19 Nov '02

Posted by Jerry Tue, Nov 19 '02

Geez! Note to self: Next time, NEVER, EVER, EVER execute a program that has a corny filename that applies not to its intended function as advertised on website, read, hacking website. A coupla days ago I downloaded a hack for my FlashCatcher just so the bloody trial version won’t keep popping up a bloody annoying message reminding me for the umpteenth time that the damned thingy shall expire after the n-th time of use. Sod it.

And so the very, very anti-shareware anti-payware anti-non-free-stuff me set out, armed with nothing but my trusty Google search engine, venturing out into the dark realms of hackers, warez and virii, and after a frantic search, downloaded some file uninterestingly named “file.exe”. Suspicious. Me being a security-cautious PC user, the file was passed through stringent scans of PC-cillin, just in case it was some hostile worm ready to trash my Compaq laptop and convert it into a piece of scrap metal.

And so Pc-cillin reassured me that “No file virus detected“, and so I gleefully booted up the program. And waited. And glared when nothing seems to happen. And ran it again. and glowered at my LCD screen, swear words already hanging by the tongue-tip, ever ready to lash out viciously. But the natural peace-loving Virgo in me, well, prevented intended destruction upon the hapless unarmed little files residing in the same folder. And so with a sigh, I got back to Google, got myself a decent and most importantly, functioning lil’ crack, which got rid of the annoying little “Purchase me” pleas that’d keep getting on my nerves once and for all. Good riddance that is.

But, what’s the old saying again… Trouble comes in pairs? Apparently little file.exe did serve a purpose although it didn’t crack anything as I wanted it to… instead unknown to me it sneaked in some kinda “Helper app”, or more referred to discreetly as “spyware” by haters all over the Net. Doesn’t sound serious huh? Now consider this, every time whenever I surf to a non-existant website, instead of the good ol’ No. 404 Page Not Found error IE will be rerouted to some idiotic site that patethically seems to be trying to serve as a search engine ala web portal extra-ordinaire, together with an incredibly idiotic popup that, well, popup’s to remind me with another incredibly idiotic message: “Popups are annoying. Get rid of em!” Hell, I don’t need any reminding! To make things even worse, some programmer with oatmeal and bran for brains left a stupid loop bug in the app’s code that, every now and then IE will suddenly launch itself into an onslaught of non-stopping self-cloned popups, thus effectively crashing down the OS, forcing me to cold reboot the laptop… Geez. Repeat process x N times per day, and voila! Instant formulae for causing nervous breakdowns. Someone should really patent this stuff. i>smirk

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