A Computer Virus Destroyed My Home, Internet Cable, & The World
It had been a pretty ordinary day, but then, too late and too tired, I decided to get just a little more work done at 3:00AM instead of going to bed like a normal lost soul. Nope, just one more thing. I was surfing for something or another, but it wasn't porn. Probably some info on building a nuclear reactor in my basement, but it wasn't porn! No ma'am, maybe some info on Tibetan Monks and their influence on the culture of shaved heads, BUT IT WAS NOT PORN!!!
Anywhoseamawhatchit, there I was surfing away when suddenly a warning appeared on my screen stating, “Your computer has been infected by a virus... but not by porn.” This was odd. I have all kinds of virus and malware programs that usually scream with sirens and flashing red lights letting me know they have caught a dangerous intruder, but here, now, the message was almost sedate, peaceful even, as though it had come to accept its death and demise with the satisfaction that only comes from a life of unselfish service; a life well-lived. Where was the quarantine? Where was the message that the virus had been captured and imprisoned?
My Computer Has the Flu
Shoot, if the spyware isn't going to do it on its own, I'd have it do a manual search for the culprit. I called up the spyware program: “This program has been infected and is disabled.” Huh? So I called up my malware program: “This program has been infected and is disabled.” WTF ? I called up my Widows Security Center. It showed that all spyware and malware was inoperable, but at least the firewall was in place. So the culprit was in a portion of my castle, but couldn't get to the whole thing. At least that was something.
So, my first order of business was to download a new version of the virus program. I tried to use Firefox to get it but instead got the message, “Firefox has been disabled.” So, the bastard had killed the search engine I had been using. No problemo. I'd use Internet Explorer instead: “Cannot connect.” Safari: “Cannot connect.” So iGoogle, “Cannot con...”, Google Chrome, “Cannot con...”, My frickin' brain, “CANNOT FRICKIN' CONNECT!”
The Swashbuckling Epic
Okay, IT'S ON! We drew our swords. Mano a mano...or Mano a Virus-o, just myself and the evil thing. The sweet cling of steel on steel echoed throughout the hall. For three hours the battle raged, first the foul germ gaining ground, then I parry and chop off its left flank and advance. It deflects my blade to the left and nearly connects with a thrust. At hour two, a slice to my right shoulder rendered my right sword hand a limp Arm de Boeuf, so to my left hand the sword was shifted and the struggle continued. At hour 3, beaten and bruised and injured, the air permeated with the metallic scent of fresh spilled blood, limbs missing and oozing life, I delivered the final thrust, a direct hit into the beast's heart.
I had managed to uninstall many infected programs during the ferocious battle, and blessedly, at one such time a search engine screen magically appeared to say, “Why did you delete your spyware? Did you want to download the latest version?” Why...yes! Yes I did wish to download the latest version. So I did and I ran it. Using the same magically appearing search engine, I downloaded a new copy of my malware and ran that too. Then, as tired as I have ever been, dragged myself off to bed to leave the programs to do some magic. The clock read 6:00AM.
The following morning, the virus had been detected and quarantined and I relaxed. I looked around my once magnificent castle, for my computer is like a castle, or a home. In it I spend much of my time. It has my transportation (search engines), my friends phone numbers, a library where I read, many acquaintances and loved ones visit me there, and there are recipe's for my sustenance. It was trashed of course. Once beautiful curtains had been ripped from the windows; priceless vases and glassware was strewn about the great hall, broken into a million shards like gleaming shark's teeth, and when I swung from the grand chandelier during the fight to the death it had crashed to the floor and it's crystals gleamed and winked in the filtered light of early morn. Chairs had been broken over heads and tables upturned in life-saving desperation. It would take for ever to clean this joint up.
Did I Destroy the Cable System?
And that was when I noticed it. The lights on the wireless Internet cable modem were not correct. Attempting to get online proved it was so, and a call to the cable company confirmed my worst fears: The entire area's cable system was down. They didn't know what it was, but they were working on it. But I knew what it was, but I remained mute. Now I know little about such matters, but a small amount of research showed that it is impossible for my virus to have traveled wirelessly to the modem, then into the cable system, and then crashed nearly the entire town.
But it WAS a heck of a coincidence. Just because its never been known to happen before doesn't mean it couldn't. Over the next six days, the cable was off, then on; off then on; 5 minutes off, 5 minutes on. It was frustrating to say the least. And I was left with only the one search engine. Downloading new copies of the other ones didn't work. I had trouble loading articles onto various websites. The cable company came to my house 3 times over those days, and I never told them of the great sword fight with the virus. If I had I was sure the technician would say, “So what were you doing...surfing porn?” Ohhhhh, the nerve.
But finally, all is well – with the exception of having only one operational search engine and no others will work, at least nothing I have figured out - but I know the virus is out there somewhere, traveling around the Internet cable lines buried deep within the utter darkness of the ground or suspended above like great spider webs, jumping wirelessly from system to system, stretching across America, and soon to hitch a ride on the transatlantic cable to Europe on the ocean's floor, and then on and on, to Russia and Asia and Mongolia for crissakes, and one day, it will find you, dear friend. It will find you as sure as you are sitting there in your comfortable chair with your hot tea or cold beer, hot toddy or cold teddy or whatever the hell it is you do in front of the hypnotic blue screen, sucking up knowledge, laughs, images, sounds, while your wisdom flows forth from your mind to the world along the new Internet super highway.
And that is the tale of how a computer virus destroyed my home, my Internet cable system, and soon the world, mine and yours and his and hers...and I wasn't even surfing porn. No, really!
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