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11 October 2005 @ 09:26 am
Google is my friend  
First, if you are thinking about trying Panda Rising antivirus, don't. Really, don't. I probably should have gotten a clue when the install left an 'assistant' on my desktop, a little animated lion that floated above all other programs. Easy enough to turn off, but who the hell would think that a user would want their little lion in the way of their work and web pages? But I was not smart and did not immediately uninstall it, and in fact didn't fully reboot until this morning. Whereupon I discovered my network settings were totally fucked and I couldn't even get to my router.

But Google was on the job; Google Desktop Search popped up a warning that informed me that a newly installed program had screwed with GoogleSearch's registry settings, and here were the registry settings and the program that did it. And this was the glorious thing: to fix this, you can just run the GDS install again with the flag /restorelastwinsock or /restorefirstwinsock, and the install would return the network settings to how they were at the last install of GDS or the first install of GDS.

So I did that, and voila! Glorious internet again. I'm sure I could have eventually managed to unfuck it by hand, with much swearing, but that is not what I wanted to do at 8:30 in the morning. And the amusing thing is, this isn't even part of, in bureaucracy-speak, their 'core competency'. It's just a little sidelight, because if you can't get to the net, you can't Google. It will be so sad when Google eventually turns evil.

Now I have to find a reliable and preferably free for home use antivirus program. I had been using eTrust for the last year, but I  just fundamentally object to paying $30 every year for a program, at least as a home user.  I can see why they use the subscription model; it's a lot more justifiable for an antivirus than most programs, as they really do have to do constant work to maintain it, but I'm poor! 
juliuslordjulius on October 11th, 2005 05:11 pm (UTC)
I've been using Avast antivirus software. It's free (100% free), seems to work well, and is easy to use. So far it hasn't fucked me.

The ironic thing is that I began using it on the recommendation of Consumer Reports.
Lauratavella on October 11th, 2005 05:28 pm (UTC)
Oooh, thanks. I had come across Avast while googling for 'free antivirus', but I was a little wary about installing something from an unknown company. I think I'll go grab it.
(Anonymous) on October 11th, 2005 06:08 pm (UTC)
I've had good experience using Avast as well. :)
Marithmarith on October 11th, 2005 06:16 pm (UTC)
Google cavalry!

I've been using Norton Internet Security/Antivirus for a couple of years now, and they haven't gefuckt my computer...but they *are* expensive and also annoying in several ways. So I'm nosing around for a replacement. Any recommendations for PC firewall/intrusion-detection/blahblah software? (Avast does sound worth looking into, thanks lordjulius!)
Lauratavella on October 12th, 2005 04:26 pm (UTC)
Zone Alarm has a free version and has worked well for me so far.
(Deleted comment)
Lauratavella on October 12th, 2005 04:28 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I just installed it to try it out.
William Ricardirrauwl on October 11th, 2005 09:49 pm (UTC)
AVG is open source, free, and excellent.

Lauratavella on October 12th, 2005 04:24 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I'll check it out.
Malkinmalkin on October 12th, 2005 01:51 am (UTC)
My Norton at work was never working properly, and the subscription was expiring anyway, so I needed to find something new. Avast was out of the question, because it was a company machine, and it's free only for personal, non-commercial use. So, I'm now using ClamWin, which is open source, and seems to be doing a perfectly good job of self-updating, etc. Unfortunately, with virus software, you're largely unaware of it, unless something goes wrong, so it's a bit hard to vouch for one product or another. I don't tend to be much of a challenge to virus software. In fact, I've never had a single thing turn up (knock on wood).
Lauratavella on October 12th, 2005 04:25 pm (UTC)
That's the other reason I kind of objected to paying $30 a year, I seldom have it catch anything. But I don't feel wise going entirely without, since I do download things.