Several weeks ago, it contracted a virus from some whore of a site. It was bad for a few days, but I did everything I could to try to clean things up and get it running normally again. I thought I had succeeded as things seemed to running fine again.
However, the other day when I turned things on, and tried to log into windows, it booted me off. I was all “huh. WEIRD.” So, I tried again. The same thing happened. It would start to load my settings, then it would be all “saving settings. Logging off.”
I was all “oh! I’ll just reboot in safe mode!” Because safe mode solves EVERY PROBLEM!
Except, not this time. It did the exact same thing in safe mode.
And that is when panic set in because I have photos to download! And documents to scan! And the boys have homework that needs printed!
I mentioned it on Twitter the other day and everyone was all “just put in the recovery CD and fix it that way!” And I would totally do that IF I COULD FIND THE RECOVERY CD. Last night I found every single CD that came with the computer EXCEPT FOR the recovery CD. I mean, of course I can’t find the one CD that I need! Why would something ever be that easy for me?
The good news is that when I got the virus, I was worried that something like this would happen, so I created a Carbonite account and had all of my files backed up. The bad news is… I can’t restore them to my laptop (it’s for work) so um, even though they are safe, I CAN’T ACCESS THEM. Nor can I access the programs I have installed to download, view and edit photos. Needless to day, I’M ALL TWITCHY AND SHIT. Am calling dell customer service as soon as I publish this. HOLD ME.
Edited to add:
Quite a few people have said “This is why you need a Mac! This wouldn’t happen with a Mac!” I have no idea what makes that statement true, as I know nothing about Macs, so anyone out there care to give me your thoughts on Mac -vs- PC and why one is better than the other?

51 thoughts on “[vent]

  1. cindy w

    Good luck with tech support. I’d think that at the very least, they could send you a new recovery CD? Maybe? Fingers crossed for you.
    Oh, and the boys can print their homework at Kinko’s. Yes, it costs money, but desperate times = desperate measures.

  2. Y

    Or, I could drive them to Gramma’s house where they can do it for free. I just hate not being able to upload and edit photos. Going through withdrawals, man.

  3. Becky

    I have a Mac and I love it. But…there are things that Mac doesn’t do as well (gasp!). Like I have to go to a specific browser to use anything that requires flash. And Word for Mac? Super pricy.
    But hey, my screen is flashy and cool.

  4. Sasha

    First off, let me say that I have my degree in Computer Information Systems and I have been in the field since I was 11 years old (really, I went to a computer/engineering school).
    I have worked on both PCs and Macs as a tech. This past February, I converted from PC to Mac.
    I. will. never.look. back.
    I was soooo fed up with Micros#$%. Always losing my stuff because I was getting locked out whenever a cloud passed the sun or whatever.
    I was about to fling my laptop from the rooftop! I developed a vocabulary that would make a sailor blush. I lost so much of my life waiting…
    This will make me sound stupid. But last week we had a power outage. I couldn’t remember how to turn on the computer. I felt like such a fool. But I was a giddy fool because my computer had not crashed since February. I had not needed to turn it off since the day I set it up.
    PLUS, I’ve installed updates. Plenty of them. The restart had me in awe. You know how you gotta wait for frickin’ ever for windows to load? Well, I did the restart without closing anything, looked down at my lap (expecting the wait) and looked back up at my desktop. I thought something had hung up but no! It had restarted AND LOADED already! I am in love!!!!
    It’s a little different but not hard to switch. And let me just tell you about the beeeeautiful monitor. The prices just went down on them too. (A week after I bought mine, poo.) But I wasn’t too upset because I know I have my money’s worth just in how much of my life I have gotten back since switching. I feel like I am zooming all over the internet and much more productive.
    People ( My Hubbins–also computer nerd way more than me) complain about the price because you can get a high end PC for the same amount but like I said, what’s the point of having all the hardware power if you’re still running Micro$%%^?
    I would switch again in a heartbeat.
    I totally RED PUFFY HEART my Mac.
    Last thing, if you have a Apple store in your area. GO. They have everything for you to touch and feel and they have user workshops to help you with your Mac or online tutorials. Check out the website. I had no idea what I was in store for when I first went.

  5. amber of TheAmberShow

    Basically, stuff like this just doesn’t happen to Macs.
    Even though they are becoming more popular than ever, they’re still a major minority, so writing viruses for Macs is kind of a pointless pursuit for the bad guys. Plus, the average Mac user knows more about computers than the average PC user, so if there WAS an “evil virus for Macs”, most Mac users would know what to do.
    Also, backing up to an external drive is easier with a Mac. Just plug it in, and it works. Done and done.

  6. geeky

    I kinda already tweeted at you about this, but Mac vs. PC is just like Canon vs. Nikon. One is not BETTER than the other, they’re just different. It’s all about getting what works for you. Sure, PCs get viruses and crash and Windows sucks and blah blah blah. But guess what? The designer I work with just had to reformat his big fancy Mac Pro because an Apple software update borked it. There are pros and cons to owning both and you can potentially lose data with either.
    And that line of thinking is exactly why I haven’t bought a new desktop computer in 6+ years – I just can’t decide!

  7. SamTheButcher

    Hey there, my sis Headless Mom just sent me here. I can’t really help with solving the virus thing – everyone’s right, you need the Restore CDs and reinstall from scratch.
    Most everyone is also right, this sort of thing doesn’t really happen with Macs. Geeky is even right, to a point, that it’s just a different OS. However, the Mac OS is inherently more secure than Windows. Can a virus still happen? Yes, but not the way or the frequency or volume that happens with Windows. Can a system update hose the computer? Sure. The same thing can also happen with Windows (Heard a lot of that happening with XP SP3 when it came out).
    Also, you don’t need Word on the Mac, OpenOffice can do the same stuff, it’s MS Office compatible, and it’s free. Or you can try iWork, which is mostly Office compatible, and it’s only $79. OR you could buy the student/home edition of MS Office for only ~$120.
    So…yeah. Send me an e-mail if you would like more info. I’ve used Apples since 1979, Macs since 1989, sold them & managed a Mac retail store in the late 90’s and even worked at the Apple Store as one of the “Mac Genius”es for a while. I’m currently the IT Manager of an all-Mac company. I have worked plenty with PCs – when I’ve had to. I prefer and use Macs at home.
    One last thing – Macs come with a nifty backup program called Time Machine that you can just buy an external hard drive and it will back up every hour. I’d actually recommend a *real* backup program like Retrospect:
    It’s spendy ($129), but it WORKS. And your files aren’t hither and yon.

  8. Leeann

    MAC. Mac. M-A-C.
    Love, Love, Love.
    Why a Mac?
    I got tired of my kids accidentally messing up the computer constantly.
    I got tired of viruses and trojans.
    I got tired of Windows being such utter crap.
    We are now an all Mac family. There is a family desktop Mac, my teen daughter has my old Macbook and I have a Macbook. We have had no problems whatsoever.
    Love, love, love.

  9. Traci

    I have to agree with the comments above. I lost my Master’s thesis on a PC many years ago. I switched to Mac and have never gone back. They may cost more initially but all of mine have lasted longer and without issue. My husband’s PC just died and I’m trying to convince him to go Mac.

  10. Lyndsey

    I’ve owned both and both have pros and cons.
    Pros of Mac:
    1) Viruses are super rare for two reasons. First because not enough people have macs that make it worth it for assholes to write viruses for them… so there just are less. Second because of *insert text speak here that just means they handle viruses differently and rarely are a big deal even if you do get one*
    2) Mac tech support is amazing. I can’t say enough good stuff about them. They speak English. The very first person you talk to knows what they’re talking about. They never make you wait for more than 5 minutes to get a person on the phone…. *love*
    3) They’re so gosh darn PURTY.
    1) More expensive
    2) Compatibility issues. Not a huge deal… but it can take a few months to adjust and learn how to cope

  11. Sara

    In my experiences, PC is better. Just get a decent antivirus. I recommend NOD32 by eset. It’s worth the additional cost because the people over at eset are drool-worthy brainiacs. 🙂
    Why do I prefer PC? Because pretty much everything runs on the PC, you’re not locked into upgrade cycles the way you are on the Mac (Where a new version of a program requires a new version of the OS which requires new computer to not run like crap. Or a new computer requires a new version of the OS which requires that you re-buy all your applications assuming that they haven’t been discontinued because Apple announced that they’re releasing a competing piece of software that has 1/3rd of the features but which they’re giving away for free.
    I have both Macs and PCs. In my experience, Macs have more hardware failure issues. I’ve only had to return a PC for warranty service once. I’ve had Macs down at the apple store/Techserv multiple times.
    Plus, my only harddrive failure that I EVER had was on a Mac. And it wasn’t the hard drive that failed. It was the IDE controller. And Apple knew that my particular Mac had this problem and that it would slowly eat all the data on your hard drive if you installed a second hard drive or if you installed a larger hard drive. And they did NOTHING to alert their customer base about it. For that, I have a lasting bitter taste in my mouth. Since then I’ve heard other stories too.
    PCs might suck sometimes, but at least they’re inexpensive. Apples suck at just about the same rate. Their only saving grace is that they’re a bit prettier and they can’t get viruses.
    So I’d say get a decent antivirus, and a cheaper ugly PC and all should be good. Plus you won’t have to re-buy all your apps on the Mac side of things. I mean, you don’t really want to have to re-buy Photoshop, etc. do you?
    If you DO get a Mac, get the extended warranty. In my experience, it’s golden. With PCs you pretty much only have to get the extended warranty if you get a computer that costs under $500 or a laptop.

  12. Amy

    Macs are just expensive PCs now. The problem is security holes in Windows.
    Good Anti Virus software, spyware scanner and a firewall will work wonders before shelling out for a Mac.

  13. Alice

    Another Mac fan sounding off… even if you NEVER got viruses, you would love a Mac. To know Mac is to love it. So much easier and more fun to use. So intuitive. So little frustration at trying to figure out how to do things. Oh, and did I mention they don’t get viruses? Seriously, I’ve used both since the PC was invented, I’m very computer literate and not a fuckin’ retahd, and I don not understand how anyone who has used a Mac would ever use a Windows machine again. So there. Unless they work for NASA and they don’t make a Mac version of the space shuttle command-and-control software package. Everything else woks fine on Macs. Go forth to an Apple store and marvel. Now I’m going to go put a cold washcloth on the back of my neck.

  14. Kay

    We have both Mac and PC and they are different not one better than the other. I have had problems with Mac that would not happen on PC because PC has just been around longer and some places and things still don’t honor Mac . Don’t join the Mac train just because of viruses since a good program can handle that part.

  15. SamTheButcher

    I’ll just take a sec to disagree and agree with Sara. 🙂
    Disagree on the “upgrade” cycle. If anything, it’s been the opposite in my opinion. We’re still using a laptop I bought in 2002 for everything – e-mail, Webkinz, regular internet browsing. It’s running OS 10.4 (Tiger), but that’s only because Leopard says it won’t run on it, but that doesn’t mean I can’t run most regular apps on it. And it’s not even an Intel processor! (Apple switched over to using Intel processors in 2006)
    I’ll agree that AppleCare (extended warranty) is completely worth it. 🙂
    Oh, and if you or someone in your family works at a school (k-12, college, university), you can get the Apple educational discount, typically between 5-10%.

  16. Backpacking Dad

    You may not have a recovery CD. My hard drive is partitioned and all the recovery stuff is on the other partition. If I hold F10 during boot up it will start the recovery program and wipe your hard drive and reinstall all your factory settings.
    But this is a Sony, and maybe that’s standard for Sony’s and not Dell’s.

  17. Angella

    Dude. You know I love you. This is why we had dinner together in January.
    I switched to Mac in November and OH MY WORD.
    It will change your life. IM/call me if you need to chat.

  18. shelly

    I am so computer illiterate and this was sooo interesting for me. I love the Macs cos they are PRETTY, my husband has always said they are no good[ because he has always been told this ] I am so going to get him to read this post. Very informative! Thanks everyone! Leeann says” BIll Gates is the spewn of Satan” … ROFL! 🙂

  19. Jennifer

    I didn’t have time to read through your comments, so forgive me if this has been mentioned already. Dell stopped shipping recovery CDs with their computers years ago — I’m guessing as a cost-saving measure. However, I’m 99.9% sure you can have them ship you one if you call them and give them the tag number on your computer
    I’m sorry about the virus – that sucks!
    Let us know how it goes.

  20. Mandy

    Once you go Mac, you never go back.
    Despite the occasional hardware problems (if you buy an expensive machine I recommend extended care), Macs are infinitely superior. You don’t get viruses, you have a much better program selection for dealing with photo editing, etc.
    In our IT office, most of the developers (programmers) and designers choose Mac products. (We don’t care either way which one they have.)

  21. Justme

    I can’t believe that you only have 25 or so comments on the MAC vs PC question! I figured you would have in the hundreds if not thousands by now!!!
    I so miss my mac! I have been using a windows pc for about 8 years now. I. hate. it. I have never had more problems or gone through more computers. And windows. Lets not even go there.
    I know people that are going over to Ubunto (sp?) and they love it. I personally haven’t yet, only because I am looking into getting a new computer, again. If I have to get another PC with windows I am going strait to download ubunto. But I am trying to hold out to spend the extra to get a mac again!

  22. Kim

    I very rarely profess love for inanimate objects, but for my MAC, I’m making an exception.
    It’s on the short list of cherished things to grab on the way out of the house in case of fire.
    It’s a little pricier up front, but once you have it in your hands, you won’t care!

  23. Helga

    Y, I have carbonite, too. I have gotten viruses, too. Problem is – carbonite backs up everything! That includes the virus! So you have to get rid of the virus so that carbonite can back up the fact that those files are now deleted, before you put the virus back. I have actually had this conversation with them when I got my virus. YOu can also go into Carbonites files and scan all your stuff in there before you put it back. Good luck, love to hear how it turns out.

  24. Lex

    As if I didn’t already freak you out with my overly chatty self and “You look BEEEAUTIFUUUL!” and oh my god, Y think’s I’m nuts, behavior…. I might make out with you for posting this! Carbibute should give you commission or something, because I’m getting an account immediately and telling all my friends. I have an old Windows laptop that is about to die and oh no, my files!!! I also have a nearly new Macbook that I kind of almost love but don’t have a clue on all the fabulous things it can do besides get me on Tweetdeck and Facebook and take pictures of me doing goofy things with its webcam Photobooth thingy.

  25. Lottifish

    My mac shoots rainbows out of it’s CD drive….oh yeah….and it’s practically impossible to write a virus for a mac.

  26. e

    if you were running Vista: http://neosmart.net/blog/2008/windows-vista-recovery-disc-download/
    if XP: http://www.torrentreactor.net/torrents/876227/XP-Emergency-Bootable-CD
    dell will sometimes make you buy a new one instead of doing the charitible thing and sending you a freebie. I’d just download the torrent for the same reason I run PC: I want to be able to do it my own damn self. In my experience, if a Mac breaks down, you’re SOL and have to send it off to someone else. I distrust anything I can’t handle myself.

  27. gingermog

    The story of you nursing the bird back to health just reinforces how beautiful a person you are. Wow I actually have tears in my eyes.

  28. Julia

    The same thing happened to me and I ended up reformatting my hard drive. Damn Virus…I saw it coming though so two weeks ago I bought a huge jump drive and I backed up all my important files… I tried system restore but it did not work… BOO … I hate virus’s… why do people have to be such jerks!

  29. Angelena

    As I type this from my PC laptop I have to say, a Mac is the only way to go if you want to avoid that whole virus issue. It just doesn’t happen on a Mac. Apple also stands by its product, if you buy a mac buy applecare. Its a MUST. I am a big Mac fan, I used to work as an office manager for a Mac repair shop and I learned a lot about the differences. It was the first time I used a Mac that much and if the cost wasn’t an issue, I would own one now. Just my 2 cents.

  30. supertiff

    um, i don’t know why it’s true, because i am not computer smart…but as i have a super geek boyfriend, i have a mac, and i’ve never had a single issue.
    also: i love it with every fiber of my being. seriously, there might be kiss marks on my monitor.
    of course, it was pretty expensive. and i even bought a refurbished one.

  31. Overflowing Brain (Katie)

    Macs are the shit. I know that’s not very technical, but I switched after my Dell laptop crashed for the 10,000th time (this time with a “core meltdown” warning) and I haven’t looked back.
    Macs are intuitive, even my mother, who is not computer savvy can work her new iMac.
    Macs have very few viruses built for them because they’re less popular. They *just* discovered the first major Mac virus like this week, but basically, they run much easier because they don’t have to have virus protection because there’s one virus in the whole cyberworld for them.
    They are admittedly expensive, but they’re also built to last. They have a GREAT warranty that covers just about anything you could ever do to a computer and most Apple employees will give you free stuff if you work them long enough.
    I’m going to hate myself for typing this out, but I simply can’t resist. (Forgive me) Once you go Mac, you never go back. (Yes, I’m embarrassed for myself…)

  32. Leann

    I didn’t read every other comment out there, so sorry if this is repeating.
    There are other options than just Windows vs. Mac. We have a pc, but do not use Windows; we use Linux, which does not have the problems with viruses that Windows does.
    Now, I have no idea how to install a different system (being married to a software engineer has its perks). I just wanted to let you know there are more options.

  33. Sarah Joy

    I’ve read your blog for awhile, but don’t know that I’ve ever commented … until now.
    You will LOVE a Mac. Everything is integrated, connected with each other, once you learn the ropes it is so easy to get around. I had a Dell laptop in college, had it for about a year and it turned extremely slow, kept shutting down, I had more problems with it. I had to deal with it for a couple more years, because I couldn’t afford a new one.
    Then, the summer of 2006, my whole life changed … that’s when I decided to buy a Mac. *insert hallelujah voices here* I have had my MacBook Pro for 2 1/2 years now, and have never had any problems with it. It still runs as fast as it did the day I bought it, I may have had to shut it down once or twice in the past 2.5 years for software issues, it never gets viruses – and I don’t have protection software, it is just a wonderful, wonderful machine!! I’ve never had to take it in to get serviced or repaired, either.
    Recently I needed to make a slideshow DVD. Stupidly, I was scared to use the program on my Mac – because I didn’t know that much about it. So I attempted to create the slideshow on our PC. About 4 hours late, I didn’t even have half the slideshow done, I was in the midst of yet another complication causing me to shut down the program and lose some of my work, and I was extremely frustrated with it all. I decided, okay, I’m going to face my fears – and try it out on the Mac. Literally 25 minutes later, my slideshow was done, perfect, and already burning onto a DVD!! I lamented, and cursed at the PC for costing me so much time and causing me so much frustration!
    I would highly recommend Mac’s to anyone!! I will NEVER go back to getting a regular PC.

  34. Jennifer (Conversion Diary)

    I had this exact discussion with my readers a while back. I was musing that I think my anti-virus software might be more annoying than actually having a virus and people told me to get a Mac.
    The thing is…for all the well-reasoned arguments for that platform, one thing that has never been explained to me, that I feel certain I could never get used to, is HOW YOU LIVE WITHOUT THE RIGHT-CLICK BUTTON. Seems impossible.
    Anyway, thanks for the interesting discussion! 🙂 I admit that all these pro-Mac comments do have me thinking…

  35. Y

    oh man. Now I want a Mac. Except.. there is no right click on a mac? WHAT?
    And Sue… No. I don’t read Pioneer Woman. Was her site giving out viruses? I wish I could blame her because that would be fun. But, from what I can remember, the last site I visited just before I was hit was Videogum. NOT saying I got it from there, but that was the last site I remember visiting before everything went to hell.

  36. Emmy

    Macs don’t have a right mouse button BUT if you hold down the control key and click on something, you still get the little menu that pops up. You will get used to it in no time.
    Macs rock!
    Ubuntu also seems like a good option, as someone mentioned. I just installed it last week on my 8-year old pc that was having issues with WindowsME and it seems to be running fine now! I don’t know much about it yet, but all we need it for is basic word processing and web surfing (for kids) and it has worked out fine for that.

  37. Sylvia

    The issue is that by using a Mac, you are less likely to gain a virus because they are not targetted as much as PCs are. This is security by obscurity and I actively recommended it as a way forward to a friend who had real issues with viruses. In the same way, people who use a mailer other than Outlook and a browser other than IE suffer less from attacks because the other mailers/browsers are not targeted.
    (I like the person who said it was because Mac users know more about their computers than PC users – so people who have problems with the PC shouldn’t get a MAC because they’ll screw up the curve? Or what?)

  38. BillH

    First off, if you haven’t got this resolved, I offer my services. I have worked for a Fortune 500 company in tech support for over 10 years and I currently work on Level 2 support. You can email me if you like. Or not – I understand because anyone can say anything on the internet without proof.
    That being said, those who say Macs (or Linux for that matter) are less of a target because they don’t have market share are delusional. Macs are less a target because you can’t install software without the root (administrator) password being called for at least once. Nearly everyone runs Windows as an administrator and as a result they are running the risk of rogue software being installed. Plus, there are known local admin and service logins for Windows whose defaults haven’t changed since Windows NT 3.5 and are easily exploitable by the malware programmers on most systems. These are just a few basic reasons why Windows is easier to exploit than Macs or Linux.

  39. Jenn

    Wow, I started reading all the comments but couldn’t finish – too many! People tend to get too emotional about this issue often (not that everyone posting here is at all, just a general statement).
    Here is my two cents:
    Macs are much less likely to get viruses because most people who write viruses target Windows and Microsoft operating systems and applications, so there aren’t many viruses that would even “work” on a Mac.
    I use a PC at work and a Mac at home, which has been the case for about 10 years now. It is true that my Mac at home has fewer problems just in general with unstable software, crashing, hanging, unpredictable behavior, etc. It is true that Macs are my personal preference and I plan to always use them as my personal computer(s).
    I will also tell you that you don’t need to buy Microsoft Office for the Mac, iWork (for $79) will work just fine in pretty much every situation. You can save iWork files in Office format and they open and work just fine on a PC.
    However, if you have a lot of money invested in software for a PC now, unless you were planning to upgrade to new versions and be out the money anyway, it would be an expensive proposition to transition to a Mac. Because obviously if you bought, say, Adobe Creative Suite for the PC you can’t install that on a Mac. And that is not cheap software.
    I would say to go to an Apple store or even borrow a friend’s computer to try a Mac out so you have information for future reference. (I will warn you that you will pretty much be attacked by salespeople at the Apple Store, who are very friendly, but if you’re not up for that sort of thing – consider yourself warned.) But I’d say to save yourself the expense of switching until you are ready to spend the $ to upgrade other software etc. as well.
    As a final word on price, while often comparable Macs are more expensive than PCs I find that they have a longer lifespan and hold their value better. We have consistently had very new Macs for years by reselling our “old” laptop after about a year or less and buying a new one. We typically get very close to the full original purchase price for it. So for $100-200 a year we can keep ourselves in brand new computers. Kind of cool.
    Good luck! (p.s. in full disclosure I must add that we have also had problems with our Macs on occasion – three times we’ve had a hard drive die on us, which was covered by the warranty, but keeping your stuff backed up to an external drive is crucial at all times!)

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