Search people, get out of my head

Do you get a shuddery feeling when you find some creepy wannabe internet giant has smuggled a program onto your computer overnight, without you knowing?

In my in-box this morning was another online petition to sign, protesting child slavery – this time in Uzbeckistan, where the government has apparently been drafting thousands of children out of school and into the fields to pick cotton in order to meet a major contract with a western scumbag corporation called Target, and some have died in industrial accidents.

While I was reading about it, a sidebar appeared, offering me a list of ‘Related searches’. At the top of the list was a link to ‘8-year-olds’.

I shut it down instantly and sent a cross email to the people at Walk Free, pointing out the possibly illegal and insalubrious nature of their links. It was only when I opened a new browser window to access this, my bogl, and another ‘Related searches’ sidebar popped up, offering me links to web sites interested in railway undertakings, the subject of a previous Post, that I realised this was some other program altogether.

Clicking on a small button in the corner took me to a harmless-looking site called LinkSwift, some such, where, after various procedural complications, I have apparently been able to permanently uninstall the program – a state in which I sincerely hope it will remain.

Just what do these people – no, I’ll call them idiots, because that’s what they are – hope to achieve, commandeering my communications technology – incidentally overriding my pop-up blocker – to helpfully prompt me with probable links to child pornography websites and havens for demented railway enthusiasts?

What goes through their tiny, excitable American beanbag brains when they dream this stuff up?

If I want information, I can ask for it myself, thanks. If I want ideas for stuff to buy, cash to borrow, who to vote for, where to go, I can think of my own – I am not some anencephalic bag of weeping jelly, I’ve got a degree.

Fuck you, LinkShit – and fuck the whole sick way the web is going, trying to take over our thoughts, as well as our bank balances.

Boglitis interruptus? Go configure!

So, the cause of my computer freezing four times a day has turned out to be the approaching demise of its hard disk, and after it finally locked me out for ever on Wednesday, with a humorous last message in DOS advising me to key Ctrl-Alt-Del to restart, I have had to give it a heart transplant.

I say ‘give’, actually there is no National Health Service for computers and, as it was seemingly out of warranty by about 30 minutes, according to the smallest print, we start our new life £85 lighter. That’s £25 more than I can earn in a day from doing the little occasional gardening jobs – eight hours pulling weeds in the broiling sun – that keep me, Hualive.nzi and the Cat

Now, you noticed that? I went to type ‘me, Hunzi and the Cat alive’, but instead it came out all jumbled-up? I don’t think it’s my typing, which I have been practising for over half a century. In fact, when I first acquired my pretty little Asus U45V 14-in notebook a year and 30 minutes ago,  it had this habit, especially when composing emails, of just putting the words wherever the cursor felt like going, and the fun was having to go and look for them, like runaway . (I have just lost the word ‘teenagers’, can anybody see it?)

It seemed to cure itself after a while, but now it is doing it again, it is no longer fun, it is bloody annoying*.

More annoying still is that, while the laptop doctor did manage to recover most of my data – there are some odd holes, where you ask for a file and it tries to connect you to the Interweb thing to obtain a licence –  I lost all my installed programs and had to spend yesterday trying to remember what they were and how to install them again. This tedious activity was enlivened by frequent interruptions from the beanbag men at Microsoft closing my computer down unhelpfully without asking, to shove various nondescript updates at me, to expiate their past mistakes.

At one stage, having shut the machine down to allow it to digest some crap from AVG that it wouldn’t stop persuading me to try out free for a day**, I had to wait over an hour while they slowly configured 62 updates. It was like having to politely wait for a chronic stammerer to get out a sentence when you have already figured out the ending.

Is all this garbage worth it? I have just had a decent rebate of the tax I overpaid last year and am proposing to buy a used desktop machine with a proper keyboard and all, that I shan’t bother connecting to the Internet, so that I can get on uninterrupted with my life’s work of bogling to you, dear Spammers, Followers and Likers, without whom… But every time I go to the secondhand shop, I can’t bring myself to buy one. I can’t go through all those terrible setup routines again, it’s just soul destroying.

Do please write in if you would like to sign my petition calling for all computers to be melted down and turned into sculptures of sentience.

Thank you.

* ‘Young Bogler’ writes all the way from China to remind me that I need to ask the touchpad thing to disable itself when the mouse is engaged. I remember that is what we did before, but not how. Oh dear.***

** This refers to something called Tune-Up, where you are offered a means of speeding up your computer while slowing down your battery consumption, one of those impossible things software developers expect you to believe before breakfast. The one-off ‘Free trial’ turned out to be nothing more than a highly suspect diagnostic, whereafter you were requested to pay £25 to actually fix all the many worrying problems it had found. Refusal to do so results in an unclosable window opening on your desktop. Uninstalling the program produces another window with a pathetic message of grief and loss, reducing the price to £17.50. Too late, AVG, I had already made up my mind to kill you.

*** Many years later Uncle Bogler writes in, to say that it seems that it is no longer possible to disable the touchpad. Not only has the facility been designed out of Asus’ onboard operating program, certainly on this machine, but the download patch seems no longer to exist. Consequently, having lost the utility with the change of hard drive,  my keyboard is once again behaving like a performing flea. I despair.

– UB


Another century, and I feel the need to update you and all my Spammers on a technological breakthrough I have since made in respect of the Asus touchpad disconnection problem.

The simple but effective solution I have developed (my company is based in the Boglington Circus techno-hub thing and is available to purchase now for about 6 billion units of your favourite currency) is to Scotch-tape a piece of stout cardboard over the touchpad, so that it loses its touchy-feely qualities.

I would call it a ‘patch’, were it not for the fact that use of the word has been pre-empted by MS beanbags expiating their past errors.

Return of the whizzer

Just to mention, but my whizzer is back!

It’s in black-and-white, but, nevertheless, it is distinctly there!

It’s the one next to the blue Publish button over there………………..> that whizzes round and round while Deep Word is thinking about my Posts.

It disappeared without apology or explanation about three weeks ago. (Perhaps taken in for questioning?) And now it’s come back. Meanwhile, my computer (which is barely a year old) has shown worrying signs that it is dying.*

Is there a connection, like swans or something?

Ah, no, it’s gone again.

* Aha. I have found that if you take the battery out and spend five minutes wondering how it goes back in again, Windows 7 Pro seems to stabilize. Or it may be that you just need to shut the program down from time to time. Anyway, I think we’re back in business.

Or not. Down it tumbles, again. But it is pissing down outside, I have nothing better to do except live my life in System 32 error mode.


The perfect match

Have you ever tried to find something or do something on a website where they demand to know exactly WHERE you want to find or do said thing before they will let you look for it?

Isn’t it the most certifiably stupid question imaginable?

There you are in Boglington-on-Sea: you need to find a job, a new used car, a recycled council house, money, love, and you go on a website and you’re told you have to key in your postcode and it tells you, sorry, there’s nothing there. And you want to scream, I already KNOW there’s nothing here, that’s why I’m brunching on the interweb. I don’t give a toasted testicle WHERE the thing is, I just want the THING!

But there’s nothing you can do, you just have to try again. And again, until you power down and go to bed, where sleep does not come easily.

Worse, is the dreaded drop-down menu, from which you have to select WHERE you think the thing might be, that you want, from a list that is not guaranteed to be a list of places where the thing might actually BE… . Guess wrong, and sure enough you are told to try again. What self-perfected cretin designs these websites? Someone, I imagine, who was National Junior Champion several years running at Pin the Tail on the Donkey.

Take, a dating website owned by the beanbag brigade who bring you Yahoo! Curious, I followed various links off the page where their annoying pop-up ad refuses to be blocked by my ad-blocker, until I arrived at the dreaded WHERE? question. From the drop-down menu, I selected Wales – a small, quasi-autonomous principality in the west of Britain with a population of 2.5 million, where I have lived for the past twelve years. Yes, but exactly WHERE in Wales? came the next question, obliging me to open a second drop-down menu giving a list of “towns” where I could expect to find ladies of all ages with ripped bodices and heaving bosoms, panting at the prospect of viewing my Profile.

There were hundreds, just beginning with the ‘Aber-‘ prefix alone. They had listed every place name in the country! You could spend a lifetime, hopping about on one leg trying to find a “Match” in Abermad or Abersoch, Abermawr or Aberfach… More than 95 per cent of the places listed, to my certain knowledge, having driven through them at speeds well in excess of 30 mph, have populations of fewer than ten people, and they’re all first cousins. When they need to find a soulmate, they hang their knickers out upside-down — “on-line” dating, country-style…. The chance of finding someone registered on in one of those places is about the same as that of finding King Richard the Third under a car park. Yet you have no choice but to start sticking in pins. Or find something better to do.

Whoever designed this website is destined for great things as Baboon Enclosure‘s “Inhabitant of the Year”. What a complete waste of everyone’s time, that the parents of this dribbling nincompoop ever managed to find one another in the dark.