Linked by David Adams on Fri 25th Sep 2009 16:17 UTC
Bugs & Viruses A non-OSNews-reader asks: "I've got 5 PCs that I'm trying to use to train disadvantaged young people. The problem is they are riddled with viruses and a firewall blocks me from updating them. The people in charge of maintaining the PCs won't fix them or give me the admin password (Win XP) to let me install a new or updated antivirus. The centre is being shut down in a few months. If they were working, I could still do a lot with them, so I've been looking for a good online virus scan - but they all try to download a little .exe onto your PC first, and the settings on the PCs won't allow that. Suggestions? Solutions? Links?" Read on for our recommendation. Update: It appears that this question is part of an elaborate email scam designed to propagate malware. See here for details.
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RE[2]: Argh.
by NathanHill on Fri 25th Sep 2009 22:26 UTC in reply to "RE: Argh."
Member since:

Don't do anything.

What a great solution, I'm sure he never thought of that.


It's what the people in charge of the lab want him to do. And even if he fixes the problem, the computers get shut down in a few months. I mean, seriously, this isn't some heroic moment to show your computer skills. There are just much better battles to fight. Spend your positive energy in a place where people are going to appreciate it.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Argh.
by Jokel on Sat 26th Sep 2009 06:17 in reply to "RE[2]: Argh."
Jokel Member since:

I think you hit the nail on the head. Let me illustrate this with a with a little story:

A friend of my was working in a IT department from a large institution. There was a small training room filled with computers. They where all badly infested with malware and viruses. Needless to say they where not connected to the corporation network, but had their own "line" to the outside world. The IT department did not want to put in any effort to clean up the mess.

My friend got the idea he could make some promotion by showing off his skills. And this looked the ideal opportunity. Yeah - he would be ranking high by taking this "personal" effort. Anyway - his idea was to impress upper management by getting the computers back working smoothly and malware/virus free. He did this little project in his spare time, and managed to get everything in full working order.

You should think they would be grateful - yes?

Sadly they where not happy at all. You see - they want to replace the "old" computer stuff with brand new equipment. They just have to "persuade" the upper echelon by claiming the computers where slow, crashing and not longer useful. Imagine their horror when they demonstrated the "useless" computers to this higher echelon and they where purring like a kitty?

Needless to say these computers where not replaced. When my friend proudly declared later on (without knowing what has happened) what he had done, he was "rewarded" with a promotion to a one-man "special cases" department. He even got his own (very tiny) room. He spend a few months cleaning up dirty mouses, keyboards etc. before he resigned and and left the institution.

Moral of the story?

Never ever take action on your own in a large institution before checking this out with someone higher in the chain. An never, never, never, ever do something that can piss off the IT administrator group...

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[4]: Argh.
by nt_jerkface on Sat 26th Sep 2009 16:07 in reply to "RE[3]: Argh."
nt_jerkface Member since:

Here's a story that reinforces my philosophy of doing nothing: blah blah some guy I heard about blah blah got in trouble for trying too hard blah blah blah.

Yea, we understand that you would be the guy sitting on his ass reading a magazine saying that it is out of your hands.

If I was working at a non-profit where kids go to learn about computers I wouldn't let a couple worthless IT admins screw the place up. I'd laugh if they filed a formal complaint over me fixing the computers.

Even if they got me booted, so what? It probably isn't worth my time to be at such a retarded organization.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Argh.
by DrillSgt on Sat 26th Sep 2009 16:26 in reply to "RE[3]: Argh."
DrillSgt Member since:

Moral of the story?

Never ever take action on your own in a large institution before checking this out with someone higher in the chain. An never, never, never, ever do something that can piss off the IT administrator group...

Maybe I have just worked at companies that are too small, the largest having about 600 employees. I am having a problem grasping that someone with the access to these computers to do such a task was not in the IT Administrators Group. Where else could he have worked and had access to the computers and the proper software to perform such a task? If he was in Sales or something, then I can believe it. Maybe he pissed off upper management, but I am sure he didn't piss off the people in his own group that are not bean counters.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Argh.
by ekcol on Sat 26th Sep 2009 10:32 in reply to "RE[2]: Argh."
ekcol Member since:

Yeah, I'm sure the disadvantaged kids are really going to appreciate that he sat on his ass reading a book. Shutting down a charity project with several months of funding left over, because you can't be bothered to argue with the IT department, what a fantastic use of positive energy. I mean, it's only a few months. Disadvantaged kids get so many opportunities anyway no one will even notice.

I'm sorry if those of you working in big companies have become jaded husks of human beings, but "give up because it saves hassle" isn't the solution to everything. This isn't a big company. No one is going to get in trouble for reinstalling the OS on the broken computers they let the poor kids use. IT aren't refusing to fix this project's computers for some corporate reason which fixing them would interfere with. It's because they don't want to, they know they won't get into trouble for ignoring the charity project, and like a few commenters here, they're soulless office drudges who don't care about helping others.

Reply Parent Score: 2