Taking a break / Proving my dad wrong :-P (in Public Record)

RedWolf November 20 2005 4:27 PM EST

Long story short, I will not be signing into CB for quite a while.

My dad thinks the reason our computer is so slow is because CB is making it slow. He thinks all the money, stats, and stuff is saved on OUR computer somewhere, and no matter how many times I try to explain, he doesn't get it.

So to prove him wrong, I will not be playing CB. Maybe when the computers performance doesn't improve, he'll understand that CB doesn't do a thing to our computer. :-)

...or does it? o.0 if there IS in fact a risk to our computer by playing CB, I would most certainly like to know about it. But then that might mean I'd have to leave CB for good.

This also means no Trivia for a while :-P and I don't want anybody running a Trivia session without my knowing. But if someone goes against this and does one anyways (we live in dishonest times) I would at least like to know who ran it, what questions they used. who played, and how many points each person got. I am keeping track of all that stuff, and it just wouldn't do to have a blank spot in my log.

Of course, since I love CB so much and can't live more than a couple days without listening to Gun's smart remarks, I might drop by a couple minutes when my dad's not around. Not too often though, so don't be expecting me :-P

Hope I'm not missed too much by you folks in np, or by my regular Trivia players. I won't be gone longer than a month, promise :-)

AdminShade November 20 2005 4:29 PM EST

pages or things of CB are only saved on your pc in its cache, teach your dad how to clear it and tell him that everything is removed then.

and if he doesn't see any speed improvement, tell him it has to be something else, like bad hard disk drive maintanance or so.

QBOddBird November 20 2005 4:32 PM EST

aw, no Trivia. I've been looking forward to doing that again for a long time, and then you go off and leave. =(

I hope you come back sooner!

Pummel November 20 2005 4:38 PM EST

gather the information to prove him wrong! (which he obviously is)

Special J November 20 2005 6:05 PM EST

Send your father back to college, perhaps he might catch up to technology.

Bootsanator November 20 2005 6:18 PM EST

i hate it when parents just Don't Get technology, and then refuse to listen to you when Clearly you're the one who knows what is going on

QBRanger November 20 2005 6:39 PM EST


I beg to disagree.

What mrwuss posted was not degrading anyone. He was just informing Redwolf, perhaps a few courses at the local CC might help him gather enough knowledge to understand the situation.

Tooth Fairy November 20 2005 6:57 PM EST

Yeah, mrwuss has said much more callused <-- (how ever you
spell that word) than that!

HellBlender November 20 2005 7:47 PM EST

This sounds vaguely familiar to the fights my little brother and my dad would get into, so don't feel too bad.

I would come back home every 1 or 3 months and discover that the family pc was unknowingly one of the hardest working computers on the internet. You know the type, you run adaware on it and getting 200+ items is normal, not to mention having several trojans and viruses.

Anyway, my dad would blame my bro because he would play games on it. My bro didn't know any better so he stopped playing. Magically the computer would still be a pile of poo. I put a firewall on it but when I returned a couple of months later, I found out that was worthless because my dad would just say 'yes' to anything requesting internet access (My brother was in boot camp during this time so he had no access). I taught my dad how to find the processes running and to google them to see if they were friend or foe. He discovered that kazaa and the free software he downloaded from it were a big part of the problem. I kinda felt like dad had taken the kid role and I as the dad was so proud of him for figuring it out.

Not saying that this is what's wrong with your computer, but I'm very confident that carnageblender is definitely not it.

Bootsanator November 20 2005 8:34 PM EST

that sounds exactly like how i help lots of my friends with their computers. so many people have no idea what they are doing with their computers.

Maelstrom November 20 2005 9:03 PM EST

HellBlender, that must be the longest post I've ever seen from you! ;)

RedWolf, have you run AdAware or virus/trojan checkers on the computer? If the computer is slow, I can almost guarantee that you have something of that sort on the computer.

Of course, it might also help to run the "disk cleanup" tool and defragment the hard drive. Those help to improve performance...

Special J November 20 2005 9:16 PM EST

if your father is like mine then you indeed need to run adaware and spybot on the computer to get rid of the items that were installed.

also show your father how to use Firefox

Gilgamesh2090 [NCB Shop] November 21 2005 1:00 AM EST

sounds like more memory needs to be installed :)

Special J November 21 2005 1:10 AM EST

Memory is not the answer to everything.

I have 3GB of Ram, and if I installed the crap thats on the internet it would fall over and die.

Recently had to clean some nasty things from my father's computer.

go go vx2!

Gilgamesh2090 [NCB Shop] November 21 2005 1:16 AM EST

Probably not it, but it could be the hard drive. It is not healthy for the drive to have greater than 60% its space used at one time. For a battery of several tests go here:
PC Pitstop
This is a good site (CNET sponsored) to various components of your computer (including internet connection)

AdminShade November 21 2005 6:09 AM EST

pcmark and 3dmark are quite good tests also.

Tezmac November 21 2005 9:27 AM EST

Just out of curiosity, do you have a source for this?

"It is not healthy for the drive to have greater than 60% its space used at one time." Gilgamesh2090

I've been doing IT for a long time and have never heard this. So if you have a 300 GB drive, it's bad for the drive once you use more than 180 GB of it?

Sorry for the hijack.

BrandonLP November 21 2005 9:28 AM EST

Something tells me he doesn't.

Maelstrom November 21 2005 9:39 AM EST

The windows defragmenter says you need something like 10-15% free space on a drive in order to run the utility - I'd say that it makes much more sense to keep your hard drive use under that amount.

60% is just crazy - what a waste!

BrandonLP November 21 2005 9:49 AM EST

Well, you should have a sizable amount for swap space and such, but 60% is an extreme number.

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] November 21 2005 11:52 AM EST

Who the hell care what a broken OS like dows wants...it's gonna suck and run slow no matter how much space you leave open...

BrandonLP November 21 2005 1:37 PM EST

That's a very generalized statement that really wasn't backed up by any fact. You also need to define "running slow." If you mean "not as efficiently as other OSes," then say that.

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] November 21 2005 1:43 PM EST

If your windows box is running slowly, it has virtually nothing to do with how much stuff is on your hard drive. Yes if you have a system with low real physical memory, optimising your HD might make a difference, but no where near the difference upgrading your ram would. The real likely hood is that your box like everyone else running windows, is infected with a host of spyware/malware, download Spybot-Search and Destroy, and Adaware (maybe the Microsoft spyware prog as well), run weekly. You'll find that this does a heck of a lot more than fiddling with your HD.

Brandon: windows would still suck even if I didn't have a reason.

Tezmac November 21 2005 1:48 PM EST

"windows would still suck even if I didn't have a reason."

Please tell me why it sucks. Im very curious. I need reasons backed up with fact, not your opinion.

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] November 21 2005 3:10 PM EST

If this kid was running a Mac his dad wouldn't have had the chance to complain.
Having a windows box directly accessing the net seems to produce consistant results in my mind, give a box a week of normal web surfing, add in some random downloading via horrifying P2P services, and maybe pop's surfing a couple of "adult" sites here and there. Whammo in slightly more time than it took for a normal family to setup the computer, it's useless. Not to mention the fact that the DSL they pay for is now being used by spamco1 24/7 to relay spam. Windows sucks.

Special J November 21 2005 3:40 PM EST

I hear this all the time, and no one understands why windows is hit so much.

More people run a windows based system, the virus writers want to cause problems large scale. If you wanted to cause problems on a large scale, would you write a virus for MAC?

No, because if you did you would be wasting your time.

And the rootkits out there for NIX systems go without notice because the NIX geeks don't want anyone to know they were infected, they lose all their NIX geek points at slashdot.

So, no, Windows does not does not suck, people suck. If you are not protecting yourself when on the internet then what do you expect? Downloading crap from untrusted sources is your own fault. And the browser doesn't matter either, just think back a couple months when firefox had a VERY bad exploit discovered and it was suggested you not use it until the hotfix was put out.

Stop, think and get your facts from more than slashdot.

Tezmac November 21 2005 3:47 PM EST

mrwuss summed it up nicely for me. Gotta love the *nix fanboys who know nothing of which they speak. Not that there's anything with *nix though, I run both :O)

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] November 21 2005 4:10 PM EST

Wuss, so the excuse for why windows is a raw gaping hole is that there are so many people using it? Bleh.

You'd think that M$ could have made a even a mediocre attempt at producing a plausably secure OS (one that with a minimum of fixes could be allowed out of doors without a bubble) with the billions of dollars they have made selling substandard ones. If your *nix box gets rooted because you failed to maintain it, yes of course that's your problem. But when Joe user buys Windos Pr0 2006, by god I should hope he doesn't have to spend a day locking down the system. This kid isn't dumb, he's just a kid, same for his dad. Expecting average users to be able to secure a system is stupid.

Tezmac November 21 2005 4:33 PM EST

You totally missed the point, surprise surprise.

The Windows OS is absolutely fine when it comes out of the box. It has a decent built in firewall and only really lacks an antivirus program of sorts. Sounds exactly like what you get when you buy your favorite flavor of *nix doesn't it? Put a router with a built in firewall in front of it and you are as secure as you need to be.

Id like for you to describe to me what takes "hours" that you need to do to secure a Windows box that you don't have to do to your *nix box.

When I deploy Windows boxes the only thing I have to do is install an antivirus as the domain controller forces the boxes to automatically receive updates. So I'm not really sure what is taking you hours to do, care to expand?

The problem lies in the user and what lies out on the net. As more people use Windows, its only reasonable to assume that there will be more computer illiterate people using it. The malicious people on the net know that most people are running Windows, so what do they do? They write their malicious software to mess with Windows PCs. If everyone was running Suse you better believe that people would be writing their "software" to screw with that OS instead.

The number of computer users out there that claim *nix is the best thing since sliced bread is amazing because all they can usually come back with is "well Windows is the sux0rs."

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] November 21 2005 4:40 PM EST

I will completely admit my own biased, bigoted nature, if in return you admit that it's stupid to release an OS without the basic tools nessesary to deal with the average users problems. I am not in fact saying that an average user would be better served using a FreeNIX, however I will say that my level of frustration in dealing with a Mac is signifigantly lower than my dows box.

It takes me at least a few hours of downloading and installation to update, and secure a stand alone home windows box, for an average user it's just insurmountable. Without paying upwards of 100 bucks an hour (granted in many place I hope it's much lower) for a tech to come out to your house and re-install, there isn't a decent way to even clean up an infected windows box for most people...back to the restore disc, and at least 8 hours of downloading and installing.

BrandonLP November 21 2005 4:47 PM EST

Securing Windows for Dummies:

Part I --

Windows: Would you like to use our built-in firewall?

User: Yes.

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] November 21 2005 5:12 PM EST

completely ignoring the fact that 90% of the problems are downloaded onto the box and connect the other way round...

BrandonLP November 21 2005 5:16 PM EST

So you're saying that if I buy a new car and never replace the oil, it's the cars fault for "sucking?"

If you're going to purchase a PC and put Windows on it, you should take the necessary precautions to secure it. No, it doesn't take countless hours. If Mac was as popular as Windows, we'd have the same issues with a different OS. Windows machines are targeted because they're the majority. But seriously, if you're going to invest in a machine and an OS, you might as well invest in some tools to keep them safe.

Since when did hand holding and life become the same thing?

Tezmac November 21 2005 5:46 PM EST

I'd rather have to spend 2 minutes once or twice (sometimes 3 times) a week getting my AUTOMATIC updates than have to dish out $129 every year when Apple release a new version of their OS. Can you imagine the backlash if M$ had charged for the SP1 and SP2 updates for XP?

But you still haven't said what takes hours to secure a Windows box. You mentioned downloading updates, are you downloading over 56k and having to sit there and watch it while it does its thing? Is this the excruciating labor of which you speak?

Like I said, turn on the built in firewall, install antivirus, begin using.

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] November 21 2005 5:55 PM EST

ok here is a walkthrough then.

I arrive at friends house, they tell me the dows box they have is running slow (again). I download and install, AVG, Spybot, Ad-aware, and Hijack this.
Running scans takes approx two hours for AVG, and a half hour each for Spybot and Ad-aware. Another half hour uninstalling leftover spyware crap, Limewire, etc. In a corp enviroment that's not that bad, since you have serious automation in place. I haven't even included the time it takes to get SP2 installed, which 90% of home users don't even have. Automatic updates are cute, and good in theory. However I don't see them doing much for the average home user I deal with.

Tezmac November 21 2005 5:57 PM EST

"I arrive at friends house, they tell me the dows box they have is running slow (again). I download and install, AVG, Spybot, Ad-aware, and Hijack this.
Running scans takes approx two hours for AVG, and a half hour each for Spybot and Ad-aware. Another half hour uninstalling leftover spyware crap, Limewire, etc. "

How is ANY of that Microsoft's fault? Sounds like ESTO to me. (Equipment Superior to Operator).

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] November 21 2005 5:58 PM EST

because it's the basic design flaw of ths OS that leads to this mess...

Special J November 21 2005 6:01 PM EST

and what design flaw is that

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] November 21 2005 6:06 PM EST

Seperation of the user from what is actually happening, allowing the OS to make changes and choices without your OK. Just think if the mechanism for opening a document was different from opening a program, it'd certainly slow down a good number of viri and trojans I've seen. The fact that without so much as a beer fart windows can and will accept a good number of malicious programms. No respectable attempts at keeping programs from hatefully mucking with ever last corner of your system.

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] November 21 2005 6:07 PM EST

enough with this religious war...I just had to put my vi vrs. emacs shirt away.

I hope someone actually explained to this poor kid how to clean up his box.

Tezmac November 21 2005 6:12 PM EST

Well, if it was only a problem with M$, then why would
Macs need software like this?

I'd imagine most OS's are subject to security holes if the users are incompetent enough to let it happen.

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] November 21 2005 6:16 PM EST

Tez, that's a singular product, I've been looking for a scanner for Mac for a while so thanks for the link. Every other Mac viri scanner I've seen was mainly used just to keep Mac users from forwarding windows viri along...

Special J November 21 2005 6:19 PM EST

You just don't get it, do you?

You are a MAC Fanboi, every system as a flaw, it is people who exploit that flaw. The flaw is corrected and they find a new one, if more of the general public used MAC/NIX then we would be having a discussion about how MAC/NIX is ruining the computer world.

I am not a religious fanatic about anything, much less windows, I just don't like to see people state the things you have stated because they read slashdot yesterday and installed software which does all the real work on a friend's computer who was stealing software/music from the internet with limewire/kazaa/whatever, your friend deserves to have his computer taken away.

If you have spyware on your computer it is because you clicked yes, or have active X turned to not prompt, or you installed something that comes with it.

Microsoft is not ruining the world, gladly they have VERY sketchy practices, but the software they churn out is much better when you "change the oil". 90% of the software created is done on a windows system only, some companies produce a Mac port and the NIX creates something like wine, which as been in beta since the wheel was invented.

I never read a computer manuel yet that said worry free operation.

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] November 21 2005 6:58 PM EST

I miss the days when I was a Mac fan boy...hackamac.com and all the like...easy to be secure without any services...

The idea that the average user deserves the spyware they are infected with makes me more than a little angry I have to say. I realize that a lot of spyware is gotten by behaving like a sailor on leave somewhere seemy. I also have seen spyware come from things as simple as loggin into hotmail. I gave a list of the most common examples I've seen, not the only ones. It is the design of windows in particular that has made malware so easy to make money off of.
An os should come with the tools to let you see what is actually happening on your box, windows just doesn't have that.

I don't like the way mickey soft develops software, period.

RedWolf November 22 2005 7:56 PM EST

here's the situation with my computer.

Basically it's really slow. It takes about 45 minutes to an hour to turn on. Then i have to manually turn on McAfee VirusScan (and I know McAfee is muy mal) because it won't turn on by itself. That takes about 15 minutes. Almost any other application takes several minutes to start up, when it should only take a couple seconds. On the internet, it takes much longer to load webpages that should also only take seconds.

now here's what we've (I've) done

My dad has tried making it faster by telling me to delete my files and stop playing games. He also scanned our computer several times for viruses, worms, etc. but came up with nothing except for one or two minor things every once in a while, which he promptly removed.
I have tried making it faster by uninstalling the games, deleting or moving my files to a floppy (leaving my dad's stuff alone), and installing FireFox. I have also registered for Avast Antivirus, I got the vailidation key and everything, I just have to install it, but I don't have enough space on my computer and no spare disks to put it on. Microsoft AntiSpyware was also recommended to me, but that wouldn't work when I tried registering for that because the "validation was unsuccessful." Somebody else also recommeded running degraf, and I was planning on doing that when everything else was taken care of.

There is over half the hard drive space free (about 8 GB out of 13 total), but it appears that low memory is the issue now. I have no idea how to get more memory.

Any other sugguestions would be greatly appreciated, specifically antivirus/antispyware recommendations or suggestions on how to get more memory, or just how to make this stupid comptuer faster in general. I would REALLY like to just throw this piece of trash out and get a brand new one, but we don't have the money for that :-P

uwannadonkey November 22 2005 8:16 PM EST

prove him wrong

Maelstrom November 22 2005 8:29 PM EST

I'm guessing your computer is just plain old (i.e. more than say 6 years old, maybe a Pentium II or older) and full of useless software.

How about this: reformat your hard drive and install Linux instead of Windows. I guarantee you it will run much faster.

If you don't want Linux, just reformat and re-install Windows. It won't be as fast, but it should get rid of all the junk that's slowing down the computer.

You know you can get a pretty decent new computer these days for only a few hundred dollars - maybe an Xmas present?

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] November 22 2005 8:41 PM EST

A memory upgrade could be as cheap as $25 US, you could also try and look into other upgrades. You need to find a family friend or someone near you, who is easy to bribe with food, and who knows enough not to make things worse.

Ask if they have ever upgraded the ram on a pc before, if not, move on.

It's in fact really simple, and if you're not the squeamish type, you should be able to do it yourself. You'll need some basic information about your computer however, am I'm not up on my chops enough to explain it to you blind.

RedWolf November 22 2005 8:54 PM EST

Microsoft Windows XP Professional
Version 2002
Intel Celeron processor
664 MHz, 64.0 MB of RAM

yeah....lol that info might be helpful :-P

my parents aren't the kind to spend a few hundred bucks on a Christmas present...maybe 100 at most, and that still actually sounds like a lot ....

and PS the spellchecker doesn't like "celeron" heheh

RedWolf November 22 2005 8:58 PM EST

oh and novice...my brother probably knows all I need to know about computers, and I would bet he would do it for free....unfortunately, he moved out of state recently, so I'm trying to fix stuff on my own :-P my dad doesn't DO anything except state the fact that something is wrong over and over and over

Maelstrom November 22 2005 9:17 PM EST

64MB of RAM? Whoa, haven't seen that little in a while. You should be able to get a stick of 256MB for maybe $50 - I haven't bought any in a while, so I don't know the current prices. That should help...

Just wondering: how many little icons do you have in the bottom right corner of the task bar in Windows? If you have more than three, find out how to get rid of as many as possible. Each of those is using memory space and processor power, and most aren't even used for anything.

Special J November 22 2005 9:19 PM EST

I have a couple sticks of 256Mb DDR 266 (PC 2100), I am not thinking it will work, but someone else might be able to chime in here.

Peter at home November 23 2005 5:34 AM EST

Hi, I would recommend these things.
- First the memory upgrade, if you can get 256 MB RAM it would do most of the trick. As your brother for info about your computer. He should know it and should be able to give you a good advice about how to get 256 MB RAM to your computer.

- Second reinstalling windows. Get a copy with Service Pack 2 integrated already. Do you have hard-drive split in several logical disks (like C, D, E ...) or do you have only one ( C )? with 13 GB of hard-drive it is advisable to have 2 logical disks (C and D). The first one to install software and the second one to store you data.

- Third have and antivirus up and running. I like Avast and I am also using it. Use Firefox and/or Opera. Don't use Internet Explorer. Install Spybot Search and Destroy, AdAware Personal (it is free for home usage) and use them every second week. Combination of Firefox, Spybot, Adaware and Antivirus, will keep your computer clean from viruses and spyware.

- Fourth find out if you have a private or public IP address. In the latter case it is advisable to us firewall. (Private IP addresses start with 192.168... or 10.0... usually.) If you have anything else you have public IP address and you should think about some firewall. There are some option you can use for free as home user. (finding you IP address: Start; Run; and start a dos box with "cmd". There you use "ipconfig" and there you will see your IP Address. I would go as far as disabling windows firewall and using for example ZoneAlarm. Also other people here can advice you for a good and free firewall.

- Fifth: Running programs. If you have many icons (more than 6) in the right down corner (the programs which are running in the background) you should probably find out which of them are essential for you computer (antivirus, Spybot, Firewall, Volume control, Icon of connection to internet are) and shutdown all others for now and later. You can use "msconfig" to do it.

- If you are not going to reinstall Windows, you should remove temporary files and delete the cache of you web browser and defragment your hard-drive. And them do the things from number 3-5.

RedWolf November 23 2005 3:05 PM EST

thanks everyone, especialy peter :-) i'll try that, and i think i'll copy/paste that and email it to my dad as well.
This thread is closed to new posts. However, you are welcome to reference it from a new thread; link this with the html <a href="/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=001bto">Taking a break / Proving my dad wrong :-P</a>