Although for the most part Lisa doesn't use computers, she does enjoy playing Locomotion and Roller Coaster Tycoon 2. She has of late been using her father's older laptop for this, while I've had the newer Dell machine down in California. While I was here, she asked me to look at that laptop and see if I could make it stop loading a bunch of programs she doesn't want and that slow down her start-ups. Sounds simple, right? The problem is that it's like pulling on a loose thread on a sweater. I think I've rebooted that computer twenty times (at least once after each update) in the process of trying to uninstall some software and bring the system sufficiently up to date to where I think I understand what it's doing. I've had the machine going all morning sitting here next to me in my father-in-law's dining room where I've been working. Every now and then, I go tell the laptop to reboot or to download the next update.
I think we're getting close to the end of this; however, a full Norton AntiVirus system scan -- NAV hadn't been updated for two years; Lisa's father gave me his credit card and said to update to the current version -- is running now. I think I've managed to uninstall or deactivate most of the unwanted programs and system-tray objects such as drivers for printers they don't even own anymore.
But in the meantime, thanks to this entry on bigblued's LJ, I've downloaded the trial version of Ewido Anti-Malware, and I also found nearly 200 bits of malware (mostly tracking cookies) on my machine that my other anti-malware software had missed. I guess I should go ahead and pay the fees.
But the consequence of all this computer work is that I've been "in the office" for nearly four hours how and have gotten nearly no real work done, thanks to fussing about with all these updates, installations, and system scans!