Sunday, March 1, 2015

Hijacked by Yahoo's search engine

I don't know about you, but the most frustrating thing about computers is the internet. Back in the days before internet (I was there) computers were relatively secure. When a computer virus infected your machine it was because someone inserted a disk that had a virus on it. Those were more common that you might think. Shared game disks were notorious.

All you need to do today is access the wrong web site or install something without paying attention. I searched and found a disk cleaner the other day. As I installed it, I wasn't paying attention and I agreed to have Yahoo install as my search engine.


Every time I opened Firefox, the Yahoo search popped up. I just don't like when my computer starts doing things I don't want. First it's a search engine, then the computer takes over the world!

Even though it wasn't a virus, it was persistent. I was frustrated enough to delete Firefox and reinstall it. Firefox saves settings, though, so that didn't work. I was thinking of rebuilding the OS on my machine - admittedly the most radical solution available to me

If Yahoo ever hijacked your browser, you know exactly what I mean.

Fortunately, I slept on the problem and the next morning an internet search found a solution that worked for me. Internet - the problem and the solution all wrapped into tangled web.

Stelian Pilici put together a comprehensive and easy walk-through at his site.

Here is the summary, directly from his page:
STEP 1: Uninstall Yahoo Toolbar and malicious program from Windows
This didn't work for me. I couldn't find the uninstall option for the Yahoo toolbar. On to the second step!

STEP 2: Remove Yahoo Toolbar and virus from Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome
This involved doing a reset on the browsers. He explains in great detail how to do so.

STEP 3: Remove Yahoo Toolbar and browser hijacker from your computer with AdwCleaner
He gives the link to the cleaner and it worked like a charm.

STEP 4: Remove Yahoo Toolbar and virus with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free
I already own Malwarebytes for each of my machines and run it regularly. By itself, though, it didn't take care of the problem. I still needed the first three steps.

STEP 5: Double-check for the Yahoo Toolbar and infection with HitmanPro
I almost skipped this step, but HitmanPro did find a number of other things to fix. I was surprised.

So kudos to Stelian Pilici for a good solution to a nasty problem, and for a useful website overall. Go visit his page if you're having the same Yahoo problem!
As an aside, did you know that the word "yahoo" first appeared in Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels, where it refers to a race of brutal creatures who look like men? That almost seems fitting...

I can hardly believe that this is the first of March. I get my new office furniture tomorrow. I'll post pictures when it's all set up as part of my Retirement series

Finally, visit my new Author web site for Vincent Bernhardt! Sign up for my newsletter! My newsletter subscribers will receive the first drafts of ongoing projects, as well as thoughts on my writing process.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

I'm not you

I'm not you.
You're not me.
This is good,
As it should be.

I'm not you.
I'm just me.
I want to be
the best of me

I'm not you
So you see
You're just you
That's fine with me

Friday, February 20, 2015

Not Quite Through

I thought I would close my blog because I couldn't think of anything to say after my youngest brother died. I did close it for a bit, but now I'm back - and I'm expanding my web presence.

I just finished my new web page which is dedicated to my journey as an author. You can find it here.

I retired from Boeing last month, so I've been unemployed for a bit. We're starting to feel the effects of the changes, but I don't miss work. I miss some of the people, but not the cubicle. We sure miss the paychecks.

I'm thinking of starting a separate blog simply for my retirement journey. So far I had to accomplish a few things.

1. Get all the retirement paperwork completed. Most of that was finished before I could leave. That was easy.

2. Get all the medical insurance taken care of. Since I'm only 57 and not a veteran, I still have a few years before Medicare kicks in. My chosen option is to retain my existing plan through Boeing. The cost is a bit less than $800/month. There goes most of the pension check.

3. Get my 401K transferred over to an IRA account. In order to do that we had to find a money manager we trusted. One of the tricks is to find someone with low fees. Most charge around 1.7 - 1.8%. Now my personal philosophy is that this is a form of robbery. I don't mind paying a fee to the money managers, but shouldn't it be a percentage of the profits they make from MY money? It doesn't seem right that it is a percentage of the money that I'm entrusting to their care. Nobody in the industry seems to agree with me though. That part will be taken care of in the next few days, and we'll be watching them closely. After all, nobody cares about your money like you do, especially if they are sucking the cash from your principal funds. Vampire bankers...

That's just the beginning.

And this is the continuation. If I create a blog like Retire by 40, I'll let you know. Somehow, Retired at 57 doesn't have the same ring to it...

In the meantime, I'll start posting again. See you soon.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

I really wanted a Penguin

Dad was stationed on the USS Essex, an aircraft carrier, in 1965. I don't know if the home port was Newport, Rhode Island, but that's where Dad shipped out from. Those sort of details are murky when you're in the second and third grades. We lived in North Kingston, RI next door to Mr. Mancini, mentioned in a previous post.  Timothy Charles Bernhardt, my youngest brother, was born in the Naval Hospital in Newport, RI in 1965.

Dad was scheduled to go to the Antarctica on the Essex. When he originally told us about it, he mentioned he would bring me a penguin.

Never tell a second-grade boy that you will bring him a penguin unless you mean it. FYI

Since Mom was pregnant, Dad stayed home instead of going on the trip to Antarctica on the Essex. Instead of a penguin, I got another little brother.

Tim is the one smiling in the background.
I was brokenhearted. I really wanted a penguin.

I'm brokenhearted again. Right now, I'd trade all the penguins in the world to get my little brother back.

Life was too hard for Tim to bear and he died today of a broken heart. He left broken hearts behind.

In some ways, Tim was the best of my Mother's sons.