Why do new people give up on Linux?

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jpete
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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Post by jpete »

Just to go back to the original post
3. Lack of technical expertise. Like it or not, most people do not know what a kernel, file system, etc. are. They don't understand that each time they click a mouse, there is a lot of code being executed. They just know that it "works". You think that they have ever heard of X Window, or DOS?
When I was first learning DOS (2.01) on a PCjr when I was 13 years old, the manual was an alphabetical listing of every command, with a list of all the suffixes and a short explanation of what they all did.

Is there a book like that for Linux? If so, I haven't been able to find it.
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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Post by killer de bug »

jpete wrote: Is there a book like that for Linux? If so, I haven't been able to find it.
Open a terminal and type

Code: Select all

man man
If it ain't broke, fix it until it is.
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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Post by jpete »

Thanks but I was looking for something made from a tree. :D

I have to know a command exists before I can use "man" from the terminal and I don't know too many Linux commands.
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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Post by gold_finger »

I've not read this myself, but looks like what you're talking about: The Linux Command Line: A Complete Introduction.

Some good (free, downloadable) books are listed under "Command Line Basics" section here: https://www.linuxliteos.com/forums/tuto ... formation/.
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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Post by killer de bug »

If it ain't broke, fix it until it is.
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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Post by Welly Wu »

I think the question that begs to be asked is why do we care if people give up on Linux in the first place? Different strokes for different folks I guess. In my very limited experience, I have found that most people will choose to use the computer that they are most comfortable with and they are highly resistant to changes. My parents and brother need to use Microsoft Windows 7 and 8.1. They don't plan to upgrade to Windows 10 unless their existing PCs break. Should we be encouraging them to upgrade to Windows 10 if their existing version still works and it doesn't cost them any more time or money? I think that people try GNU/Linux because they have no other choice available and they are not willing to spend their hard earned money to buy a new computer to fix a broken desktop operating system. My friend Robert W. and Veronica C. both used Microsoft Windows 7 until their desktop operating systems crashed because of user error on their parts (or sheer folly). I told them that they could buy a new PC or a new copy of Windows 7 and they balked at the idea of spending good money after bad. Veronica C. could not afford a new PC. So, I installed Ubuntu 14.04.x 64 bit LTS GNU/Linux on their PCs. By the way, I gave them their ASUS and System76 notebook PCs for free of charge along with Ubuntu. More importantly, I taught them how to use it and I held their hands through the learning phases. They still use GNU/Linux today. If someone else gives up on GNU/Linux, then so be it. No fuss and no muss and no tears shed by me. I don't get the GNU/Linux advocacy. It seems like screaming and shouting about something that is not designed to meet everybody's needs and usage case scenarios. Look, a vast majority of people need access to highly specialized hardware and software in order to do their jobs outside of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. When I was in undergraduate school, I needed Microsoft Word and most of my classmates and my professors needed it too. When I was in graduate school, I was required to use Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 64 bit or else. This is reality folks. Microsoft Corporation still has not released Microsoft Office for GNU/Linux yet. There are tons of other smaller and more niche hardware and software products and services that are not available for GNU/Linux. Take the new 2015 Alienware 15 gaming notebook PC with the optional desktop graphics amplifier. That requires Microsoft Windows 8.1 64 bit. How are you going to tell a die hard PC gamer to switch to GNU/Linux on that? When the rubber hits the road, people drive their favorite operating system and it's usually supplied by the manufacturer of each device. Getting people to switch to GNU/Linux is usually not something that they considered or even heard about.

GNU/Linux is going places very slowly. It's like throwing bread crumbs to an old dog off of a table. That may sound harsh, but that has been my opinion and experience for many years. It's an organic and grass roots driven growth path rather than what happens for Microsoft or Apple customers.

Another good question that needs to be asked is what are you grateful for in GNU/Linux already? How is it meeting your needs now?

I already figured that one out myself. So have Veronica C. and Robert W. I have done my small part to spread the GNU/Linux love.
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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Post by Welly Wu »

I also think that the major reason why people give up on GNU/Linux are due to several observations:

1. If it ain't broke, then don't fix it.
2. Patience is a virtue
3. Practicing delayed gratification is a learned skill set
4. People are highly resistant to major changes in their lifestyles that cost them more time, money, and effort especially sweat
5. Instant gratification and disposable commodities rule the roost

GNU/Linux is not terribly difficult to learn how to use, but most people give up for one of these (or other unmentioned) reasons. Their existing Microsoft Windows or Apple Macintosh OS X PC isn't broken, so why risk it by trying GNU/Linux? Their favorite purchased hardware or software works, so why change it around? The hardest thing about GNU/Linux is learning the mindset. Changing people's expectations, assumptions, and forcing them to sit down to learn a new operating system can be very difficult because they are ingrained with their old mindset about how a PC should work. People get upset when a specific icon is changed or goes missing. Now, GNU/Linux users can't understand why people give up on it? It takes several long years to master the terminal commands and using the terminal is required to troubleshoot highly localized technical issues (of which most people have no idea what is going on in a GNU/Linux environment to begin with so they call their family members, relatives, or friends for help). Mastering GNU/Linux takes much longer with each new learned skill at using specific free, libre, open source software application at a time until they are comfortable with it. Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh OS X meet their existing needs uniquely while GNU/Linux forces them to adapt to find appropriate replacements; this is time confusing and daunting for new GNU/Linux users. People give up on GNU/Linux and they buy a new Windows or Mac PC and that's it. End of story for GNU/Linux. They tried. They failed. They bought a new PC and it ain't GNU/Linux for sure. Wash, lather, rinse, repeat.
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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Post by jpete »

Most people can't have the "delayed gratification" of having things like printers, scanners, and wireless not working.

I tried Mint previously and spent A LOT of time trying to get the wireless to work. Lots of help here and elsewhere and never an answer.

Now I'm back but this time, I installed it on my laptop to work the bugs out before I unleash it on the family computer. :)

Still trying to get some things to work, but I have the delayed gratification skill to make it though this time.
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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Post by jpcy »

<rant frustration="50%" whine="33%" emotion="100%">
If I can put my 5 pence worth in...

When cars were first invented, the controls were all over the place and they were guaranteed to break down at some point. Thought wasn't put into the car's end-of-life and there were no established expectations or conventions to build upon to create an intuitive drivable vehicle which can be utilised by taking a general 'how to drive' course. Eventually, the concept of a 'car' became clear, conventions were established and it's users grew in confidence when utilising it. Now, no matter which car you drive, you take the same test as everybody else. This has a side-effect of making roads safer.

Now, I started off on home computers, where you turned the thing on and coded or loaded a game/program and off you went. The user manual included ALL the commands, in alphabetical order with examples, for any built-in version of BASIC you may have. This meant that the initial knowledge was relatively high as there were materials available which told you EVERYTHING you needed to know to write code with them. You could always improve upon that official knowledge further down the line.

Now, as complicated and involved as modern operating systems are, the skillset of condensing and streamlining an concept to make it easily graspable and usable by the masses seems to have gone by the wayside, especially on the niche OS that is Linux and it's various, separate, communities, each with their own take on 'how' a person should learn and how a computer should function - Maybe even forcing their own way of thinking on to others in the process. As much as Microsoft had 'their way' it was after in-depth consultation with their product testers first. They actively accepted feedback. We (Linux) could improve on this by putting it on the desktop, especially in the Live editions for user feedback.

IMHO, to improve Linux beyond what is currently attempted, it needs to stop being a myriad of small projects by disparate groups of self-entitled individuals. I mean, when one dev group says another isn't following standards and doesn't support it, the user is stuck in the middle of this pathetic argument over principles, as opposed to getting together with the other group and working on the solution TOGETHER. So many devs think they are doing it the 'right' way, even when it doesn't actually work in the end and the end user is left wondering 'Why can't I just access my files??!?!' I know, I've been there.

We live in a world where literally ANYONE and his dog (drag and drop coding?!!??) can invent 'new' technology or write ground-breaking 'apps', where every self-interested group is narrowly working away on their own individual half of the 'channel tunnel' whilst everyone else wonders why the ends seldom meet in the middle. We are in a time where keyboards, an established technology with known mechanisms, long expected and seen to simply 'work', now require in-depth knowledge of the Linux Kernel drivers to diagnose and report faults on.

My own pet peeve is the way in which knowledge is spread. Community forums. Nothing wrong with the people themselves - there are wonderful people in the Linux communities - but rather it seems to be upshot that a group of people all guessing, sharing opinion and working things out together brings - Mistakes, confusion and a lack of direction. As honest as the forum creator's intentions are, not everyone works well with guesses. Not everyone wants to spend days fixing an issue.

I, myself, have received advice from one community member only to be derided by another for accepting it, as it was incorrect. Altogether, it all seems a tad pathetic to me. Why can't the developers be held responsible for generating documentation... Why has it become the norm to throw software out into the world without accompanying documentation and knowledge. It is as if the developers cannot imagine a person not knowing what they know about their code. Very selfish in a way, IMHO and quite counter-constructive.

I honestly don't think forums can compete with a well organised, concise technical reference - The very same Issue I am having with the 'groundbreaking' FreeSWITCH. What use is code without documentation?

I have left various Linux several times over things like not being able to update my system for fear of it being unusable and unfixable, especially after spending such a long time tweaking all those wonderful options, installing and configuring packages and getting things to work just how I like them. I, like many other people, don't want to spend time fixing that which, ostensibly, should just work by now. I have spent enough time trawling through forums for a fix to a bug which apparently only I have ever experienced, with no luck in fixing it and the report of the fault not being accepted as being 'done correctly'.

When all you want is 'the answer', you get 'a response'.

Linux always seems to be unfinished. It is a fluid, ever-changing, unstable situation to be in. For some it's just not worth the risk to data or the time and effort to overcome things which simply don't happen in Windows or Mac OS.

I sometimes think that all the best Linux developers are working on separate projects, following separate standards on different distros and that if they were to put their heads together on a definitive Linux distro which can lend itself to being customised and changed within established bounds. Until the Linux 'minefield' of distros settles down, no one Linux distribution will ever cover all the bases that Windows does. Not mentioning the vanity distros.

And lastly, to every Linux dev who reads this and I am sure it will not apply to every one... Test. Test, test, test, test, test & test. And, when you think it's perfect, keep going until it breaks. Be brutally honest with your code. TRY to break it - it will eventually. Give it to someone else to test who doesn't have emotions invested in it, just don't go by the book when testing code, don't have a formula because that becomes a testing weakness. It just seems like some code has been rushed untested and undocumented and ultimately forgotten about. I learned early on to comment the ever living hell out of your code before you write an executable statement. IMHO, 'well written' code should be 60% descriptive/logical comments and 40% statements.

I used to make fun of Windows, I used to get so pissed off at the problems I had, but they were nothing compared to the issued I (still) have with Linux distros. I just don't think Linux is finished and am thinking it probably never will be. Some people seem to be constantly stuck in 'develop' mode and never make it to 'finish'.

Given the choice between an OS with 1000000 options which can break itself and an OS with 1000 which won't, I now know which one I should go for. ~8 years ago, I may have said the opposite, but that was before I used Linux for work - I used Windows 7 lol

And another thing, IMHO, bug-reporting sites shouldn't be socially-driven, but rather focussed on getting all the required info from the user and structuring it for diagnoses and trouble-shooting purposes. I think if we had a desktop application which doesn't require the user creating another account to use, it would help gather software versions, machine info, diagnostic details, etc.

New users also experience a vast array of inconsistencies, ranging from inconsistent language/vocabulary use (between and even within a single distro community) right up to the total culture change of seeking help - There's very rarely a single, authoritative source of accurate information for many software titles on Linux.

I think these are all symptoms of the relatively casual way Linux is developed. Maybe this substitution of knowledge/documentation for presumption and guesswork has caused more issues than people want to admit. idk
</rant>

(Why are my tildes, ~, being converted into hyphens?)

Quote: "Look, a vast majority of people need access to highly specialized hardware and software in order to do their jobs outside of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics"

I would say that a vast majority of people only need a web browser and productivity suite to do their jobs and argue that a minority of jobs require specialists hardware/software and they would be within the scientific realms of computer usage. Maybe our views of IT are skewed, but I worked in education and tech support and every last person was using Windows and Office with an inkjet printer. Maybe you have seen more specialist environments/deployments than I.

I would say that a vast majority of work on a PC is completely mundane and the same across the board with pools of specialists carrying out engineering, mathematics or scientific works on specialist hardware/software.

"1. If it ain't broke, then don't fix it." - Nobody likes changing things if they see no reason to do so. That's just reality, especially when there is a lack of knowledge about what is changing and why;

"2. Patience is a virtue" - It is. However, waiting for months to remedy an ongoing issue is unrealistic and you shouldn't expect anyone to stop their lives whilst you 'try out' guesses with them, IMHO. Documentation, documentation, documentation. It cannot be stated enough.

"3. Practicing delayed gratification is a learned skill set" - Maybe, however there has to be a reasonable end-point. See #2.

"4. People are highly resistant to major changes in their lifestyles that cost them more time, money, and effort especially sweat" - Same as #1.

"5. Instant gratification and disposable commodities rule the roost" - Instant gratification is what happens when things work first time, every time, without issue and I see nothing wrong with expecting things to work outright, without issue. However, people generally are admitting that it is harder and harder to provide this experience with modern technology without controlling every aspect of the software and hardware, not something you can do when your OS has 4473 different authors to 590 different modules all trying to somehow work together well enough to not cause an issue. The situation is simply not conducive to the required level of interoperability without each of the 4473 devs to talk and work together.
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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Post by bob466 »

Old Thread but still the same reason...they don't want to learn something different because it's too hard. Image
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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Post by Barbados99 »

Linux isn't for everyone, and that's okay. My own experience is that most people won't even try Linux to begin with. Those who do give it a try don't want to spend the time to learn how it works. They are impatient and quickly get frustrated and give up. But some people are more motivated to put in the work to learn how to use Linux even though there is a learning curve to climb. Linux will probably never be the popular OS. That's my gut feeling anyway. It doesn't have to be popular to be good (or even the best). In my case I stuck it out because my motivation was to have access to great software - for free. Early on in my Linux journey this motivated me to put in the work (it was in the mid-1990s when Linux wasn't so user friendly). Anyway if others prefer another OS, that's fine. I don't care.
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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Post by Vladimir00 »

Barbados99 wrote:
Sun Aug 16, 2020 11:27 pm
Linux isn't for everyone, and that's okay. My own experience is that most people won't even try Linux to begin with.
Unfortunately most people don't even know about the existence of Linux .I learned about existence myself Linux about 7-8 years ago .
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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Post by antikythera »

Vladimir00 wrote:
Mon Aug 17, 2020 5:42 am
Barbados99 wrote:
Sun Aug 16, 2020 11:27 pm
Linux isn't for everyone, and that's okay. My own experience is that most people won't even try Linux to begin with.
Unfortunately most people don't even know about the existence of Linux .I learned about existence myself Linux about 7-8 years ago .
I learned about it from a magazine called PC Plus which bundled a version of SUSE personal on the cover and that has to be getting on for over two decades ago now since Novell disbanded the Personal and Pro names when they took over SUSE. I also used an offer from the same magazine to get a full boxed version of Professional with a massive manual. The magazine also ran a series of tutorials.

Such magazines don't tend to have cover discs any more so the convenience of having a tangible thing you can load instantly and try is no more.

This website helps a little:

https://distrotest.net/
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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Post by Hoser Rob »

bob466 wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 9:15 pm
Old Thread but still the same reason...they don't want to learn something different because it's too hard. Image
There's actually a lot of truth in that ... many were users who THOUGHT they were computer experts when they used Windows, in which you only think they were the administrator. WHen they try Linux, in which you really ARE the administrator, they're faced with the realization they know nothing about computers.
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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Post by Vladimir00 »

Hoser Rob wrote:
Mon Aug 17, 2020 8:59 am
bob466 wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 9:15 pm
Old Thread but still the same reason...they don't want to learn something different because it's too hard. Image
There's actually a lot of truth in that ... many were users who THOUGHT they were computer experts when they used Windows, in which you only think they were the administrator. WHen they try Linux, in which you really ARE the administrator, they're faced with the realization they know nothing about computers.
You don't need to know much about computers to use Linux . You just need to know how to use Google :D
Learn to use terminal very simple (you just need to remember a few words) .
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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Post by Barbados99 »

Vladimir00 wrote:
Mon Aug 17, 2020 9:20 am
Hoser Rob wrote:
Mon Aug 17, 2020 8:59 am
bob466 wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 9:15 pm
Old Thread but still the same reason...they don't want to learn something different because it's too hard. Image
There's actually a lot of truth in that ... many were users who THOUGHT they were computer experts when they used Windows, in which you only think they were the administrator. WHen they try Linux, in which you really ARE the administrator, they're faced with the realization they know nothing about computers.
You don't need to know much about computers to use Linux . You just need to know how to use Google :D
Learn to use terminal very simple (you just need to remember a few words) .
I agree that Google can be a huge help sometimes. Other times though I find that it gives incorrect information in regards to Linux problems that I am struggling with. Often when I do a Google search regarding a problem it returns an overwhelming amount of links and it can be challenging to find what is correct info. As I weed through them I often find conflicting information along with outdated information that is flat wrong. More than once I have screwed up my installation trying a Google search answer to my problem. Consequently I now try to search this Mint forum for answers first. The information that I find from those searches is usually far more accurate than a Google search. If I can't find the info in my search here on the Mint forum, then I search the Internet (and just "hope for the best" that it is accurate). LOL, and backups are my friend with Google search answers... otherwise a small problem can end up being a far worse problem when the suggested "fix" is actually "the kiss of death" that screws my computer up. I've grown to love Timeshift. It has saved me a lot of work, a number of times. If I can't find the answers on my own, then I just ask here for help.
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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Post by Vladimir00 »

Barbados99 wrote:
Mon Aug 17, 2020 12:06 pm
Vladimir00 wrote:
Mon Aug 17, 2020 9:20 am
Hoser Rob wrote:
Mon Aug 17, 2020 8:59 am


There's actually a lot of truth in that ... many were users who THOUGHT they were computer experts when they used Windows, in which you only think they were the administrator. WHen they try Linux, in which you really ARE the administrator, they're faced with the realization they know nothing about computers.
You don't need to know much about computers to use Linux . You just need to know how to use Google :D
Learn to use terminal very simple (you just need to remember a few words) .
I agree that Google can be a huge help sometimes. Other times though I find that it gives incorrect information in regards to Linux problems that I am struggling with. Often when I do a Google search regarding a problem it returns an overwhelming amount of links and it can be challenging to find what is correct info. As I weed through them I often find conflicting information along with outdated information that is flat wrong.
In cases where you do not have serious problems and you just want to install applications via terminal searching in google usually helps (you just need to know the version of your operating system ).In case of a serious problem everything can be much more complicated.Fortunately with the right choice distribution Linux frequent serious problems can be avoided :D
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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Post by Barbados99 »

Vladimir00 wrote:
Mon Aug 17, 2020 12:46 pm
Barbados99 wrote:
Mon Aug 17, 2020 12:06 pm
Vladimir00 wrote:
Mon Aug 17, 2020 9:20 am


You don't need to know much about computers to use Linux . You just need to know how to use Google :D
Learn to use terminal very simple (you just need to remember a few words) .
I agree that Google can be a huge help sometimes. Other times though I find that it gives incorrect information in regards to Linux problems that I am struggling with. Often when I do a Google search regarding a problem it returns an overwhelming amount of links and it can be challenging to find what is correct info. As I weed through them I often find conflicting information along with outdated information that is flat wrong.
In cases where you do not have serious problems and you just want to install applications via terminal searching in google usually helps (you just need to know the version of your operating system ).In case of a serious problem everything can be much more complicated.Fortunately with the right choice distribution Linux frequent serious problems can be avoided :D
Yeah, with Mint I don't have many problems. And I am so thankful for this forum. Some distros' forums are nothing like this place here. They are angry people who just savage you if you come there for help because you don't understand something. I usually check out the distro's forum to see what kind of environment it is (helpful, friendly or arrogant haters). I'll do everything I can to solve the problem on my own before I post to one of the hater distro forums & I make sure I post the litany of things I've tried, along with about everything about my system and hardware setup... about everything except my birth certificate and marriage license. Then I post my problem and "hope for the best" there. Some of those hater forums just love to flame "mere mortals" that are not IT professionals. Clearly you are NOT welcome there. LOL, on the Arch forum I decided to not even post for help there... I looked over the hostile environment there and decided I'd rather have a broke computer than endure that stuff :-)

The EndeavourOS forum has nice folks though... just like here. Peppermint OS has great people too. Other forums seem to be somewhere in between the Arch-hell forum and places like here on the Mint forum. You takes your chances :-)

Getting back to the original post in this thread. Maybe one reason why SOME people give up on LInux is due to the unfriendly community with some distros. I can't imagine some poor sap trying to figure out Arch as a newbie and then reaching out for help on that forum there. They are the "RTFM" folks there who worship that Arch Wiki like it was a god or something that every living being should be able to understand (it is one heck of a good source of info but it is not the end-all easily understood source for every single problem).
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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Post by t42 »

Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?
by jpete » 08 May 2015 02:13
Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?
by jpcy » 19 Jul 2020 19:39
It died so beautifully 5 years and counting ... but necroposting caused other users to jump in, not realizing that they continue a discussion that has been long abandoned.
-=t42=-
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Re: Why do new people give up on Linux?

Post by RollyShed »

Vladimir00 wrote:
Mon Aug 17, 2020 9:20 am
You don't need to know much about computers to use Linux . You just need to know how to use Google :D
Learn to use terminal very simple (you just need to remember a few words) .
Learn to use the Terminal? Why? The other user in this room doesn't know the Terminal exists. She works her Linux Mint hard, spreadsheets, downloading music, printing, emails, etc. Yes, sometimes I help do something but that will simply be the best way to format a page, improve (focus, contrast) a jpg for printing.

So two straight years of Mint since Microsoft destroyed her Windows 10. No virus checker will stop Microsoft viruses because they call them "Updates".
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