Thursday, July 28, 2005

I am weeping as I write this

So I'm down in Plymouth for a few days. My sister's getting married tomorrow.

With a couple of hours to spare, I thought I'd borrow my dad's computer and check up on a couple of things (news, bank balance, that sort of thing).

I think I've discovered why people get so het up, annoyed and paranoid about their computers and the internet.

Dad's on AOL. Which I can almost forgive. No, I wouldn't go near them with a ten metre cattle prod, but each to their own. And it does automatically configure your web browser and mail client for you if you can stand their proprietary clients for each. Which I can't.) That's not too nasty a problem, I just hate AOL.

However, sadly I haven't got time at the moment to fix all the other stuff that's wrong with this machine. I'm writing this blog entry at what's left of the bottom of the IE browser window, because there's some sort of weird toolbar blocking the rest of the screen, that doesn't even appear in the toolbars menu soI've got no easy way of disabling it. So far I've hidden:

The Google toolbar
The MSN toolbar
The Yahoo toolbar
Some sort of explorer bar-esque toolbar that appears at the bottom of the browser. Goodness knows what that's for.

I'm writing in 3 word bursts, because every few seconds there's yet another popup telling me about today's greatest deals, or asking me whether or not I want to buy some game (it didn't stay open long enough for me to have a look at what it was, I can tell you!).

The only reason I can manage to get 3 words typed in a row at all is because I've turned the Messenger service off, killing the millions of net sends a second I was getting. I've disabled it for good measure, just in case...

It's running SP1 at the moment, and I'm guessing that the only reason it hasn't got SP2 installed is that the constant alerts that Windows Update flashes up saying that there are (still) new updates downloaded and ready to install on this computer are being left unheeded.

UPDATE: I have just this seond learnt that 'Bargains.exe' has been forced to close down due to an error. That was a little irrelevant aside, but it's really annoying when spyware interrupts your day crashing.

I don't use the phrase Syphilitic Whore of Intarweb Beelzebub lightly, and it truly does take some doing to get me to even think it. But this machine really is a Syphilitic Whore of Intarweb Beelzebub.

Looks like my job for the weekend's been decided...

  1. Uninstall obvious spyware crap (Honestly, who doesn't smell a rat when there's an entry in Add/Remove programs called 'Internet Optimizer' or 'Select Cashback'
  2. Install ALL updates, SP2, and everything since AND MS Anti-Spyware (Yes, I know it's not the greatest out there, but it's easy to use and better than nothing)
  3. Sort out Startup apps (I'm sure there are some if not nefarious, certainly dubious apps starting automatically)
  4. Wash, rinse, repeat

With a bit of luck, not only will dad's computer run a little swifter, but it'll make it a darned site easier for me to blog from his house!

That's enough for now. I'm gonna shutdown before I see yet another popup and have to throw ths computer out the window. And then I think I'll have a little lie down. And a stiff drink. There is much work to do...

But do you know what the realy depressing thing is? I doubt anyone'll notice. Popups and toolbars taking up two thirds of the screen seem to be de rigeur these days. People accept them in the same way they don't notice people pushing to the front of the queue or how they don't notice when shop staff don't say thank-you or smile (come on, it's not that hard!).

Just wanted to share.

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