Posted by: njs44 | January 14, 2010

Ubuntu to the rescue

A few days ago (Skating on thin ice on 11th Jan) I mentioned that my daughter’s laptop had caught a virus. Fortunately a helpful friend, who knows about these things, suggested a solution. It involved downloading Ubuntu (free) from the internet, and then making a CD from it. This involved downloading a couple of other bits and pieces, and doing an impressive thing called a 128-bit cryptographic hash. When I read that term I thought it would be so cool to tell people I had done this and promised myself I would find a way to drop it into a conversation somehow.

The point of Ubuntu is that it enabled us to start up the infected laptop without using Windows (where the infection was) and download the essential files onto a USB Stick. Having done this we can wipe the entire thing and start again. What is even more impressive is that we found all the installation discs for said laptop, a small miracle since it once belonged to the other daughter and none of us is very good at remembering where we have put important things.

In the end we may even keep Ubuntu as the Operating System as the geeks tell us that it is far more able to resist viruses than Windows. We still don’t know how the virus got there in the first place. There was talk of a Trojan Horse, but the laptop was using AVG Anti-virus protection and we thought that would be enough.

The upshot of all this is that we have promised ourselves to do more back-ups and to have a tidy up of our files. Good deeds sometimes happen following disasters, and who would have thought two women could have had such fun playing with computer things?

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