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Up Your System (standard:action, 3433 words)
Author: hvysmkerAdded: Jul 09 2004Views/Reads: 2193/1360Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
The hidden world of a Computer Repairman, including an Inside job. Part Documentary
 



I was met at the door by my new client, Adam Thompson.  He was very
nervous, almost shaking in his boot.  They usually are, by the time 
they call me.  Sure, you can do it yourself.  I hear that all the time. 


Then comes the time, when you need an expert. That's me,  The Computer
Expert. 

“I can't tell you how happy I am that your could make it here, Mr.
Smith.”  He looked around nervously.  “On such short notice, too.” 

“Is that the Subject?”  I nodded toward an I.B.M. Computer, on an ornate
work desk, surrounded by piles of printouts.  Obviously a work 
computer. 

“Yes, Sir.  You see it....” 

“I know.  It's my job.  They fight back, but I always win.”  Ignoring
the pained owner, I sat down and studied my subject.  It's impertinent 
attitude stirred my emotions, but I just looked back, seemingly 
uninterested.  “Please leave me alone with it Sir.  I work best alone, 
and it might get ugly in here.” 

Slowly, with a grin at the blank screen, I reached down and hit the
power switch.  It must have recognized me, or what I am, as seemed to 
reach toward me in hope.  Stupid machine, I just pressed the power 
switch on the monitor.  I could see the sadness in the computer as it 
booted up. 

When the memory check finished the operating system came on, Windows XP.
 A newer type  system, and one easy to compromise.  It just sat there, 
icons waiting for my first command.  I sat and watched back.  The 
machine started getting nervous after a few minutes.  You see, 
computers are really dumb. 

Basically they can only add, OR subtract, and compare and store the
results.  They just use tricks to make you think they're smart. 

In any case, once I got it booted up I tried the Internet Explorer. 
Immediately, ads started popping up.  After running a series of anti-ad 
and spyware programs 

(The best two are both free and can be downloaded from the Internet. 
They are Ad-Aware at: http://www.lavasoftusa.com/   and Spy-Bot at : 
http://www.safer-networking.org/nl/home/index.html ) 

I found about fifty such programs running on the computer.  No wonder it
looked sad and ran slow.  I made sure the owner was out of the room, 
then locked the door.  I would have to go in. 

**** 

I entered through the USB port in the back.  I could have used the
serial port, or any other entrance, but the USB was both larger and let 
me go right into the system, without squeezing around through obscure 
circuits.  As their ads stated, Instant Connection. 

I made my way through the circuits to the c.p.u.  It was slow going,
since I had to walk slowly.  The owner hadn't dusted the inside since 
he bought the computer.  Every time I tried to hurry I kicked up dust 
and couldn't see. 

I knew the computer didn't want me in there, it disturbed them, and
would gladly fry me if I made a misstep.  Carefully making my way 
around the power supply I took stock, examining the power ribbons and 
wires.  I knew the c.p.u. could be found by following the data ribbons 
from the mother board to the hard drive. 

Finding the c.p.u. I entered through a back-door.  Operating systems
have a lot of back doors, especially those from Microsoft.  It lets the 
programmers get in, and to certain routines, without signing in at the 
front desk with passwords, then walking through the corridors. 

Once inside the c.p.u.  I checked my weapons.  I had an anti-popup
pistol, a small but powerful virus blaster, and an ad-paring knife.  I 


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