Coded green.

Monday 1 September 2003

Screenshot Master of Magic

Pic of the day: Crushing my enemies like worms. (Screenshot from Master of Magic.) Not to mention crushing worms like enemies.

Bread and circuits

People still get the Blaster worm. I know, because people contact me and ask me what to do. This is a reasonable behavior: We can't all be experts on everything, and by the standards of my generation, I am an expert on "computer things". Thus, the questions. I refer people to Symantec, who seem to gracefully give away a blaster worm remover. The idea is presumably that people will buy their excellent anti-virus software later; I doubt they do it out of the goodness of their hearts. This is not because I doubt the goodness of their hearts; but having been employed for a more than half my life now, I know that goodness of the heart is not encouraged in business. Already Adam Smith, the founder of modern economics, pointed out that it was not benevolence that motivated business, but enlightened self-interest.

In fact my self-interest is so enlightened (when it comes to computers that is), that I have never personally become acquainted with the Blaster worm, or indeed any worm or virus. This is almost counter- intuitive when you remember that I virtually live online, and that I do broadband-level file sharing day and night. But there are a couple reasons for it.

Firstly, I don't use the standard browser and e-mail programs from Microsoft, or at least not on a regular basis. I only fire those up for special occasions. Since many online parasites target holes in this software, they pass me harmlessly by. Second, I don't randomly open seemingly funny attachment from strangers, or even friends. Third, the files I share are not warez (pirated software) or indeed pirated music, movies etc. I only share stuff that falls under the concept of cultural exchange, and it's a domain of pretty undiluted idealism. Well, people are glory hogs; then again, people are glory hogs, that's human nature. And this is not an arena where you get glory from hurting people, but from helping people. This is not always so with the more ethically dubious file sharing arenas.

***

Then there's the technical aspects of it: I have followed Steve Gibson's advice on network bondage, so it is exceedingly hard for a random probe to gain access to my computer. There are necessarily some security holes since I use file sharing software, but rather limited, and there are literally a million easier fishes to catch. As someone explained many years ago (sadly I have forgotten who, but I hope he gets his reward on the Last Day): Thieves are lazy, that's why they steal instead of working. Now you may say that the excitement is part of it too, but I offer neither easy access nor the excitement of, say, a government site. So I'm number one million and some on the target list.

Add a regularly updated anti-virus program and frequent installation of Microsoft's upgrades (which, incidentally, are NEVER sent by e-mail!) and, well, my experience with worms and viruses is less than many housewives. And I'm still talking about the computer type, here. But that doesn't keep me from giving out free advice. That's what being a real man is all about, after all: Making it look like you know everything and never are in doubt. (Just kidding well, mostly...)

***

So, where does the bread come into it? It's not like I earn my daily bread from working with worms and viruses, after all, although I do earn my daily bread from working with software and giving advice about computers and stuff like that.

(And why does the word completion feature persist in trying to make me write "breasts" instead of bread? I know I have written some more Master of Magic fiction lately, but I would like to think that I've been a lot more subtle than this.)

Speaking of Master of Magic, I'm totally binging on it once again. And you know what? You know freaking WHAT? The fourth wizard was Ariel. For the second out of two games, the whole plane of Myrror is empty of competing wizards, and the Spellcaster of Sudden Buggy Death pops up instead. Now my three heroes are racing against time to try to reach her fortress before she does whatever it is they do to lock up my machine. At least Freya isn't here ... I am using her image for my wizard. And it is a good thing also that Ariel had already allied with the other, more ill-tempered wizards, since my code of honor would keep me from attacking her first, bug or no bug. That's just the kind of man I am.

But I was not speaking of MoM, but of bread. I just got distracted by the breasts ... (how is that for an excuse?) What I meant to say was, I am still sticking mostly to my bread and jam diet. I am getting pretty fed up with bred and jam by now, but that's not a bad thing. It still stops the pangs of hunger nicely, and the idea is not to eat when I'm not hungry. Boring food is good. It also helps to have other, non- edible interests, of course. And as I trust you have noticed by now, I have quite a number of these.

(Oh, and for the title ... My name is Magnus Itland, and I am a pun addict. Even though there are already 520 cases of "bread and circuits" on the Net, according to google, this is my first time to invent that wheel, so please cut me some slacks ...)


Yesterday <-- This month --> Tomorrow?
One year ago: My day in Hibernia
Two years ago: Graven images
Three years ago: Not that easy
Four years ago: On this day

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