If I were to purchase a brand new computer, with the latest version of
MicroSoft Windows NT Professional, and all the usual software that goes
with it (InterNet Explorer, Outlook Express, Active-X, J2EE, VB.NET,
etc.), and I don't make any changes from the default configuration,
except to enable JavaScript and Active-X and TCP/IP or PPP and connect
the system to the InterNet via ComCast digital cable or high-speed DSL,
is there any way that somebody elsewhere on the net could, without my
authorization, penetrate my computer via some sort of worm/virus/trojan
and thereby gain sufficient control over my computer as to make it send
out unauthorized e-mail including copies of the worm/virus/trojan?

(I'm sorry for the run-on sentence, but I couldn't find any good place
to break it.)