System Gnats

Posted Fri, 10/29/10

For the last several days I've been up to my eyeballs in web design work, along with editing Quixotic Crossings and writing new material for Hearts Desires from Collective Obsessions. In the middle of all that, my computer started acting up. It became slow and jerky on-screen, and then various functions stopped working such as the Firewall and MSN settings. Plus, the back-up feature wouldn't allow me to save files to disk. Not being able to back-up my work was the last straw, so I went troubleshooting.

Needless to say, my irritation level at this point was tremendous. All I want to do is get busy with my scheduled tasks, not spend irretrievable hours fine-tuning technical touchiness and interference.

I was forced to run a battery of tests, including virus and malware scans. Some of the tests were performed by programs already loaded on my computer; others were free online scans such as Trend Micro's Housecall. After two days of lengthy tests, I began to seriously contemplate the notion of getting a new computer tower to replace the old, convinced my system was infected with an unfixable worm. Then some things started to fall into place.

Both my Internet Explorer and Adobe Reader programs were old and outdated. So, I downloaded and installed the latest versions. Windows Live One Care, which came preinstalled on my computer three years ago, was interfering with Firewall settings. I uninstalled One Care, which outlived its usefulness long ago anyway.

Qwest, who is my internet service provider along with MSN, had some updates so I performed those downloads. Qwest recently partnered with Norton Anti-Virus to replace Windows One Care, so now I have that protection as well (at no charge as a Qwest customer).

My computer seems to be running a bit smoother as we speak, and I was able to safely back-up all my files, but I'm still knocking on wood. If I disappear for a few days, know that my computer crashed and I'm busy trying to restore function.

Most days I hum along and don't think about computer lags and other problems. With the latest experience, I'm now prepared to get a new tower and separate back-up drive if need be. I might just do it anyway.

Better safe than sorry...

Tags: Collective Obsessions; Web Design/Computer Misc