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Linking Young Minds Together
     Volume 2 Issue 60 | March 16 , 2008|


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Declaring War on Gudek

Naomi Ahmad

Growing up in an urban city, Mummy always told me not to talk to strangers. Mummy also told me not to take candies from strangers. But what Mummy didn't tell me: Never plug in an unknown pen drive from a random friend!

So as I stepped into the Year 2008, people were sending each other flowers and candies and best wishes. I, on the other hand got a strange gift : Trojan Win.32 Gudek. And that too in my laptop.

I looked up Gudek's parentage on the Internet. An apparently harmless Trojan, it was also a newborn into the world of those evil beings we know as - "worms". January 18th 2008 was its Birthday. Awwww, I felt like petting it - it was only a tiny toddler! And I probably would have too, if only it wasn't a virtual worm stuck behind my monitor. Symantec informed me that Gudek posed a minimal threat to the health of my laptop, and since the good ole' laptop wasn't connected to the Internet, I thought not much harm could come out of the whole thing.

And so upholding the true spirit of Live and Let Live! I spared Gudek. I didn't quite exactly mind co-existing with a worm. After all, apart from random error messages Gudek was pretty well behaved. When I typed out all those assignments and reports Gudek would watch quietly and patiently. I even got into the habit of using MS Word with the Office Assistant Power Pup right beside my page. It was just my way of putting a face on Gudek - eventually I got to think of him as my new found pet.

Gudek grew a month older in my laptop. I like to pretend that I let him stay on because I am magnanimous and because my heart is big enough to tolerate all beings - even worms. But the truth is, I forgot about him. I mean, he was pretty fun for about a week or so. And then I got bored. After all, he didn't quite exactly fetch the ball, catch the Frisbee or do any sorts of tricks. So gradually he faded away from my zone of interest.

I guess Gudek somehow felt that we were drifting apart. So in a ploy to grab my attention, he started messing up my song playlists. He would snatch a song out, put it way behind the others and sometimes even steal a music file or two. Somehow, I had a mental him of him as a puppy, who scampered around the house biting and tearing apart all the slippers. I looked on like an overindulgent parent and let Gudek play about with my files. But then he got naughtier. He suddenly took an interest in my IPod, and one fine day when I plugged it in to recharge, Gudek stole all my hundred and fifty music tracks!! Actually it was one hundred and forty four to be exact; he left six for me.

Now this was too much. It was time to chide the errant little worm and make sure that he knows better than to play around with my IPod! So I switched on the o-so-dreaded AntiVirus. Actually it wasn't so much the dreaded worm buster after all. Since the good ole' laptop isn't connected to the Internet, I'm still a sitting duck with a 2003 version of Norton Antivirus. I know, I know; you all must be thinking that there's a limit to suffering from technological inertia. But the truth is, I just didn't get around to buying an updated version.

I thought Gudek would get the message. Maybe he would be insulted and stop pawing through my music files. But he was a child of the Year 2008 and a five year back dated antivirus was a just toy for him. Surrounded by pirated CDs and softwares, I tried installing different updates, but all in vain. Stumped, I concluded that this is as far as my IT skills went. I decided to bring in the "expert"

In entered the "expert". I prepared a dish of shell macaroni and got mummy dear to fry small kababs. Anything to keep the "expert" content, happy and thus willing to take care of that Gudek. The "expert" was suitably impressed with my Dell (which he mysteriously proclaimed as a "military" laptop), joked about my Pentium II desktop and gave me invaluable advice on my internship search. But when he left, Gudek was still grinning about and wreaking havoc with my music files.

I didn't use my laptop much after that. Nor my IPod. One does get tired of listening to the same six songs over and over again. Infact I thought, maybe this is a good opportunity to go back to my CDs! They were getting dusty anyway. So I brought out my Walkman and rediscovered old CDs and was quite happy on the music front. Atleast that confounded worm didn't touch my Solitaire. Now that would have immediate meant war!

So content to reducing the good ole' laptop to a solitaire station, I was carrying on with life. At the back of my mind, I knew I had a sick laptop on my hands. But different things came up and days passed away in procrastination. Till March 2008 sneaked up on me and suddenly report deadlines all started staring at me in the face. Now this is when a laptop comes handy. Especially if you have a Pentium II processor on your desktop and loads of really big picture files to deal with. A laptop with a Windows XP OS makes life a lot simple. The idea was to transfer all my files and images to the laptop so that I could finish up the reports quickly and smoothly.

Gudek is now almost two months old. Even though Symantec warned me that the likes of Gudeks have a penchant for any sort of removable drives, I thought maybe Gudek was much too young to do any serious mischief. Now I know children reach a phase of negativity at the age of two. But Gudek seems to have reached it even before he turned two months old! (maybe the music files were extra nutritious.) That sneaky worm is just flatly refusing to let the laptop read my files. No reading files, no sorting images, no charging the IPod, no writing out reports or copying CDs. It is always a

"No No and No" from him nowadays.

So finally I'll admit it: my computer is Infected. Now all that's left to do is to declare War on Gudek. No more Mr. Nice Guy. I'm also thinking of making tiny effigies of him and burning them up while I protest in my room. If only I knew what Gudek looked like! So, my immediate course of action? I think it's about time I go out and get that Anti Virus I've been meaning to buy for the last few years.

P.S: On 9th March 2008, the author launched a full frontal attack on Gudek. Armed with five varieties of updated antivirus programs, a pincer movement was initiated. Before the author was even done choreographing the steps to her victory dance, Gudek retaliated and successful beat back The Joint Forces of the Antivirus. Now the War is sure to get bloody....

(Student of Media and Communication, IUB.)

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