Wednesday, May 17, 2006

You Must Restart For Your Changes to Take Effect

I've seen words similar to those in the subject line many times in the past 24 hours or so. My subscription to Norton SystemWorks ran out, and I ended up replacing it with a bundled combination of Symantec programs. I was downloading all night. I installed my downloads before work, at lunch, and after work, for an hour or more at a time. Over and over, I was told to reboot, and usually complied.

Then I would suffer through programs and processes that didn't want to shut down, and long waits during restart for my laptop to load a weather program I hardly ever use, and a spyware remover, and AOL Safety and Security Center, and who-knows-what else. XoftSpy's main goal on my computer is to delete an AOL-related program, Viewpoint, four files of which can't be removed until the computer is rebooted. As soon as I reboot, the program removes those last four files, and starts hunting for more spyware to gripe about. Meanwhile, the little orange light tells me that the hard drive is busy doing something else. That's right: it's AOL, reinstalling Viewpoint. Daily.

And Safety and Security insists on loading so that it can nag me about installing AOL's antivirus and firewall and other programs. It knows that I've got other firewalls, other anti-spyware, and other anti-virus. It doesn't care. Unless it's AOL's version, computer's security status is only "fair." I'd uninstall the Safety and Security Center if it were listed in my Add or Remove Programs menu, but it's not.

So anyway, the Norton programs want to go online for LiveUpdate and activation. But guess what? My only online connection is still AOL (yeah, I know!), because we haven't done the wireless home network yet so that I can get on the cable modem with John. This is a problem, because after the third Norton installation, AOL wouldn't load. It wanted me to restart, so I did. Still wouldn't load. It wanted me to restart again, or reinstall. So I dug around my desk for a recent AOL CD, and reinstalled. That got me back online. It also seems to have gotten Safety and Security off my back about not having the most recent version of AOL 9.0. Just how many versions 9.0 are there? Isn't that the point of version numbers, to let you know which one is the newest?

So okay, I'm up and running again. Fine. That's not really what I wanted to talk about, but I needed to rant for a bit.

Now I'm going to turn it into a metaphor.

Here's the thing. I'm always going on about how I'm going to reform. I'm going to go to bed earlier, eat healthier food, drink more water, get back to the gym, edit the second book, update the church pages more reliably, clean up my office, go through the mail...well, there may be more things I need to improve, but that will do for now.

Do I get any of this done? Not very often, no.

But I've done every one of those things at one time or another. For a while there, I was going to L.A. Fitness almost every night. For over two years, I was writing Mages every single night. I've cleaned, and I've lost weight, and I've put in a lot of time getting the church site looking decent.
Okay, so I didn't do all these things at once. Time is a major limitation on most of this stuff. An hour at the gym is an hour I'm not writing or editing, either the books or the blogs. Like AOL and Norton, these things aren't all that compatible with each other.

Yet in 2004, I was working full time, blogging, maintaining the church pages, and going to University of Phoenix on top of that. In 1993 (when, granted, I was younger, and more able to pull all-nighters), I was editing two or three fanzines at once, working full time, hanging out on Prodigy and later AOL, making a couple of trips a year to Los Angeles, and at least intermittently rewriting Heirs. So what is so hard about cramming into my current schedule a few more things that are important to me?

I suspect that I can't really expect myself to make all those changes at once. I need to add something and restart, and tweak as needed. I need to reboot my exercise program, or my work on Mages, and see if I can get both programs working at once. Then maybe I can slot in some of the other stuff, on weekends or a few minutes a day or something, like one of those scheduled tasks that software companies like to have my computer do.

Cha. It sounds like work!

Are you sure you want to shut down now? Be sure to save any changes.



I came into my office at home this morning, and my computer was online. I checked my email, logged off, and left the room. When I came back, my computer was online. I looked for a program that might be requesting AOL, and found only Weatherbug, which I turned off. I logged off AOL again. As I was in the next room, I heard it redialing yet again. I checked every setting I could find on AOL that might be related, bearing in mind that I was already very late for work. AOL sent me to an XP Internet setting. This was already set on "never dial a connection," so what the heck? I exited AOL, and was working on shutting down other programs (not responding, of course) when AOL started to relaunch. I stopped it, exited it again, and told the computer to shut down.

So will my computer actually turn itself back on to restore the AOL connection? I'll know at lunchtime.


Buttons generated at I wish they were fully functional, but I did my best.

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julie said...

Did you finally get that AV stuff working? I had to give up on Norton after it nearly trashed my desktop PC. Turned out I had a semi-obscure issue for which there was no cure. Many calls to Symantec (several of which were routed to India) didn't help. I finally had to uninstall the software, clean up the registry by hand, and try something else. I don't know what I'd have done if I didn't know how to go in and clean the registry. I'd have had to start over.

Shelly said...

More and more, I'm glad I'm not using AOL anymore (still need it for dialup on my laptop) and if I need to use my AOL name, I have and AIM.

I've been using Norton for many years without a problem. We buy the latest versions each year. I have to add the latest to the laptop this weekend before my vacation.

Becky said...

Oh ugly... my trouble-shooting sense is tingling. But I need to get to bed! ;-)