Monday, September 27, 2004

Saturday I watched the rest of the Ultraviolet series - sad that it was cancelled after only 6 episodes. They wrapped up several threads but left it wide open to continue at some point. I only hope the upcoming movie will deal with the same storyline! The series is about vampires and a special group of paramilitary/police agents that are funded by the Vatican. Imagine X-Files meets Vampire: The Masquerade. The vamps are worried about the humans self-destructing by war or environmental damage, and so have decided to take over the world. Sounds strange, but it makes sense - we are their food source, and if we all die, so do they. Anyway, a very good investment of 6 hours to watch the episodes.

I also watched the Samurai Jack movie - basically the first three episodes strung together - great stuff! I'll try to watch the rest of the season as I have time.

A warning to Ad-Aware users - if you attempt to upgrade to the newer "SE" version of Ad-Aware, be warned that it can result in Very Bad Things happening to your system. I had to restore from a ghost image Sunday. Seems that at some point after the install, while it is scanning your system it tries to insert hooks in the registry to intercept all calls to other programs - this means that every icon you click, program you run, or anything else that causes anything to be executed will go through the Ad-Aware program. I find this VERY intrusive, but that isn't the problem.

When Ad-Aware tried to redirect the execution controls, it alerted me that someone was trying to change certain registry entries. Yes, the ones it was changing. It warned me about it's own doings, and asked if I wanted to allow it. Well, I said no.

It had already deleted the old entries. It was prevented from adding the new ones.

Thus, I was no longer able to run anything, execute anything, even the start menu was useless. "My Computer" claimed that I didn't have permission to run it. Things looked black.

I logged in as administrator and was able to run "My Computer", but nothin else. I copied my outlook pst files to a safe place on another drive, ditto for my entire desktop and some other files, then restored from a ghost backup that I had made only about a week ago. Lucky me! I hadn't backed up for over a year prior. For some reason last week I just bit the bullet and did it. If I hadn't I would NOT be a happy camper - I would have had to reinstall from scratch, basically.

So - be warned - I no longer recommend Ad-Aware for anyone to use, and I'll be ditching it. Pest Patrol, that I have mentioned from time to time is also on my blacklist, as they have been bought by Computer Associates, and it is just a matter of time before that program also gets assimilated and rendered unusable by the Borg of CA.

I'm researching anti-spyware applications, and so far Spybot Search & Destroy looks like the best option - but I'm still looking.