Friday, June 27, 2008

Riddle me this, Batdude --

Got a good one for you today: solve the riddle of this one, somebody! Last week I downloaded and installed Adobe Acrobat 8. The installation process took about 40 minutes (which I thought was a little excessive, since it was over a broadband connection), but seemed to go smoothly enough. The prog worked excellently for several days, and then --

Today I needed to read a PDF. I noticed that the usual icon had been replaced with the generic 'bitza,' '57-varieties' icon, but since this old computer tends to struggle these days I didn't fret too much about it. But when I clicked on the PDF to read it, the computer asked me to choose a program to open it with. Wondering if the system was having another hernia (it often happens), I rebooted. But no ... same thing: What would I like to open the PDF with?

Suspicious now, I noticed that the Acrobat shortcut had vanished off my desktop. Uh...huh. Then I troubled to look in the Adobe folder, in the program files ob Drive C:/, and --

Yep, you guessed. Acrobat Reader 8 had vanished without a trace. I'd been running the old version 6 till last week. It used to fall over a lot but at least it never vanished. The installation of 8 auto-deleted version 6; and then 8 ... vanished into the ether.

My question is, how in the hell is it possible for a program to uninstall itself? Because I sure didn't tell it to uninstall. Friday evening finds me wondering if I've picked up a virus that's doing the gremlin routine, causing mostly-harmless mayhem ... so as soon as I'm done for the day I'll be running my virus software, and if I do find a virus in there, which is making programs vanish, I'll let you know what it was.

Now, the virus software I use is the one recommended by DreamCraft -- AVG, by Grisoft. It's the best I've found; Norton wasn't too good, and Net Vet was a waste of money. I made the change to AVG after Vet failed to find the gremlins in the workings a few years ago, and have stuck with it ever since. It's never let me down to date, so here's my conundrum:

If AVG is so damned good, how did a virus get through? It takes over two hours to virus scan this machine and its companion harddrive, so by tomorrow I'll know if it's some kind of Trojan deleting programs at whim. If this is the case, it's an easy fix. What concerns me is the possibility AVG hasn't let me down, and I don't have a virus ... and Acrobat 8 just deleted itself. Sends chills down your spine, doesn't it?!

A friend-of-a-friend is grumbling lately about the condition of her computer. She's done some kind of a scan on it and found (get this) 150+ Trojans hiding in there. That's what you get for giving your kid license to surf the Net and download willy nilly, after the little twerp fried her own computer. With 150 Trojans aboard, it's a wonder any computer starts up at all.

Still on the subject of computers ... am STILL waiting for that dad-blasted monitor to arrive. It's being shipped from Victoria. You'd think they were bringing it from Mongolia by mule train. The new Dell system is just standing under the desk, waiting like me; and the gay cables are still languishing like so many wallflowers at IT Warehouse. *sigh*

On the bright side of things, my fingers are starting to itch to get back to work on the haunted house novel. As soon as I have the thorough proofread and light edit of AQUAMARINE finished (give me a week or so; the new covers have been designed, and are a source of inspiration. Serious wow factor), the haunted house story is my next

And I've been viewing the new Flash animations for the NARC website. I'm amazed ... and yes, the website is done, finished. There are some new feature articles, including a couple from contributors, and the whole thing has a design 'feel' I like a lot. It goes up and is open for business next week. Very exciting.

There'll be a newsletter from DreamCraft next week to announce the new website, and at that time I should have more news about AQUAMARINE, which is going to look very handsome in its new covers.

The final proofs for NOCTURNE and TWILIGHT arrived today, and you have to hand it to the Australian digital printshop which has partnered with The turnaround time, from placing an order to receiving it ... five days. That's great service, and cheers to for their efforts. Our font "issues" are solved, and shouldn't reappear in future projects ... sounds of profound relief from all concerned down here!

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