We were in Atlanta visiting my in-laws a couple of weeks ago and one of my tasks was to deal with a major intrusion onto my mother-in-law’s Windows computer. She certainly had no need for pop-up windows offering her soft porn.
I tried to engage my geek son Mark in discussing this issue but he wouldn’t engage…was boring to his sweetheart Chris…and he told me to blog it. Here we go.
My technical skills under Windows are dated. So I struggled through, back and forth between Control Panel (which seems to become worse and worse to navigate) and searches on Google and Bing. (If Bing is to succeed it should be the dominant search engine for Windows, but not yet true.)
The problem I surmise was my mother-in-law downloaded a Firefox distribution not directly from Mozilla. On April 30. And tried to recover from that disaster on May 16 further piling on. It took roughly six hours but I was able to eradicate all the evil that had set in.
All of this reminds me why Windows is simply unacceptable. Why have an operating system where programs are installed with their own uninstaller, that the distributor writes and makes uninstalling impossible. Contrast OS X, drag the application to the trash and empty the trash. That Internet Explorer allows add-ins where the distributor can prevent removal/disablement. That major anti-spam/virus/malware engines allow anything that is putatively useful (ad-ware as a specific example). And did I mention fake McAfee anti-virus as part of this mess. That the registry even exists prevents simple technical solutions and make Windows particularly non-consumer friendly.