Monday, July 30, 2007

Family and Computers

The other two computer-types in this family, my son and oldest daughter, are getting an older computer ready for use in its new location.

My wife and kids moved a computer into a more accessible spot in the house this morning, and about an hour ago my #1 daughter and son installed anti-malware software on the thing.

For the uninitiated, malware is stuff in a computer that gets picked up, generally on the Internet. Once this stuff gets into a computer, it causes trouble of one sort or another: very often, just by getting in the way.

Think of a big, none-too-bright, slow moving dolt in a busy factory or office, lumbering along aisles, peeping into cubicles, and leaning on equipment controls.

Back to my kids: So far, the new software has found 222 "Critical Objects:" things that could cause real trouble. And it's still running. The kids are impressed. So am I.

I like to think in goofy metaphors, and am about to write one down. This will be the last item in this blog entry, so feel free to skip it, if nonsense isn't quite your cup of tea.

The computer that my kids are working with is a little like a small town that had a police department that consisted of the man who ran the feed store and his dog.

The town grew into a small city, but still had the feed store owner and his dog as their entire police department. The only change was that the feed store was now a pet supply store.

Today, all that changed. A new Police Department building opened its doors, releasing 2nd-generation SWAT teams: wearing chrome armor, carrying Buck Rogers personal cannons, asking very polite but firm questions, and displaying all the warmth and humor of Arnold Schwarzenegger's Terminator.

I think they'll be more effective than the old department in protecting the 'city.'

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