Have You Seen My Desk Top?

The virus attacked on Saturday of last week. Nothing could stop it, and I tried. I had spyware protection. I had virus protection. I had firewalls. This Trojan Horse plowed through everything and shut me down for a week. The Geek Squad at Best Buy tried everything— but it was so deeply encrypted, so deeply malicious and maliciously smart, that it resisted every effort to eradicate it. Finally nothing was left but to erase everything from my computer and start over. I have all my files backed up on a flash drive so I wasn’t worried about losing a script or a syllabus, a short story or a novel.

However, my desk top is a mirror of myself. Its a mirror of my artistic, professional and personal self. There was order and reason in the arrangement of every icon: the right side had all my folders, the left had all my software. Each folder occupied its own geography on the blue space of my screen. Folders to the right of center were the most current, those in the upper right quadrant were archives. This positioning mirrored what was most current in my life, what was most important. It was literally a road map of my life. A portrait. It is one of the ways I define myself. I look at it, and see myself.

Last night when I finally brought home my computer I couldn’t face the emptiness and the task of rebuilding. This morning I move forward. It is not easy. It took hours rebuilding my computer back up to basic functionality. The invasion of this virus affected everything in my life for seven days. It stole my identity, it stole my time, and my money. The New York Times has written about this virus, people in corporations and businesses around the country are also being warned. For PC users with Microsoft (and who isn’t?), download every conceivable patch and update. Be vigilant.

In the meantime, I offer this curse to the hackers who are participating in the dissemination of this virus:

May you know what its like to have complete and utter disruption of your life from a malicious, anonymous source.

Brooklyn Heights resident LA Slugocki is a new contributor to BHB. Read her blog at http://www.laslugocki.blogspot.com.

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  • ABC

    A. don’t let your desktop define who you are. not even a little. that’s sad.
    B. get a mac
    C. lay off the online porn for a while.

  • AEB

    Deep sympathy. Heartfelt condolences. Really.

    One of the more bitter–or ironic–or both—aspects of modern life is the way that computer difficulties can take over one’s life, if only for the time required to get the problem solved.

    It really is down-the-rabbit-hole when one’s computer, which has become an extension of oneself, a link to so much, has A Problem.

    One emerges days later with, hopefully, restored confidence in the possibility of Order.

    Which itself lasts briefly, until the next glitch….

  • Carol Gardens

    I am not a computer expert by any means but I have Mac, which helps because there are not many viruses that are designed to mess up Macs. Also, I make what is called a bootable clone of my hard drive. It is stored on an external hard drive. This means that not only are the files stored there, but their arrangement and etc. So you can easily recreated the whole shebang. Don’t know exactly how you do that with a PC, but you could ask someone who knows about this stuff! (I use a Lacie external drive and SuperDuper software.) I am glad I finally started to back up properly and often in case of disaster.

  • anon

    Backup automatically via Mozy.com or Amerivault.com, or search mozy at NYTimes.com and you’ll see a long list of articles on various other backup companies and how easy it is to do.

    Now I just need to take my own advice…