20 September 2011

More bad things

Kay's back at uni and I am back home in London again from taking her there. I had a nice 4-day break with her, courtesy of a dogsitter who came to look after Snoopy in London for me, while I was away.


To add to my previous woes over the last 2 weeks (cut telephone wire, parking fine and theft of Kay's vital cards) I can add the death of Kay's laptop to the list. It finally gave up the ghost of pretending to be a laptop on Friday, although it had been threatening to go on strike for a few weeks before that. Both PC World and a little computer repair shop close to Kay's digs confirmed that it was either a virus or a major corruption of the registry (at least I think that's what they said - a lot of computerspeak goes over my head, to be honest). We asked the little computer repair shop to save whatever data they could (vital essays, music and photos) and set off to PC World on a mission to buy a new one. My eyes tend to glaze over when faced with rows and rows of shiny new laptops, because I am hard pushed to know the difference between them. At the end of the day, I choose one because I like the look or feel of it and the price of it. Blow how many RAMs and GBs and whistles it has. I was relieved to see that Kay, despite her far superior knowledge of computers than me, chose on the same criteria. The shop assistant was a jolly middle-aged Yorkshire woman and we got on like a house on fire. By the end of the transaction, we had swapped life stories, listed children and husbands and pregnancy stories. I felt I knew her intimately. We even parted with a hug and kiss. You don't get that in London shops!


On the way home, we called in to the repair shop to collect the data they had managed to save on the old laptop. The man told me almost gleefully that they had found 67 Trojan horses on it, yet Norton had been reassuring us we were fully protected and secure. Obviously the Trojan horses has stampeded in at night under cloak and dagger! We staggered home with the new shiny laptop and software bulging out of its plastic carrier bag, just as it began to rain. I put the umbrella up. Not for me or Kay, but to cover the £500 of technology that even Norton wouldn't be able to protect.


Once home, we decided to brave the rain again as we needed to do a big shop to tide Kay over the next few weeks as well as restock her cupboards with all the staples like jam, coffee, herbs and ketchup etc. We headed for the nearest bus into town and intended to get a taxi back with all our copious bags. On the way to the bus, the rain got heavier, the sky blacker and my mood lower. Suddenly we were accompanied by the sight and sound of thunder and lightning. And then, all hell broke loose. I can honestly say I have NEVER in my sixty years seen rain like it. It didn't just bucket down, it came in sheets and swirled round like in a vortex. I reckon it was the tail end of Hurricane Katie or whatever she's called. The buses and cars all shuddered to a halt in the main road as they could not possibly progress in such a downpour, the rain ran in rivers down the hill and a fog descended so you could not see across the road. Kay and I ran as fast as we could, given we were in the midst of a mini-tsunami, and ended up at a bus-stop shelter where one other woman was cowering. However the rain was being lashed from both directions of the shelter, so even though we had a roof for cover, we had no protection from the rain at both sides. My clothes were so wet, they couldn't have been any different if I had stepped into a bath fully clothed and stepped out again. And there we stood, waiting for the bus. Going home was not an option, as we would have got even more soaked and still needed to get to the shops. The bus arrived,we squelched onto it and stood in the aisle much to the amusement of other passengers who had obviously boarded the bus in drier times. We squelched off the bus at the supermarket and pushed our way through the hoards of customers who were cowering at the exit with their full trolleys, too scared to brave the rain. We shivered round the supermarket, almost dying of hypothermia in the chilled and freezer sections. We made friends with another customer - a man who was as soaked as we were and (I think) was trying to chat me up, although what attraction he could see in a drowned rat, I don't know. We aquaplaned into a taxi home with our 7 supermarkets bags and changed into warm dry clothing as soon as we could. It took several pairs of socks and chocolate bars to warm my feet and my shoes were still not dry two days later.


Now I am back from my adventure, the house seems awfully quiet. Just me, Snoopy, the cat and the ticking clock. Only another 14 weeks till Christmas.......

15 comments:

Nota Bene said...

Don't doubt you will fill those 14 weeks very well and they will pass as quickly as a fast thing. If you Google Malwarebytes you'll find that's a very handy free programme that adds an extra level of protection to shiny new laptops from evil trojan horses.

Flibbertigibbet said...

No doubt you'll be inundated with 'helpful' messages :-) but Microsoft Security Essentials is free and generally touted as 'the' antivirus software to have at the moment. Norton gets a very bad rap these days.

I've been following your blog for a good while now and just wanted to say that I'm sorry things have been so poo and I hope that you feel a bit better soon.

Furtheron said...

Many anti-virus s/w packages don't spot everything.

Run that and something like Malwarebytes Anti-Malware which also checks for Trojans etc. Nothing is 100% but with that as well you stand a chance... worth downloading rkill.exe or rkill.com as well if you get an error but can't remove it - many trojans simply reinstall themselves running rkill then Malwarebytes normally clears it up.... All good fun computing isn't it... not!

Furtheron said...

PS I'd agree with Flibber... Norton is in my experience frankly rubbish - AVG is good and there is an adequate freeby one

Spencer Park said...

I am sure my computer is full of Trojan horses - if I only knew what they were!

Kelloggsville said...

I have Norton because I find it easy to manage and use but I also use Malwarebytes to tidy up the extras that Norton lets through. To be honest I think they're all much the same and everyone has their favourites. I had Kaspersky for a while, it was about as effective as Norton but I hated it. AVG annoyed me! The AVG users tend to be as protective about is as ex-smokers are anti-smoking.

All that rain sounds dreadful but I actually quite like the excitment of it when things like that happen. Hope your shoes survived. They sometimes are never quite the same when they dry out.

Perhaps you could try a 14 week hacking and virus writing for dummies course to fill the time and let us all know what we really should be doing to protect ourselves :)

Nechtan said...

Hi Addy,

Good tht you got a shiny new laptop. I wish you had posted this earlier because I went through something similar with getting data off the old not working laptop. Amazon sells USB drive cases at around £5. You put the old hard drive in there and plug it into the new laptop and you can access all your old files that way. It also is useful for backing up your current ones.

Viruses are a pain. Even with anti virus I still seem to get them all the time and it would seem every bugger is out to either wreck your computer or more often swipe your details as happened to me.

All the best

Nechtan

Flowerpot said...

What a hellish trip Addy but so glad you got the laptop and everything sorted. And how good for the confidence to be chatted up when you look like that!! I bet it's quiet now - hugs to you.x

HyperCRYPTICal said...

Sorry to hear you got all soggy and wet and pleased about the new lap top.

With regards to trojan horses, hidden objects. viruses and so on. It might pay to give the comp a regular sweep monthly to keep the little buggers in check.

The last sweep I did indentified 67 viruses and 1 hidden object that I had no idea were there. Dread to think what damage they could have wreaked if not for the spring clean.

Anna :o]

laurie said...

14 weeks until christmas?!!!!!

Retiredandcrazy said...

You need a project Addy. I'm going to build a house, how about you?

Eliza said...

I think I was driving through that, after spending about two hours stuck on the A1 - it was the worst rain I've ever seen. I'm glad Kay has got a shiny new lap top.

dulwich divorcee said...

Well, look at you, being chatted up in the supermarket!! Obviously even a bucket load of rain can't dampen your je-ne-sais-quoi .... and I bet Kay really appreciated your heroic trip to the shops for her. She'll be back soon. And in the meantime, there's always another trip to the supermarket to be done! x

Crystal Jigsaw said...

All those viruses! I had four on mine a couple of months ago and it wiped the C Drive! They're a damn nuisance. And very unnecessary. People seriously need to get a life and stop trying to bugger up other people's.

CJ xx

JOHN said...

Interesting thanks for the info
John