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August 12, 2001: As the hourglass turns

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We finally broke down and bought Norton anti-everything software. Richard came home yesterday with that and something else whose name escapes me but will, he assures me, help protect our little local network he's been busily creating. Every once in a while he tells me excitedly about how he managed to tweak the framus a tad more to the left of the widget on our network and I nod and say "That's nice dear" because I really have no clue - all I care is that I can turn on my computer and connect to the outside world, and that if I want to print something the only stumbling block in my way should be if there's no paper in the printer - but it seems to make him so happy that he's done whatever it is he did, and a wife should always be supportive (okay, you can quit gagging now).

Buying Norton stuff is a good thing, because for all the years I've had this computer of mine, it has never had any anti-virus software. It was always one of those things I kept meaning to get around to, but in the starving grad student years and then the early starving computer nerd years there were always things a tad more important to spend my money on, like the phone bill or the electricity or cat litter. Yeah, I was nervous, but then I've been extra careful on this computer and so far I guess I was just incredibly lucky. I realize it only takes one time (sort of like how you can get pregnant with only one time, but then I never ended up doing that either, so I'd say my track record is quite shiny at this point, oh yes). Luckily all the viruses always go to my work email, read only on my work computer where anti-virus software sits on my email and makes it take extra-long to download - especially when I'm trying to download it over one of my favorite 2600 baud connections over a hotel phone line late at night and I have a lot of things more important to do than to download the latest exciting sales pitch from the Big Fish (like maybe sleep or play Civilization or something). And this special make-it-slow anti-virus software on the work computer does things like send me the infected email twice - once with the virus, and once without it, and a huge bold 'VIRUS DISABLED' added to the subject line so I know right away that here is an evil thing and I must delete it immediately.

So anyway, Norton software. Installed, run, and boy does that stuff take forever to run! I had to resort to going downstairs and cooking dinner while it updated my registry in a more efficient manner (it just wouldn't do to have an inefficient registry, you see), and even then it still took a lot of thumb-twiddling before my computer finally wanted to reboot and talk nice to me again. And now when my email runs, there's this nifty little icon that shows up in the tray at the bottom of the screen indicating that it is doing a virus scan, and when I open any document off my hard drive it does a little virus scan, and when I go to empty my recycle bin it has suddenly become much more complicated that merely clicking 'empty bin' because now I have to care about a lot of other commands. Urk.

But at least my computer is now all safely protected and disk-doctored and speed-scanned and anti-virused. The only thing it's in danger from now is the inevitable. What's that, you ask? Well....I'm the one with seven shedding cats. Draw your own conclusions from that. ;-)

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