Saturday, September 16, 2006

All is Fixed

My computer finally is fixed after they completely wiped and reloaded my Windows XP Professional. I guess I had gotten lucky, because it turns out that I had no anti-virus software and hadn't had it since my Norton subscription expired over a year ago. I had thought that SpySweeper was enough. Although it's an excellent program, it's not an anti-virus one. I don't know how I had come to the assumption that it was, but I made a terrible mistake which won't be made again.

I did some research and found this article by PC World which highly recommends Avast; a freeware anti-virus program. I installed it, and I am very pleased by what I am getting. As the writer for PC World says, "What you may consider... is when the license is about to expire, uninstall your current AV product and give (it) a whirl."

The Public Library

During the entire debacle, I re-discovered our public library. As everyone knows, you are issued a free library pass for the library assigned to whatever city you live in. You get to check out movies, DVDs, CDs, books, and even artwork (in some towns / cities). Best of all, you get 2 hours of internet time a day.

My business is very internet-based. If I couldn't get to the internet several times a day, it would fail. The public library proved to be the solution for me. It was very easy to use and the printing fees were nominal. The only down-side was that they didn't have fax machines or scanners. I had to utilize a nearby Office Depot, which charged $1 a page. For a 40-page fax, we're talking real money.

My Recent Article

I stopped writing it. I was asked by a prominent politician (that I respect... which is rare) to squash the story. Sometimes it's good to let sleeping dogs lie.


Levi said...

I went through a similar thing recently. I also had to reformat and then reload Windows onto my hard drive because of a pesky trojan horse virus that my AV software couldn't remove.

I, too, have heard good things about the free AV software variety. My current AV software is free from my ISP, so I'm not in a hurry to dump it quite yet.

Miss Cellania said...

My public library always has at least an hour wait for a computer, and a 15 minute limit. Too many people with no computer of their own.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Anti Vir is also a great free virus program.

Free software is good, try Search and Destroy and Ad-Aware also!

exMI said...

Quashing stories and letting sleeping dogs lie. Always interesting how the "people's right to know" can intersect with doing that. And why it is ok to kill one story but another must be told and damn teh consequences......

FruitfulSpirit said...

Great to know you are back up and running! Hubby put Avast on our computers sometime ago and we really like it. Free is always good! I also run a small program called ad-aware. It helps keep the extra garbage out and it is free too!

I love the public library and use it for books and tapes. Great place to find them and at the right price too!

Saur♥Kraut said...

Fruitful Spirit, I have ad-aware too, which is good (but not as good as SpySweeper, I've discovered).

Exmi, very true. But this guy pointed out an angle I hadn't seen before, and I was forced to admit that my writing the story could probably cause more harm than good if it went to press. It was very interesting, and I wasn't bullied, bribed, or cajoled, but because I see eye-to-eye with this guy on the matter, I squashed the story.

Daniel, thanks, hon! ;o)

Miss C, most of the computers seemed always occupied!

Levi, it's always discouraging when it happens, isn't it???

Mr. Fabulous said...

$1 a page? That is crazy!

michelle said...

Yep, it spyware, anti-virus ware, and any other ware it the way to go.

There must be a better place to go then Office Depot, yuk!

I agree with the story squash.

R2K said...

I also suggest AVG. Glad you are no longer using Norton.

Nihilistic said...

Two computers...the only way to go

Three Score and Ten or more said...

I have Avast on two computers and McAfee on the third. I am happy with both though McAfee's site advisor has given me fits for the past two weeks.

Anonymous said...

I'm currently using free AVG software also; it's a lite and unobtrusive program.

Have you considered Blogger Beta, Saur?

Mr. Althouse said...

Hi saur,

I'm glad your back up and running. Ya know, I used to be a PC geek. I bled Intel and IBM blue through and through. I was loyal to Microsoft and Windows even though the headaches were constant and unrelenting.

Then one day, quite by chance, I became the not-so proud owner of a Mac iBook G3. It was free and it worked, so I put my prejudice aside and started playing around with it. As I encounted more and more invasions and attempted invasions into my Windows OSs, I started to use the Mac more and more. Amazingly, I did not have to be constantly on my guard with the Mac - it was (and still is) virtually immune to invasion.

The happy ending? Goodbye PCs. It was real. It was nice. But it wasn't real nice. I'm a convert in the biggest way and now, when I bash the PC/Windows platform, I can do it with authority. I know.

I am currently on my second iBook, a G4, and will probably upgrade yet again to a MacBook Pro shortly. Ironically enough, the MacBook will allow me to run Windows natively if I so desire. But why would I want to do a silly thing like that?


Edge said...

I'll have to try Avant, but when you get Macafee for free you kind of take it. But I'll try Avant because PC mag had a good suggestion for spyware that I have REALLY liked.

A fellow blogger told me that before she stopped that particular blog she noticed the House Sgt of Arms was reading her blog. You never know when those contacts could come in handy. And that's just kind of eerie they would tell you to squash it because they know you're writing it.


Edge said...

Oh ya forgot, I used the library when I was out of work to search Monster, Dice and CareerBuilder. Never needed to print, but it was helpful to have free internet access to send out resumes.


Ellen said...

Geez Louise.... $1.00 per page for printing at Office Depot? I know they have to run a business and all, but don't they give discounts over a certain amount of pages? I'm pretty sure Kinkos has a better rate.

Glad to hear you have the problem fixed... I've been where you were, and know how devestating it is when you are dependant on your computer for the work it generates. You can't help but feel very cut off from the world. Woohoo for the geeks out there that can fix the problems of the viruses. Where would we be without them?

United We Lay said...

One of the best things about living in FL was the public library system. Half of our music collection was copied from them, and I never had to buy a book int he whole 2 years I lived there - I did, but I didn't HAVE to. See! I can say SOMETHING positive about my time in FL. That, and I met you and Michelle.

R2K said...

Apples are immune to viruses because they are what, less than 10 percent of the market share. If they were number 1, they would be the target. Frankly, rather than spend an extra 25 to 50 percent on a Mac (which now has the same hardware as a PC, only the operating system is different) I just get AVG for free and scan my computer once a month for addware. All free, still better than killing myself on a one button apple laptop. And I am not just hatin for nothing: I have an apple laptop. It can do most things a PC can do, and do it well enough, but is that really the measure of a good computer? "Apple: now just about the same as a PC." Sorry that doesnt sell me on it. It is slower, harder to use in many ways (once you go above the level of email and just surfin around), and much more expensive. Broken keyboard? Yeah 300 bucks. Broken Battery? 300 again. Sorry, ill stick with the PC I built myself for half the price.

~Deb said...

My computer was eaten up by a virus--which I had to get fixed. Even though it's home and well, it's still not 'the same'. It's slow, it thinks too much and it's just not the whipper-snapper it used to be. I have to get a new one. My friend has a Mac and tells me that's the route to go--but I just can't get adjusted to them.

When I had to use the public library for their computer services, the time limitation is what got to me. An hour and you're outa' there. Internet cafes who have the computers already there is a great idea.

Anonymous said...

It's been a couple days ... should we assume the computer's not fixed after all?

Also, Deb, try defragmenting your hard drive. It's a simple fix, but many don't do it. Also, don't keep too many icons on your desktop--put them in folders, preferrably in your My Documents folder.

Saur, I stopped using word verification for comments on my blog a couple months ago and haven't had comment spam since ... maybe you ought to give it a try?