Friday, February 25, 2005


The Thing That Will Not Die.

I'm not talking about Metallica's lyrical ode to the One True God-- that's The Thing That Should Not Be.

No, I'm talking about the thing that will not die, a.k.a the Garfield Ridge Bozoputer 2000.

Longtime readers may recall the technical meltdown I had back in December. For some unknown reason, my computer had more blue screens than Lucasfilm.

Thankfully, my backup software still worked, and I was able to restore my computer to an earlier, happier time-- a time when the world was new, dinosaurs roamed the earth, and Maureen Dowd was witty.

This seemed to do the trick, except for one very disagreeable side effect: suddenly, my Norton anti-virus wouldn't work.

Oh, the anti-virus scan worked fine; it's just that no matter what I tried, I couldn't get the automatic anti-virus screen to load on my computer. I reinstalled Norton, but to no avail-- something, for some reason, was preventing my computer from being protected. By Norton, at least.

My initial solution? Buy McAffee. The result? McAffee wouldn't work, either.

So, what did I end up doing?

Ummm. . . well. . . gee. . . nothing. Nothing at all.

I've been surfing naked for going on three months now (figuratively, folks; figuratively). I run the virus scan on a regular basis, and I cleaned out my computer of any files that may have personal data. I've got three spyware blockers running full-time to keep my computer from puking. All this basically means my computer is just a blogging machine right now, with a few technologically ancient games thrown in for my amusement.

I've picked up a couple of viruses here and there, but given my surfing habits-- my very, very bad surfing habits-- one would think the Bozoputer would have more viruses than a Greenwich Village free clinic the week after Valentine's Day. Incredibly, despite all the punishment, the wheezing Bozoputer has kept chugging along like Ted Kennedy in a bar crawl.

Alas, not all is happy-happy, joy-joy in the land of Honah Lee.

The Bozoputer still crashes. A lot. We're talking "an Aeroflot lot." Unfortunately, she now gives me even less warning prior to crashing. Gone are the gently soothing panic of increasing numbers of error messages and page faults, replaced by the "Hulk Smash!" frustration over sudden inexplicable lock-ups. I swear, the Bozoputer freezes up for no reason faster than any girl I ever dated.

What's worse, when it locks up like this, the machine won't respond at all to my three-fingered salute, which ironically makes it even more like any girl I ever dated.

The only way out at this point is a hard reboot. Which, by the way, then causes my DVD-ROM drive to freeze up. Well, only about half the time. Which is still half the time more than my CD-ROM drive, which quit working sometime around the invasion of Iraq.

Anyways, you're probably wondering why I am I writing all of this. It's certainly not to get sympathy-- I've known for years that there are only two solutions to my problem. A full system reformatting, or sending the machine off to a Viking funeral down the Potomac doused in flaming Valu-Right cut-rate plasti-jug vodka-- and replacing the machine with a new machine. A faster, better machine. A machine that does my bidding, rather than the reverse.

So, in the end, I guess I'm just delaying the inevitable parting, and I felt like sharing my sorrows with you, the readers.

Also, my tale does a little to relate to you how much hard work goes into keeping this blog operational. It's not only the writing, folks-- the engineering side to Garfield Ridge would have made Bob Oppenheimer cry tears of blood.

Might as well go with the Viking Funeral. But if that might cause us to miss just one day of free ice cream, then I vote for more tears of bloodHANS
if you need anti-virus software, a good one is available for free at

I also would hope that you're not still using Internet Explorer. Mozilla Firefox is much better, and prevents most if not all spyware from landing on your system. It's wonderfully stable, too, on anything from Win98 forward.

Good luck.
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