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DickensJuly 21, 2004

I’ve spent the last two and a half hours reinstalling my operating system, which had somehow become corrupted, and now I’m having the dickens of a time logging on to the internet. I’m finally in, but I think the nefarious spyware has latched on to my computer’s innards. I have a strong feeling spyware is a catchall phrase, much like shin splints. My computer keeps throwing all these OFFICIAL, IMPORTANT, READ THIS AND CLICK THIS LINK TO GET RID OF SPYWARE SO YOU DON'T DIE A HORRIBLE DEATH pages at me from my System Administrator, only I can’t help thinking my sys admin would have better grammar. So I ain’t clickin’, but if anyone’s got a good way of dealing with this, lemme know. I need to find a very very small, very very smart child and send him into the depths of my HP Pavilion with a scrub brush. The 21st century American equivalent of the chimney sweep child labor force of 18th century England.


But while ye olde laptop was chugging away, resetting itself (bless its electronic neurons and CD backups), I was forced to use the phone. I got a ton of things done, those phone calls I’ve been putting off, like calls to credit card companies. My mortgage broker (isn’t it funny that I have one of those and yet have no mortgage?) thought I should call my credit cards and ask them to raise my credit limit without checking my credit score, as a courtesy. I need to get my score raised by one measly point. Welp, those phone answerers answered the way you might think, with incredulity and a remarkable lack of politeness. Providian and CitiPlatinum, bite me. Just because I don’t know the rules doesn’t mean you should scoff at me. Simply explain that it doesn’t work that way (even though I bet it COULD, iffen you wanted it to). Don’t get so bitchy that I feel horrible that my silly question has had an impact on your personal and social life.

Double erg.

I believe this calls for ice cream.


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with sprinkles and hot fudge.

In a big huge soup bowl, eaten with a teaspoon. Or better yet, straight out of the carton.

Ugh, spyware. Try Ad Aware to get those buggers outta there, which you can download for free from download.com.

And what flavor did you get?

Spybot 1.3 is also a free download and absolutely wonderful in getting rid of all sorts of nasty critters. Just google spybot search and destroy and you will find it. Good luck!

I think "dealing with a bank on the phone" is the third or fourth level of hell, or something like that. ERG. Have you tried Starbux ice cream? Down With The Man and all that, but it is GOOD.

Mmmmmmmm... Ice Cream... (Doing best salivating Homer Simpson impersonation...)

Double chocolate, chocolate chip. Or better yet, a malt, with choc. ice cream, chocolate milk, and choc. syrup. Yup. That'll show em. I think we should all have one in a show of support.

Hon, what *doesn't* call for ice cream?

As a former phone answerer person, I'll let you in on a secret: we're trained to be a bunch of irksome jackalopes. It ain't personal. My secret thrill was giving the world on occasion, when the caller gave a good enough sob story.

Points should always be given for creativity, I think.

If your mortgage broker suggested it, I am sure it's not unheard of...unless they were joking. Those small subtleties, I seem to miss. Hang in there Rachael. A little ice cream did the trick for me Tuesday night.

Do you think Bethany did it to your computer? ;)

I second the Ad-Aware... we have been putting that on folks' computers at work, because EVERYone ('round here) at some point or another has clicked on the "WARNING: Your computer's clock may be incorrect, click here to fix it!!" link and gotten the dreaded Gator spyware on their machine.

I would also STRONGLY recommend Pest Patrol. You can run it when you want and it will find and quarantine all sorts of malicious cookies and trojan horses and whatnot. (You can find it here: http://www.pestpatrol.com/Products/PestPatrolHE/ ) You have to buy it, but for $40 it is very worth it. I was able to take down my home firewall because the PestPatrol is so tight.

Good Luck!

Just a wickedly good ice cream suggestion- take really good vanilla (you know, the stuff leftover from, say, a rootbeer float binge), and add trader joes' chocolate sauce (so much better than hershey's syrup!), and add some of tj's morello cherries in syrup. WOW. I'm actually thinking about leaving work to go home and get some right now. :)

I always use Spybot, home and at work. It's free and simple to use and seems to do the trick. Don't forget to clear out your cookies...

Good luck w/ computer & credit card jerks.

"The 21st century American equivalent of the chimney sweep child labor force of 18th century England."

HEE!! If only we had a modern-day William Blake (mmmmmm, Blake) to write about the appalling conditions of the CPU-sweep. So if all clear their cookies they need not fear spam.

Good lord, I hate dealing with credit card companies. I am actually about to make my own round of calls, to see if I can get my APR lowered to a somewhat less ridiculous rate. I've heard that you can do that. Really.

Hey there! I 3rd the Ad-Aware recommendation... I use it every day on my laptop and it has kept me trouble-free. Norton Anti-Virus also rocks. BTW I got a shin splint recommendation at yoga that I wanted to share with you (although you're probably doing it already! :) )... you sit on your heels, knees together, then lift the knees in the air to stretch the front of the shin. Haven't had the bad splints yet (since haven't been exercising in a month while away!) to try it, but hope it works!

My computer got tagged once, took about 2 hours to get the mess cleaned out again. Ugh. I use a combination of computer cleaners, some of which other folks already mentioned:
1) AdAware. Get it, use it, love it...
2) SpyBot 1.3.
3) SpywareBlaster--this is a software that combines with SpyBot to keep things from installing themselves.
4) www.spywareinfo.com : They have an online scanner that's good, plus links to the software.
5) HijackThis. Not a cleaner, but something to scan your system to see if any nasties are lurking about.

Two words...Ben and Jerry's....Chunky Monkey or Bovinity Divinity (the one with little white chocolate cows in it)....my daughter tells me Fish Food is good too but we don't have that flavour in Canada, she had that in Virginia.


OOOoops...that should have been Ben & Jerrys...ampersands don't count as words ;-)


Darling, ice cream makes everything better. And I know where to get some really good mint chocolate chip...

Ugh. I had that same damn problem. Nothing worked on it. Nothing. Then one morning I woke up and found my I.E. browser had been completely corrupted. (They had gotten into my registry. Bad, bad, bad.) I had to wipe the computer slate completely clean and start all over. It worked and I'm flying now. But I do run SpyBot and Adware daily now, along with my Norton anti-virus. I also switched from I.E. to Mozilla Fireworks. It's a better browser and not as easily corrupted. Good luck!

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