Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Damn Computers

Well, it seems my computer has picked up some kind of extortionist bug. I am now using my ancient Windows 98 pc I hurriedly hooked back up and punched into action so I would not lose my so far excellent track record of actually posting everyday in a row for this month.

I had written up a wonderful rant about flag waving, State Law, Holy roller political God fearing interventionist assholes from afar and Gorham High School. Not a great post, but it made my point. And I felt better once I had vented. To finish it off as I do almost all my posts, I went looking for the appropriate Picture to hang up top of the post. I googled "Gorham High School, Maine, Images. Google predictably pumped up an insane number of hits based on those words. Sadly the images that always turn up as thumbnails at the top did not have a picture I liked. So I began opening the suggested sites in order from the top down. About halfway down, all Hell broke loose after I punched up a site. "Warning, you have been infected." And umpteen hundreds of pop ups began to dance around. I kept punching the close X but each time two new ones would replace it. I could not get out of it. I could not turn off the computer either. It was a form of computer Hell.

Now that all else had definitely failed, I reached deep into the short bag I have of computer tricks and unplugged the damn thing. I did not care after ten minutes of serious frustration and quickly over heating bile whether or not I did any harm to any fragile tidbit or kernel inside the computer. I was pissed and I knew for sure one way to get those pop ups off my screen. And pulling the plug had never failed before. It did not let me down this time either. There you bastard, take that.

After a moderate amount of time passed and I had calmed down, I plugged the computer back in. I ran all my scans, virus, ad, glad, and mad. Found some infections and according to the reports from each, all were summarily expelled, killed, or extradited to wherever it is they send those damn things. Turned off the computer in the civilized way by shutting it down politely and with care. Waited again another few moments and punched it back into life.

No go. I can load an Internet page, but in a few seconds the page is replaced by one that says "The page you are opening is probably contains spyware, adware, etc. Your system might be at risk, Click here to protect your system with Antivirus 2009".

First of all, I love the grammar skills of the losers who wrote the program. They can't write a clean sentence, but they sure as Hell know how to screw up some one's computer.

Next I notice from the addresses of the various pages in this extortion scam, it appears to be one of Microsoft's own sleazy set ups. They want $49.95 for antivirus 2009 and they assure me I will be all set. Even though all the up dated anti everything programs I have indicate that any problems have been eradicated.

I do not care if $49.95 will solve my problem. It has gone way beyond a fifty dollar divot in my pocket. I will be damned if I am going to pay some outfit $50 to release my computer from their clutches. I'll toss that damn computer in the dump first. But before I do that, I will sleep on it. Get up in the morning, punch it up again and see if things have gotten better. If they haven't, unplug , unhook, and haul it down to our computer guy. If anyone is going to get $50 bucks for fixing my computer, it is going to be someone local.

So there you have it, another post on another day, with Life in the Slow lane here in Maine suffering a bit of a back up. I am so glad I did not haul this computer to the dump yet. As bad as this old Windows 98 set up is, it sure beats what the newer one is doing right now. Small screen, slower than Hell, the keys on the board stick, and the mouse has a mind of it's own. But it does work as long as I am patient and honor it's idiosyncrasies.

I will close now. I have about had it with the high tech World for awhile.



Dawn on MDI said...

Got a friend here who tried to order sneakers online on the cheap and ended up with her computer infected with Chinese midget porn. Pop-ups took on a whole new meaning in her world. Had to hire a geek friend to scrub and re-install clean stuff. Her friends thought it hilarious. She did not.

MRMacrum said...

No, it is not even close to hilarious. As I type, I am scanning my new computer with a new syware program aimed specifically at this specific nasty virus from Russia. One more reason to keep them on my short list of general comtempt. In the mood I am in, nuking the bastards has crossed my mind.

Utah Savage said...

I bought a new computer ten or twelve years ago and then came a visit from a male friend who lives in another country. He spent is free time looking for certain kinds of pron, and in the end infected my new computer with worms and viruses. Porn may be fun for you guys, but at what cost?

Demeur said...

I guess there's something to be said for owning a Mac. Yes it is a bit more expensive and yes it is a bit different, but the only time I've ever had a problem was when like a very old car or old actor its internal organs (parts) gave up the ghost.

Demeur said...

Oh and one more thing. Since the Mac won't read a virus written in windoze it doesn't infect the computer. Haven't really used a virus program yet : - P

Bull said...

That virus is a toughie. I barely escaped infection myself a couple of weeks ago. Hope it all turns out alright.

Demeur - my wife owns a Mac and loves it. So do I. I keep leaving this laptop out where I expect my 17 month-old to find it and maul it, so I can turn around and buy my own, but he's not biting. Maybe if I covered it with arrowroot biscuits.

Anonymous said...

Ya not alone, Crummy.

When I read your post this morning was heading out to Cornish to have breakfast with a friend. She got nailed with the 2009'er Monday night. Came home after a long twelve hour day at the "office", was down with a cold .... and clicked on exactly what you did.

Told her about your experience ... was "glad" to know she's not the only Maine idiot.

Randal Graves said...

A hard-drive devouring infection certainly isn't a laughing matter. Though instead of nuking them, how about using their own virus-fu against them. Poetic justice and all that jazz.

Gary ("Old Dude") said...

No disrespect intended, but reading about YOUR problem, kinda made my day. How's that you ask? At this end I am in the process of selling my home, while you were dealing with computer problems I'm dealing with city inspectors, termite inspections and a whole galley full of mandated fees for this and that-----with no end in sight. but to lose one's computer----thats death, so you made my day.

Anonymous said...

I opened that email that says "so and so has sent you an online birthday card". It was my birthday! SURPRISE!! I got to see all my files flying by faster than I had aged in those last 20 seconds.

I had my local "guy" clean it all up and then I got the free, online AVG antivirus. Up til then I was "protected" by NORTONS and McAffee.

Kathi D said...

Have you tried Crap Cleaner? It's a free program and really good at cleaning, er, crap, off your system. You may be too far gone for it, but it's worth a try, and I use it once a day to clean up anything that may have snuck in during the day on the web. (I have no connection with this program, other than having used it for a few years.)

Here's a link:

El Cerdo Ignatius said...

To follow up on Dana's comment, I have yet to find anything out there better than AVG. The free version is good, but AVG Professional (costs about $25 to $30 for a two-year license) is even better. So is the AVG Home version (which I don't have, but some acquaintances do), which isn't free, but is not expensive.

I realize this is akin to shutting the barn doors after the horses have taken off, but it may help you in future.

And there's nothing wrong with fantasizing about nuclear weapons.

MRMacrum said...

To All - We have been religiously using AVG for years. I defragment and clean my computer every week. Have done so for years. AVG missed this one as has every cleaning agent out there. At this point, we are going to do the sure fix, restore the system. Start from scratch. I have only had to do this once and it was over 12 years ago. It really sucks also, because you never save everything you want to. I have already begun to save the important things on memory sticks to be put back after we ream the system out.

A word to the wise here. Check the URL addresses of every google hit you may want to open. Open only those you recognize. That is one thing I never did and it has cost me. Of course I never thought about as I have never had this problem before. The last ti,e we did it, it was a bug that came through the email account.