Saturday, January 16, 2010

Windows, A Love Story


We have three computers at the circulation desk. Three. Two are for circulation. One is for us. It is our happy, lovely computer that we use to do such vital things as: Google-ing the numbers on the bottom of plastic products to see if they can be recycled, checking Facebook, watching the YouTube video of a new song, checking Ravelry, writing brochures for upcoming events, checking e-mail, drafting press releases, checking Facebook, checking Ravelry again, checking Facebook again, checking the Old Navy coupon page, and once again checking Facebook. This computer is a vital part of our lives.

But the computer started linking us to pages we didn't really want to see, like advertisements and what I can only imagine was pornography, but WebMarshall kindly blocked that for me, saving me from almost certain blindness.

And I knew that something had gone terribly wrong.

I ran scan after scan, update after update, to no avail.

Then our Computer Man came, and he did the same thing I had done a dozen times, only this time it worked for some reason, and we expelled the demon living in the PC tower. We were saved.

The following day, I went to lunch. When I came back, the computer had locked itself. Except, it wouldn't unlock. In fact, it wouldn't do anything. It would turn itself on, get to the happy Windows logo, the little green line would load all the way, then it would tell me that it had unexpectedly stop, and would I like to start up normally, or in safe mode?

None of those options worked.

I went home.

The weekend arrived (that's now). Computer Man came again on Friday, he left things for me to set up today (Saturday). You won't be reading this on Saturday.

He said to install service pack three. Service pack three said to install service pack one. Service pack one no longer exists.

Once this was discovered, Computer Man sent me service pack two via the glory of remote assitance. Only when I waited the requisite two hours for it to download (or for it to feel comfortable in its new surroundings?), I discovered that the only response to clicking the service pack two was for it to claim boldly, "Access Denied!" even though I was logged onto our network as Puppetmaster Supreme.

This was bad news.

I called Computer Man. Nothing.

Then our computer announced boldly that the incomplete download may have "damaged Windows" and that I should really do something about that. I turned off the monitor. Now I am going home...


I let Computer Man in, following a second, also unsuccessful, attempt at downloading the appropriate file. This attempt led to the compter turning itself off when I attempted to link up with the server. Apparently, the two entities don't like each other at all, and refuse to communicate.

Three hours passed.

Now I am typing the remainder of this blog on the now-working computer. What did Computer Man do?

Your guess is as good as mine.

For all I can tell, he did exactly what I'd tried to do, only because he was doing it, it worked. All the power to him.

While he was here, he also helped me get over my disgust blended with terror at the man on the cover of the 2010 Ripley's Believe it or Not book, the man who had done himself up as a stegasaurus/iguana man. Turns out he did it with make-up, rather than grafting spikes to his skull like the man I saw on daytime television back when I was unemployed during the summer when still in high school. I think he was on Maury...

When Windows had finally been re-installed (Where did it go? What took it from us?), Computer Man left.

At this point, I ran anti-virus and anti-malware.

Yes, there was some malware action. The same malware action there had been, in fact, prior to the attempts at repair and the amazing disappearing Windows.

I removed it.

Then I went home.


Now every single solitary time I open Internet Explorer, it tells me that a program has attempted to change my default search provider from Bing to something Other, and that Internet Explorer has changed the default search provider back to Bing.

The program that's trying to change search providers? Internet Explorer. Why? Because Bing is so totally not by default search provider. I don't know where it got that idea...just because I have Internet Explorer doesn't mean I like it. And why would I trust Bing to tell me what it thinks I want to search for? Maybe I don't want it to decide what I'm looking for. How about that?

Meanwhile, I have also run Windows Update, because it seemed prudent. Who even knows. I give up. Computer Man is coming back Thursday, he can do what he wants with the succession of windows popping up to tell me what's wrong with my default search provider. I give up. Stupid computer. Stupid failure of an antivirus, stupid Windows, and Stupid, STUPID Microsoft.

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