A sad, sad tale from your humble author, who is feeling more humble than usual these days:
The other night I was poking around the Internet at about 1 when I found an mp3 site that had a holiday song I had been looking for (iTunes didn't have it). It was a good-sized site with plenty of selections. OK, I said to myself, I've done a few other music sites like this without a problem. I'll try it.
Whoops. You would have thought it was Christmas in Rockefeller Center on the screen. All of a sudden, my anti-virus device started going berserk, filling the desktop with warnings and quarantines. There wasn't a spotlight shining on me introducing me as the newest member of the jerk of the month club, but it sure felt like it. I also got one pop-up ad telling me about a free scan for virus, when I realized that I probably couldn't trust that either.
I couldn't get on the Internet to update the anti-virus software, so I did the best I could with what I had before going to sleep. I figured out a way to take some bad stuff out, but I had the feeling the task wasn't done yet.
Sure enough, the next day only a few of the programs worked. And after a few minutes, everything froze, forcing me to pull the plug and reboot. I was hoping to get rid off enough bad stuff so that I could play with it a little bit, but mostly what I did was get frustrated.
Here's how bad it was. I had typed up the quotes to a future story and left them in the computer before the meltdown. The next day I could read the story but not print it out, so I called it up and then -- gasp! -- got out an electric typewriter and retyped the quotes on to paper. I believe the last time I used that particular typewriter was in the early 1990's. It did work, at least.
Today I gave up, and drove the computer to the handy repair shop. They said it takes about an hour and a half of work to get rid of viruses, which means about $130. Which means I should give up journalism for the more lucrative computer repair business. Which also means that I could have bought a lot of music for the money I'll spend on the hopefully revived computer.
The moral of the story, kids, is to make sure that anti-virus software is up to date, and things that look too good to be true sometimes are.
P.S. I'd appreciate it if you didn't tell the good folks of Mensa about this. I'd be thrown out for sure.