Wednesday, July 19, 2006

virus with shoes

Seriously, I got a virus on my mac. You have to try really hard to get one of those. I was in the apple store earlier today and overheard a member of staff tell a customer that 'you can't get viruses on a mac, it's totally impossible', which made me want to say 'well, why have I got one then?' and also 'so how come you sell antivirus software, hmm? You smug, lying, balding, smug man.'

Actually, to give apple their due, it is incredibly hard to get a virus on a mac (pretty much the only way you can get one is if it lurks in a Word attachment, technically hidden in a macro, although I reckon this one was lurking behind the word 'concierge', which always seems suspicious).

In fact, thinking about it, the different store assistant I tried to get some advice off of was also french. Maybe he put it there. I normally try to avoid naming and shaming, as like spider-man, I am aware that the awesome power of the blog comes also with an accompanyingly terrifying responsibility, but seriously, if you're even vaguely high up in the apple store on regent street please sack the french bloke, whose information-passing-on-technique consists of saying 'yers, we doo 'ave the anti-virus software' and taking down the box I had pointed at just a second before.

'So,'I repeated with the patience of a particularly patient saint, 'to repeat my earlier question, does it remove a virus that might be on there already? Or is really more of a barrier against you getting them in the first place?'

He sighed frenchly at the display copy, turning it over in his calloused, wine-stained stinky french paws and shrugging slightly.

'Eet ees anti-virus software' he said, and tried to press it into my clean english hands. I would have none of it, frankly, and took an un-besmirched one off the shelf instead. And then I put that back as well and decided to do a bit more research and as a last resort get it off amazon instead. AND BURN APPLE TO THE GROUND.

Seriously though, I want him sacked. The heat has made me ruthless. I am utterly without ruth.

Other than that, gosh I had a few days. Oh, it was the Fifth Doctor (who was also a vet, and worked in a university surgery) who I bothered a bit. I was at this studio, and I got lost, not helped because they were building the set around me even as I wandered about, including a hedge that grew up while my back was turned - I was expecting David Bowie to start singing a song about goblins any minute - and then I saw said actor, who I knew was heading back to the main part of the set. So I said loudly 'ooh, I'll follow you back to the main bit because I'm lost, so I'll follow you back to the main bit, because I'm lost', and he frowned at me a bit, because to be honest, I could have just followed him, I didn't have to announce what I was doing (twice), but that's what happens when you meet childhood icons, you try and treat them normally, then realize afterwards you have in fact behaved a bit oddly.

Anyway, the important bit is that for thirty rather awkward seconds or so, I trailed behind him down a corridor.

So I 'accompanied' him. I was 'in his company'.

So, working it through to its logical conclusion, I was, for those few short moments, 'a Doctor Who Companion'.

Yes, yes, you may touch me.

Later on, he went to do a bit of acting, and I'm pleased to say I hadn't put him off at all, he was jolly good. I considered popping up behind a bit of set and giving him a big thumbs-up and mouthing 'It's all right, I found my way back, look!' but decided that would be semi-unprofessional.


Anonymous said...

Male Dr Who companions don't exactly have a great record. I seriously doubt anyone wanted to 'touch' Adric

James Henry said...

Jamie the Highlander was cool though - in the books anyway, don't think I ever actually saw him in action. And who'd have thought Mickey would turn out to be not-crap?

I liked the schoolteacher one from the first ever series - always defending ladies, and quite often looked looked like he was going to punch the First Doctor RIGHT ON THE SCHNOZZ!

Ooh, ooh, Sergeant Benton! Again, I only know him from the novelisations.

Anonymous said...

If we're talking books then Fitz is king of the companions.

Anonymous said...

"The continued popularity of iPod personal music players has helped Apple Computer see quarterly profits rise by 48% compared with a year earlier.
Apple shipped 1.33 million Macintosh computers, a rise of 12% on a year earlier."

This article from the BBC website clearly shows that the people are not listening to your sage words of warning. Or if they are then they're being very obtuse.
I feel the only course of action is infact the suggested ceremonial burning of the apple shop. We can all come along and cook potatoes in the ashes.
I myself am fairly indifferent to Apple in general as I am still mourning the demise of the glorious Acorn Archimedes 410 of my childhood which, provided you kept the hamster well fed, never ever broke down. Thus I hate ALL those computers with their pingy whatsits and infrared doo dahs and their smug smug little noises that usurped them.
My office is currently 82 degrees.

Anonymous said...

I've got a "Genius Bar" (huh) appointment today in the lovely, lovely Apple store to talk about the death of my ipod. The ipod they gave me exactly one week ago to replace my previous dead ipod (which, in itself, was a replacement of another dead ipod - I've been through 3 minis and 3 20GB in the past 20 months. I am an ipod destroyer). Will kick French guy when I pass him if you like.

PS My Word Verification is hunnyba - just thought you'd like to know.

James Henry said...

Oh yeah, he's supposed to be very good - I'm not very up on the spinoff novels (although I've read a few of the Bernice Somerfields and liked them a lot) - I grew up on the Terry Nation novelisations, which were always 20p in the local second hand bookshop, so knew all the stories without having seen a single episode.

Anonymous said...

I can definitely recommend the BBC 8th Doctor ones with the odd exception of course. Sam, the first companion was universally loathed but Fitz was really popular and was in about three quarters of the books (there are over 70).

Anonymous said...

The thing about the French and the Belgians is, that it helps if you realise that they're not personally being rude. It's just the way things work there.

If a French person gives you the "Zat ees not mah probleeem" shrug, what you don't do is go all English on them. You make it their problem. When they protest, you give them the gallic shrug back. It's not your problem, it's now theirs. Don't try to make them like you, by being polite and English. That confuses them. You have to be French back.

I learnt this the hard way, by being stuck in Brussels when the Eurostar died.

Don't get me started about how you get things done in the Netherlands.

BTW : word verification "kufkywax".
Is this a little like french polish?

James Henry said...

When I worked in a bookshop, I found German people terribly bossy and rude, until I realised that they expected to be talked to in the same way - and it was just was how their language worked. Which made me go 'oh I seeeeeeeee' and then feel rightly guilty about misunderstanding them for all those years.

I don't mind adopting the midset of another country when I'm in their country, or if I'm the server behind the till. But having to try and be a bit french just to get service in a store on regent street is just one more indignity heaped on my by apple (my new ipod is lovely by the way, working like a dream thus far). I do think that french guy should be encouraged to adopt a more anglo-saxon attitude, or perhaps seek a new arena of work though. In the shrugging or 'heavy breathing' industries perhaps.

baggiebird said...

I libe in fear of getting a Virus on my laptop. Ah unhelpful shop assistant's, isn't that a contradiction in terms? All your apple problems make me glad I didn't an I pod

Anonymous said...

semi- unprofessional?
meh! i can deal with that.

cello said...

It's probably more like tautology, baggiebird.

Anyway James, I like Peter Davidson in general but he never did it for me as Dr Who; no hint of menace, which is what all the good ones have, however genial they are on the surface.

Saw Beryl V on Tuesday night (though not VP sadly) and she talked lots about you and Peter D, so I'm guessing that's where you saw him.

Shrugging is part of the Baccalauréat. The correct English response should be either to dither or to have a cup of tea. That foxes 'em. I shall be doing a bit of both in Provence in a day's time. Yippee!

James Henry said...

I believe a number of independent witnesses can attest to me having 'dithering' as a major part of my social armoury.

Enjoy Provence cells!

Heather said...

My Doctor Who knowledge is slightly shakey since watching one particular episode as a child terrified me so much that I decided never to watch it again.

I recently rewatched the offending episode. It had viking vampires terrorising a WWII British sea side town, how fantatic!? Not too scary either. My 6 year old self was obviously a wuss.

Credit to you though on being a Doctor's companion, albeit briefly.

Anonymous said...

Hi there,

Just to clear up the situation (well, hopefully, maybe I'll just muddy the waters some more!)

There is as yet NO OSX virus. There are a couple of trojans (one via Safari, one via iChat) and the macro viruses of which you speak, but no native Cocoa/Carbon/whatever ones.

This is of course of little consolation to you should you have the Macro virus bug or a trojan.

The anti-virus package *should* remove the wee insect even post-infection.

One thing to note though - buy the Intego product. Do not, under any circumstance buy the Norton/Symantec one. This latter has a nasty habit of ballsing up the Operating System in various subtle and indiduous ways.

A virus checker is worthwile on the Mac since if you receive a Windows virus via eMail, say, it will trap it and let you delete it before you pass it on to your Windows-using friends.


James Henry said...

Ah, good point - it isn't really a mac virus is it, just a pc one that can survive in a mac.

I have gone and ordered the Norton one now though - is it that rubbish? Shit. Maybe I'll cancel it.

Anonymous said...

Yes, if you can, dicth the Norton one. Mac forums seem to universally agree that it is Satan-ware!

The Intego one is supposed to be very good.

Mind you, I have neither, so... ;)


Anonymous said...

You reminded me that Peter Davidson was in one of my most favourite ever telly shows of all time 'A Very Peculiar Practice' Remember the random nuns? Genius

Hamilton's Brain said...

It's understandable you getting lost like that. All the corridors look the same.

(And it's Davison, Cello, not Davidson. Cut to: The good lady husband's "worst ever Doctor Who signing" anecdote.)

(And was that the Horror of Fang Rock, Heather?

James Henry said...

Tell the story HB - did GLH tell Fifth he had spelleded his name wrong then?

Heather said...

I believe that particular episode was called The Curse Of Fenrir.

Vampires and vikings combined. Who'd have thunk it?

(My earlier post was supposed to say fantastic, not fantatic. Damn misspellification!)

Hamilton's Brain said...

And Nicholas Parsons as a vicar! I think he had pants on though.

James Moran said...

Was there sexual tension? Did you make saucy comments and bite your lip "saucily", and then inappropriately laugh in the face of danger??

I liked the 5th Doctor, but NEVER forgave him for taking away Tom Baker. Still heartbroken.

Don't bother with the antivirus - someone must have passed it on to you, it's their machine that needs cleaning up, not yours. Find out where it came from, and tell them to install AVG, and Firefox, and Spybot, and to stop looking at naughty websites.

Matt said...

with my dull "actually got a degree in this" hat on, the very first virus was actually on a mac. circa 1981. hah!

though now, yes, they generally are targetted at IBM PCs, and Windows in particular.

Anonymous said...

I used to like A Very Peculiar Practice, although the unanswered question as to why two nuns were wandering around the campus, has caused me many a sleepless night.

patroclus said...

I liked Peter Davison as Dr Who, but obviously he was no match for Tom Baker. And worryingly, I also used to fancy PD, but (even more worryingly) only when he was playing Albert Campion.

I love cello's attempts at being cryptic about her glam industry soirées. It's like a not-very-well-disguised roman à clef.

Today I must use lots of pretentious French phrases. It's de rigueur.

Anonymous said...

Apple sent me an email today extolling the virtues of their computers - because they don't get viruses! I thought the website might amuse you (for "amuse", read " make you scream and pull your hair out at their smugness")


Anonymous said...

Speaking as a Doctor Who fan of the 21st Century (none of this 'before I was born ergo before time itself' pap) I think that you would be the only acceptable substitute for Billie Piper, James.

*goes back to rocking in a corner after watching Doomsday*


I've been in this corner too long.

woot said...

I know nothing about Dr Who having seen only 2 episode of the new ones with the guy from Harry Potter being the Dr. Didn't understand that they wer funny - thought they were strange star trek type shows.

Anyway - if you need anti virus go to it is totally free and totally works. All you do is register once a year. It doesn't mess with operating systems or anything like that, just sits there stopping you from getting viruses. Is quite handy.

I will be awaiting my bribe from them through the post...

Anonymous said...

I know this is late, but i've been away, you know.

Anyway, was this the new sitcom with the Lovely Pippa Haywood, by any chance? In which case, is it any good? I think I read half a script of it a while back and thought it promising, but that was pre-casting.

And A Very Peculiar Practice rocked, though i have a terrible feeling that my pre-pubescent self had a (probably non-sexual, let's face it) crush on PD in All Creatures Great & Small.

James Henry said...

I thought I'd answer Pash's question, ONE MILLION YEARS LATER.

The sitcom was 'Fear Stress and Anger', which is going out this week I think. I couldn't get a handle on what it was like, because I saw one scene done five times, but it was pleasingly wistful, and had some good words in it, which boded well.