Yesterday was one of those days where you have a number of plans to accomplish, but somehow none of it ends up working out. Still haven't made it to the DMV or the Post Office, but I guess they are pretty low on the priority list all things considered.
I went to the Hilton yesterday because there were a couple of bets I was considering. In the end, I should have made them all as they all won, but I played small on my most favored and it pains me that I didn't bet more because it was over in the first quarter. Oh well, I won a hundred bucks so I won't complain.
While there, I had dragged my laptop with the intention of doing some writing, but I was beginning a new chapter and couldn't quite figure how I wanted things to go. Perhaps I was a bit sluggish from my corned beef sandwich. It was the first meat I had eaten in 10 days, so maybe it clouded my thinking. I should have had a nice caffeinated soda while I was at it. That would have gotten things going.
I came back home, quite tired because I hadn't slept well the night before and was all ready to call it a day at 7pm even though I had gotten up around 11am. I couldn't seem to get my internet running terribly fast and I wasn't sure why. In the end, I decided perhaps my computer was being used as a spam relay or something similar. For those that don't know, a spam relay is an action taken by people who move illegal content around on the web. Like in the movies, when people bounce their internet signal off a number of servers to hide their actions. Spammers move their spam through other people's IP addresses to protect their own.
I have no proof that this is indeed what was happening, but since I never bother to run with a firewall it leaves my computer open to such abuses. It happened to me at the Knickerbocker once, but back then, all I did was simply unplug from the internet for the night.
My solution was to finally install a firewall. I've been meaning to, but just never cared enough to get right on it. I installed Comodo personal firewall, it ran a scan and quarantined a back door into my system. My first virus in like five or six years. Well, technically not a virus, it's a trojan, but whatever. This action caused the backdoor to lock down my system. I couldn't access much of anything.
But those that know me, know that I am prepared for such eventualities. In fact, I am surprised it took this long for it to happen since I run with absolutely no protections on my system. Must be the Knickerbocker internet is as charmed as it is slow. (Ha! Ha! Ha!) Anyway, I have my drives partitioned in such a way that I can reinstall windows at the drop of a hat.
A half hour later all was right with the world again. It took another hour to download and reinstall my most prominent programs, but I was due. I hadn't installed a fresh set of Windows since January '07, so this is the longest I have gone without one since I bought WinXP Pro. I have been itching to do a fresh install. I get fed up with all the extra crap that I install over time but never use. This gets rid of all that junk.
I went with Zone Alarm as my firewall the second time around. It was nothing against Comodo, I am just more familiar with it and if I have to run one to protect myself in this area of the internet I want it to be the least annoying.
All in all, not a bad day...