I’m upset. The other weekend I spent a goodly number of hours rebuilding my
daughter Jenny’s laptop PCafter a hard-drive failure. She then took it back
to school, plugged it into the school’s network, and ZAP! Within minutes her
laptop was infected with some rogue program (a worm?) that slows everything
to the point of being unusable.
Gee, uh, thanks Microsoft, for making that possible.
Now I’m faced with the joy of a weekend trip to the school, to diagnose and
repair the problem. At least I’ll get to visit with my daughter. That’s the
one bright spot in all of this.
I must confess, that I may be partly to blame for the fix Jenny is in. While
rebuilding her operating system and software, it was on my mental-checklist
to redownload all the latest Windows updates, and to enable Windows XP’s built-in
firewall. Somehow though, in the heat of installing and configuring all her
other software, I neglected those two, important items. She did have Norton
Anti-Virus installed, running, and up-to-date, but whatever hit her at school,
Norton failed to stop it. Bummer.
She could switch to Linux, or perhaps I could scare up the cash to buy her
an Apple Powerbook, but neither of these is likely to happen for a variety of
reasons. For one, her school recently reconfigured its firewall to insist that
any client connecting to the Internet be running McAffee. I’m not sure how that’s
done, nor whether there’s a way around it for non-Windows users.
More likely, I’ll just fix this one problem, enable the firewall, download
those Windows updates, and hope that’s enough to hold back the storm. (People
will criticize me for that, I’m sure) In the meantime, if you happen to recognize
the symptom of a PC booting normally to a login prompt, and then slowing to
an absolute crawl after login, let me know, would you?