How annoying is it when you catch a cold? We have all been there, coughs and sniffles, sneezes and watering eyes – and we all know who we got it from too! How is it then, that your computer catches a virus? Does it go out on the razzle at night and get too close to another one? Does it cough all over its companion at the next door desk? Does it not take its vitamin tablets every morning like its mother told it to? Well then how does it manage to get infected!!!!

One of our machines recently suffered with what turned out to be a terminal illness – all from a seemingly innocuous link to a reputable website that had been used hundreds of times before, but accessed from a shortcut saved on the desktop.

Why do people do this? I have heard of chicken-pox parties to make sure an infected child passes the dreaded lurgy to as many other children as possible, to get it over with as painlessly as possible while they are still young, but what is the point of making someone’s computer die? How does that benefit the person doing the infecting? What do they get from it? Are they looking down on us having a good laugh at our attempts to work?

Our poor computer couldn’t be treated with the usual support medication as the virus was too aggressive – it finally had to be taken away to isolation and receive life support. Thankfully it was saved from the scrap heap, but suffered some permanent memory loss and required substantial retraining before it remembered the bulk of what it had previously known.

The sad thing is, you don’t realise how much you rely on your computer until it’s not there – how did we fill our days before we had them? I suppose everything took so much longer in the ‘good old days’ when we hand-wrote ledgers and registers, but at least nothing stopped us – now we are helpless without our faithful PCs.