Fighting the good fight

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Fought a long, protracted battle with technology over the weekend, one that so sapped my energy that I had little time for little things like updating Blue Ridge Muse.

My political news web site, Capitol Hill Blue, which has been online since 1994, went on the fritz with database and server resource problems, causing the site to timeout and finally crash.

After several days of fits and occasional screams of “I hate computers,” I finally found the problem, which turned out to be my fault because a recent redesign of the site included code that made too many database calls and caused an overload even on a dedicated server with 4GB of memory.

When I restored an earlier, simpler design, the problems went away and life returned to as close to normal as life can be in these strange times.

Computer gremlins are not unusual. I spent six-and-a-half hours this week purging a local law office’s computer of malware masked as a virus protection program. It’s the second time I’ve seen this virus attack a business computer: both of them in lawyer’s offices. Somebody out there hates lawyers (yeah, I know, that’s a lot of suspects).

Ridding a computer of a virus is a time-consuming task that demands patience and a willingness to crawl through a mountain of .dll files, hidden executables and exploits of the registry on a Windows machine. It’s times like this I’m thankful that I’m mostly a Mac operation. I guess fewer people hate Steve Jobs than who despise Bill Gates so we see fewer viruses.

The law office that called me this week did so after hearing, from word of mouth, that I do things like operate on virus-laden computers. Their call to another local “computer expert” got little more than lip service. His quick answer: Reformat the hard drive and lose all their data.

Maybe I should advertise more. There are a lot of sick computers out there.

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2 thoughts on “Fighting the good fight”

  1. I used to work in Floyd at a large local telephone/Internet/television service provider. While up there, I helped hundreds of customers remove those fake antivirus warning programs. It can be very aggravating and time consuming to clean those infections up.

    I’ve changed jobs and now work closer to where I live in Christiansburg and, if Doug allows, would be glad to give the name of the company I now work for so that I may be contacted if anyone has any computer related problems… both residential and commercial.

    Thank you for also ‘fighting the good fight’ Doug,

    Mark Phillips
    New River Computing
    Phone: (540) 808-2900

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