Re: So the obvious solution here is...
I'm going to be contrary, PNGuinn, 'hope you don't mind!
1. Everything in computerland is "3rd party", PNGuinn.
2. Unless you are running a single purpose computer, where's the fun in that? Moreover, it sounds like vendor lock-in.
3. Yeah, fine.
4. Good idea.
5. Only to come extent. You might double scan it. So far these vendor infections have been relatively rare. There's risk, sure, but again unless you are setting up a single purpose server, why be stopped from doing what you want to do? There's a statistical chance that if you go for a walk you will be hit by a car, but should that stop you from going for a walk?
6. This might be a good idea to some extent, yes, why rush? On the other hand, going to the extreme of waiting eons goes back to point 2, no fun unless you are setting up a single purpose computer.
7. There are cries on anguish on the Reg everyday, no need to wait.
8. Yup, regularly scan, good advice.
9. Yes, reading the Reg makes one feel computing is like a crap shoot. But remember, the Reg collects all the horror & nasty stories. The day-to-day enjoyment of computing isn't reported.
10. I can't go back to that as I never did. I think I will stick working with computers for now, despite and to spite it all, and because I love working with them.
11. Computers used to develop software shouldn't be used for web surfing, and extra software installed, if any, should be kept to a minimum. 'And caution needs to be exercised. Furthermore, you need at least two computers, one to develop with and another, a sidekick if you will, for going online to look up stuff etc. etc.