Monday, March 17, 2008

Lesson learned

Because I am a big cheapskate at heart and because we rarely have money enough to just throw around, I haven't bought virus protection software for oh, uh, let's years. Which is when we bought this computer.

A couple of years ago, I found an online purveyor of anti-virus software which kindly allowed me to download a freebie of very, very basic anti-virus protection, obviously hoping that I'd be so pleased with it that I'd spring for an actual purchase. They didn't know me very well, how obdurate I can be in the face of the likely possibility that my entire hard drive, with all my HISTO and Shakespeare files on it, plus lots and lots of other stuff. "I'll never happen to me," I told myself.

It almost did. Yesterday.

The computer was acting very strangely and I knew from experience that this was more than the crankiness of its extreme old age. So I did a scan with my free software and the scan turned up twenty-two malware and spyware viruses. Every time the software found one, a virtual siren would go off and Aisling would say, "There's another one!"


As it turned out, it could only quarantine and remove half of them. That old freebie software wasn't capable of dealing with whatever had infected my poor old computer. Now THAT was powerfully SCARY. You know that expression "My heart was in my throat"? Well, I can testify that I literally felt a heart-sized lump in my throat. It was unpleasant, kind of like the feeling you might expect to have if you'd just swallowed an entire Parker House roll without chewing.

So today, I bit the bullet and purchased and downloaded a primo anti-virus protection package. The cost of it rendered my husband momentarily speechless and made my palms sweaty as I was typing in the debit card number. Yikes.

But now the computer has been scanned and those remaining eleven uglies were obliterated. The computer is running like a dream -- well, as much of a dream as a seven year old computer can expect to run like, which is more like a flat-footed trot than the full-out gallop of Poppy's streamlined machine.

Next year, I am telling myself that I will remember how awful yesterday afternoon and evening and this morning have been and I WILL RENEW MY ANTI-VIRUS SOFTWARE.

I have spoken. It will be so.

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