This post was going to be a rant. I had intended to write a few paragraphs of stinging invective, raging with frustration and ire at the stupid pointlessness, the moronic meaninglessness that has plagued my life for the past week or so. But instead, I find that my anger has dissipated to be replaced by a cathartic sense of achievement at having transcended the vapid mindlessness that started the trouble in the first place.
You see, I have had a computer virus. I know how trivial that sounds and, like everyone, it’s not my first infection, but it has been particularly virulent and contagious causing the aforementioned raging frustration anger and ire that I felt towards the people who waste their time (and ours) devising such things. It came home with me on a USB stick and before I knew it the virus had spread itself to a PC, my laptop, three USB keys and a portable hard drive. I am fairly assiduous at backing up my data and regularly save my new files onto DVDs so that the danger of losing anything of importance was minimal but the prospect of running down and eradicating a virus that had eluded all of my anti-virus, anti-malware, anti-spyware software promised nothing but to waste a serious slice of my time.
“Who makes these things?” I asked myself, conjuring up images of some pimple-faced geek who’s lifetime of disappointment at being ostracized by his peer group for being a weirdo has boiled over at having his app for iphones rejected by Apple or some such.
“I’ll show them.” He snarls through clenched teeth as he sits down at his PC in his mother’s basement to write his infernal code, unleashing his little horror on the uncaring world.
I tried different anti-virus scans- nothing. I searched through Windows, revealed hidden files, looked into secret system files and deleted anything unnecessary or which looked suspicious- still no luck. I Googled my diagnostic suspicions and found others who had suffered the same cyber-pox that I had and, after reading through their efforts to eradicate the bug, some with claims of success, I went back to my stricken laptop and succeeded too, but in the process I had lobotomized my machine. I had to format and re-install- the refuge of last resort for all PC enthusiasts.
But that’s not what this post is about.
As annoying as the virus was, having it produced good results along with the bad. Firstly, my new installation has my old Compaq laptop running better than it ever has. Secondly, I have gone through all of the stored data and cleaned out the rubbish and properly organized what remains into more a easily accessible configuration. In short I have had a sort of cyber spring clean, a purging of all of the unnecessary bits and pieces that I have downloaded over the past year or so. Thirdly, I am certain, at least for the minute, that I don’t have any virus, spyware or mal-ware, or any sort of nasty e-contamination of my network. I have returned to clean simplicity, the phoenix re-born from the ashes. And it feels good.
Featured Image: http://www.techshout.com/security/2007/17/the-computer-virus-celebrates-25th-birthday-this-july/