Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Tale of Two Viruses

My husband Dan is a busy guy these days. He has a conference in Florida at the end of April where he's going to give a talk and ahead of which he has to write a paper. Before that, in the second week of April, he has an oral exam of sorts in which he has to convince a panel of professors that the work he's been doing will yield a viable physics dissertation. It's sort of like his pre-PhD defense. And of course all this while he has to keep working on the research itself. Oh yeah, and there's the little matter of us having to sort out our move.

Not only is Dan smart and cute, but he likes to run too. This pic is from last August's Muddy Buddy race.

I asked him on Monday if he needed me to help him in any way. He said he might need to work late and go in on some Saturday afternoons--pretty par for the course. Then he said something that floored me: "Is there anything I can do to help you get ready for your race?"

The answer to that was yes (I'll get to the details below)--but first can I just say...he is the best. I am grateful to married to someone so understanding about my running, which after all (unlike his PhD work for him) isn't in line with my talents, has no income earning potential for our family and sucks up a lot of what would be family time. "You just really love running," he said to me during another conversation. "It makes you happy."

So getting back to his question about how he can help. I asked him, Along with making me go to bed early this week and making me pasta with red sauce on Saturday night, could he would he PLEASE fix our iTunes? You see, we have two laptops, an old one and a new one. The old one (unfortunately) is where our iTunes still resides. And on Sunday night it got infected with this:

If the creators of this are reading this, you WILL go down. It's only a matter of time.

It's called Vista Internet Security 2011, and it's one of those insidious fake antivirus malwares that tries to extort money from you by convincing you that it can rid your computer of bugs that you don't really have. In the past, Dan has dispatched these quickly. But this one is proving stubborn. Last night he spent a half-hour on it--talking about how there's a special place in hell for the people who deploy these nasties--before giving up for the time being (he had to go back to work--did I mention he has stuff to do other than deal with the laptop?).

Today, I'm home sick. Yes, the thick throat turned into a real cold, complete with sore throat, near constant dehydration unless I'm drinking something all the time, interrupted sleep and a slight fever. So both the computer and I still have viruses. And I can't work on my playlist--I'm afraid the computer bug might "spread" somehow if I contact the iTunes Store or mess with syncing my iPod.

Dan has vowed to return and conquer the computer bug, and I am hoping desperately to have my personal bug under control by the weekend. But neither victory will happen today. With the exception of one very mild cold around Christmas, I stayed healthy all winter, dodging illness brought home by the kids and into the library where I work as well...only to fall prey to this one with just five days to go until my race.

Off to take another nap! The sick laptop will stare blankly at me from its spot in the bedroom, sort of like Hal 9000 after he got shut down. But ahh, napping. Even illness has a silver lining.


  1. Be gone with both of those viruses! this is such a tough time of year to stay healthy. Hope you're feeling better soon!

  2. hope you and your computer get well soon.

  3. Have you tried using Malware Bytes? We had one of those things awhile back and it fixed it for us.

  4. Hey Dan--Not sure what he's tried. I've been too out of it today to make any of my own attempts. Marcia, thanks--I did have a long lovely nap. Not cured, but I feel better than I did this morning. Chris--thank you--enjoyed my intro to your blog.