Monday, November 02, 2009

Lost in Translation

Last week some kind of virus or Trojan horse or some damned fucking thing disabled my computer at home (the one I'm using right now). All I know is that I was at work when it happened, and my wife was on the computer. I, of course, am not the type of guy to engage in the "blame game."

So I take the thing into the shop, knowing that the warranty expired long ago, and sensing that something is horribly wrong with my PC. ("Blue screen"? Heh, this was black screen, baby, and the mouse was moving! Yeah...). I tell My Guy at the shop (hey, he's the only one there with enough guts to approach and engage the "foreigner"--he's My fucking Guy!) what's up. He boots my box up and sees that I wasn't shitting him. He writes a note on a small piece of paper and hands it to a chubby guy with glasses who's sitting behind some kind of master console with several keyboards and monitors hooked up into... something. His fucking head, for all I know. The cyborg takes a look at the paper and makes a very subtle slashing motion across his throat. Right.

My Guy tells me that my computer has "some kind of virus or Trojan horse or some damned fucking thing" (in Japanese), but that they can fix it for 15,000 yen. That's somewhat less than a new computer, so I say "OK!" When I inquired about data loss due to the virus and the general purging of my PC, My Guy said that I wouldn' t lose any data...

Oh... OK.

In fairness to My Guy, I don't think he was lying or trying to mislead me. Last night when I got my PC back every single file--photos, mp3s, whatever, they were all still there, intact. This was good. The bad part was that the computer system itself had been rolled back at least a year (maybe two). If you don't know what that means, well, imagine losing all, and I mean fucking all, of your settings for two years.

Still don't know what I mean? OK, you lose Firefox and any other non-Microsoft programs. You lose all your bookmarks. All your passwords/cookies are gone. Chances are, you don't have a good firewall or any anti-virus software. Every click of every web page is a reminder of what you have to update/download/whateverthefuck. It sucks.


  1. This is exactly what happened to me last month.

  2. Wonder if we had the same virus?

  3. ... it's so disabling, dispiriting & bleak when your PC is attacked like this, but the way you tell it, is very, very funny.

  4. Thanks, Nasim.
    I think I have a natural talent for complaining!

  5. Imagine losing 2 years of teaching research.