Monday, April 23, 2007

Computers, Computers and yes! More Computers

Judging by the heading of this blog title, I am sure you can tell that this entry is about how computers have invaded my life, my sleep, my mind...

First and foremost there is a virus (worm actually) going around almost all computers in Samoa. We think it entered the country through a CD sent from the people in Fiji that send us updates about Year 13 classes. This worm is EASILY spread through jump/flash drives and is hard to recognize at first. Since it is a really new virus (I think created March 2007), most of our Antivirus software didn't recognize it at first. Therefore, I think unknowingly us PC are responsible as well for getting it so wide spread here. There are 2 versions going around. The older version is easy to remove in Safe Mode. The newer version is hard to remove. You have to go into DOS to do it. I got this virus on all my computers in the lab, and my laptop. My lab computers have the old worm, my laptop has the new one. Since I don't know how to remove it in DOS (instructions just said to do it, not step-by-step how to) I am taking my computer to another more experienced computer volunteer tomorrow... So, with this worm comes a LOT of time in the lab trying to remove it all.

Just at this most inopportune time, my secretaries computer decided to crash as well. (I know the computers get together and plan this kind of stuff out...) I have yet to be able to fix it. With the help of Marques, we are trying everything we know, but everytime we get something working, something else crashes. (Fixing her computer is on hold until I get a small break from the rest of the computer stuff) Around the same time i was trying to get the "new" computers up and running. However, I kept coming across things like: a few of them came without harddrives, or video cards that only have the capacity for 16 colors, or one of the harddrives came with a BootSector virus. The warning kept flashing while I was trying to instal the O/S. Until this happened, I didn't even know what BootSector meant. :)

We also had our Mid-Term exams due today. I offered to type up a few for some of the teachers and have been on my computer for the last 4 days straight typing up these tests, as well as trying to get all 6 of mine typed out. (I'm hiding out at the PC Savaii office today and letting the secretary finish up for those that put theirs off until the last minute). I was up until 1:30 this morning with another teacher, typing hers out.

The up side of being so busy, is I am learning A LOT about computers. Because I had to go online to look up instructions on the worm itself and how to remove it, I have learned a lot more about computer systems. I am getting better at fixing them (something I knew very little about before coming here and still something I am not too fond of doing). I feel really confident pulling them apart and piecing everything back together. It's been good. I feel like everyday I learn a ton of new things about computers. I have also tried to pass some of this information to my new counterpart as well. Even a few of the students have shown an interest in this side of computers. Most of them are comfortable with only knowing the software, but a few of them really want to get into hardware and troubleshooting.

Health wise, I am still a little sick. There is a nasty flu going around the country that I caught. And my bronchitis is still lingering a little. With the flu, my ears have been plugged for a couple weeks and they finally unplugged yesterday. I was so happy (and maybe a bit delirious) that I made a song about it... for your own well-being I will save you from typing it here. :)

So things are good, just busy. It's making these last few weeks just fly by. My parents come next week and I have been desperatly trying to get my house cleaned. Termintes seem to invade everything here and make a lot of messes. A few students have offered to help me clean as well as some of the teachers... I might take them up on that offer. It doesn't have to be perfect, but it's my parents... I don't want them to see a dirty house. :)

And last, but definitely not least: I received a phone call from my brother this weekend who informed me that he is in fact coming to visit! And soon. He might even be flying in when the new group of volunteers comes in early June. So many visitors; I feel blessed.

Until next time!


At 10:16 AM, Anonymous Christi said...

You're such a whiz kid! The school is so lucky to have you.

Have fun with your parents visiting! That is so nice they get to see first hand what you are experiencing.

I'll keep praying for your health!

Love ya!

At 12:16 PM, Blogger Shuraleff said...

My wife and I may meet your brother as we are going to be in the group of new PC arrivals this June.

We are considering purchasing a laptop and since you are now a computer geek, can you recommend one or what features should we have for Samoa?

Nick Shuraleff

P.S. We enjoy reading your blog as we prepare for our tour.

At 12:34 AM, Blogger Julya Steyh said...

There is a rule here that most computers die before the end of their 2 years. Mine hasn't died yet, but it's close. They are more likely to get mold in them or nests of ants than anything else. I think any laptop would work, just take really good care of it. Like don't bring it to the village in training, keep a fan on it... things like that. Good luck. See you all soon.


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