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Tue, 19 Apr 2005

You had to know the day would come...

... and it has unhappily arrived! The cure has managed to become worse than the disease. I'm sure we all know people who believe that if one pill will get rid of their headache, then two will get rid of their headache faster and better. That's a good way to end up getting your stomach pumped!

The same can be said for our little adware/spyware/virus problem. If one program will help ease the pain, then five, six, or seven will send you into a state of computer nirvana. In reality, this will result in the need to have your computer's stomach pumped (metaphorically speaking).

It seems that everyone is jumping on the adware/spyware/virus prevention/cure bandwagon. Recently I've noted a lethal combination seems to be AOL 9 with all its seemingly beneficial features, coupled with a full install of either Norton Anti-Virus/Internet Security or McAfee Anti-Virus. This combination, while making your computer *secure*, also renders your computer unusable for the most part. Though a computer in this condition isn't likely to get adware, spyware, or viruses, I'd prefer a solution that allows for browsing, email, and other computer activities I've come to enjoy.

What to do!? At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I am going to once again recommend that you rely on AdawareSE, Spybot Search and Destroy, and Anti-Vir. I STRONGLY recommend that you resist the temptation to install anything that promises you trouble free computing, as a large percentage of these programs cause more problems than they'll ever cure. And I *EMPHASIZE* the apparently counter-intuitive concept that you don't have to pay for a program to have it be the best tool for the job.

I'm still working on AOL 9 to try and figure out how well its built in tools work and how to disable unwanted features. I will let you know what I discover as I go along. The bottom line here is that this problem isn't going away anytime soon unless you take the nuclear option of using an alternative operating system. You either have to learn to cope with the reality of it all, or simply give up on computers entirely and find another hobby. ...They tell me needlepoint is relaxing.

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