# My brother's computer

1. Jul 19, 2004

### DarkAnt

This is a semi-humorous rant about my brother and his computer.

:rofl: I wanted to play a game with him so I went to move a .5gb file onto his shared folder. I get an error message saying that he had too much stuff in his folder. I look in the folder and I see all sorts of warez stuff, a manual on how to hack a game called gunbound, ect. I tell him to get rid of the stuff and it takes him 5mins. So I send the file again and halfway through it stops sending. So I ask him if his computer crashed. He said no so I waited another min and nothing happened. So I walk into his room and he's trying to block my view of his monitor that is obviously off. I said, "Your computer crashed didn't it?" and his response was, "No it didn't! I just turned off the monitor!". When I stopped laughing at him I told him to reboot his computer. He rebooted it and as soon as windows started up the popups started to fly. He then informs me we have to wait 20 mins for his computer to start up. I stared in disbelief as all these random, shady, programs boot up with windows and watch the hundred or so popups that flood the screen. He then tries to tell me that it was the first time this has ever happened since the last time I wiped his drives and reloaded windows. I just laughed at him some more. So the computer finally boots up and he clears away all the popups and junk. Then folders start popping up, I've never actually seen windows folders pop up. At least they looked like windows folders. So he closes this one folder again and again and finally gives up and leaves it open. He then proceeded to click on My Computer. As soon as he clicked on it his computer shut off, not shut down, just shut off. As funny as I find this I know that I'm the one who will end up fixing this , which makes it a little less funny. I've given him adaware, spybot, AVG antivirus and firefox. The kid is just an idiot when it comes to computers. So I'm thinking I should load fedora on his comp and leave it at that. And no, he does not get the root password.

2. Jul 19, 2004

### check

LoL. Reminds me of the time I was asked to fix a computer, only to find it infested with lots of spyware and gigabytes upon gigabytes of porn (really bad porn). I didn't feel like touching the computer anymore after that.

3. Jul 19, 2004

### BobG

Is that the freeware Spybot? How well does that work?

My sister-in-law has the same problem, thanks to her teenage daughter installing one of the 'free' music downloading programs. Naturally, that means she also installed the adware that comes bundled with those programs and her computer barely runs anymore.

My sister-in-law downloaded the Spybot program to try and clean it up, but I'm a little doubtful that it will really clean up her computer. I felt it was more likely the Spybot program would clean up all of its competitors adware only to make it easier for you to run the adware that must be bundled with Spybot in order to make it available for free. True? Or is it a clean program?

Considering I went through this around a year ago on my own computer, thanks to my boys installing a couple of music downloading programs plus free games, etc, I'm a little leery of any 'free' software. I wound up cleaning everything manually, a very tedious task considering I had to research a lot of the programs to figure out how to uninstall them. Took me nearly a month, but then I only worked on it a couple hours a day.

4. Jul 19, 2004

### check

Nope, Spybot and Ad-aware are truely free and don't have any spyware on them. It is clean and free made by people annoyed by all the spyware out there. Just give it a try, it's made my computer much cleaner and run much smoother.

5. Jul 19, 2004

### Math Is Hard

Staff Emeritus
I totally sympathize, DarkAnt - we deal with this every day at work (I'm in Info. Sys). Sometimes it's so bad we just have to re-image the machines because the computers have been rendered absolutely unusable by crap the user's have unwittingly downloaded. The worst cases are when I go to set up a profile on a machine for a new person who is replacing an employee who has left. There was a machine last week that I could barely even boot because the OS was being held hostage by the previous user's CASINO program, as well as spyware and viruses. Seriously - a CASINO program!!! Small wonder why that person is now gone.

6. Jul 19, 2004

### Zantra

Your best bet for this, assuming he has windows 2k/XP, is to lock down his system. Enable password protection on his system. Make yourself an adminstrator, create a regular account for him, and lock down everything. You can set it up so nothing can be installed on the system unless you're logged in as adminstrator. The how to of that is more detailed that I'll get into here, but it sounds like it would be well worth the effort. You can lockout access to the registry, add/remove programs, dos mode,make it so he can't run certain programs, and just about anything that would let him muck it up.

7. Jul 19, 2004

### Moonbear

Staff Emeritus
I hate it when idiots get ahold of computers. Those are the days when you just want to take the advice of Dilbert (cartoon character) and hand that person an etch-a-sketch and tell them it's a computer. I had to clean up a former employee's computer once too (all I had intended to do was upgrade the OS and update the software before a new person started)...took me I think two hours to get the computer started...when she left, there were about 2000 email messages saved on her computer that ALL were set to open to the desktop for some reason. You can imagine how slow it was trying to delete them (and that was after yanking the network connection out of the wall so it would STOP loading more emails!).

Perhaps your best bet for your brother's computer is to disconnect the mouse and keyboard from the computer, run a screensaver that looks like pop-ups opening (since he seems to think this is completely normal), and tell him to just keep waiting until the pop-ups are done loading before doing anything else :-)

8. Jul 19, 2004

### Monique

Staff Emeritus
That's too funny

my sis works magic with computers and just blindly agrees to everything she downloads.. internet explorer was TAKEN OVER! by those search toolbars, chat servers, games sites everything was set to load and become active with the startup of the computer, what a mess!

At my job if you were caught downloading something, anything, doesn't matter how legitimate, you would loose your internet and email privileges for a month that sure did the job.

9. Jul 19, 2004

### Math Is Hard

Staff Emeritus
Not a bad idea. We are thinking about implementing a policy that states if we (MIS dept.) have to re-image a user's computer more than once, then we will charge their department $50 each time we have to do it again. I'm at a university, so we do this type of "recharging" for services between departments for various things. With Active Directory in place, we get could pretty Draconian if we had to, (remove installer privileges, only allow certain apps to be run) but I think everyone wants to try to avoid that. Still, it's really frustrating to deal with the "repeat offenders". 10. Jul 19, 2004 ### Euphoriet Install Mandrake on it.... it will do the job. 11. Jul 19, 2004 ### Moonbear Staff Emeritus Might work better if you charged the individual user who keeps screwing up the computer! The person who's computer I had to clean of emails is the one who I think prompted one of our other service cores to start charging for technical help after a limited number of training hours...if it had a plug attached to it, she could screw it up! I'm very glad she's someone else's problem now 12. Jul 19, 2004 ### dduardo Staff Emeritus Install Linux with OpenLDAP (instead of active directory) or Samba (with active directory). The only write access the user should have is in their folder. If you want to be ultra paranoid you can use EVMS to create a volume snapshot and do a rollback if the user somehow manages to screw up their folder. 13. Jul 19, 2004 ### Moonbear Staff Emeritus :uhh: Can anyone translate that into English? See, that's the sad thing, I don't think I'm all that knowledgeable when it comes to computers, yet I still seem to be the only one capable of fixing my co-worker's messes! You sound like the folks who put together a website for uploading powerpoint talks for an upcoming conference. They highly encourage Mac users to upload them early since they are going to be using Windows platform and this gives the organizers a chance to check in advance for compatibility issues...but...they then set up the website so it's not particularly compatible with uploading files from Macs, give these instructions that don't quite sound like English to me, provide a broken link to a site for software you need to make the upload, which I then tracked down via google and turns out it isn't freeware :grumpy: Bah! If they require me to pay for software to upload to their website (10 days in advance of my talk no less! Nobody is THAT prepared!) :grumpy: :grumpy: I'm going to have to be difficult. Sure, I COULD locate a PC and upload from that, but it's much, much more fun to ask the tech support person 10,000 questions until they realize this was a dumb idea and never ever do it this way again 14. Jul 19, 2004 ### dduardo Staff Emeritus Moonbear, you should tell the pepple running the conferences to use pdf as the standard document format. PDFs are great because they look same everywhere and you can get a reader and writer for every major operating system for free. Saving the files as proprietary ppt is just dumb, especially when everyone has a different computer setup. Also, what type of special software would you need to upload a file to a website? If the people setting up the system were smart they would have a web form that allows people to upload files. They could also setup an ftp server and have you upload your files through there. 15. Jul 19, 2004 ### Moonbear Staff Emeritus Best I can tell, that's the problem, it has something to do with using an ftp server that isn't compatible with Macs, so you need to get some sort of FTP client software (they recommended Fetch, which has a$25 user fee...not going to break my bank, but it's a matter of principle that I don't want to buy software just because they couldn't be bothered to set up their website to be compatible with more than one platform).

Though, using software that isn't consistent across platforms can be fun. I attended one presentation a few years back where a few images in a presentation showed up as lovely red X's...the presenter had a sense of humor and as soon as the X showed up, dead-panned with "Oh, that's too bad, that was an image of the most amazing data ever shown in a scientific presentation, now you're just going to have to trust me on that." He then just explained it was a cute picture of the species of animal he was studying.

I don't trust their website to actually work anyway, so will be bringing along at least two forms of back-up with both ppt and pdf formats to make sure I can get it loaded onto their computers when the server goes down in the middle of the conference (just this gut feeling I have). You should see the typos on their site! Very UNprofessional looking. But, I doubt they could explain to people how to convert everything to PDF format...this is the same group of people who last year didn't understand the difference between a powerpoint show and powerpoint presentation (we asked they save them to pps format to make it faster to open their talks, most didn't).

I've actually run into problems converting ppt into pdf's...when images were flipped from the original orientation, the conversion flipped them all back (had fun trying to figure this one out over the phone with a journal editor who kept telling me the labels were in the wrong places and I stared at it on my computer and didn't see what she meant...had to send hard copies to sort it out and get her to fix it on their computers). Then again, that WAS a powerpoint file created by the same postdoc who left all her email on the desktop :-\ (Don't even ask me why she put all the images into powerpoint when you can create much nicer figures in photoshop...probably because she didn't know how to use photoshop).

16. Jul 19, 2004

### chroot

Staff Emeritus
There's no such thing (to my knowledge) as an ftp server that's incompatible with Macs. FTP is a well-defined standard. Any server which properly implements the standard will work with any client which properly instruments the standard. Also, MacOS X is based on BSD unix, and almost assuredly includes an ftp client out of the box -- though it may be command-line only.

- Warren

17. Jul 19, 2004

### dduardo

Staff Emeritus
Ftp client software isn't anything special. You can find tons of free clients very easily on the net. If your running OS X you can go into the command prompt and type:

ftp <server name>

It will then prompt you with a username and password. You can then type:

put <location/filename>

If you want to download a file from the ftp server use the command:

get <location/filename>

When your all done just type quit.

As for the flipped image thing, it must be a MS Office problem. I use OpenOffice and that never has happened to me.

18. Jul 20, 2004

### The Bob

My computer crashed a while ago and it was only because my Dad wouldn't let me on it. 'You are going to brake it more'. How can I brake a broken computer Dad?

SpyBot is good. I have it. Saves time looking for the file which contains the popups.

19. Jul 20, 2004

### Monique

Staff Emeritus
You can convert a ppt presentation to a pdf!?

20. Jul 20, 2004

### dduardo

Staff Emeritus
Monique, of course you can. The best way is to use PDFCreator.

This is the main site:
http://sector7g.wurzel6.de/pdfcreator/index.htm

And these are the files you need: