• Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 148 other subscribers
  • “Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers” — Isaac Asimov

  • Recent Posts

  • Pages

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Blog Stats

    • 177,351 hits

Computer Zero to Computer Hero

This is kind of a continuation of my previous post as one of the interruptions during my run on the treadmill was from my mother-in-law, aka “Coupon Queen.”

She’s been doing the couponing thing again with the aid of her handy-dandy new laptop.

First, you need to understand something…this woman has come a long way as far as technology goes.

I remember the day when she was a computer novice.  I can’t tell you how many times she asked me how to upload a picture onto eBay…wrote down the instructions…and then had to ask me again because she lost the instructions she wrote down.

She now has wireless internet and knows what an encryption key is.

However, no matter how much computer know-how you have, eventually you’re going to fall prey to evil forces…i.e. mean-spirited people who send out nasty viruses and adware.

Her poor computer had been rendered almost unusable, and she put in an SOS call to the local computer guru…i.e. Your’s Truly.

My days as a computer tech have served me well in my personal life.  At the last job I had, the “real” computer guy told me about an amazing program called Malwarebytes.

This is a free program you can download from this site, and it does a fabulous job of removing spyware and viruses.  The program also fixes registry errors.  The registry is a file in your computer that tells programs how to function together.

As I walked her through the process of fixing her computer, I thought of you, my readers, and figured that you might also find this information helpful as well.  I think that every person who reads this post should run it, whether your computer is working fine or not.  In fact, you should run it at least once a month.

And now, the instructions!

1.  Download and run the program, allowing it to install with default settings.

2.  Open the program (go to Start, Programs, Malwarebytes) and click on the Update tab.

3.  Then, click on Check for Updates.

**Tidbit…any kind of antivirus or antispyware program must be updated regularly.  Some people in this world have nothing better to do with their time than write nasty bugs that infect the rest of us.  Software programmers are constantly writing updates to fix these.**

4. OPTIONAL – If your computer is really bad off (I’ve worked on some doozies, and Coupon Queen’s was a doozie from what she was telling me on the phone), the best way to run the program is in Safe Mode.

“Whoa!” I hear you hollering.  “What in the heck is Safe Mode?”

Ok…safe mode is almost like an alter-ego that personal computers (not Macs) run in…stripped of all of the “extras.”  In other words, it would be like you trying to lighten your load when you went for a run by going out in your skivvies.  Nothing extra to slow you down.

With that image in mind, let us proceed.

How do you run the computer in Safe Mode?

Well, this requires a trigger finger.  As soon as you turn on your computer (or restart it if you’ve just installed the new program), you’ll see the computer screen go black for a second.  Then, you’ll see some words in white lettering appear at the bottom of the screen.  As soon as you see this, starting pressing the F8 key repeatedly.

If your timing is off, you’ll see the computer start going into Windows.  Just restart it when it’s done and try again.

If you do catch the bootup in time, you’ll be rewarded by a menu listing several options.  You want to select Safe Mode (use your arrow keys to move up and down the list and press the Enter key when you’re ready to select an option).  No extras…no nothing.

Then, highlight Windows XP (or whatever version you have that pops up on the screen) and press the Enter key.

Don’t freak out when you see a whole slew of commands cascade down your screen.  The computer is simply loading the files it needs.

You might get a list of Windows users to choose from.  If so, select Administrator or your name (if you’re an administrator on the computer).  Now your computer should start going into Windows.

You’ll get a message notifying you that you are in Safe Mode…yada, yada, yada.  Just make your life easy, don’t read it all, and click Yes or Ok…whatever it is (I have a Mac, and I can’t remember).

At this point, you’ll be completely in Safe Mode (your desktop might be a different color…darker maybe).  At this point, you’ll go into Start, Programs, Malwarebytes, and select Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware.  That will start up the program.

5.  Now that everyone is on the same page (maybe you didn’t go into Safe Mode…just continue here)…Click on the Scanner tab, and click Perform Full Scan.  Select C: (the D: is your CDROM) and click ok.

Depending on how much you have loaded on your computer, this process could take a few minutes or a couple of hours.  We ran it on Rooster’s computer the other night, and it took 3.5 hours.  Of course, he has a lot of music and video files.

6.  After it runs, it will give you a list of how many items it found.  You will also be given some options of what to do with the items.  I recommend that you accept whatever options it offers (I prefer the “Kill the Beast” option…LOL).  The program really does know best.

7.  Then, reboot your machine.  You should be set to go.

If your machine had a lot of bad stuff on it, you might want to run the program again.  I actually had to do this when I cleaned off a friend’s computer.  The computer came out clean the third time I ran the program.

To say that Coupon Queen was happy would be an understatement.  I don’t know if she was happy because the computer was fixed or because she had saved $80 by not having to call a local teenaged computer expert to fix it.

She called the Mr.’s brother and told him that if he needed to fix his computer, she could walk him through it.

That, my folks, is what happens when you go from being a Computer Zero to a Computer Hero.

Ain’t life grand?  It’s all about sharing what you know.  It makes the world a beautiful place, and I believe it makes God smile.

Week 2 of the Couch to 5K Program

Yesterday, I began week 2 of my new workout regimen…more specifically the Couch to 5K running program.

I’ve gotta tell you that I wasn’t exactly jumping for joy at the prospect of running for 90 second segments.

Sure, it doesn’t sound like a lot of time, but when you’re gasping for breath, that minute and a half can seem like forever.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, as it turned out), I got a slow start to my day.

Ok…I’ll confess…I slept in.

Gosh, but I am really loving these summer mornings!  After years and years of getting up early, it’s been a treat to have my children old enough to take care of themselves while allowing me to sleep.

Anyhow, by the time I got up and did a few things on the computer, it was already 10:00…way way way too hot to start running.  It had rained the night before, so when you factor in the humidity…ugh…

Thank goodness for the treadmill I bought last fall.

Yeah, the treadmill that hasn’t seen the most action and was out on my driveway during the yard sale I had a few months ago.

Thank goodness nobody bought it!

I set it up, along with a tall oscillating fan, and popped in my ear buds.

I decided to try the Christian Indie C25K track for week two.

What a delight!

Oh, the running wasn’t the most fun, nor was it fun starting the treadmill over when the program I had set ended…gotta find some instructions for that thing.

But the music…

Although it wasn’t mainstream (meaning no Steven Curtis Chapman, Michael W. Smith, or Jars of Clay), the words and beat were much more interesting than what I listened to last week.  Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

The DJ on this track was so pleasant to listen to.  Instead of a loud honking sound as the indicator to run, I got a man’s voice, encouraging me as I began my run segments.  Afterward, I was rewarded with a, “Good job, now relax a bit,” from the guy.

I liked it.

He was kind enough to let me know that how many rounds of running I had left before I was finished.

Folks, for a gal who’s spent hundreds of hours in the car watching mileage signs (Miami 300 miles), this was good for me.  When I’m on a journey, I need to know there is light at the end of the tunnel.

So, I made it through my run, with a couple of interruptions, without falling off of the machine.  Wow!  Sometimes I surprise myself at what I can accomplish!

I discovered that I like the treadmill much better, for now.  Although the scenery is a little boring (I must say that looking at my yarn peeking over the tops of the baskets they reside in is never an unpleasant thing), monitoring my speed and distance was a plus.  For now, I’ll continue using the treadmill on running days.

I will also, henceforth, use the Christian Indie track.  It certainly can’t hurt to be praising God while I’m running my own little earthly race.

Oh, and just so you know…the workout doesn’t end with the C25K program.  On the days I’m not running, I’m biking.  Today, I rode 8.4 miles.  And this with a slightly pulled butt muscle from my leg workout yesterday.

Yeah, I’m that klutzy.

I think it makes me more loveable!

%d bloggers like this: