Tuesday, November 04, 2008


What an apt word.  It describes, first off, yours truly.  As a writer, I hack my way through the ideas in my head and my infantile use of grammar to arrive at something readable.

Of course, today, the word is perfect when paired with "political."  I got up and voted and unlike many people, I still believe one vote counts.  More on that later.

Still further, the word applies to what happened to my Facebook account.  My bull dropping detector went off line for a moment and led me to click on something I shouldn't have.  Because of this, both Firefox and IE are not functioning because the proxy settings are wrong.  I can't figure out how to fix this and as I have tried to log into two different networks, the problem is localized to those programs.  Sadly, this is just another way of saying "you need a new laptop, Padre."  Just need the cash to buy the new laptop...

All of this is to tell you, posts will be infrequent until I figure out a solution.  Cheers.


Jeremy said...

Have you considered restoring your laptop to a restore point prior to the issue coming up? Most operating systems automatically create restore points every few days. I've done this before myself when I've gotten a virus I couldn't get rid of.

I'm no expert, but you might try that.

Michael Bates said...

You shouldn't need proxy settings to use most networks. Companies sometimes have them, but you should have no proxy when connecting at, say, Panera or your local wi-fi coffee house.

One possibility that comes to mind, given the symptoms you report: Something corrupted your "hosts" file. It's a file that translates from host names to IP addresses. Most of this is handled by DNS nowadays, but the "hosts" files still exists, and it overrides information from DNS. It's possible that a malicious website executed code to rewrite it.

A normal hosts file will have a bunch of lines that begin with a "#" -- those are comments and aren't used by the system. There should only be one line that isn't commented or blank. It will start with, followed by whitespace (spaces, tabs or a combination -- doesn't matter), followed by the word localhost.

The hosts file is in the C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\etc folder. You can open it in Notepad. It's a quick and easy thing to check, and easy to fix if that's the problem.

Feel free to e-mail me at blog at batesline dot com if you have questions about what I've written.