BEAR ALLEY BOOKS

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Friday, December 01, 2017

Comic Cuts - 1 December 2017

Just over three weeks until Christmas and I think I'm reasonably well organised as far as pressies and cards are concerned. I've still got to write in the cards and wrap the pressies, but the hard part – the bit where you have to make decisions – is over with. Actually there's one pressie that I'm still waiting on delivery for and another that requires a bit of extra work, but I'm this (I'm holding my finger and thumb about half a centimeter apart) close to finishing.

By rights, I should have had a nice, easy week. That's not what happened. It started out OK. I was posting out some drafts of the Forgotten Authors essays to some folks and getting some very nice feedback, which pepped me up for the weekend.

On Monday I planned to plough through a couple of shorter pieces that will probably not appear until volume 3, but they were amongst the ones that wouldn't require a huge amount of work to bring up to scratch and I wanted to sort out my laptop. If you were here last week, I mentioned that my computer had picked up a virus; thankfully it was isolated and removed pretty quickly, but it did give me pause for thought that my laptop – which is ancient and still runs Windows XP – could probably do with a check as the original antivirus software had run out years ago, and Windows no longer supported Windows XP and wasn't updating  their anti-virus software.

So I picked what looked like a popular choice, Avast, and downloaded it. A terrible mistake. Everything slowed to a snail's pace and attempts to run the programme froze the screen. I had to pull the plug a few times just to get the computer to turn off, risking greater damage to the hard drive than the bugs did. I cleared off just about every file I had on the machine, thinking it may just need some extra space in order to operate. Thankfully, I only use the laptop to watch DVDs in bed and access newspapers online, so dumping old files wasn't a hardship. I cleared half the 56gb drive. Tried to use some of the administrative tools to further clean-up/check the hard drive but Avast wasn't having any of it and froze me out again.

According to them, you have to download a programme to remove the original programme! Which I tried to do, but it wouldn't download. Eventually I used Window's own programme for removing the errant programme. Unfortunately, it has also removed something of use at the same time, as my laptop no longer recognises the external DVD player and I can no longer play DVDs. It does recognise the small stick drive that I bought recently, so I can at least transfer some odds and ends back onto laptop. And the internet still works, which is also useful.

I'm planning to ask a friend for some technical advice on whether I should jettison Windows XP in favour of one of the operating systems available for free. As I said, it only needs to power a DVD drive and allow me to read the internet, so I'm hopeful I can get the machine back up to speed with a more up-to-date operating system that can cope with the latest anti-virus software without crashing the machine.

Tuesday was rather more pleasantly interrupted by my Mum coming over and Wednesday by a trip to the dentist for a check-up (I'm pleased to report that I passed with colours... not flying colours, but definitely not stalling and falling out of the sky colours) and I don't have to go back for another six months. I'm writing this Thursday lunchtime while I'm waiting for someone to come round and redo the felt on the shed roof and fix our shower door... jobs which he'd already been paid for (by our landlady, not by me) two months ago.

Despite the disruption I've still managed to add a couple of essays to the total, so we've reached 27 out of 50 and 109,305 words. I've also finished the cover to the first e-book, which is our column header. I should have that book finished next week, if all goes to plan and I'm already well under way with the second volume which I think is only two essays shy of being finished. Plus a bit of tidying up. And then some rewriting, designing and proofing. Oh, and a cover. So that'll be ready early next year.

Random scans. East meets west...

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1 comment:

  1. Anti-virus programmes do not play well with others. You can only run one anti-virus (& one firewall) at a time. (But you can run multiple anti-spyware programmes.) Neither do anti-virus programmes uninstall cleanly, leaving behind services running at boot. To remove cleanly, visit the anti-virus support forum for instructions, which will involve rebooting in safe mode, manually deleting files & running a script to hack the registry. You need to fully uninstall the original anti-virus and Avast, then reinstall Avast. And reinstall the DVD driver.
    My computer is a 15 year-old XP with 256MB RAM and 2x120GB drives (full). It can surf the net, as long as javascript is off, using old Flash & current Portable Firefox. I've never had a problem with viruses and have had none at all for many years. The trick is to use a firewall. The computer has Commodo anti-virus & firewall, with Spybot, AVG, whatever, running manually.
    However, I have started losing teeth.

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