Friday, April 18, 2008

Vista and McAfee Woes

Talked about forever, rumors and promises mixed together, and finally SP1 came out as a regular update. I took a deep breath and held it; the anxious tension making my heart race and my palms sweat. What have I to fear? My reasoning self-assurance was of no comfort. Then I clicked the update button. Not long after I discovered the need to breath; this was going to take quite some time. I waited, watched, and dutifully did what I was told. Trust? Not really but, I do have faith in Restore Point. That was a good idea well implemented.

At first glance, everything seemed to be alright, which is suspicious in itself. This is Windows Vista: temperamental at best; a nightmare more often than not. Why must they insist upon reseting all of my desired settings to their own ludicrous defaults? Only I know what is best for me and my PC, not Microsoft! Even my Hotmail account was dysfunctional for several days, and I didn't know about it until all of the backlogged messages burst through at once. What has that to do with SP1? Who knows, maybe it's just a coincidence. Why are there no "lemon laws" for software, particularly operating systems? Ironically, I went to msconfig to lock out all future updates; now I won't be tempted to allow the tyrant "one last chance".

Realize that all of my security applications were disabled for the install, as recommended of course. So, the first discoveries occurred immediately following restart. As I attempted to re-secure my system. My replacement choice for the resource hungry McAfee Security Suite included ClamWin AV which would no longer load due to some esoteric error which I did not think to record. With no suitable alternative at the ready, I was forced to re-install McAffee. Now, which of the remaining security applications must remain disabled to avoid internal bickering? Ah yes, the Comodo firewall I had been training for weeks. And naturally, the on-access scanner added due to the lack thereof within ClamWin.

Due to a previous issue with the McAfee "Quick Clean" which required a re-install, I knew that SpyBot would be reported as incompatible and "...must be un-installed prior to..." This is simply NOT TRUE! They can be taught to play nice with each other and make a very nice team; each one senses and reports a little differently in accordance with their parameters. Sometimes they report together but, generally one or the other finds something amiss. Therefore, I left SpyBot and TeaTimer unloaded while I got McAfee back on-line. Next was Comodo Anti-Malware which would have reported and stopped the install but, works wonderfully in the background otherwise.

Somewhere along the line KeyScrambler got knocked out; MetaCrawler flawlessly pulled up the necessary page for a quick and painless re-install. What I did not know was whether there would be issues with CCleaner and Total Privacy 5 as they were added to the mix without McAfee's presence. Proper set-up with each cleaner is essential to both proper operation and clean start-ups and shut-downs. CCleaner is set to run at start-up as soon as it is loaded, then shut down; this works out fine because McAfee loads first and keeps control until it is finished. TP5 is set to load to the system tray in anticipation of an eventual shut-down; Vista recognizes and waits for TP5 to finish prior to actual shut-down. SpyBot has a delayed run option which is wonderful as this application takes even longer to load and run than CCleaner. The two of them fight over resources when started together which makes boot-up even slower than waiting three minutes for everything else to finish.

As a final tweak I have disabled every available splash screen except SpyBot. All of the others will appear in the system tray should I be wondering about progress. The final indicator of imminent start-up is the three minute SpyBot timer; this will take several minutes to update and run then, I'm good to go once again. Everything is now updated, cleaned, and standing at the ready...

"In the true Literary Man there is thus ever, acknowledged or not by the world, a sacredness: he is the light of the world; the world's Priest; guiding it, like a sacred Pillar of Fire, in its dark pilgrimage through the waste of Time."

-Thomas Carlyle

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"There's no reason to treat software any differently from other products. Today Firestone can produce a tire with a single systemic flaw and they're liable, but Microsoft can produce an operating system with multiple systemic flaws discovered per week and not be liable. This makes no sense, and it's the primary reason security is so bad today."
Bruce Schneier, Cryptogram, 16/04/2002

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"In studying the history of the human mind one is impressed again and again by the fact that the growth of the mind is the widening of the range of consciousness, and that each step forward has been a most painful and laborious achievement. One could almost say that nothing is more hateful to man than to give up even a particle of his unconsciousness. Ask those who have tried to introduce a new idea!"
Carl Jung
Swiss psychologist (1875 - 1961)

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V.O.I.D. evolved in my sleep; becoming a waking dream which was then compounded by intuitive leaps. Formerly known as "w2w_Webfly's World" this site became the centerpiece of my socio-economic network. As such, the webfly persona no longer served as an iconoclastic representation of what I do here in CyberVille. I am still w2w_Webfly on many sites and will stay such for a while; perhaps gradually shifting screen names to w2wScribe. An attempt to establish an AIM profile registered the name but, not the profile. Ready, fire AIM.
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