2 min read

Computer, my joy; Computer, my pain.


Two weeks ago, my computer went kaput. Yes, almost literally. More than a million published words later, everything just stopped.

Being the mature person that I am, I simply replaced the operating system - Windows XP.

You see, I work on a system where I store all of my files on a separate drive and only use the core C: drive for programs and operations. I started this system after having to reload my entire life when Kaspersky missed a Trojan one day a few years ago, and, after reloading everything, Kaspersky missed it again. (Good by Kaspersky.)

(The manuscript for the next Alex the Fey book and the next Denver Cereal are both safe from all this drama on the other drive.)

I was pretty proud and happy about myself until 3 things happened:

1. Chkdsk found a number of problems with my drive.

2. In a random conversation with a sales guy at MicroCenter, I discovered that XP was not only not going to be supported next year, but there were already reports of system security problems where hackers had broken through the OS.

3. I read this article (Outmaneuvered at Their Own Game, Antivirus Makers Struggle to Adapt) , a review of an antivirus software study, which basically said that antivirus programs work great when it's known virus, but horribly when something is new.

"On average, it took almost a month for antivirus products to update their detection mechanisms and spot the new viruses. And two of the products with the best detection rates — Avast and Emsisoft — are available free; users are encouraged to pay for additional features. This despite the fact that consumers and businesses spent a combined $7.4 billion on antivirus software last year — nearly half of the $17.7 billion spent on security software in 2011, according to Gartner."

It was time to make some decisions.

This is what I decided to do:

1. I bought a new hard drive.

2. I installed Windows 8 on the hard drive.

3. I'm getting a new inexpensive computer to work on.

I will no longer have access to the Internet from the computer I use for writing.

We'll see how it goes. I do a ton of internet research, so it will be interesting to see if I can get away with it.

As an odd aside, my friend Lynda Sandoval, used to write on an old IBM 286 computer with no Internet connection in a room without a phone. She needed to quiet space to get her work done.

So it's quite possible I'll be more productive.

We'll see.

It should happen tomorrow!