Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Last week I was called upon yet again to bring my PC back from a near-death experience.

I suppose our computer is getting up there in computer years….it is going on three after all. A real geriatric. If it was a person it would be eligible for social security and/or a scooter from The Scooter Store.

The first year our digital marvel performed flawlessly. It had speed, endurance, and a high-speed broad-band connection which enabled us to surf at will. The sleek 14-inch flat-screen monitor was an objet d'art.

Unfortunately…….our real-time virus/spyware protection expired and my well-intentioned husband decided we could do without it. Wrong.

Apparently there are some evil computer nerds out there who have nothing better to do with their time than to invent viruses to unleash upon cyberspace. In my opinion these people are the unadulterated scum of the Earth, right up there with terrorists and serial killers. They deserve some sort of cruel and unusual punishment.....like spending eternity watching “Flo, the Progressive girl” commercials or listening to Britney Spears music. Ahhh, sweet, sweet retribution.

At first I had a false sense of security. Really, of all of the computers out there what made me think ours would get infected? That was really kind of self-centered wasn’t it? Gradually things did begin to happen, although nothing too serious at first…..the speed began to decrease, we started getting random errors, and our once proud PC developed an asthmatic wheeze.

Things got worse. One morning I turned the computer on to a repulsive blue screen with nothing but miles and miles of meaningless coding. Mommy. Another time there was a virus masquerading as, of all things, an ANTISPYWARE program. It kept launching itself every few minutes or so and began blocking access to my favorite websites, especially the sites that might offer help in such a situation. Nasty stuff. There were times I literally became the lady on the Geek Squad commercial who erupts in panic and begins to arbitrarily pound keys and yell “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO” at the top of her lungs. Yes, that happens in real life. Don’t pretend like you have never been there because I know better.

What I have learned is this: you just have to stay calm and perform CPR on your PC. Now by CPR I mean stuff like doing a ‘system restore’ and going back to the ‘last known good configuration’. The problem is that these items are located in the frightening underbelly of the computer in a place where no person without a computer science degree should venture. There are no pretty ‘Windows’ color palettes here, just stark a black background and digital hieroglyphics. Definitely not for babies or wimps.

However.... if you love your PC like I love mine, you will be willing to take the risk.


  1. I am very proud of you. You braved the beast and conquered the waves. You deserve a pocket protector.

  2. Wow, a pocket protector! Maybe I could go put some tape on my reading glasses to complete the look.....