Feels good to keep things local | Wally's World

Well, I was gonna check my email the other night, which I’m sure is also a daily ritual for many of you. I clicked on the Internet but received, instead, a rather startling and unsettling result. The damned thing froze up on me. It wouldn’t move or respond in any way. Indeed, I couldn’t even turn it off without pulling the power plug and, thereafter, every time I turned it on I got the same results.

The screen was filled with an official-looking notice from the “FBI.” It said the porn I’d been watching was extremely vile and, consequently, the government had closed my station. My computer would only be reopened if I paid a $200 dollar fine.

I was, of course, quite skeptical. So skeptical I had to LOL. This, despite the fact my computer was frozen.

In the first place, I hadn’t watched anything that kinky, no truly perverted stuff. On those occasions I clicked an erotic site –actually, erotic is probably the wrong word because it suggests an intimacy that porn lacks – I just looked at the standard, all-American, good ol’ raunchy porn.

And second, really now, doesn’t the FBI have anything better to do than check on my viewing habits? And fine me $200 dollars?

So, I carried the damned thing down to the dudes at XPC+ (xpert PC plus) on Cole Street. Yeah, it was a virus. They’d seen it before.

I’m probably the most computer illiterate fellow who ever came down the pike and I trust most of you aren’t much better. I simply gave my machine to those technicians in the XPC+ back room and they slapped the contraption back in shape.   Apparently, they ran the usual diagnostic test and/or RAM test – if there’s any difference – and a hard-drive, virus scan, however that’s done. They gave the thing a tune-up that removed the “FBI” claptrap and recommended some Kastersky anti-virus Malwarebytes pro software. OK? (Let’s face it, I have no idea what they did.)

When I picked my machine up a couple days later – and I was really amazed to find out how much I’d missed it – I spent some time talking with store manager Brian Smith. He told me porn sites in general are inundated with infections of one type or another, which seems strange since porn is a business like any other business and, as such, it’s to their advantage to keep their sites as antiseptic as possible. (Perhaps the ultra-conservative Tea Party and fundamentalist Christian churches are intentionally planting viruses on the porn sites – or is that simply my rampant paranoia?)

During the course of our conversation, Brian convinced me I should change servers and sign up with Skynet Broadband, which is located next door. So, I wandered over there, discussed the matter with a charming receptionist (Barb) and a few days later Frank Hicks arrived at my door and installed the new system in a hour or two. By the way, both operations, XPC+ and Skynet, are owned by Chuck Bender, a very sociable and cheerful fellow with a good sense of humor. (At least he laughed at this column.)

It’s comforting to know that if I have any problems in the future I’ll be involved with a local company rather than my former server, AOL. In the past, whenever I had system problems I had to spend several hours listening to God-awful “holding” music (“your call is important to us”) until I could finally speak to someone in India or Singapore, only to discover I couldn’t decipher their accent anyway.

From now on, Skynet will also be handling my phone and its rates are cheaper than CenturyLink ever was. And, here again, in my past dealings with CLink I was sometimes put on hold for 15 minutes before I spoke to a human being, who usually, but not always, spoke comprehensible English.

Sometimes I have the eerie feeling my sentiments are more attuned to the 20th century rather than today’s world. Do you ever feel that way?

So it goes.

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