Tuesday, 3 March 2009

The Norton dependency.

He's was really sick for about a month. I tried what i could but I simply couldnt find out what was wrong with him. The Doctor with The Yellow-Black Badge tried his best but he simply hung his head in defeat. The virus had indeed infected him...my laptop was really infected.
W32.Grenail!D - that was the final diagnosis. I had hoped Norton, The Doctor with The Yellow-Black Badge, would be able to fix that bug. It simply gave me continous alerts about the virus, reminding me everyday of what my poor laptop was going through.

Jokes aside...this crap was no joke. I've spent days hunting through the wild jungles of computer forums(or fora) for some solution. Zilch. I finally decided to contact Norton Support Centre. I have had the 'honor' to use their services once before and their service charges made me realise that it wasnt worth bothering.
This time though I knew what exactly was the problem. The infection seemed to be in two system files(/system32/spoolsv.exe and /system32/smlogsvc.exe). I just wanted to know why norton was being able to get rid of these(Yes i did try doing live update and scanning in safe mode; norton didnt even detect the infection). Detection occured only in normal winXp mode. So I explained the situation to my outsourced service guy(an indian btw...surprise) and he said i need to pay 100€ beacuse they need to sweep the registry and make necessary changes. I tried telling him that the infection had been contained to these files. But he seemed to be programmed to say nothing else other than offering the option of paid services.

This is the second-time Norton dissappointed me. Some more weird facts:
1. I scanned my system using online scanner offered by other Anti-Virus Programs like Kaspersky, McAfee and even Norton Online Scanner. None detected anything wrong with the files(even norton didnt!!!)

2. The Anti-Virus program ranks the virus as a 'high risk' although Norton says the Virus is 'low threat, easily removable and easily containable' on their website.

I'm pretty convinced that Norton is best Anti-Virus. But I just dont get their money-making attitude. Every good company has a certain commitment to their customers. Sad that Norton doesn't

For the infected patients:

Trial and error payed off. Start the system in safe mode and change the filenames(e.g temp_spoolsv.exe). This has to be done in safe mode otherwise the file simply copies itself again and remains in the folder(even when system restore is disabled). Then run system scan and norton takes care of the rest. I havent had any more detection for about 10 days now. Dont forget to change back your filenames otherwise your printer is gonna give you some attitude. I really dont think that this solution is worth a 100€.

For itune fans:

I recently came across the best itunes replacement ever. Songbird. Its powered by mozilla and is ofcourse a freeware. It has a amazing inventory of really cool addons(media flow, lyric master, last.fm album art) and its got an integrated web browser too. I simply loved it because of the addons. I hated itunes because of the extra apple processes that ran in the background robbing my cpu. And Songbird can speak iPod too!


For music downloaders:

For those who get a bad conscience when it come to downloading music without paying, let me tell you about Last Sharp. Its a music grabber which gets music from Last.fm, a simply great music site. i found it so much better than itunes store(you get to hear almost all songs in full length for free). You can either buy it or use Last Sharp to grab songs running on Last.fm radio channels. And the best part- this is legal. At least in germany. so have fun!


Logos Courtesy:




Sunday, 1 March 2009

Blood is thicker than water?

I've had quite a few incidents recently which have made me wonder about the different relationships that we make in our lives; relatives, friends, girl/boyfriend, colleagues, that hot-chick-next-door :-) Although some of us might taken it for granted, all these relationships have a very important role to play in our lives.
My friends have always been the most important people in my life. I dont have siblings and I could never really 'relate' to my relatives. They somehow always seemed too different. I've always had the luck to have great friends and they were always family to me. I never really knew how awfully good or what horrible stress it can be to have siblings. Until recently. This made me think about how some friends can be closer than siblings one has known for ever and how some siblings can be worse than worst friends.

-complete strangers who we run into in the bizzare journey called life; strangers who then become true companions, sharing our lows and highs, shedding tears during our sorrow and shouting their hearts out during our joys, questioning our logic when we're about to make mistakes again but always there to pull us out of the pits we fall into.

- shared a womb, shared parents, shared possessions and sometimes fought with each other for that 'better' toy the other one had. Known each other for ages and yet, sometimes, grow up to live like complete strangers trying to ignore each other's existance. I've seen siblings who cant stand each other;hate do do things together, fight over money or property, blame each other for the silliest of things. Yet even they share a strange bond which, at times of need, makes them look out for each other.

Relatives - those people who come to visit during festive gettogethers or suddenly show up when some important decisions have to be taken; financial or otherwise. They are supposed to be family, I was told. I found most of mine worse than strangers; I dont know if only my relatives are so. But they are always their to give one a certain sense of belonginess.

What makes 'strangers' to friends and become a part of our life? What makes siblings or relatives, the so called family, behave like they couldnt care less?
Is it because we get to choose our friends and not relatives? Is it because we mostly have friends who are more or less like ourselves but the relatives often just too different?

I've had bad experiences with close friends in the past; backstabbing, lies, taking advantage - there have been quite some unpleasant memories. But at end of every friendship that went wrong, I could atleast tell myself that they were after all just strangers. But what about when you're own family lets you down?
I've seen enough people chose family over friends without considering what their friends have done for them. 'He/She is my family... ' seems to be a quite a common and unfair excuse.

Is this fair? Shouldnt the people, who really care for us, be the ones who deserve our affection? Is it fair that some people, who have nothing in common with us other than the surname, enjoy right to interfere in our lives?
Blood is indeed thicker than water, but let that not be the philiosophy while deciding whom to have around us.

The Innocence
This is an old sketch i made about 4 years back. Think i'll be starting with sketching again. Learning oil painting now...it's pretty messy :-D