of recent Trojans, Viruses, Spyware and other Malware. We've been struggling lately finding effective software to combat the increasingly difficult to remove malware. Though we do everything from msconfig switching off nasty services and programs, to scanning systems with CD-bootable versions of anti-virus software, and pulling drives from machines and scanning them in clean machines, we often find it takes and incredible amount of time, expertise, and patience to remove all the malware from certain systems without having to remove eveything.
We use a lot of Open Source software and have set up a server that allows us to PXE boot machines and run a bunch of tests and utilities (like DBAN for erasing systems).
That's way more about me than you'll probably ever want to know. Glad to be here at Bleepingcomputer.com, it seems to be one of the most reputable sources for anti-malware around. Thanks Guys and Gals!