Could it be that my computer is out to get me?

I never really thought of my computer as something that was put on this earth to make my life more difficult. No, indeed...it's an addition to my day, a thing of beauty, an invention I cannot live without.

Why, then, has every single interaction with my computer during the past, oh, three weeks, been laced with a sense of torture? Why does it feel as if perhaps my computer is out to get me?

It started one day when I had downloaded an IM program at the request of a friend. Simple enough. People send instant messenges all the time. And it was Friday, the sun was shining (the torrential rains had not yet arrived,) and I was happy to have a little mid-day banter pepper my day's work. My friend is witty and gets me rather than thinking I'm a raving kook. It's good to keep a few of 'em around, and so the IM thing was a fabulous treat. I was glad I worked for myself - in the olden days I'd have been mortified to spend that much time in sheer, unadulterated fun.

I'm not sure if it was that night or the morning that followed when I realized I couldn't access the internet. What had happened? Well, of course I'd downloaded that little treat. In spite of its having come from a trusted source, you never know these days what's attached itself to your downloads. I mean, probably that's not how it happens at all, but in this age of beefed-up internet security, regular people like me (shut up) don't always know what's going on in cyber-security-land.

Flash forward several days. If you're a regular reader you already know the saga. There's no point in belaboring the point. I've been through cycle after cycle of attempts at keeping things running smoothly. This morning I was thrilled to finally be able to keep the IE browser working well and long enough (having ultimately removed my Virus Protection software, of all things,) to actually download the security updates recommended. It's been too long. In spite of my computer's assurance that these updates are handled automatically on an as-needed basis, apparently not so much. So we did the update.

THEN I was able to finally get about 98% of the security "stuff" off. You know the packages: one for viruses, one for spam, one for when you're having a bad hair day...folders of stuff you have to have, all with these ominous looking icons to remind you what you're doing wrong or poorly. Intent on doing it "the right way" I'd visited the Control Panel, clicked obediently on the "Add or Remove Programs" link and proceeded as instructed. Only to discover "one or more components are missing" and nothing was getting around that little glitch. That no doubt when I attempted to circumvent the process once when it hadn't worked a different way.

So I got most of it off, and it was finally good enough to reinstall the program from scratch. (In earlier recent days, I've simply gotten a locked up system when I tried to download the latest version.)

Well, wouldn't you know it? I got the whole thing downloaded only to discover....yep, you guessed it. Not able to access the internet. Sloooooooooow load attempts until ultimately a time-out. I quickly (quickly compared to recent attempts) I removed the whole "security" package. What do you know? I can access the 'net just fine. Problem is, the bad boogie-stuff can get in. Sigh.

Tucows.com is a good place to visit if you want to see how software is rated. I found something I feel to be a good alternative to the gestapo software I had to let go, and have successfully installed it. Or so I think. It's currently running a scan on my system. A loooooong scan.

Good thing I have access to a computer around the corner where I'm currently residing.

If this doesn't work, I swear I don't know what I'm gonna' do. But it won't be fun. And I need some fun right about now. Cross your fingers for me?