Classic Computer Magazine Archive A.N.A.L.O.G. ISSUE 66 / NOVEMBER 1988 / PAGE 6


    I am writing this letter because my machine was recently infected with a virus. The damage resulting from the infection took three months to repair. The symptoms started when I was unable to write to the disks because they were reported as full by the operating system. This didn't seem logical since some of the disks had small data files on them which should not have caused a fulldisk message to appear. I started using the backup disks, but they also became infected and thus damaged beyond repair. After weeks of trial and error, neither I nor my friends were able to discover what caused the problem. As a result of helping me, my friend's system also became infected via disks used on my system. How far the virus spread beyond my immediate group is problematic.
    I frequently read your magazine and have not seen any articles forewarning your readers of software viruses. I eventually read a Newsweek magazine article which described the problem as a software virus. It was astounding to find the virus problem being discussed in a periodical which is dedicated to general news events, especially when the two computer magazines I read did not mention them. Since the Newsweek article, I have read articles in both the Washington Post and Time. By the way, the Post dedicated all of page 3 in the Sunday edition to the growing problem.
    I think it is your responsibility to keep your readers informed about computer problems which could result in months of work being lost. The damage just to my system could buy a subscription to ten computer magazines for the next five years.
    It is certain that many of your readers are as ignorant of the problem as I was. It is also evident that the problem is large enough to draw national media coverage. It would be a disservice to your readers not to give them information about this problem. Therefore I request that you keep your readers informed of software viruses, symptoms and cures.
-Ralph Allen
Arlington, Virginia