Lookout for that Soapbox....

Posted on Tue 13 July 2004 in general

I've just spent an hour with the SoS laptop (thats twice I've sullied myself this month) and I'm amazed that people accept the crap they do. Don't misunderstand me, the SoS character database is a fine piece of software, Mufi's re-implementation is far superior from the nasty VB hack I used to maintain. However the underlying OS scares me. I'd contacted Mufi about getting the laptop back to him so he could re-sync the online database. When I fired up IE to access my web-mail to upload the file I found the home page was some odd spam index site, despite the home page being set to MSN. I decided to
program which had obviously been put there for the purpose. After it had identified 133 dodgy looking executables, registry entries and other such detritus and removed them (over 4 re-boots) I went back to Google to test it. After I
searched for mozilla yet another pop-up browser window appeared even though AdAware had given the machine a clean bill of health. Needless to say Firefox is now the default browser. However what I want to know is how Windows users put up with this. Do you just accept you need software to detect other software that shouldn't be on your machine? Do you actually trust your machine is not recording everything you do and telling someone else about it? Are pop-up browser windows just something you've gotten used to? I'd no idea in the time I'd been away from Windows things where getting so bad.

Of course I'm in a dilemma now. I have so little trust in the SoS laptop now that I'm not going to be logging onto any of my systems with it because I'm not sure something isn't logging every key-stroke I make. However somehow I need to get the database with Mufi so things can be re-synced. I suspect a bootable Linux CD may be my solution.