Saturday, January 10, 2009

Surviving the Internets

One of my post retirement ventures was to offer computer consulting. It was akin to being a paramedic who fainted at the site of blood. The horrors I encountered had me waking up abruptly in a cold sweat. Fifty two "New Folders" on the desktop, printer queues backed up with hundreds of jobs, broken installations, bad or missing device drivers. . . pass the Xanax, please.

Computers I can fix, but unless I fixed the user, the problems would come back and somehow it was my fault that the computer was broken again. I had to be blunt and suggest that the user had no business having a computer, let alone venturing out on the Internet.

OK. So you have properly installed antivirus, spyware blocker , and other security features. You may have resisted clicking on ads that say you get something free or are a prize winner. Good for you.

But now we get this. We get folks passing on misinformation via bulk e-mails and then others spreading the contents via word of mouth. I tend not to believe any of it, but once in a great while, my dear Patti comes home with a tale that I poo-poo that actually turns out to be true. Mostly though, it's one of those false you-can-get-cancer-from ________rumors that are floating around that she reports. As it turns out, testicular cancer is not a high risk to those who scratch their balls in public. I make it a point to check the facts.

Folks, do me a favor and go to before telling me that Obama is going to be sworn in on the Quran, or a guy on the other side of town had his kidney stolen in Las Vegas, or that drinking Visine will cause diarrhea.


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