A discursive look at Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, plus a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Hooptedoodle #42 - Working Definition of a Crock

The plan for this evening is to get on with assembling some more siege guns, while listening to the Wolves vs Liverpool football match. Because of the very strange contractual arrangements which exist in England for the broadcasting of football, the only way I can achieve this tonight is to take my little netbook computer through to the living room, set it up next to my workdesk and listen to the live audio commentary provided by Liverpool FC's own website. I have my earphones ready, so as not to disturb my lady wife's viewing of more mainstream TV entertainment. Neat plan, eh?

Only in theory. My netbook is a humble little thing, and it only gets used a couple of times a month, which means that, when it gets switched on, the first thing that happens is that a fortnight's backlog of Windows updates and McAfee antivirus updates and Adobe updates and Java upgrades all get jammed in the revolving door. Given the sparse broadband service we get here, this is all enough to prevent anything sensible being available online for quite a long time - sometimes longer than the battery capacity of the computer. Yes, yes - you are right - I should have set everything up an hour or two earlier, but - you know what? - in this age of supposed digital convenience it's kind of infuriating that I should have to do that. Anyway, I attempt to get the commentary for the game, and wait a very, very long time. A quick squint at Windows Task Manager shows me that Internet Explorer is getting no processor time at all, because it's behind McAfee in the bloody queue - a situation which persists for another 10 minutes, at which point I shut the stupid thing down.

Death by security. Muttering gently, I give up on the siege guns for tonight, and retire to the trusty desktop computer in my office to listen to the match online. I wonder, in my unfocused way, what kind of a cataclysmic virus attack would be required to waste more time and cause more annoyance in total than McAfee does, drip by drip, every single day. Yes, I have to be grateful that my internet service provider gives me free use of McAfee's wonderful product, but sometimes it's hard to remember what a blessing this is. The one bright note is that at least I don't have Norton any more.

Like riding a bicycle through porridge.


  1. Get rid of Macafee, download the free version of AVIRA (German, very efficient), and tell it (Avira) when to update. The chances of your being hit by a virus tuning in to a single web-page is pretty remote, and if you are - Avira will probably still recognise it and ask you if you want to quarantine it.


    Get rid of the football, 22 drama-queens kicking a pigs bladder round a field?

    I'll get me'coat...:-)

  2. I'll hang on to McAfee - being antivirused by McAfee is not unlike my periodic prostate inspection - I don't enjoy it but it's worthwhile. All these products assume that you have fast broadband, that you use your computer every day and that somehow you are interested in what they are doing for you. I'm a big fan of SpyBot - gets rid of a lot of crud - and McAfee's pop-up blocker is a life-saver (mostly). It's just the unrelenting way McA takes all the resource it wants at any time.

    I'll keep the football, as well. I enjoyed the game, and just regard the missing 20 minutes at the start as sponsored by my online security provider.

    Digression: interested in the shouting match about Fred Goodwin's missing knighthood this morning. You would have to be a sad soul not to feel some satisfaction at events, but I am interested that the world, again, seems to polarise into bankers and decent people.

    Cheers - Tony

  3. I shall be writing to the Titles Committee or whatever it's called with the name of a Baronet and details of why I believe he has brought the Honours System into disrepute and why I would like them to dissolve said Baronetcy!! Watch my space!

    A chap on R4 last night was saying anyone can report any knight, baronet, lord or other hanger-on to the committee if they feel the person should lose their title, I'm hoping for a flood, I doubt we'll even get a trickle!!!

    Yeah...football's aw'right..I 'support' West'Am dun'eye so 'nuff said about the High and Low drama ovyewman existence init!!