Monday, October 10, 2011


By Shane Cashion

My post today is going to be brief. I’m still trying to make up for the time I lost last week to a computer virus known as Open Cloud Av. It sounds pleasant enough, but I assure you it’s not. When I turned on my computer I got a pop up indicating that it was infected with a virus and that I needed to run a scan with Open Cloud Av. So I did. Four days later I was suicidal. This virus intercepted everything I tried: system restore; antivirus programs, all of the usual tricks were stymied.

What was particularly infuriating is that I’d only had the computer for a few months. I spilled a naked drink chock full of an entire pound of fruit onto my last computer’s keyboard. At the recommendation of a friend I raced to my local Best Buy to let the Geek Squad work their magic on it. To my surprise the tech pronounced the computer “salvageable.” I was certain I’d have to scrap it. Ten minutes later he had it wrapped in a nice little mailing package and advised me to call in about four weeks to check on its status. Four weeks! I didn’t have that kind of time then and I didn’t have it last week either. So I set out to fix it myself.

Since I’m sure I’ve already bored you with this post, I won’t go into the hundreds of things I tried. What I will do is give a shout out to a company called PC Tools. For forty bucks or so I downloaded their antivirus program and ran a full scan of my computer. The program immediately detected the virus and to my excitement claimed to have removed it. It was a lie. When I rebooted the computer the virus popped up just like it had before. Frustrated I found a phone number to this PC Tools outfit and waited on hold for what felt like an eternity until I was finally connected to a person whose name was missing vowels. In my mind’s eye I could see her in a cubicle in a swanky high rise building with her script full of English buzz words and catch phrases while shoeless children, elephants, and mules loitered outside her window looking for food.

Be that as it may, this woman proved to be my savior. Together we must have tried a thousand different approaches, bouncing back and forth from regular boot ups to safe mode, which is unfamiliar and scary and looks like DOS. In the end we laboriously examined file after file until we were able to locate the offending file and remove it from the system. She was amazing. If I was on LinkedIn I’d connect with her forever.

As I was engaging in my rudimentary computer repairs, the oracle of technology, Steve Jobs, lost his battle with cancer. I wholeheartedly believe Jobs and his ilk changed the world for the better, although I wouldn’t call it a slam dunk. I’m old enough to remember when viruses sent you to the doctor not Best Buy, when you could have lunch with friends and enjoy their undivided attention instead of competing with emails, text messages, Facebook, and Internet strangers winking for dates. Perhaps I just need to update my own harddrive and get with the times.


Jean Henry Mead said...

I can certainly empathize with you, Shane. I've never had your cloud virus but have been battling all kinds of viral complaints on my computer. And yesterday, we had a 13-hour power outage after a massive snwostorm and I was like a ship without its rudder without my computer. I think we've become far too dependenet on them.

Mark W. Danielson said...

Nice post, Shane. See how easy it is to write when you're focused on a story?

We've all been there with computer issues that test our sanity and our marriages. I also agree that I'd much rather sit across from someone and enjoy their company than receive a text. Sit back -- far away from your computer -- and enjoy a pound of blended fruit. :)

Jaden Terrell said...

Ah, technology. When it works, it's magic. When it doesn't...I suppose it could a celestial plot to test our patience.