Maybe what I did was wrong?
After all, the bloke was only trying to help.
It may have been wrong, but it was fun.
You see, I got a telephone call today. It was one of those Indian computer scammers who was trying to “fix” my Windows. Unlike most though, this bloke had a reasonable grasp of English and I could actually understand what he was saying. I decided to play along.
“May I speak to the householder?” Says he.
“I am the householder” says I keeping my language as plain as possible.
We established that I was sitting comfortably and that my PC was switched on.
He went into a long rigmarole about how he had been appointed by Microsoft to fix computers and that they had informed him that my PC was infected. He told me how thousands of my files would have been changed and that my computer was full of viruses.
“Wow!” says I “That sounds very serious. Is it dangerous?”
“Do not worry” says he. “I will fix it for you.”
I told him he was very kind. He liked that.
He then proceeded to give lengthy instructions on how to find the Ctrl key. After a suitable pause, I told him I had found it.
He then directed me to the key beside it. I asked if it was the key with the four little bent squares on it. This caused some confusion but he agreed in the end that I had indeed found the right key. He told me to hold down that key and press R. Now anyone who uses Linux will know that this will do fuck all. I was intrigued at this stage so decided to fire up Windows along with Linux. I had to explain the delay, so I told him I had pressed something wrong and that the machine was “re-something” “Rebooting?” says he, obviously delighted to have a right plonker on the line.
While Windows was loading we had a wee chat. We established that I was on a dial up connection [I’m not] and that only myself and the five kids had access to my PC. He promptly blamed the kids for the infection.
Eventually, Windows loaded and I followed his instructions and ran “inf”. It didn’t work and I told him so. This frustrated him, because he explained that “inf” is the command to show infected files [whereas I know that it’s supposed to show the legitimate contents of a Windows folder called “Inf”]. I told him that it was very difficult anyway to hold down Ctrl, the Windows key AND type “inf” all at the same time. He sighed.
He decided to take a new tack and said he would fix the problem for me. I told him that he was very kind. He told me to fire up my browser. I switched back to Linux where my browser was already open, and played a swift game of cards. He asked what was taking so long. I told him my browser was just loading and that it was being very slow today. Eventually I finished my game and said I was ready.
“Good” says he. “Now do you see where it says “google.ie” at the top?” This was clever. The fucker at least knew he was talking to someone in Ireland. “Now wipe that out so it is just a blank box.”
I told him I had done that.
“Now type W W W” says he.
“W W W W” says I.
“Noooooo! W W W. Three Ws.”
“Sorry” says I. “W W W.”
“Dot” says he.
“D O T” says I. That really pissed him off.
This went on for a while and eventually he steered me into a site – www.ammyy.com which offers a free download for remote control software. At last I could see where this was heading. He told me to download it.
“I can’t do that” says I.
“Why not?” says he, getting frustrated again.
“Because I am using Linux and it won’t run.”
There was a long pause. “What did you say?” says he at last.
“I said I am running Linux and I can fix any imaginary problems myself because I am a computer engineer……….”
I have never heard someone hang up so fast. It must have been a world record.
I was enjoying myself.