Monday, 5 December 2011

Technology: A world-wide addiction?

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I recently fell victim to a computer virus. Two to be precise and both designed to scam you out of money. I didn't fall for the con but I have been left high and dry without my laptop (albeit only temporarily). What's worse is that I don't really know how to pass the time without it, such is the importance we place on it in my household.

How did I come to be without my computer? As I've mentioned, it's all down to two computer viruses.

The first was called 'System Fix' (you can read all about it in my last post), which was fairly easy to get rid of once I'd identified it. The second however, was much more vicious. It's called a TDSS rootkit and is sneaky, hiding itself so that even most anti-virus software can't detect it. I knew my computer had one when I kept being redirected to random sites after carrying out Google searches (imaginatively called the Google Redirect virus).

There are some free downloads on the internet that can identify rootkits and remove the malware from your system. Unfortunately, the first two I downloaded (TDSS Killer and Bitdefender) were blocked from running by the virus (these things can be scarily intelligent). Thankfully, the third one I tried (FixTDSS by Symantec) worked. It found the rootkit and removed it - hooray!

I must admit to being so delighted at eradicating these viruses I actually did a victory dance around the kitchen. But, my joy was shortlived.

I restarted my computer to make 100% sure the rootkit had gone...and that's when disaster struck. Microsoft Windows could not load due to some system files being damaged when the rootkit virus was deleted.

What a lovely parting shot.

I tried all manners of things to get the computer working but to no avail. It is now in the hands of professionals to restore files and ensure all traces of the computer malware have been removed.

So right now I am without my laptop; my window into the online world. If I'm honest, I feel a bit lost without it. Yes, I can still access websites using my mobile phone and yes, I'm also writing this post using my phone but it's not the same. Using a computer to browse or shop online is so much easier than using a mobile phone. You have no idea how long this post is taking to write because a phone's keypad is so much smaller than a computer's, meaning I'm making tons of spelling errors that I constantly need to go back to and fix.

The problem is, if I can't surf the web, check my ebay listings, shop for last minute Christmas gifts or read other people's lovely blogs, what else is there to do? The reliance we can have on modern technology becomes roaringly apparent when it's taken away, even if only for a short time. Thank goodness I can still do most of these things through my mobile phone, even if tasks can take an age to complete and makes me blurry-eyed. But, if someone took away my phone too, I'm really not sure how I'd cope.

Do you think society has become too reliant on technology and the internet? How much time do you spend online and how do you pass the time when you're not logged on?


  1. Hi Laura, great post and yes, we are an addicted culture. I'd recommend the book, Overconnected by William H. Davidow. It's a good read and reflects much of what you are thinking here. He's all in favor of technology but his thesis is that we can't handle what we've constructed to "help" our society. Hope you get your PC back soon!

  2. Golly, I had a weird thing with Google coming up with websites I hadn't searched for; never occurred to me it could be a virus. Seems OK now, though. I agree with the last post: we are addicted, but it's hard not to be when working from home, as I do. All my work is done on the laptop with constant cross-referencing to websites for research. Don't know what we'd do without it, but sometimes hard to know what we should do with it.


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