Yin and Yang of home computer maintenance

The Dark Side

When I participate in events at L. A. 's Staples Convention Center, I forego the expensive hotels in favor of staying with Patsy. Not that Patsy and I have a thing going; she runs a delightful bed and breakfast half a mile from the Convention Center.

Half a dozen years ago, graffiti appeared on walls and sidewalks in Patsy's neighborhood with a vengeance. She and others vowed not to buckle under. As soon as a graffito appeared, Patsy's SWAT Team painted over it. Armed with buckets of paint, they prowled the streets at three in the morning. Within six months, the vandals moved on, doubtless to a more complacent, less proud neighborhood.

This morning I could identify with Patsy. My inbox was host to hundreds of virtus-laden email bombs. Made for the quaint old days when viruses came in twos and threes, Norton Anti-Virus couldn't handle the situation. After answering "Yes" forty or fifty times to Norton's repeated questioning about whether I wanted to Quaranteen the offending email, I gave up.

I went to my server and deleted page after page of email with subjects like "Test" and "Hello."

In a more just world, the virus vandals would feel a little pain whenever I delete their garbage. I'd like to experience the hard-won satisfaction of Patsy's group, driving the jerks out of my space.

In the meanwhile, I wish Norton Anti-Virus would let me check a box once and for all time signifying that, "No, I never want to open virus-laden Spam."

Now it's as if the local police were to show up at my door every time they catch a criminal to tell me, "Look at what we did for you." Norton's bargain is, "I'll quaranteen your virus in exchange for my pop-up."

The Light Side

Monday night my blogs began to act strangely. I was unable to post an entry. This morning, after 90 minutes of getting through the email-ffiti, an email from Stephen Downes alerted me that the comment function on my blogs was down.

When I tried to post an entry, I got this in return: "Can't open file: 'mt_trackback.MYI'. (errno: 145)" I turned to the Moveable Type Support Forum, dreading a day of geeking through code in languages I don't understand. Could I run "phpAdmin"? Yes, it turned out I could. Soon, all my raw MySQL files were on the screen. A couple of keystrokes could banish years of entries into the aether. At this level, you work without a net. I put a checkmark next to the offending file and clicked "Repair." Everything works again! This is great. Wonderful. Something works!! On the first time!!! I walked the line and didn't fall. I don't need no stinking net!!!! Huzzah!!!!!


Posted by Jay Cross at January 28, 2004 11:16 AM | TrackBack

This post is both a test of the comments function on this blog and an opportunity for me to insert an entry I wrote night before last that got sidelined by my SQL breakdown.

    An hour ago I returned home from a fund-raiser for my prep school at the Pacific Union Club on Nob Hill, the inside of which I'd been dying to see since becoming acquainted with the history of San Francisco twenty-five years ago. Conviviality, free food and drinks, erudite company, high ceilings and redwood paneling, and people suffiently unclued to think that someone writing a blog was a far-out technology geek. (Howard Dean and his brothers all attended our school.) Perfecto. I had a great time. The seared ahi was particularly good; the house wine provided a great finish.

    And then I open my email at home. Pandora's Box. The whole world assaults me with exploding attachments. Norton Anti-Virus pops up the scary red notice "You're Infected!" dozens of times. Just as dinosaurs morphed into birds, I suspect weapons of mass destruction morphed into email viruses. What the hell? I have fifty or sixty of these things -- and that doesn't include those that were siphoned off to the Spam dungeon before reaching my real, inner sanctum mailbox.

    Such a world. I'm off to bed. If you sent me an email in the last eight hours, assume it didn't make it through the gaunlet. I'm enjoying deleting dozens of email messages at a crack.

    As I've asked Spam and virus propagators before, is this childish vandalism really worth rotting in hell for? Kid, that's what awaits you. Grow up.

Posted by: Jay Cross at January 28, 2004 11:33 AM

Regarding the message from "Alex Security" above. It is a hoax. Microsoft does not email security updates. Also, note that there are three kinds of people in this world, those who can count and those who can't.

Wny not work on making the world a better place rather than causing untold damage through malicious mischief?

Posted by: Jay Cross at March 10, 2004 06:03 PM

i like it

Posted by: paris hilton biography at June 28, 2004 10:49 PM

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