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Same Time Tomorrow

by The Scholar

Part 6: Search and Destroy

Carl: When I spoke to my ISP they said I may have to load Ice-it, I said I had and it didn't stop it, so they suggested E-Radicate and/or a firewall, which they said I could buy for around £30. I'm dreading turning on the computer these days in case it's connecting me to the darned thing, they said it could be and make it look like I'm connecting to my ISP.

Allan: E-Radicate? Is that what they said?

Carl: Yeah. Said is stronger than Ice-It.

Allan: Okay, searching now.

Carl: The number on my dial up was my ISP, so I hope it is. I looked at the properties on the thing that pops up and it put in my dial up connection settings box another server. Had a login and a password already assigned, too. The password was five letters, but shown as asterisks, but I obviously don't know what it is.

Allan: I found it, downloading it now.

Carl: My ISP. Said I may even need a PC engineer and he'd know what I meant when I said "spyware".

Allan: This is a big program.

Carl: Oh? What is? What you doing?

Allan: Checking out E-Radicate.

Carl: Yeah smile Well, Ice-It didn't get rid of the bloody thing, so why should this. I may as well never connect to the Internet again.

Allan: You want me to e-mail it, or the download site?

Carl: The site. May as well see if it works.

Allan typed the website address and Carl clicked onto it.

Carl: Okay I got the page opening.

Allan: I hope it's the right page, I've never sent a link from them before. Should have a download now button on the left side.

Carl: Yeah, will take 10 minutes and 38 seconds.

Allan: That's the page. Click the button, and it will go to an automatic download page.

Carl: Okay. Let's try it. What's the betting that thing will come back before it's done?

Allan: Fingers crossed.

Carl: Saving e-radicate.exe to my computer.

Allan: Cool

Carl: Estimated time left not known - typical.

Allan: I'll install it when you do so we can go through it at the same time.

Carl: This really is making me feel sick in my stomach.

Allan: Don't panic. We'll get it.

Carl: I sure hope so. That other one didn't.

Carl was referring to the original program that Allan had e-mailed him three days ago. They had chatted online as the program had installed itself and then run a search for anything out of the ordinary, but it hadn't seemed to pick up anything unusual. Allan was at a loss and Carl was beside himself with worry. The longer this went on, the more damage it could be doing to his computer and it scared him. Carl had contacted his Internet Service Provider again, but they were, as Carl put it, about as much use as an ashtray on a motorbike.

Carl: I woke up this morning absolutely soaked with sweat, my bed sheets all wet and everything. I felt sick and I've been throwing up on and off ever since. Is this bloody thing doing it, I know it was on my mind when I went to bed and when I woke up.

Allan: Oh, man.

Carl: None of this stuff means a thing to me, I don't do the technical stuff, I just use the computer. I hate this kind of thing happening. It means nothing to me, so I can't deal with it.

Allan: Just try and relax. We'll get rid of it.

Carl: Every time it appears it makes me want to evacuate my bowels.

Allan: Is one of the hazards of being online, everyone gets them unless they can afford all the security crap.

Carl: I can't afford any of the hi-tech precaution stuff you can buy, like firewalls.

Allan: Firewalls are a total pain in the ass. Think you're sick over this, just use a firewall and not be able to visit some site you've been to for years.

Carl: Really?

Allan: Yeah. So many settings, just one out of place and you can't even use your IM service.

Carl: I didn't realise that.

Allan: They're not fun.

Carl: Apart from the fear of running up a huge unnecessary 'phone bill, I'm scared to death it will mess up my hard drive.

Carl: Got it.

Allan: Cool. You ready to install it?

Carl: This could take a while and it's been 28 minutes since I came online and the thing could come up anytime.

Allan: Damn.

Carl: Yeah, just what I thought. If I disappear you know it came back and disconnected me.

Allan: Okay. You wanna go for it?

Carl: Yeah, okay.

Allan: Cool.

The two began working on installing the program to their own computers.

Carl: Welcome page.

Allan: Accept and next.

Carl: Licence agreement.

Allan: Accept and next. The next page is the location you want it to be put.

Carl: C:\Program Files\E-Radicate - Search & Destroy

Allan: Yeah. Next.

Carl: Okay. Select components.

Allan: Yeah.

Carl: They're already ticked.

Allan: Sounds good, I'll leave mine that way. Next is full installation.

Carl: E-Radicate - Search & Destroy. Next?

Allan: Yep.

Carl: Select additional. Three are ticked.

Allan: I unchecked "create a quick launch icon".

Carl: Why?

Allan: More clutter on my desktop.

Carl: Okay, well, I shall leave it as it is to get to it easier.

Allan: That's cool.

Carl: Next?

Allan: Yep

Carl: Ready to install.

Allan: Last step.

Carl: It's installing. Oh, that was quick.

Allan: The last screen just click finish, it will start E-Radicate automatically.

Carl: Run e-radicate.exe is checked. Okay. Loading. Legal stuff. Shall I click okay on legal stuff?

Allan: Don't have a choice, it's just a "for your info" thingy.

Carl: Shit now what do I have?

Allan: Two screens?

Carl: Yeah.

Allan: One is "create registry backup".

Carl: Yeah. The other is a compatibility warning.

Allan: I'm doing that just in case.

Carl: Doing what?

Allan: Create registry backup.

Carl: I can't do anything till I click ok on compatibility warning.

Allan: I didn't get one of those. Wow, that was intense.

Carl: Says: "You have Ice-It installed. If you have the Ice-It option to scan inside archives enabled, Ice-It may find files in the E-Radicate-S&D folder. The E-Radicate-S&D does not contain any spyware, but it creates backups of everything you fix (until you remove those backups from the Recovery list), and Ice-It complains about these backups. You can safely ignore these backups found by Ice-It". Do I click ok?

Allan: Yeah.

Carl: I'm worried that thing is gonna come back, so I need to do this quick. Do I create a registry back up?

Allan: Yes, please.

Carl: Okay. Oh, I dunno what it did.

Allan: Did 'next' light up?

Carl: It said something then I have the same box on screen.

Allan: Yes. Okay, next.

Carl: Proxy.

Allan: Proxy?

Carl: "E-Radicate has detected that your Internet Explorer is set to use a proxy. Chances are that you need to use a proxy to download updates, too. If you want to use the same proxy as Internet Explorer, please click the button below." It says Proxy and then names my ISP. Use this proxy?

Allan: Yes, use the same proxy.

Carl: "Error: configuration Automation\WebUpdate\UseAddress does not exist!" and an okay button. This is doing my head in.

Allan: Hit the okay.

Carl: Done.

Allan: Next.

Carl: Search for updates.

Allan: Yep.

Carl: Now what?

Allan: It should tell you.

Carl: The page came back and I have search for updates and download all available updates (which wasn't available to click last time) or a next button.

Allan: Download all available updates.

Carl: k. Sorry if I'm panicking. I'm scared the thing comes before its done.

Allan: I am too. It found 37 on mine.

Carl: Okay, that done. Next.

Allan: Yep.

Carl: Immunise this system?

Allan: Yes, please.

Carl: "Immunization has finished. 1632 bad products are now blocked." Whatever that means.

Allan: Hit 'next'.

Carl: 'Read tutorial - Help file - Start using.'

Allan: Start using.

Carl: Okay. Oh, I don't know what I have now.

Allan: Did it switch to the big screen?

Carl: Yes.

Allan: Should say 'Search and Destroy - Scan for problems and remove them.'

Carl: It does.

Allan: Click 'check for problems.'

Carl: Okay. I've been on 50 minutes, now. The thing comes back around now.

Allan: Okay.

Carl: Did you run this?

Allan: Yeah, it found 37 on mine.

Carl: Running a check. What do you do if it finds them? Tell me while it's searching.

Allan: The next button to the right 'fix selected problems,' it'll list everything it finds.

Carl: Okay. Hasn't listed anything yet.

Allan: It took mine a little bit to find them too, then it really listed them.

Carl: There's no 'fix selected problems' on this page. This takes time.

Allan: Oh, maybe it pops up after it scans.

Carl: Okay. Oh, shit.

Allan: What?

Carl: The thing came back.

Carl: I gotta disconnect.

Carl: I'm still here.

Carl: I'm not connected, though.

Carl: I won't get you.

Carl: I don't know how I'm still able to use this. It's weird.

Carl: I can use my telephone.

Carl: That isn't right.

Carl: Programme still checking.

Carl: Daren't shut down till it finishes.

Carl: If you're answering any of this I don't receive it.

Carl: I'm not connected you see.

Carl: Supposedly.

Carl: Oh, it found two problems so far.

Carl: Tried to dial up.

Carl: Dialing. 'Failed to connect to remote computer. Could not detect modem. It may be in use, turned off, or not installed properly.'

Carl: That happens every time.

Carl: Alexa related.

Carl: DSO exploit.

Carl: Those are problems so far.

Carl: You may not even be getting any of what I'm saying.

Carl: Looks like its almost done.

Carl: Why is everything so complicated?

Carl: Four problems found.

Carl: Finished finding.

Carl: I clicked fix selected and it did.

Carl: So I am closing the window.

Carl sighed. He hadn't been connected to the Internet, he knew that to be true, or the landline 'phone wouldn't have been working. How odd that he could still type messages to Allan, even if he wasn't getting any response. To log back on, or not? That was the question. It was getting late, but he decided that he had better do so, just in case Allan was wondering what had happened to him.

Allan had guessed, but was pleased to see Carl re-appear.

Carl: Me again.

Allan: Was kinda wondering.

Carl: Did you get all I said?

Allan: Nope.

Carl searched in his message archive and copied everything from 'Allan (01:55:19): What?' to 'Carl (02:10:37): Me Again' and pasted them in his IM window and sent it to Allan.

Allan: It only found four items?

Carl: Yeah, but I bet not the thing.

Allan: From what I've read, it might have to be removed manually.

Carl: Oh!

Allan: One thing, though

Carl: Yeah?

Allan: It isn't a virus.

Carl: What?

Allan: It isn't a virus.

Carl: What is it, then?

Allan: A very annoying computer program.

Carl: Oh. So I haven't got a virus?

Allan: No. It can't harm your computer; it's just an annoying program.

Carl: That's gotta be good, right?

Allan: Yep.

Carl: smile

Allan: LOL!

Carl: Can we look at this at another time? I must get to bed.

Allan: Sure. Same time tomorrow?

Carl: Same time tomorrow.

Allan: Cool. Sleep well.

Carl: Thanks. Later smile

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