There was a column on my computer, almost ready to go. All I had to do was the final tweaking. I got up this morning, came in to finish the column, turned on the computer, and was greeted by a big red window telling me that my computer files were infected with a Trojan horse.
And that, my friends, was that. My computer was frozen solid. It would not work in my house, it would not work for the mouse. I did not like it.
I shut it down manually and unplugged all the peripherals. It's out in my car now, waiting to be transported to the computer hospital.
One of my first thoughts was, I haven't had this much trouble since I used Macs. I started out on Apple computers because I'd heard they were superior, more user-friendly, didn't get viruses, and didn't crash as often as PCs. Anti-virus sales people always tried to convince me to buy anti-virus programs for my Macs. I did that once. Put an anti-virus program on my Mac. The computer immediately crashed and had to be taken to the Apple computer hospital.
While Macs may be more immune to virus infections, what I found was that they “corrupted.” One little piece of data would mutate, and pretty soon the whole hard drive had a cascade of mutations and the computer would crash and have to be taken...well, you get the picture.
I know that Mac users are devoted to their computers and I'm not trying to argue with anyone. I'm only saying that my Macs crashed a lot more than my PCs. In eight years of using a PC, this is the first time one has contracted a virus. Apparently anti-virus software actually functions on PCs. Except this time. Oh well. Off to the computer hospital.
What am I writing this on? My Netbook, which runs on Linux, which is looking pretty good to me right now. Except all the games seem to involve penguins, for some reason.
Now, an explanatory note for those of you who do not live on the island and don't know what happened to John Browne: on November 22, there was a snow and wind storm that hit the island. A tree fell down across 111th Ave SW, down the hill from the home of John and Vicki Browne. John decided to go down the hill and clear the tree off of the road. He took his chainsaw and went to work. While he was working a driver came along, lost control, and hit the tree. The tree pushed the chainsaw handle into John's mid-section, damaging his small intestine, and bruising his liver, lungs and heart (so I heard - not too sure about injuries to those organs) and shattering his left elbow. He was taken to Tacoma General Hospital because the bridges from West Seattle to Seattle were closed that night with ice, and Coast Guard helicopters could not fly in the storm.
He had surgery to remove some of his small intestine and stitch it back together, and another surgery to put his elbow back together. He was in the ICU about a week then moved to another room, and I last heard that he was going to a recovery facility, or perhaps to one of his children's homes, or even home with Vicki. I don't know the whole straight story but the fact is that he's improving. Now he and Vicki need a little help.
There's a benefit for John Browne at the Red Bicycle on Saturday, December 18. Drop by and support John & Vicki. They have given the island the benefit of their good selves for many years; let's benefit them. Whether you come or not, you can send money to the fund for John Browne at US Bank, P O Box 428, Vashon WA 98070.
Factoid: the first time I met John Browne was when I picked him and another guy up hitch hiking at the intersection of Haight Street and Fillmore in 1966.
Final words for 2010: Merry Christmas, or Solstice, or Kwanzaa (Hannukah's already gone by), and stay warm with your loved ones, Islanders.