Tuesday, November 18, 2014

It's A Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad World

It sure does seem like I've used today's blog title before.   Indeed, I probably have.   The last time the world intervened in my life and turned it upside down.

You see, my laptop came down with the Ebola virus.  Or the virtual version of the malady.   In this case, it's called RSA 2048.   If those digits show up on your computer screen, you are FUCKED 2014.

I've got multiple computer connections.   My desktop at home.  A tablet.  A Smart Phone.  And a laptop which is plasma for anybody who's an independent contractor like me.  That computer goes where I go.   Plugging in here, there, and everywhere.  It's a Hewlett Packard slut.  And has served me well for almost two years.

But, all the unplugging and plugging and unplugging comes with a price.  The more you're out there in the world, the more likely that your laptop can get infected.  People have told me that Macbooks are hacker-proof.   I may go that route next time.  But, for now, it's my little diseased HP friend that needs some TLC.

It happened all of a sudden.   I turned on my laptop and there was a message first in DOS then in a classier font.  The above virus was in my computer and I could never open any Word or EXCEL files without providing the new Bazooka gum comic book code.  It reminded me of all those guide books Chico sold Groucho in "A Day at the Races."   The thoughtful thieves even provided several links to websites where I could make this transaction.   I needed to buy and convert 500 dollars of bitcoins on-line to get the super code that would unlock my computer files.

I don't even know what the hell a bitcoin is.

I asked one computer expert who surprised the bejeebers out of me. He said there was no workaround.  I should go ahead and buy the code.

Effectively, that means the crooks win.  Oh, by the way, they're probably the same folks who will be granted instant amnesty in the next month or so.

I couldn't do it.   Nobody was going to rob me hook, line, and bitcoin.

I resolved that the work files on my laptop could be replaced.   All of them have been e-mailed to somebody and I can easily restore them by going through my old mail folders.  I had one script saved there.  My writing partner has it saved.  A human back-up.   I realize I need to somehow sync up my desktop with my laptop so they become each other's electronic back-up.   That will be next week's project.

This week, I let the computer guys sweep my laptop clean as a whistle.   I had my Windows reinstalled.  I ask for a super-duper virus program to prevent this from happening again.

Realistically, there is none.   We live in a bad, bad, bad, bad world.  And we are all subject to the evil.   The more we tweet and text and like on the internet, the more we become victims.  How do we solve this?

We don't.  Unless we go back about fifty or sixty years.   When you connected with friends on the new Princess phone.   And if you had to type something, the most dirt you were subjected to was the ink that got on your fingers from changing the typewriter ribbon.

Maybe that's not so bad after all.

Dinner last night:  Leftover pork tenderloin and veggies.

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