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Trojan Horse sneaks up on trusty laptop

By Staff
Leada Gore, Editor
I don't think it's a coincidence that one week after dedicating this space the joys of living in a wired household, my own computer decided to strike back at me. Maybe it's shy or maybe it's just tired of doing so much, but it's definitely getting its revenge.
I was at work Monday, and, as usual, had email and the internet humming along at the same time. I opened an email and then, wham! All of a sudden, the internet was gone, my email program shut off and everything went haywire.
Knowing just enough about computers to be dangerous, I thought I would run a virus scan and clear the entire mess up in a few minutes. The first indication that the problem was a bit more serious was when something called "Trojan Horse" popped up. Apparently, these things are dangerous little critters that worm their way into your system and do lots of damage. Suddenly, I felt a lot like the Troy soldiers, innocently wheeling that big Greek horse into their city, only to be surprised when all those soldiers popped out in the middle of the night.
I called our technical support people, who were at a disadvantage because my lack of internet access meant they couldn't link in directly with my computer. Instead, they had to tell me what to do and hope I could figure it out.
"Go to start and then run and then CMD and then ping this and ping that and type in 857.285.457.72 and see if that works and then if it doesn't go back to run and CMD and…"
"Wait a second," I said. "I know what run means and I recognize that CMD are letters in the alphabet and that ping is a golf club, but you lost me after that."
Because computer support people are bred with a special patience gene, we continued. We checked a million more CMDs and pings, all to no avail.
You know you're really in trouble when you hear the support people say "We'll have to get back with you on that one."
Hmmm…not a good sign. I offered to take the laptop out in the street and back my car over it to see if it would help solve the problem, but they didn't take me up on the offer.
It was a strange day, with no email, no Michael Jackson trial updates and the perfect excuse for why I hadn't responded to the volume of requests I had received that day.
"Email is down," I would say with a sigh. "Trojan Horse. Don't know how long it will take to get back going."
As of presstime, we had made some progress in getting the bug fixed, though my access to email and the internet are still limited. So, if you're waiting to hear from me on something important, you may want to give me a call. It seems my email is, well, lost in the mail.