There are some things in life that you just have to put up with.
Paying taxes. Catching a cold. Working for idiots (for peanuts). Bruce Forsythe.
These things are just never going to go away. They are always there. The rough with the smooth. If you want the positives (i.e. local amenities, immunity to millions of bacteria, money to enjoy and... er... Tess Daly) then you just have to put up with the negatives.
So I understand why, if I want to enjoy broadband connectivity with the World Wide Web, I need to have an anti-virus program installed. And since first going online in 2000 I have never been without one. Although I initially bumped for McAfee I have, by and large, for the last 9 years stuck with Norton.
And it has increasingly irritated the shit out of me.
It has got more and more invasive. Rather like a virus itself actually.
It hogs resources. It does things behind my back. Things like “idle time scans”. It slows and frequently stalls my machine – particularly when I’m in a rush to do something – to the point where sometimes the whole thing just freezes and I have to initiate a “hard reboot”. Of course the scandisk thing then kicks in. And although you can press a key (any key) to opt out of this, you just know that paranoia will get the better of you in the end. So you let it scan.
And it finds errors. Invalid entries. Truncated files. Misreported file sizes. Files with names that no homo sapiens would ever come up with in a million years. And these files all originate from the Norton program folder.
Because Norton was doing something that I hadn’t asked it to do and the hard reboot messed it all up.
I’ve started to hate my anti-virus program with a passion.
I know it is only doing its best to protect me. That it’s looking out for my best interests.
It’s like hiring a security guard to protect your house and then finding yourself barred from the kitchen when you want to make a meal.
“Sorry sir, you can’t come in. I’m scanning the kitchen for malicious equipment.”
“But... I’m hungry. I need to eat. Can’t you do this later?”
“Sorry sir. Got to be done now. The procedure can’t be interrupted once it’s been started.”
“But I only want to make a sandwich. I’ve somewhere I need to be in half an hour. I have to eat now or I won’t eat at all.”
“Sorry sir. Your security comes first. You’ll have to wait.”
“But... but it’s my bloody kitchen!”
And it’s my bloody computer!
I don’t want Norton to initiate idle time scans without my permission. If my computer is being idle leave it damn well alone. Let it be idle and receptive to my commands! I want it to be ready to do what I want it to do!
And I don’t want to have to have a Master’s Degree in computer programming just to be able to make Norton behave. I want Norton to have one button which says “Steve, you are my master” which I can press and then relax in the knowledge that my computer that I bought with my own money and operate daily does so under my command and not at the behest of a group of faceless computer geeks based in America writing program code that takes over every computer it is installed upon under the guise of doing the owner a favour.
Yeah. Half right.