Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Sunday, February 26, 2006

Computers.... can suck

This could be exceptionally boring. Just warning you!

The Girl and I went over to a friend's house today for a nice visit. While we were gone, the Boy took it upon himself to download some stuff he's SO not supposed to download. No, not porn or music, freaking AOL instant messenger. I'm a former AOL employee. I wouldn't use their crappy software for love or money. If we can't IM with Yahoo IM, then we don't IM. Not knowing that AOL loads crap upon more crap on your machine if they get the chance, he happily clicked "yes" to anything they offered. Thus, he brought my computer to a screaming halt. When I got home, all there was on the screen was the infamous DOS blinking underscore and he was scared.

Of course, I figured out pretty quickly that the machine wasn't going to to reboot because he had some weird DVD in the drive and for some reason the machine kept looking for the Restore CD. I pulled out the DVD and the machine rebooted immediately. But it was working pretty oddly, sluggish and just recalcitrant. I had to do something quick, because I can't work on a machine that doesn't want to cooperate.

First I did an Add/Delete and got rid of a ton of crap that he's downloaded. The kid hasn't met a Demo game he didn't fall in love with, despite the rule that we don't download without asking. Sigh. AOL wouldn't go away. As usual. I absolutely HATE that damn piece of shit. He loaded the entire AOL software, not just the IM. I got rid of the IM, but the AOL software remains. I have no clue of how to get rid of it except by deleting every frigging file by hand.

Next I ran AdAware and noted that he had plenty of cookies he didn't need. Gone. I showed him how when he downloads stuff, it brings lots of hidden files. Blank looks abound.

And finally, I defragged the hard drive. Talk about a painful experience. It took close to 4 hours, but oh, my computer is happy again. I'm not sure which of the activities made the computer hum again, or maybe it was the combination of all of them, but things are groovy now and a lesson was learned (hopefully) by the Boy who downloads anything that looks remotely interesting.

Ah, to be free of crud on my hard drive. So much space to roam. 74% EMPTY. Life is good again.
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Blogger curiosity_kitten said...

LOL I can imagine the terrified look on your son's face when he realized what he had done to your computer. AOL Messenger is horrible. Personally, I prefer MSN or Yahoo. At least you got it booted back up easily enough! :)

Michele sent me.

26/2/06 8:11 PM  
Anonymous Pearl said...

Ach! This is why no one else uses my computer. Glad you could restore the thing to sane levels. Michele sent me.

26/2/06 8:22 PM  
Anonymous colleen said...

It's a little over my head, but I get the jist and I wouldn't like it if other people were downloading stuff on my computer. It's bad enough when I do it. Hi from michele's tonight.

26/2/06 9:25 PM  
Blogger Tammy said...

I sooooooo hate AOL. My son uses their messenger on his computer, and downloaded it onto the laptop while we were away for a few days. I now have a NEW laptop, that is to remain kid-free. :)

Visiting via Michele tonight.

26/2/06 9:29 PM  
Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

OY VEY! I am amazed that you know how to do all that "Doctoring"...that is wonderful! I wouldn't know where to begin, so I truly admire your Techno Ability's Margalit!!!

Here from Michele tonight, but you know I am usually here anyway, I'm happy to say.

26/2/06 9:48 PM  
Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Michele sent me right back and I think I got skipped, besides! Trying to get in every vidit I can before the doors close on Michele's Weekend M&G!

What is it about AOL that people hate so much???? I know so very many Computer Techs who have all serviced my computer in the past just despise it! I like it! I think it is very user friendly...but then...what do I know?

26/2/06 9:55 PM  
Blogger Belinda said...

I've been on AOL for years, and am quite addicted to it. Love it, never had a problem. But we're gradually transitioning off now that we aren't slaves to the satellite any more (AOL was the only local provider for that), just to keep from paying the extra money per month.

But I will never give up my AIM. NEVER. I hate every other instant messenger on the face of the planet.

27/2/06 1:05 AM  
Blogger Erin said...

I hate AOL software, of any type. I used to do tech support (a while ago), and AOL was the BANE of our existence. Ugh. I'm sorry that you had to go through that!

27/2/06 2:45 AM  
Anonymous Claire said...

Still same old G eh? :)How many times does this make now? :P

27/2/06 8:28 AM  
Anonymous Chloe said...

Lots of times AOL doesn't even give you the option to not install certain parts of their program. You have to dig around after the fact to get them to not show up, but they're still there on the HD, hoggin space.

Put Trillian on the computer for the kids to IM with! They can communicate with their friends on yahoo, msn, ICQ, and AOL IM all at once, and no annoying AOL software.

27/2/06 10:59 AM  
Blogger margalit said...


At least this time there wasn't smoke pouring out the back of the computer! He just believes that he is invincable when it comes to computers. It's why he doesn't go near the yaptop.


27/2/06 2:47 PM  
Blogger WendyWings said...

I hate it when 13 year old boys touch my comp too, but so far so good with this new computer.

27/2/06 10:26 PM  
Anonymous Eliyahu said...

I'm jumping in a little late, but have you tried system restore to an earlier date? AOHell software is just another Trojan IMO -- an electronic form of treif...

5/3/06 10:24 PM  

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