Throwback Thursday: The Unbearable Lightness of Testing

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   Apr 16, 2015

VB gets in on the Throwback Thursday act, delving into the archives.

Over the last couple of years, the 'Throwback Thursday' trend has taken the Internet by storm, with social media users indulging in a weekly wallow in nostalgia, fondly resurrecting photographs of themselves wearing terrible fashion in their childhood or sporting awful haircuts in their teens. The VB team decided it was high time we got in on the act, but to spare you the photographs (for now at least), we plan to use the opportunity to take a regular delve into our archives.

This week, we turn back the clock to December 1996 at a time when the memory limits of the DOS environment posed issues for anti-malware developers that we wouldn't give a second thought to today. While scanners were already "groaning" under the load of the ever-increasing number of viruses (the growth in the number of known viruses was then around 150-200 per month), the need to add complex new scan capabilities - for dealing with macro viruses - threatened to be the last straw for some. The solution for several products of the time was to supply a second executable offering macro-scanning functionality. The then Editor of VB, Ian Whalley, quite rightly argued that it was unreasonable to expect people to have to run multiple programs to detect different types of virus and wondered where we would be if we had to have a product consisting of 9,500 separate executables, "one for every virus...".

Read Ian's editorial piece here in HTML-format, or download it here as a PDF (no registration or subscription required).

Posted on 16 April 2015 by Helen Martin

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