Compaq Adventures in Virus-Land

I went STRAIGHT up to J&R and bought a $30 Belkin USB Wi-Fi just like the one I installed on the old computer from work.

I wanted to be very conservative and buy only that, until I could see that this old Compaq works well with it.

It took me a couple of hours to make the Belkin recognize our Verizon Wireless, partly possibly because the Compaq, though XP, is only Service Pack 2, and hasn’t kept up with upgrades.

The Compaq machine automatically recognized the Belkin laser mouse from my boss’s machine, but did not recognize the USB keyboard. The keyboard from our original machine, non-usb, does work. Then I went back to Lourdes and got the old keyboard that was on the desk, and it works perfectly being non-USB as well.

The NEXT thing I did was install Avira-Antivir free antivirus, and also another scanner which they recommend from malwarebytes.com.

I spent about four hours scanning and rescanning both in normal windows mode and in SAFE (F8) mode, and found OVER 100 TROJAN AND VIRUS INFECTIONS. I was shocked because Bryan DID have several anti-virus programs AND an old free firewall that I had installed (Sygate, which was bought out by Symantec some years ago, and is no longer free).

After several hours, I got the machine totally clean of malware, and then I downloaded the free firewall, Online Armor. Then came an 2 or three hours of “teaching” the firewall what is permitted/trusted and what is not. One the firewall was working ok, I then downloaded another highly recommended product, Ccleaner, which was able to quickly remove 40 megs of temporary files.

Finally, I did something I have always been itching to do! I used the WUBI installer for Ubuntu Linux, which is the easiest and least disruptive of all Windows Linux alternatives, as it DOES NOT REPARTITION the drive into a windows partition and a Linux partition. All it does is change the BOOT up to offer a Windows choice or an Ubuntu choice. It took about an hour to download and install.

Then came the fun part of booting up in Ubuntu Linux for the first time. The Wubi install is so smooth and automatic! And the Ubuntu desktop looks every bit as nice as Windows. I had no idea what to expect, and thought perhaps it would be something more DOS-like and primitive, with only a command line interface, like the old DOS days.

It took me about four hours to get Ubuntu to recognize the wi-fi and access the Internet, because there are not clear instructions, so I just had to click on every imaginable place, and try all sorts of WEP key/address combinations, but finally, I WAS ON-LINE!

I started all these efforts right after I left you, which was around noon, and I worked straight through until 6 a.m. this morning, when I finally was satisfied with my progress, and could not keep my eyes open another minute.

As soon as Ubuntu was connected to the Internet, the NEXT breathtaking thing was to click on FIREFOX browser (which comes ready installed in Ubuntu) and see that it feels JUST like being in a browser in Windows! So the first think I did was go to my Plurk (which is like Twitter, a microblog, but much more fun and interactive, and much easier to meet technical and intellectual types like programmers and teachers), and lose my Linux virginity my making my first post a PLURK post. Next I logged into Facebook, to make that my second post.

Ubuntu comes with all sorts of ready to use programs including I think Open Office which is the Linux shareware offering for Microsoft office, with spreadsheet, word processor, etc.

Unix came a long way to get to Linux, and Linux came a long way to get to Ubuntu, and Ubuntu came a long way to get to an easy Windows friendly installer like Wubi. But one can easily see why much of the World is attracted to an open-source shareware environment, even if it is less slick and more work compared to Micro$oft, with all their proprietary software which may one day be shelved/abandoned.

By the way, things like the Google search engine, are written in open source languages like Python, which is free for anyone to develop/support/enhance. Why write a massive application in some proprietary language/operating system, and then be at the mercy of that for-profit Corporation, and the vicissitudes of the marketplace and world economy.

(A side note: one article on the emergence of the European Common Union points out that they have enough clout to force Microsoft to conform to their demands, but the American government was not successful in a similar dispute with Microsoft.)

It is no wonder that many developed countries like Switzerland (as just one example) have declared that Linux is to be a required standard for all educational institutions.

The same praises may be given to open source software like Apache (an internet server), MySQL (a free database) and pHp (a programming language that interacts in a browser on the client side and interacts with MySQL on the provider/server side).
Packages of those three that run on Windows are called by the acronym WAMP (Windows, Apache, MySQL, PHP), and such a package that runs under Linux is called LAMP.

Now I must post at the Avira anti-virus support forum and the Online Armor support forum to ask how their products can best be made to integrate with Ubuntu.

I think my next purchase will be a $10 Belkin laser mouse (Microsoft also had one for $10 but a technician told me that the Belkin’s last a bit longer). And I will get a decent power strip with a long cord. So all I will need is that monitor you mentioned, which I am sure will be adequate.

At some point I want to get one of those deals from Sancor that offers 6 or 12 memory sticks 2 gig on a shrink-wrapped board, then that would be useful, because I am learning of ways to format them into useful things like Avira Rescue disks that one can even BOOT from, should the machine become unbootable from malware.

Finding and removing lots of viruses is as much fun as squeezing zits (so gross, yet so true.)

And you can see how much MORE fun I had that simply getting a new machine (which is not what it is really about at all). When I have a spare machine, like Bryan’s then I can afford to be far more bold and daring in trying out things like REGISTRY cleaners (Ccleaner) and Ubuntu installs.

Oh, and around 3am, I decided to install Google’s CHROME browser (which I have never tried), simply so I could have an up-to-date browser to delete and reinstall Firefox, because the Firefox was so old that it didn’t want to upgrade. And the Internet Explorer was also too outdated to allow me to do all the Microsoft Windows updates that havent been done for several years. Finally, I discovered a way to tell Windows itself to automatically download Windows updates (because I never could get microsoft.com update feature to work in Internet Explorer browser.)

About DAZUKO from Avira for Linux

Installing DAKUZO in Linux/Ubuntu

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