Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Technical Difficulties

The day started to go awry the moment that I hit the 'Publish' button on yesterday's blog post. I went to read/proof my post and I noticed "Friendchecker" pop-ups all over my blog. I deleted a picture that I had uploaded to my post, thinking that it was related. But it wasn't. Our internet explorer homepage kept changing itself back to 'Bing'. The computer was acting like it was possessed. Oh no.

My Youngest Son had possession of the computer all weekend. He was downloading games. He was Skyping. He was Skyping, while playing games with his friends. The computer was crashing on him on a much too regular basis.

All of this made me rather nervous. My central nervous system is attached to this computer. Or at the very least, about 85% of my own personal memory. Pictures are the least of my problems. It is all of the bookwork and writing that I have saved without back-up paper copies. So Sunday night, I did back up the computer. I thought we may be at risk of losing it all, so I was battening down the hatches.

Then the computer started acting up first thing the next morning. All I could think was that I backed up not only the computer ... but also whatever infection the computer may have at the moment. Oh. No.

I did everything I knew how to do.

I deleted all programs that didn't appear to have a purpose. I restarted the computer. Then our antivirus program was full of 'red boxes' (never a good color to see when it comes to antivirus warnings). Subscription problem. This problem. That problem. I think that I saw the word 'corrupted' within the many (red) warning messages that I read. Oh. No!!

Once again, I started running through that-which-I-knew-how-to-do. The list isn't long. But it is time consuming. Eventually I ended up on the phone with a tech from our antivirus program. He told me to do everything that I had already done and a few more things. He couldn't pinpoint the problem so he emailed me instructions on how to do a 'deep scan' in safe mode.

I tried running this scan but the computer kept shutting itself off. During one of the times the computer was running, I emailed my tech support and they advised me to create a Get System Info report and email it to them.

I did all that they asked me to do. Somewhere within all of these processes, our computer started acting like the friend I have always known it to be. It became complacent and left our internet home page alone. The pop-ups on my blog seemed to disappear. It felt like we had averted a crisis-of-the-computer-kind (all, without a phone call to my own personal computer tech-guy ... I was pretty pleased with myself for handling this like a responsible adult).

I continued to clean up disks, defragment, rescan and error-checked disks well into the evening. I had the laptop computer at my side, as I attempted to update our daycare blog during this computer maintenance period. The laptop required updates. My cell phone battery was almost dead and it was recharging via a computer port as well. I was all hooked-up and going nowhere fast as each one of these technological devices were incapacitated in one form or another (my phone was still hooked up to the WiFi connection so that was where I started updating the blog).

It is frightening to see how dependent that I have become on computer technology. I try to blame my lack of attention span (that of a gnat, is my common refrain) on the ages of the friends that I keep throughout 50 hours of my week (trust me, your brain cells may start to resemble those of 1 to 4 year olds, if they were your constant companions). But I must wonder if I am starting to slack off because I have my technology to assist me in all-that-I-must-keep-track-of.

If all systems were to fail me and all that I had left was my brain, a notepad and a pen ... how would I manage?

Perhaps I need to back up a few more files within the memory that cannot be touched by computer viruses. But even that is not fool proof. Memories shift, fade and disappear over time. A back-up plan is still a good way to go.

Prevention is key. Maintenance is crucial. Not holding all your memories on one computer drive is recommended.

The threat that all is not as it should be is a good chance to investigate and take preventative measures. Good computer health and good physical health are more closely correlated than one may think.

Go and look after your own personal Me:drive today!

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