Computery badness

It’s the logic board that’s shot, not the power supply. I’m not sure why Apple doesn’t call it a motherboard like the rest of the world – uh, scratch that. I do.

It’ll cost $708 after taxes to repair. That’s still less expensive than buying a comparable used iMac off eBay, but a lot more than a $160 power supply.

Child Three is in Ontario somewhere or possibly LaSalle. Regardless, I can use his Windows 7 computer and his superchunky gaming keyboard while he’s gone. It practically sounds like a typewriter.

Upon opening Chrome on the boy’s computer, I was besieged by ads and in-page dialogue pop-ups. He had adware/malware infecting his system and this was not an easy problem to solve.

Some of it was branded as from the YTubeAdsRemover extension but when I opened Chrome’s extensions page, I got a message that it was “Installed by enterprise policy” and there was no way to disable it there.

It also doesn’t show up in Windows’ “Uninstall or change a program” panel (snappy name, that). What does show up there are some suspicious programs. I deleted those but it didn’t solve the problem.

A Google search leads to a number of dubious choices, especially when this insidious adware is planting false links.

After a couple of false starts, I found one thing that did work – maybe two.

The first thing I did was download and run Junkware Removal Tool, which a few reputable sources recommended. It did this:

~~~ Services
Successfully stopped: [Service] backupstack
Successfully deleted: [Service] backupstack

~~~ Registry Values
Successfully repaired: [Registry Value] HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows\\AppInit_DLLs

~~~ Registry Keys
Successfully deleted: [Registry Key] HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AppID\{18B9B16E-716F-43DF-A6AD-512C7D2EB983}
Successfully deleted: [Registry Key] HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AppID\{19975B78-1907-4DD6-A437-4C48120F46A4}
Successfully deleted: [Registry Key] HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AppID\{562B9317-C08A-444A-9482-62080DD851AE}
Successfully deleted: [Registry Key] HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AppID\addonsframework.dll
Successfully deleted: [Registry Key] HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AppID\buttonsite.dll
Successfully deleted: [Registry Key] HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AppID\scripthost.dll
Successfully deleted: [Registry Key] HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{3C471948-F874-49F5-B338-4F214A2EE0B1}
Successfully deleted: [Registry Key] HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Interface\{31E3BC75-2A09-4CFF-9C92-8D0ED8D1DC0F}
Successfully deleted: [Registry Key] HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\TypeLib\{E2343056-CC08-46AC-B898-BFC7ACF4E755}
Successfully deleted: [Registry Key] HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\conduit
Successfully deleted: [Registry Key] HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software \installedbrowserextensions
Successfully deleted: [Registry Key] HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\ CurrentVersion\App Paths\mypc backup
Successfully deleted: [Registry Key] HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\ CurrentVersion\Uninstall\optimizer pro_is1
Successfully deleted: [Registry Key] HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Classes \Toolbar.CT3309762
Successfully deleted: [Registry Key] HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchScopes\{1c3e43b0-c3b0-468d-a56b-13748674893a}
Successfully deleted: [Registry Key] HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchScopes\{52db1893-8a90-4192-aede-08e00b8f8473}

~~~ Folders
Successfully deleted: [Folder] "C:\ProgramData\conduit"
Successfully deleted: [Folder] "C:\ProgramData\wincert"
Successfully deleted: [Folder] "\searchprotect"
Successfully deleted: [Folder] "C:\Program Files (x86)\conduit"
Successfully deleted: [Folder] "C:\Program Files (x86)\magnipic"
Successfully deleted: [Folder] "C:\Program Files (x86)\movies toolbar"
Successfully deleted: [Folder] "C:\Program Files (x86)\mypc backup"
Successfully deleted: [Folder] "C:\Program Files (x86)\optimizer pro"
Successfully deleted: [Folder] "C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\ Programs\optimizer pro v3.2"

I’m sure that rid the computer of all sorts of crap, but it didn’t solve the YTubeAdsRemover problem.

This Malware Tips page, however suspicious it seems, did. Thank you, Stelian Pilici.

I stopped at Step 4. Step 5 is downloading more software to make sure there’s nothing else left and that was a step I wasn’t willing to take. I figured if the problem had not been fixed, I’d know. So far, so good.

My superpower

I appear to manifest power failures. I told Child 1 that I feel like a mutant X-Man. She said I would be the crappiest X-Man of them all.

It started yesterday when I was at the dentist. Not at the dentist, though – the power failure happened at home. When I got home, I discovered the damage, and damage it was. My iMac, my beloved Bender, would not boot.

I couldn’t get the chime to even sound. I would unplug the thing and plug it in again to reset the SMC, but the best I could manage from that was a whir that died after a second. I’m not sure if it was the hard disc or a fan. Does the 27″ iMac even have a fan in it? Regardless, this was obviously a hardware issue and not something I could fix myself.

I learned you can’t call an Apple Store directly to make an appointment so I hung up the phone and went to Apple’s Web site to make an appointment with the store I jut hung up on. This was around 3:00 and I snagged an appointment for 4:30 – not too bad.

At the Apple Store, the genius (I can’t type or say that without sounding sarcastic even if I’m not) plugged in and tried to start the iMac. He got the startup chime, but nothing else. On his second try, the chime eluded him as it had me.

The genius (snicker) laid out the options for me. The best-case scenario is a blown power supply that would cost $130 to replace. The middling-case scenario is a blown logic board, which would cost me about $600. We all know what the worst case would be, but I do have everything backed up on a Time Machine archive as far as I know.

I’m oddly optimistic. It’s like I’m paying $130 for a forced staycation. All my clients are understanding and none need anything right now.

So, as part of my forced time off, I decided to catch a movie tonight with Child 1, the only family member who was both home and willing to go see “Snowpiercer”, an apocalyptic SF tale that’s a cross between “The Road Warrior” and “Murder on the Orient Express”.

The first two-thirds of the movie captivated me despite some wooden acting on the part of the lead, whom I didn’t recognize but whom Child 1 informs me is Captain America. Everything else worked.

I can’t say I’m disappointed with the final third of the film because the theatre and the mall it is in suffered a – yes – power failure. We sat in the dark for 15 minutes before the theatre staff decided that there wouldn’t be time to show the rest of the late show. They gave each of us a free admission and an offer to come see the rest of the movie at another time.

All I need now is a mutant name. I’m thinking of the Brown-Out Aura.

101 things about 101 Squadron

1. A few weeks ago, I spoke with my co-author Alex Yofe. He’s working on books on the P-51 Mustang and Mosquito in the Israeli Air Force and hope to have them out by the end of the year.

After that, we are going to – drumroll, please – work on a second edition of the S-199 book. He has some new material that we will incorporate.

10. I hope to convince him to put out our book, and possibly some of his other work, in an e-book format. He said we should look at that after the second edition comes out in paper. I’m skeptical. He’s sensitive to people stealing his artwork.

AlbertWolfe11. I think I have tracked down one of the “lost” pilots of 101 Squadron. No one has been able to pinpoint who Al Wolfe was. He didn’t stay long with 101 Squadron, and maybe he didn’t spend much time in Israel. His name appears on one or two of the squadron’s mission debriefs. That’s all anybody has ever figured out.

But, to quote from the Facebook page of the 359th Fighter Group: “Capt. Albert E. Wolfe of Nanticoke, Penn., flew with the 370th Fighter Squadron, 359th Fighter Group, from August 1944 through May 1, 1945, when he ended his tour of duty.”

That’s him to the left. He flew P-51D CS-H 44-14979.

100. After years of rumours, Spielberg has finally produced a film on 101 Squadron – but it’s Nancy Spielberg. Her documentary, “Above and Beyond“, is making its premier this week or two ago and is making the rounds of film festivals this summer. Click the link for a trailer.

Nice job, Nancy. I wish you would have taken me up on my offer to help. Alex is also a bit perplexed about not being contacted.

101. There are no flying S-199s and even if one could fly I doubt anyone would try. Spielberg rented a Hispano Buchon from the Imperial War Museum at Duxford and filmed there, as you can see from these production stills. As the page states, “After scouring the globe for a flying Avia, we came up empty handed. An almost identical cousin is the Bouchon which, as you can see below, we painted with period IAF markings.”

If they painted the freaking thing, WHY DIDN’T THEY DO IT ACCURATELY? It’s not hard to find out what the Avia S-199’s looked like. The one at the Israeli Air Force Museum is painted more or less properly – and the documentary uses it as background. You can see it in the trailer.

I just don’t understand. If you’re going to be allowed to paint somebody else’s airplane, why not do it the way you want?

Even better, why use a real airplane at all? From further down on the page comes this gem: “Thanks to an incredibly generous in-kind donation of services from George Lucas’ special effects company, Industrial Light and Magic, we will be combining our live footage with computer generated imagery of flying planes.”

Why not do it all in CG and use a mock-up on the ground? This photo drives me nuts:
Buchonx4-CGI

That’s four Buchons with Israeli markings. It could have been four Avias…. Nancy, Nancy, Nancy, renting that Buchon was a waste of money.