Sunday, September 01, 2013

Hell and devils

So, the teens were talking about Hell Night, a night before school starts where I gather all sorts of, well, hellish activities take place.

Speaking of that fiery place, I say hell hath no fury like a woman whose computer has been compromised by devils.

It all started a few days ago when I updated one of my program. I often get the "you need to update X" message. And it usually works fine – the program is updated, life goes on...

The last program I updated came with the usual message – quick installation [recommended] or custom. I chose recommended. Hey I trust these people. But, as there often is, a certain program bundle comes along with it unless you tick the box that you don't want it. The little box appeared for about three seconds. The program began downloading. Whether I wanted them or not, I was getting those.

All was fine, and I almost forgot about the extras, until I clicked my browser and found that an unknown search engine, which I will call Devil Search, was now in charge.

Not only that, but the other two browsers I commonly use were also hijacked by Devil Search.

Now it may be a perfectly innocent search engine, it may work well, it may work better than my other one. But the very fact that I didn't invite Devil Search onto my computer made me slightly angry.

I hope Roxie the dog was closing her ears when I let loose with some unwholesome vocabulary. It wasn't pretty, and I'm glad no one else was around to hear.

Now the wonderful thing about the Internet is that you can go to Google search and ask anything and the answer is there. So I typed in, "waaah-- how do I get rid of Devil Search?"

And the answers were there, dozens of them.

Naturally it wasn't as easy as uninstalling Devil Search, because along with the Devil came about five of his imps. They had interesting names, but I found the easiest way to find them all was to look for anything downloaded on that day and uninstalling it.

Then I had to go to each browser, disable the add-ons that were added, find my preferred page and make it my homepage again.

This took to nearly two evenings, because once devils and imps try to play with my computer, I do not allow any lingering cookie crumbs to litter the chambers. I deleted every last one and then had to put back the ones I needed.

I am grateful for all the people who advise know-nothings like me how to fix what's wrong and get rid of the evil devils. And I learned to always use the custom installation. That way you see a list of devils and imps you can unselect.

With everything fixed, I sat at my computer the next evening prepared to actually do something.

And then Hell Night began. Lightning, thunder, gale force winds, buckets of rain, and THE POWER WENT OUT. I have often heard the words plunged into darkness, and now I know exactly what they mean.

My office was black. And I mean black. Words Roxie had heard the night before, and some she hadn't, fell around her ears.

I waited for the power to come back on – sometimes the outage lasts only a moment. No such luck. How long, I wondered does it take for someone's eyes to get used to the dark. Surely at some point I would see shapes of things so I knew where they were. I moved away from my desk but didn't want to go too far because I COULDN'T SEE WHERE I WAS OR WHERE I WAS GOING.

I started a countdown. 99-98-97-etc. sure that when I reached 0 the lights would magically turn on. It didn't happen. My eyes were not getting used to the dark. I have a flashlight on the desk, but couldn't locate it. I found my dumb phone, but couldn't tell if it was backwards,  forwards, up or down, and I couldn't find the on button. I thought about doing another countdown, then realized that's what you do when you're getting anesthetized. Yeah, sure. I'd go to sleep.


[It sucks that we're so dependent on power. I want a generator.]

My daughter-in-law came home about fifteen minutes [it seems like hours] later, and we found the flashlight, candles, lanterns.

The Hydro company promised us the power would be restored at 1 AM.

Well, they lied. The power came on at 4 AM, all lights blazing. You'd think we would've had the foresight to turn off the lights before we went to sleep. My husband had to go through the house and turn them all off. He also had to go outside and make sure the septic tank pump was working again.

Sitting in the dark is better than coping with devils of any type.


I now have no doubts about the saying "bad things come in threes."

Two days after the power failure I turned on my computer and my monitor grunted, groaned and the screen remained black. I heard the little song that Windows plays when it comes on, but the screen stayed black.

We followed the usual troubleshooting format as outlined in the instruction manual. Nothing happened.

Was this some kind of devil's revenge for having purged my computer of his handiwork? Was this maybe revenge of the divine sort for having used some foul and, let's face it, abusive language?

Well, I believe it was neither. There had been hints and warnings that the monitor was about to take its swan song. The power failure probably clinched it.

So I was without a computer for another day. Another LONG day.

This morning I got another monitor. Bigger than my last, maybe not better, as the price came down hugely, but as the salesman admitted, no electronics are made to last long.

I guess that's why they're all so cheap right now.

Yeah, I know they're obsolete the moment you buy them.

So, I'll have a few more good years with this new one, and find a gentle resting place for the old one that expired.

Thus I end this very long message on a somber note. And live with the hope that they [whoever they are, the bums] who said bad things come in threes were correct.

I can't handle, and neither can Roxie's ears, any more computer-related trauma.

– Cat