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Half rant, half solution. 
19th-Jan-2009 05:09 pm
Being a morning person isn't always as advantageous as I'd like it to be; It means the most productive time of my day is only a couple of hours after waking up: if I don't get into my swing by then I can pretty much put money on the day having been wasted. And well, it takes me an about an hour to get out of bed, get dressed, feed the cat, change his litter, have breakfast, get my stuff together, fit in 10 minutes meditation and leave. How people manage to get a shower in and still do all this in a much smaller time, I'll never know. And yes, I could get a longer meditation in if I left it to the evening, but I'd never do it if I did that. I find it easier to keep to a routine in the morning, and by the evening my own brain is so full and busy that trying to meditate is like trying to stop a speeding motorbike with manual brakes: nothing is accomplished and I just cause myself pain.

Then there's the hour long train journey. Not frustrating or a pain by any means: I can read if my mind's in the right place, listen to music or a podcast, knit.But it takes an hour, during which i am not sitting at my computer with my notes to my side, Word open, thinking PhD thoughts.

I'm OK, really,with waking up two hours before I need to start work. About a year ago I switched my regular waking up time from 6.00 to 7.00 and I think the extra hour in bed has been good for me. I'm really not OK with the fact that it's taking my laptop longer and longer each morning to power up and be usable, so I now have half an hour to 45 minutes just to be able to check my email, start Word and actually begin to settle. And that is in itself half an hour of frustration and anger, that manages to stir up everything meditation calmed.

The problem with the computer start up time is the virus software my college insisted I install on this laptop three years ago: F-Secure, which contains a program called fssm32.exe that regularly takes up 150- to 200 Mb of RAM and up to 99% of CPU runtime, slowing the computer down to unusable levels, especially early on in the day. This morning I once again tried installing a hotfix I apparently installed in 2007, only to be told:
F-secure Alert and Management Extension Handler has encountered a problem and needs to close
which halted that attempt in its tracks. I've also run a couple of disk-cleanup programmes, so we'll see how that works out.

Otherwise, can anyone recommend reliable, memory-sparse anti-virus software I could install instead?

Meanwhile, the other problem is of course the stress this causes me. I could get out my knitting or even meditate while I wait, but I have a shared office and this could be considered weird. But it occurred to me that I could let my computer boot up while I do my meditation somewhere else. That would save me time leaving the house at least. I shall investigate the fabled prayer room, and see if I can't grab a few minutes in the morning. Thus, I work on both the cause of the problem and my reaction to it, which once upon a time I wouldn't have considered.
19th-Jan-2009 05:06 pm (UTC)
I hear the occasional praise for AVG, but I've never actually used antivirus software so..
19th-Jan-2009 05:32 pm (UTC)
Avira. Free for home offices. Works wonderfully, updates daily, nags 'buy me' but never does anything nasty, never gobbles memory.
19th-Jan-2009 05:40 pm (UTC)
I'm using both versions of Spysweeper, the anti-virus and the anti-spyware. Occasionally things will bog down for 10 or 15 seconds as it updates, but that's about it. I've been using it for over three years now and never had a problem.

I'm pretty sure you can download a free trial for 30 days to try it out. Then it'll bug you to buy it. I think it's been worth the money.
19th-Jan-2009 06:26 pm (UTC)
Another vote for AVG. I was using Norton, and as soon as I switched everything started to run much faster. e.g booting in about a minute or so, rather than 10+.
19th-Jan-2009 07:39 pm (UTC)
Another vote for the free version of AVG. It's free and gets the job done without too much bloat.

I use NOD 32 on my PC box, which is better, but like Kaspersky you have to pay for it.

19th-Jan-2009 10:46 pm (UTC)
I'd second Avira. AVG has had a problem with deleting certain .ini files in Windows that should never be touched in their 8.0 series of updates. It's rare, but I'd rather not have it have the 1% chance because the program updated itself.
20th-Jan-2009 05:39 pm (UTC)
I could get out my knitting or even meditate while I wait, but I have a shared office and this could be considered weird.

I was going to suggest that you do this because as I'm not going to think you are weird. I've knitted in the office before :) But then realized that I'm never actually in the office first thing in the morning and that this probably won't help matters. I'll be in later in the week if you want to catch up.
20th-Jan-2009 05:43 pm (UTC)
-are you secretly didus_ineptus?
20th-Jan-2009 05:52 pm (UTC)
Yep - realised that the only reason I was logging into other journal was to comment on your posts! Congratulations on Abby - hope she and your sister are well. How is the knitting? I've made 4 scarves and an ipod case since I last saw you.
21st-Jan-2009 09:21 am (UTC)
The knitting is going OK, even if I'm putting it down a lot while I do a rather fiddly little coat. I'm defintiely proud of it, though.

I'm not in Friday and spending much of tomorrow with the family, but I hope to see you.
21st-Jan-2009 05:32 pm (UTC)
Ah, I'll be in on Friday. Ok maybe next week. The coat sounds great. I'm still on the simple things, think I'll try a hat next. I need to find somewhere around here that sells cheaper wool before I can do anything else.
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