Damn machine

A couple of weeks ago at work I got an e-mail telling me some marvellous patch would be installed overnight on my computer. “Do nothing!” I was told, “it’ll be great!”, I was told. So I did what I was told, and sure enough overnight my computer was patched, and then it wouldn’t boot. Nup. Complained about some missing DLL or something. Great.

From someone else’s PC I took a look at the e-mail again, and got down into the small print, the bit about “It’ll be great… but if it isn’t, here’s what you do”. Run this thing, make a boot disk, then try these steps to fix it. The boot disk worked, but the steps didn’t. I got hold of the local corporate computer guy to fix it, and he claimed he couldn’t, that I’d have to call… THE HELPDESK.

Oh god no, not the helpdesk. I had visions of being stuck on hold for half an hour before being told my computer would need a complete rebuild, thus knocking it out of action for a day. So I decided to wait for a time when I knew I’d have a day of not much to do. Such days are few and far between, as it happens. While I’m waiting for that, my computer hobbles along with the boot disk.

So given all that, I should have known better when on Wednesday night my machine at home piped up to tell me that Microsoft had a new Windows security patch for me. It would stop Al Qaeda breaking into my PC and pinching my registration for Snood.

And, being the optimistic bloke that I am, I let it go ahead and install it. Which it did. Then it rebooted, and as it did, I went to bed.

I woke up the next morning to find a blue screen, with a friendly message in the middle, something about a terrible horrible no good very bad program error in EXPLORER.EXE. Oh, f’in’ triffic. Thank you very much Mr Microsoft.

Update Saturday 7:30am. Hmm. It seems I was unfair to lambast Microsoft. Somehow the Klez worm had got in and littered my hard drives with lovely viruses. No wonder things weren’t working. Bloody virus writers, bloody bloody. Now scanning for viruses and setting up a firewall with much more enthusiasm than ever before.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.