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Thread: Computer help desk

  1. #471
    Leo
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    misskitty, I hate to say it, but here goes: you are in serious trouble, and there's no way you're getting out of it without spending either some time, money, or probably both.

    Let's start with the first issue, which is something that everyone with broadband should know: it is a horribly bad idea to plug in a broadband connection directly to your PC. You should get yourself a router, for several reasons. It's also not that expensive, so that's not an excuse:

    - if you ever decide to share your connection with other PCs in your house, it'll make the job much easier, particularly if it's a wireless router.
    - a router is essentially a perfect firewall. It makes you very secure from certain kinds of threats on the Internet.

    misskitty, it sounds like what's happened to you is your computer has had some bad malware put on it. If you go out on the Internet, without a firewall on a broadband connection, make no mistake: you will get hit with malware. (This is the kind of attack that a router will stop cold.) Once you get hit with malware, strange and funny things happen: your case is not all that unusual.

    The usual response to a system as thoroughly infested as yours is to back up all your data then reformat your system. However, with a system as old as yours it may not be possible or practical. You may or may not have your Windows CD available. Even if you have it, you may have to download security updates manually (since I don't think 98 has Windows Update).

    If it's old enough to have 98, that system is at least six years old. I hate to say it, but it could be time for a new PC. Could someone fix your PC? Sure, but it would take even someone with a reasonable amount of PC knowledge the better part of a day, maybe more.

    The other possible problem is that it's not malware, but the hardware of your PC itself is broken. With something that old, I can't rule that out, either.

    Either way, it really sounds like it's time for a new computer. Having your broadband provider check if the whole installation was done right wouldn't hurt, but if he says it works, well... it's time to go PC shopping.

  2. #472
    Signed, Sealed, Delivered prhoshay's Avatar
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    Where does the router fall into place in relation to a modem?
    "...each affects the other, and the other affects the next, and the world is full of stories, but the stories are all one." - Mitch Albom, one helluva writer

    When you throw a rock into a pack of dogs, you know which one you hit by the one that yelps!

  3. #473
    Leo
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    Technically, it would be in between your home PCs and the broadband modem. However, when you actually install it, it wouldn't matter much since everything would plug into the router. (The port leading to your modem and those leading to your PCs would be clearly differentiated.)
    Last edited by Leo; 03-18-2007 at 08:31 PM.

  4. #474
    FORT Fogey misskitty's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone. I did think of getting a router, but this stuff started right after I got switched to lite speed. I thought I had a bit of time.

    I'd like to see if a new card would work as the installer had to get one from another guy and said he hadn't installed one for 8months or so.

    It could be my computer because it is old, but I never had any of these problems when I was on dial-up which for some reason, I would have expected them to occur then.

    Leo: I would love a new computer. It would be a Mac. But it's not on my Top 10 list of where to spend money these days. I'm even thinking of getting a refurbished Mac as they are cheaper. Any thoughts on that?
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  5. #475
    Leo
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    Quote Originally Posted by misskitty;2285757;
    Thanks everyone. I did think of getting a router, but this stuff started right after I got switched to lite speed. I thought I had a bit of time.

    I'd like to see if a new card would work as the installer had to get one from another guy and said he hadn't installed one for 8months or so.

    It could be my computer because it is old, but I never had any of these problems when I was on dial-up which for some reason, I would have expected them to occur then.

    Leo: I would love a new computer. It would be a Mac. But it's not on my Top 10 list of where to spend money these days. I'm even thinking of getting a refurbished Mac as they are cheaper. Any thoughts on that?
    Nope, you get hammered with malware attacks the very moment you go online. It's scary how fast an unprotected system can get hit - it's a matter of minutes, if not less.

    As to a refurbished Mac... it depends on the model you're looking at. I can't recommend any of the notebooks, because none of them have Intel processors. Having the older G4/G5 processors means you will have trouble going forward, and the increase in performance is significant. The iMacs are the only ones that a consumer would be interested in that do have Intel processors, but if you really want a notebook you'll have to go to a PC or a new Mac.

    ETA: I forgot you don't live in the US - I originally checked the US Apple store for refurbished Macs. According to the Apple Canada store, there are no refurbished Macs with Intel processors. So if you can't get a refurbished Mac with an Intel processor, I can't recommend them at all.
    Last edited by Leo; 03-18-2007 at 09:12 PM.

  6. #476
    FORT Fogey misskitty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo;2285826;
    Nope, you get hammered with malware attacks the very moment you go online. It's scary how fast an unprotected system can get hit - it's a matter of minutes, if not less.

    As to a refurbished Mac... it depends on the model you're looking at. I can't recommend any of the notebooks, because none of them have Intel processors. Having the older G4/G5 processors means you will have trouble going forward, and the increase in performance is significant. The iMacs are the only ones that a consumer would be interested in that do have Intel processors, but if you really want a notebook you'll have to go to a PC or a new Mac.

    ETA: I forgot you don't live in the US - I checked the US Apple store for refurbished Macs. According to the Apple Canada store, there are no refurbished Macs with Intel processors. So if you can't get a refurbished Mac with an Intel processor, I can't recommend them at all.
    OH crapola. Thanks Leo for your assistance and knowledge. I really appreciate it. Hmmm. What to do now? Must.buy.lotto.ticket.
    Live simply ~ Love generously~ Care deeply~ Speak kindly

  7. #477
    Miz Smarty Britches queenb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misskitty;2285757;
    Leo: I would love a new computer. It would be a Mac. But it's not on my Top 10 list of where to spend money these days. I'm even thinking of getting a refurbished Mac as they are cheaper. Any thoughts on that?
    Misskitty, if you're still using Windows 98 and an old computer, I think you would be amazed at how nice Windows XP is (I haven't used Vista yet, but out IT guys say it isn't a whole lot better than XP), and how much more computer you can get for your money. I think you should go check out a new PC that you can actually use for a few minutes, because for around $500 you can get great computer that is way faster and better than what you have now, with tons of hard drive, memory, and a DVD burner. A refurbished or on sale one could be even cheaper.
    Also, XP is not problem prone like the older versions of Windows.
    I have found the Truth and it doesn't make sense.

  8. #478
    Trouble in my life just1paul's Avatar
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    Also on on added note my dear misskitty, I believe Microsoft had stopped issuing security updates etc., for windows 98 effective July 2006, making you more vulnerable to these attacks also. If you already have a monitor you can pick up a reasonable computer for around $500.00 USD. Normally I do not tell people where to shop, but try tigerdirect.com
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  9. #479
    Scrappy Spartan Broadway's Avatar
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    Okay.... I have a bizarre question of which I have no idea the root cause. About a month or so ago I seem to remember coming home one day and all of a sudden the font size on some web pages was out of whack. Some pages have certain words that are much larger and the format becomes screwed up (words disappear behind pictures, etc...) and some pages the font size is ginormous (I can read three letters per page width on socialiterank.com.. don't ask!)

    What happened? How do I fix it? My computer display is set at 1024x768 and I can't get much smaller (I'm getting old...), but I just can't figure out what to do.

    Any ideas?
    Never let the things you want make you forget about the things you have.

  10. #480
    Leo
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    The first step I would try with whatever browser you use is clearing the cache. Secondly... it may not be anything you did. It's possible that the webmasters of the site you're visiting may have been tinkering with their sites, and because each browser renders an identical webpage somewhat differently something they did broke how the page looks like in your computer.

    If you're using Firefox, when you hit Ctrl-0, the text size should go back to normal for that tab.

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