Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Upgrade or Reformat

Spyware has infected my computer. I run programs to catch it, I stop pop-ups from popping, and I Norton Update daily, but a persistent bug has infiltrated my system. This spyware Bug is nasty and self perpetuating within my hard drive and it seems nothing I do can get rid of it. It just keeps popping up over and over again, especially when I am in the middle of some important research or programming. The more time I spend and work on it; the slower my computer goes, until it takes forever just to open a new page.

I upgraded my defense system with new programs that promise the world. “We zap all infections!” “We target the enemy and eliminate it!” Some will tell you simply that spyware is inevitable and they will teach you how to minimalize it and live with it.

I try my best to stay away from sites that will potentially infect me even worse. But it seems that even the most innocent search finds sites with the obligatory bugs attached. They are attached to innocent pictures sent from my mom. They are attached to work files sent from co-workers. They are everywhere and impossible to avoid.

I thought maybe I would just shut the whole system down and go back to pen a paper and forget about it. But suddenly I lose valuable contact with the rest of the world and I find I have thrown out the baby with the bathwater.

So upgrade, avoidance, and shut down didn’t work. What am I to do? A computer guru has told me there is only one thing left to do – reformat. But that is crazy I tell him! I will lose all my data and my programs are never the same! I cannot reformat; I have too much valuable information that I can never get back! I am way too attached to my system the way it is. I cannot stand to lose what I have. Maybe I can just live with it the way it is. Maybe I can just live with the slowness, the pop-ups, and the unwanted intrusions into my well-worn, comfortable system. Maybe.

As you go to your house of worship this week let me ask you a few questions. Are you going for an upgrade or a complete reformat of your life? Are you going to church because you just want your current system to be made a little better, a little faster, or a little less annoying; or are you going to completely change the way you do things and start over? Will the next “program” be the one you were waiting for to take care of all your problems? Can you live with a little, growing spyware demon or are you ready to start fresh and new, and reformatted?


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