Friday, August 22, 2008

An evening partly usurped

Last evening I went to writers critique group, the Spavinaw Writers, who meet at the Gravette Public Library every other week. I shared my query letter and two samples articles for Documenting America. They all seemed to love the concept, and I received much good feedback on how to make it better. One other woman shared a chapter from her novel, but no one else had anything. We were the only two that had anything. We had two new writers attend, college age ladies, so we had a full table even with a couple of people missing.

Then, at home, I had to deal with viruses and other malware on my wife's computer. These "popped up" yesterday, causing her Internet Explorer and stock trading programs to either lock up or lose performance. She had run scans and isolated most of the critters, but then the instructions from our free security program of what to do next were not clear. Okay, so they are in the virus vault. Do we delete them, repair them? What happens if we do one thing--or the other? Do we need to repair the repairable, delete then restore the unrepairable, or just dump it? I went to my computer, began my own virus scan, then did some Internet searching for the particular malware she had on her machine. I determined they were pretty bad, but I didn't get all the answers I needed. I searched for and found a primer on computer malware, and began reading.

All this time I kept checking on the status of my scan. It had reached 54 minutes and isolated about 30 to 40 adware cookies or similar relatively innocuous yet unwanted files. I went to click on minimize, guess I had poor mouse control, and so clicked on close and accidentally ended the scan, not having acted on any of the results in progress. I was so upset I closed out of all open programs, went upstairs, read for twenty minutes, couldn't concentrate and so went to bed.

This computer malware is an awful thing. I guess we'll have to bite the bullet and go with a paid security program. It's a shame we must outlay our money to protect ourselves from evil.

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