Windows? Oh, right, that means malware

We’ve been a Microsoft-free household for the better part of a decade.  I had one lonely copy of Windows XP on a virtual machine so that I could occasionally use iTunes to manage my iPad.  Everything else runs some variant of Linux, OSX, or iOS.  Until yesterday, Christmas day.

We purchased new hardware so the girls can a) run their Windows-based games, and b) stop fighting over the other “fast” computer.  It wasn’t a terribly expensive machine (<$200) but it offers decent performance.  We went completely over to the Dark Side and purchased it from our local Microsoft Store.

I was pleased with the whole process — I rather prefer the tenor of the Microsoft Store over the Apple Store (located a few storefronts away in the same mall).  Windows 10 is supposed to be so much better, too.  I’m not a fan of the interface but it is intuitive for some tasks.

I have just, as I type this, finished removing malware.  Already.  Less than 24  hours after turning their new, fully-patched Windows laptop over to the kids, there is malware on it.  The built-in Windows Defender virus and malware scanner didn’t detect it, of course, but it was clear that something was wrong when I borrowed it back to check on it.

Color me unsurprised.  I’m just glad that I took a whole-disk image before first boot.  I think I will be restoring it to factory settings before too long.  (the bastards don’t include recovery media anymore.)  I’m also glad that tools like MalwareBytes and Spybot Search and Destroy have free versions.

Christmas Choral Concert (CCC)

It’s that time of year again: Beta’s fifth grade class concert.

Beta, smiling
By accident, I managed to snap a good photo of Beta while everyone else was looking away.

The concert was pretty good overall, but the real highlight was a kid in the band who was responsible for banging a cowbell (more cowbell!).  He was way in the back with the rest of the percussionists, and half in the shadow, but he was the most enthusiastic member — and his timing was spot-on.