Celebrating January 3rd

Playing catch-up because I spent all January 3rd sorting out the new laptop.

dealing with essentials

So in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, having a computer doesn’t really show up but in the modern world there is no doubt that having a computer, or at least some kind of electronic device is a must – a need.

I would find it very, very difficult to complete any of my goals without a computer.  Much of my interaction with others is through email, my job searching is online, my study is online, my writing is published online…I write my stories on a word processing program on a computer.

So January 3rd was a productive day in that;

(a) I bought a new computer

(b) I set up my new computer and transferred all my data across

(c) I mourned the loss of my old computer

and (d) I ensured my basic needs were met.

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Rebuilding

Doing an early blog today as I’ve spent the better part of the day rebuilding my computer.

Soon after putting the blog to bed last night, I (well, OK, the laptop) got attacked by the XP 2010 malware virus.  This simulates a security scan, tells the user the harddrive is riddled with every type of viral infection known to man and encourages you to sign up for a free XP security scan.  Little pop-ups appear every ninety-seconds or so, stating “Threat Identified!”, “Computer under attack!”, “Your privacy is being attacked now!”.  Of course the pop-ups are right in one way as the computer is under attack from the virus sending the pop-ups in the first place.   The idea is that when you sign up/register for the scan, that’s when you are truly scammed from what I can tell from reading about the virus.  Worryingly, it also prevents you going in search of the removal tools on the web, declaring all useful sites as offlimits due their being “infected”.

Having worked with computers for a long time, I at least knew very quickly it was all a scam and a virus, and didn’t go anywhere near the registration prompt.  But I have to give credit to the virus programmers for definitely producing something which is very scary even to someone who is aware.  Even I was briefly tempted to think “maybe I should just…”.

More worrying for me personally, is that it sneaked in under the Norton Antivirus software radar (and I did have what I thought was very good protection which I’ve now upgraded) and it must have downloaded itself from a regular site I visit because I hadn’t been anywhere strange, nor had I clicked on any strange emails or attachments.  How to make me paranoid on the web for the next few weeks.

Anyways, having been refused access to find a removal tool, I did the next best thing: wiped the hard drive and restored from a back-up.  I lost some Windows updates (which included new updates of a malicious software removal tool which if associated with the XP thing is fairly ironic), a couple of documents not in the system back-up (but which I do have on an external drive), my new printer install but otherwise the laptop is relatively unscathed.  Still not a fun job to rebuild everything.

You would think that was the end of the joy but no: I decided to take a full system back-up after rebuilding.  The back-up does take forever in which time the cat decided to climb on top of the laptop and whatever freakish combination of keys he hit had the resolution go all screwy.  Cue another ten minutes of trying to get the screen display fixed.  

At least I got some study done waiting for the back-up, installs, etc.  But not fun.

The lesson(s): 1. back-up your system and data regularly because you never know when you’ll need it and 2. do not let the cat walk on the laptop. 

One may be more achieveable than another.

Computer Gremlins

So today has been a crazy type of day. For the most part nothing happened.

Mainly, I managed to do some writing (3000 odd words) and my computer got infected with gremlins. Inexplicably it went into stand-by this morning. So I shut it down and rebooted. All seemed well.

I went off to do my Wii Fit and came back to find it had lost all the wireless connection set-up. Odd. Most odd. Anyway, after a half an hour of rebooting (no affect), looking for the original wireless software to reinstall (couldn’t find it) and contemplating whether I was going to manage to get back online at all this evening, I finally managed to get it to work again. I’m not entirely sure why or how it stopped working and I’m not entirely sure why or how I got it to work again.

Needless to say I ran virus software almost immediately (the computer is clean) so who knows.

Gremlins.

At least I got back online in time to feed my virtual cat – oh, and to do my blog :).