Banks County Opinions...

January 09, 2002


Column

By: Shar Porier
he Banks County News
January 09, 2002

De-bugging
Thanks to the snow and being stuck at home for a few days, I was able to get some things done around the house.
Not that I particularly like being ³domestic,² but what other choice have you got? You can only play in the snow for so long. So, I figured I would tackle sorting the piles of paperwork that buried my desk.
I went through one stack and was feeling pretty good about getting something productive accomplished. Then Lyla, my white Persian cat, decided to join me in my efforts and promptly knocked a bunch of stuff on the floor.
³Lyla, thatıs not exactly what I had in mind.² Shouldnıt have given her that catnip. She looked at me and seemed to be thinking, ³You have a better way to get finished quick?² As she slithered across the diminishing stacks, she up-ended my file sorter.
A box fell to the floor. Oh, thatıs where that program went! She had found my Norton Anti-virus Program that I got last year for Christmas. She seemed proud that she had discovered something so important that would get her off the hook for making more of a mess.
HmmŠ. This seems the right time to install the program and it would end the clean-up for a while. Right, Lyla?
She curled up in my lap as I read the directions. ³Be sure to back up your files before installing.² Back up my files? All 66,219?
Letıs see, it scans for 58,391 (shows there are far too many people with just too much time on their hands) viruses and worms. Worms? What the heck is a worm? ³Viruses can cause serious destruction to your filesŠcan remain inactive until a predetermined trigger date.² A predetermined trigger date? Then there was the part on the Trojan Horse, not technically a virus, the book said. Steal your ID? Delete the contents of your hard drive?
³Lyla, this is some serious stuff. Maybe a virus is what causes my computer to turn itself on late at night?² She softly purred, indifferent to my anxiety. It had been bothersome. The thing would just come on all by itself. Iıd get up and shut it down. It would come back on — the tones of Windows haunting my sleep.
Well, after reading further I decided I could go ahead and load the Norton program. After all, I did have another anti-virus program already running on my computer. How many could it find?
So, I popped it in and began scanning.
In about 20 minutes, it was done. To my surprise, there were a number of files infected. Some were just Word documents, but others were Windows program files. A bit scary.
One was the W97MNicedayAD virus. The information said it was a common virus. Actually, it hadnıt done any damage to the files from what I could tell. All was there, no problems. The program buzzed and repaired all but three documents. They couldnıt be repaired, quarantined, or deleted. No matter what I did I couldnıt get the documents deleted. For some reason, probably the virus, they had the designation of ³Read only.² Pretty sneaky. The virus changes the attributes of your documents so that you canıt get rid of them. HmmŠ Ok. Need an alternate plan to get this bug.
All of a sudden, my computer freezes. Uh-oh! Computer wonıt respond. Lyla jumps down, aggravated, as I get up to turn off the power and then back on.
It cranks back up, runs the you-didnıt-shut-your-computer-off-right scan of the hard drive and Iım back to the infected documents. It crashes again and again. Finally, I get back to the infected files. Now, all of a sudden, they can be deleted. Hey, beats me! So, I just delete the little boogers and continue.
Then thereıs another crash, and another. Iım beginning to think this was a bad idea. Maybe I should have made the back-up disks. But, if I had, wouldnıt they be infected as well? Iıd be right back where I started.
I pressed on, crash after crash. It was now a war. The fun had gone out of the game and now I was battling the bugs. Mortal combat at its ugliest. Lyla was getting into it with me. Sheıd bat the computer screen. (Probably because she was tired of getting interrupted from her nap in my lap.)
But, I was not going to be outdone by a string of bytes some computer geek with nothing better to do had devised to torment me/us. It was getting personal.
Eventually, I was back in business and proceeded with the next combatant — the MacroComponent Virus. It wasnıt much of a virus. The program easily repaired the files.
Then I was facing the WMConcept A virus — a tricky little byte of havoc-wreaking data. It even had aliases, one of them called ³Prank.² But, it proved to be no contest as the program restored the documents, but the infection into two of the Windows operating files couldnıt be repaired. They were in quarantine to await an update that could annihilate them. Another win!
Or was it? Crash! Up. Crash! Up. My war was now into its third hour.
When I was up and running again, I faced my final foe — the Wscript Kak Worm dr virus. According to the information on itŠ well, there was no information on it. Norton wasnıt able to repair or quarantine it. And since the infected file was in the Windows operating system, I elected not to delete it.
Four-and-a-half hours of this stuff was enough. I had been through all the programs, all the files, all the disks and CDıs. Everything was as clean as I could get it. I was mentally tired from the battle.
Lyla and I were going to have a victory lunch — give us strength to finish cleaning up the office. The download of up-dates and the final battle could wait for another day.
Shar Porier is a reporter for The Banks County News.

Editorial

The Banks County News
January 09, 2002


Register livestock with 911 center
Dear Editor:
I am asking once again that all livestock owners in Banks County register where their animals are located and emergency contact numbers with the 911 center.
I want to reiterate how very important this is. Livestock, most of the time, are large animals, and when they get in the way of oncoming traffic, they inflict great damage. Also, livestock are expensive and many times the source of income for a family.
I want to encourage everyone who owns any type of livestock, big or small, to call our non-emergency line and give the above information to the dispatcher that answers to log into the system. It will enable us to find you and lessen the possibility of anyone suffering damages from loose livestock.
The number is (706) 677-1234. It is manned 24 hours and seven days per week. Thank you for all of your cooperation in this matter.
Sincerely,
Deidra Moore
Banks County E-911 director

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