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January 04, 2006: Bug

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I was sitting at my computer, idly poking through my regular haunts, checking the latest entries on my Bloglines (and why everyone does not have RSS feeds I do not know, because they make life so much easier), deleting spam in my inbox, that sort of thing. Azzie was sitting on my lap so I had my feet propped on the desk and was leaning back in my chair, half turned so I could actually see the screen. It was evening, so the room was mostly dark, except for the glow of my screen.

And then I saw it. Moving across my screen. A black shape - something I didn't recognize. It was an image - I couldn't tell quite what because it sort of blended in with the dark background on the current Charles Wysocki picture that serves as my wallpaper - and it was on my laptop and it was *moving*. I started to panic. I've been getting the little reminder notice from Norton too many weeks now, telling me that I need to renew my subscription, but it usually pops up when I am in the middle of something, or in a hurry, or have a cat on my lap and cannot get up and fetch my credit card so I can pay the yearly fee. So every time it shows up I've been telling it to remind me later. I'm usually extremely careful with email and downloads and such, so I've been feeling like I really didn't need to worry.

But now, I was worried. This shape was moving around on my screen and worse yet, I couldn't click it with my mouse. It was at least two inches across. There was nothing on my tool bar for me to turn off. I checked my list of processes but there was nothing there I didn't recognize. I mentally kicked myself for not renewing my virus protection and resigned myself to finding a way to save any files I could before giving the hard drive a complete brain wipe and starting from scratch.

And then, as I sat there panicking, the shape turned and finally came into focus, about two seconds before it moved off the screen, disappeared into the dark frame of the laptop, and reappeared on top of the screen edge, taking a moment to pose perfectly, just so I could finally see what it was.

Yeah. It was a bug. But not a computer one, a real one. Luckily not the kind that would make me panic again.

I did what any good cat owner would do, now that I realized that my computer was still safe. I called for the cats and pointed out the extremely large house fly (aka coolest cat toy ever) and then, once it had their attention, I left the room.

And later on, I came back and renewed Norton. You know. Just in case.

Happy Holidailies

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