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Friday, March 05, 2004

False sense of security

When is virus prevention not virus prevention? When the antivirus software hasn't been updated for months...or at all. Not a week goes by that I don't meet with someone who thinks their computer is protected, only to find that the last antivirus updates they receive were sometime in 2001.

Computer manufacturers are one source of the problem. These days, most new Windows PCs arrive with either McAfee VirusScan or Norton Antivirus. Where, in the past, these might have been full version, now they are usually only 30-90 day trial versions which expire. No matter how much I remind my clients, this software often goes un-updated and un-purchased. Worse still, due to the design of the software, it often isn't clear that the software isn't working. Unless the user carefully reads the notification dialog boxes, they might continue along, not realizing they need to take action.

Such was the case yesterday. I have only worked for this client once, quite a few months ago, but I was called back to solve a few minor issues. They have 2 machines, one old and one new. The old machines, running Windows 98, was running an ancient version of Norton Antivirus. It was impossible to upgrade this software using the online tools. The user will now need to go and purchase a more current version. The new machine had come with the typical 90 day trial software. It had, of course, expired. It would not surprise me to discover, once the client installs their new software, to find at least one virus infection, if not more on both of these machines.

I have been working on improving my followup with clients this year, but here I see room for improvement. Starting now, I will include followup notices in my calendar whenever I set up a demo version of the software and more generic notices to remind clients to check their software to insure that it is still operating. The prevalence of virus and worm threats is simply too large to be ignored. Even though I feel that I am somewhat of a harpy on antivirus issues, there is, obviously, much more to be done. While each day of work brings new challenges, many of the old challenges remain.

Not that you should need me to say it, check your antivirus software today and make sure it is really doing its job.

Career-Op: Facing the Music
by Douglas E. Welch, ComputorEdge Magazine

I am sure you have heard the expression, “sometimes you need to take the bull by the horns,” and other such euphemisms about taking action. While these sayings are definitely clichés, like all clichés they hold a bit of truth within them. There are times in your high-tech career, when you need to (insert your favorite cliché here) in order to insure that your career keeps moving forward, no matter what issues you might be facing.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Let's go fly a kite!

I was out flying a kite with my son the other day and thought perhaps we could use a newer, less beat-up model. This one has been in and out of the car more times than I can count and is starting to show its age.

With a little bit of serendipity, today, Cool Tools, points over to a great source for kites of all shapes and sizes.

Into the Wind, an online purveyor of all things wind-related, has a wonderful selection of kites, wind socks, streamers and more. If you want to get ready for this Spring's kite flying season, check them out!

Additionally, April is National Kite Month. You can get lots of information and a schedule of events from the American Kitefliers Association.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Stuck On Zoo

LA Zoo in Griffith Park

Weekends, March 6 - 28, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

What do you get when you combine fascinating animals with sticker fun? The Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens' new Stuck On Zoo event. Explore the Zoo while you put together your own collection of animals. Your sticker safari begins when you pick up your Zoo map and blueprint. Then, visit the featured animals throughout the Zoo and pick up a sticker version of that animal to place in your own Zoo. This event is free to members and with paid admission.

Saturdays and Sundays, March 6 through March 28, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m

Windows everywhere?!?

I went in for a minor medical procedure today and I happened to glance over at the computer they were using.

Aeieieeeiiie! It was running Windows!

As a confirmed Mac user, I wondered if I should take it as an omen.

But, then again, I do ressurect more Windows machines than Macs, so maybe I had some brownie points on that side of the technology.

Monday, March 01, 2004


Photo Fun in Franklin Canyon

SUN 3/14 2pm

Franklin Canyon Ranch

An experienced photographer will help you find unique views and photo opportunities or just enjoy the peaceful, easy paced hike. Reservations required 310-858-7272 x131. 2hrs WODOC

Apple Security Update 2004-02-23

Security Update 2004-02-23 delivers a number of security enhancements and is recommended for all Macintosh users. This update includes the following components: