I have been grappling with the computer poltergeists.
Alan and I were in San José (where they have high speed internet) and I punched the software update option on my aging (by computer standards) but still trusty Mac laptop.
Why, yes, I thought, I do want that new security update. Later that day I could no longer locate my preferences. I punched the command. Nothing. Zip. Nada.
Almost immediately I began to have paranoid thoughts of Cryptonomican-like hackers staying at the hotel stealing passwords to my bank accounts and all the rest of my life. I shut off the computer, but I’m not sure in this age of technology if that would be good enough.
I recently heard a horror story on NPR about a family that had their “family plan” cell phones hacked. The perpetrators could power the phones up when the family turned them off, they could view the family through the camera mode of the phones, and sent threatening text messages warning them to quit turning the phones off. The cell phone provider (Sprint, by the way) refused to believe them. They finally hired a technology exorcist who found a command that had probably been inserted into the phones by a ringtone download. The thought was that one of the kids was invited by one of her new chums at MySpace to download a ringtone. Bingo.
To further justify my paranoia let me tell you that Costa Rica is fast becoming the spam capital of the world. There are now huge call centers here with all manner of services being provided. Recently it was online gambling, but they have fled for Gibraltar–thank god– because of threatened US litigation. Now it seems to be pornography and counterfeit software.
Aren’t they one and the same?
Anyway, back to my computer problems. Once the preferences failed it went downhill from there. Suffice it to say that I have now learned how to use something called Pacifist to download all my preferences again from the original Tiger disc (without destroying all the years of updates that have come out since I originally loaded it).
I have reloaded all my email back onto Mail after God knows what ate it. Thank the Cyber gods for Gmail archives! I can tell you that sorting through some 3500 messages and downloading them at dial-up modem speed is time consuming.
So I have had a spirited couple of weeks. All of it growth producing.