Cars and Computers
Well, it’s Top Sites Tuesday #75 - Two Thoughts on Tuesday and I’m thinking about two things can bring smiles to a man’s face or consternation to his brow … cars and computers … in this case, my son’s car and computer. Let’s start with the success story, one that starts with consternation but ends with a smile.
A few years ago, I bought my son a nice little Compaq computer running Windows Vista. I installed a wireless card so he could connect to the internet via my wireless router. Now, in addition to using his computer for email and school work, my son likes to download music using peer-to-peer (P2P) sharing with software like Limewire. When I was a younger man we passed around vinyl LPs (we used to call them records, back in the day) so that our friends could copy them with their new-fangled cassette recorders. Of course before that we used reel-to-reel tape recorders … does anyone remember those? It was illegal. Well, peer-to-peer file sharing is the modern equivalent and much more illegal, since organizations like RIAA are trying to enforce copyrights. In addition, the software used to pass files peer-to-peer and the files themselves are a prime source of computer nasties. So, a few weeks ago, I find none of the browsers work on my son’s nice little Compaq computer … big surprise … and today, I finally tackle the problem. After checking all the obvious possibilities like cables disconnected, I run MalwareBytes on his machine and discover 837 infections, which I remove. Still no internet connection … so I begin to Google like a madman, trying solution after solution. Here’s what worked. On site after site, I read that trial versions of Norton Anti-Virus that come with computers somehow do a partial install that interferes with the ability of browsers to connect to the internet. I uninstalled Norton Anti-Virus on my son’s machine, then ran a little goodie called the Norton Anti-Virus Removal Tool. Bingo, back on the air. Isn’t it ironic that the very software intended to protect the computer ends up behaving like malware? The wonders of technology and capitalism …
Then there’s my son’s car … actually a 1995 Chevy S-10 pick-up truck that I gave him four years ago. We’ve been nursing it along, putting on used tires and a bit of duct tape here and there. We knew we’d have to replace it soon but postponement is so fulfilling. Well, the old warhorse has decided it doesn’t want to shift. At first it only balked at reverse and first but today while my son was on his way to school, it just decided it didn’t want to shift at all, right in the middle of an intersection. He was able to get it to the side of the road and call me to drive him to school. Fortunately, we were able to get it home in second gear. My wife and I have a very good high mileage Toyota Camry at our place in Arizona that we could bring home for him to use, which probably makes the most sense. Then we can find something cute but older, befitting a cute but older couple … like a PT Cruiser … when we’re in Arizona (where there’s no sales tax on used cars) this winter. But what a pain … I hate looking for used cars. Is there anyone out there with a nice Porsche 911 for under $5000? If not, I’ll settle for having my button pushed … gently … to make me Number One on Top Sites Tuesday #75.
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