Monday 3 May 2010

Computers *sigh*

One of the main reasons for my visit to my parents at the weekend was to look into my father's report of extreme aberrant behaviour on the part of their laptop.
A 'programme' called Windows Defender Pro kept telling them they were infected with viruses. It is a very clever infection as it has been designed to look like Microsoft's Widows Defender. The things that aroused suspicion were the inability to spell the word 'registered' (they missed an e) and the fact that the thing was after money... and the fact that every time a pop-up appeared it was a different list and amount of viruses.
It is a very clever virus that blocks anti-virus software, search engines, pretty much anything that might remove it. I ran an anti-virus scan from a memory stick (I had come prepared). It appeared that it was removed - we restarted the machine - and nothing would work apart from IE... and only that if you didn't want to use any search engines; ARGH!
My parents took this latest development very well. They'd been talking about a new laptop since Christmas so this was the push needed for them to go and buy one. Off we toddled to the shops... and some time later a new machine was duly selected and purchased. How is this for  logic though; my Mum decided that they had to get Office too, fair enough. Upon purchase of the machine they were offered Norton. I'm a great believer in free AV programmes over annual subscription types and advised them not to waste their money. The sales assistant was horrified (of course), but it works out that to buy Office (which they wanted) and Norton (which they didn't) worked out £20 cheaper (due to stores obsession with selling you this particular brand of AV) than buying Office alone! Perhaps they will sell Norton on eBay?!
We then had to set about setting up the new machine... another good reason they did it whilst I was there. Of course the new computer has Windows 7 (I'm a Vista girl) - this will be a learning process for my parents who are coming up from XP.
Generally it appears to works quite like Vista (even if it looks nothing like it!). The new bar at the top (similar to docks you can download for Vista) made me laugh. Anyone familiar with Macs will recognise that!
Encouraged by this malfeasance my computer has stepped up its campaign of aberrant behaviour. There is a loose connection somewhere which means that the screen back light doesn't work intermittently. This meant that I was having to have the screen open at increasingly bizarre angles to see anything at all.
Last night Rich hit on the excellent idea of attaching an external screen. Odd as it is not a wide screen and inconvenient as I have to tip the laptop screen forward to see the main screen but as I still need to use the keyboard and touch pad... well you get the picture.
Right now the screen of the laptop is working again (who knows for how long)... but I may soon have to purchase a new laptop too if this keeps up.