Tuesday, February 26, 2008
My computer IS a virus
I thought that if I'm stuck home with the flu, it would be a chance to catch up with paperwork and writing testimony and so forth. Flu is one virus that my computer cannot catch, so it's ok to be near it.
But I'm not safe from it. My computer came with Windows Vista, which feels something like living with a virus all the time and waiting for the cure to arrive. From what I have read, SP1, about to be released, can be another headache and not necessarily the cure.
This morning I felt like hurling more invectives in the direction of Redmond, Washington, but I don't really know which direction that is. There ought to be a program which anyone can run on their Windows machine that gives this essential information.
In truth, part of my anger should be directed at HP, the manufacturer of this machine. I'd like it to just work reliably, every day, like my electric typewriter used to. All I needed to do was change the ribbon when it ran out. Very simple. This should work at least as well.
Yesterday nothing would print, even from another computer on the network. I needed to print quickly in order to take some agendas and minutes to a meeting. Of course, heh, heh, said the computer, this is the perfect moment to give a human the shaft. I will not print, it said.
Overnight the computer, on its own, had re-installed my printer software from scratch, changing all the settings and removing the sharing permissions, as it turned out.
This morning I sat down just now to be confronted by the above box. Just what would it like to install? It doesn't say. I have plugged in nothing new. The message says I must click Retry. It probably is drooling at the chance to "update" some driver or other, the way it did yesterday. It didn't ask yesterday, why is it tormenting me today?
Vista initially blocked this update with one of those incessant questions about whether I would "allow" something to happen. You know, you tell your Vista computer to go do something, and instead of doing it, it gives you the third degree. Twice, usually. Like a two-year-old kid. "Do I haveta?" In this case, though it asked, I said nothing, and before my eyes, it turned things over to HP, which gave me the above box.
Whatever happened to the Vista security improvements? Like, I have to agree to something I ask for, twice, but it lets some unknown HP program do something it won't even tell me what it's about???? Grrrr.
No, I'm not going to buy a Mac, though it's tempting. I'm going to buy myself a good grimoire.