Hello people!! This is Pete!
Wow, it's been a long time.. I must say that James has been doing an awesome job while I've been gone. I'm going to start working on this site again, probably tomorrow. (I've got to do a lot of stuff to get my computer up to speed again.) JRO is a great webmaster, and if he wants to keep on being a webmaster here, I'd be happy. I would love having a second webmaster here, and he's really proved that he can do it.. if he wants to. I want him to stay, if at all possible. :)
Let me tell you people, it's GREAT to be back! I can finally go to websites, and better yet, I can check my email! (I haven't checked it since about the 15th of last month.)
Here's what happened to my computer: On the 15th of last month, I was talking to some newbie on ICQ who needed help on his programs. He sent me his "QB game", 'space shooter.exe', and I ran it. That was really stupid of me. First of all, it's got a non-DOS name, and second, it was about 250K, the size of most trojans. It was the SubSeven server program, a trojan that I've had for a long time. (In about January, I got hacked a lot, and my sound stopped working because of hackers and SubSeven.) Anyways, a few seconds after I ran it and "nothing" happened, I realized what the little punk had done, and I messaged him and told him that if that was a virus or trojan of any kind, I would report him to his ISP. (I got his IP number.) He didn't reply and signed off.
I closed down ICQ and kept on surfing, which was an even stupider idea, since I hadn't taken care of the trojan yet. It was probably at this time that my computer was hacked and messed up. The strange thing is that the next morning, I turned on my PC and it worked fine while I worked on a biology lab summary. When I got home from school, I was surprised to see that the computer was not on, since it's on almost 24-7 in my house. I turned on the computer, and as soon as Windows was completely loaded, I got a runtime error for no apparent reason. I pressed 'OK' and it popped up again, so I ended up just moving it to the side of the screen and ignoring it. I connected to the internet, ICQ auto-ran, and I double-clicked on the IE icon to go to some websites, but after it half-loaded up the start page, the browser froze, and another runtime error window popped up. I booted the computer and tried it again. One more time. No success.
I turned off the computer and played my PSX for a while, since I couldn't get online, and later on when it was time to update the site (a couple links and a new demo of Cyber Chick), I signed online and tried to connect with FTP programs. They froze up just like IE, but only after I tried to connect with them. I was pissed off now. After a lot of tries, I decided to try to figure it out in the morning, and went to bed.
I didn't try to use the computer again until after school the next day. My mom told me that she couldn't get WordPerfect to work. I couldn't get Napster to work (which mysteriously began to run correctly again about a week ago), or any of the other browsers. This seriously sucked. I started to ask people for help on ICQ, but no one knew what the problem was. Strangely, Outlook Express still worked.. kinda, likewise for ICQ. They both froze up to runtime errors once in a while during their use, but they generally worked. The program that screwed up the most, though, was Explorer, which would often freeze when I did stuff like rename a file or even press the Start button.
It went on like this until about a week ago.
My parents decided that we had to get the computer working again soon, since they need to use the internet for their business; I need it for recreation. :) Anyways, when we were in Ithaca, a city about 20 mins away from us, we stopped at Staples for a few minutes. My mom bought Norton System Works, a compilation of Norton Utilities, Norton Antivirus, Norton CleanSweep, and other programs. I picked up a new keyboard, since the one we had was starting to have the enter and space keys stick. (It's the one I'm typing on now, and it's so much nicer to type on than the other one.) When I got home, I took apart the computer and cleaned it out, because some guy at Staples said that sometimes if your computer gets too dusty inside, it messes up the chips. The computer was really dusty, and it took me a long time to wipe the whole thing down with Q-Tips and blow out all the dust with straws by light of flashlight. :) That was last Thursday. I remember that, since about halfway through cleaning the computer, I stopped to watch WWF SmackDown.
The next day, I installed Norton System Works, and the first thing I did was run AntiVirus. I haven't had very good success with AntiVirus, since I searched for SubSeven with it in January, and it deleted the .exe files of the program, but lef the win.ini edits there, and caused problems when I started up the computer and in between. Anyways, it found that kid's SubSeven program that I got a month before, and a vxd file (virtual device driver) called files32.vxd that was infected with the "PrettyPark.Worm" virus. I deleted the file, and that's when the real fun began.
You see, files32.vxd is a little trick that the PrettyPark worm plays on you. When you delete that file, and you try to run any programs besides MS-DOS, Explorer and Systray, it pops up with a little error box saying "Can not find this file: C:\Windows\files32.vxd. Please type location of this program." If you click properties, it says it's a "virtual device driver required for running file type: Application". I thought I was screwed, and I began looking for this file on any computer I could find. But you see, that's the trick. This file does not exist, and it's not required for running applications. Pretty Park, the program that says that you need the file tricks you into thinking you need it, and also prevents you from doing anything with the computer.
A couple days passed, and I couldn't find the file anywhere. At church this Sunday, someone suggested going to the Norton Knowledge Base at their website, since that site has a lot of information that the actual AntiVirus does not have. I didn't get online until yesterday at about eleven PM, at my mom's office. I wento the website and searched for Pretty Park, and soon found out that I had been fooled by the virus' devious plan. I downloaded a DOS program that will free your system of the program, and I was soon able to run programs again..
But I still got runtime errors.
I thought I had fixed the whole computer, but I didn't. To make a long story short, I ran every possible Norton System Works test, and fixed TONS of problems with the registry, system files and everything else imaginable. I don't exactly know what was causing the runtime errors, but Mr. Norton solved it for me when he fixed up the system. The real problem was simply some messed up line in the registry or something.
Well, now I'm back, and ready to do some updatin', starting tomorrow. I've got a lot of work to do on Thunderbirdatlatl.com today, since it hasn't been updated in about two months. :)
I've got a few more things to add here. My parents ordered a new computer for themselves a few days before I fixed this one. Also, during this month-long period, my grandma gave me her piece-of-junk 486, since she got a brand new Mac. (I tried reasoning with her..preventing her from isolating herself from the rest of the world by buying a non-IBM compatible PC, but it proved useless.) The 486 has Windows 95, but almost no ram, and no modem, so it's useless to me. The computer my parents ordered is a cheap, refurbished blank-tower (no manufacturer) computer with a 466MHZ Celeron processor, 64 megs of ram, a 4.3 GB HD, 48X max CD ROM drive, 16 bit sound card, 4MB video card, 56K modem and Windows 98. It's okay for "four easy payments of $150". I still haven't gotten my computer yet, but I hope to soon. I'm thinking of making it myself, but I might settle for like, a good HP or Compaq.. Maybe..
Anyways, that's my story. Hope I didn't bore you to death. I'm going to talk to WisdomDude about this double webmaster thing and see what he thinks. Sorry about disappearing for a month, but I was only online once in about 40 days there, so cut me some slack. :) I'll see you tomorrow with a brand spankin' new update for all of you little QBers to enjoy!
This is JRO. Just copying and pasting old news to the news archive.I've been working on Pete's QB site for 3 hours, and I was mostly restoring dead file links the RPG section, and I'm still looking for files I wasn't able to find. Right now, I'm wondering if most of you will go to the QBoard and report any typos, dead links, anything you want me to fix. Right now, I'm really tired, and I'm going to try to update more often, since I've been lazy yesterday for no apparrent reason. :P
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