My uncle is now the fire chief in his town. When he started his career a long time ago, at the Mölndal brandstation, he was also moonlighting as electrician. That wasn't the career he really wanted, but money was tight and since he had the training, he might as well use it.

One day, his boss at the fire station tells him - completely seriuos - "since you're an electrician, why don't you change that broken light bulb?" My uncle got furious!

A few years back, I used to like to tell that story whenever someone I hardly knew would say to me "since you work at Microsoft, why don't you fix <insert random problem here> on my computer?" These days it's hard to be so arrogant. Especially after having spent a good portion of my christmas vacation cleaning spyware-ridden and fixing wonky-acting machines... It's not that this is really hard, but it sure is tedious.

Two things to tell friends & family:

  • http://www.microsoft.com/spyware - good end user information about spyware, and links to removal tools.
  • http://www.microsoft.com/security - gives information on how you can protect yourself, and how you can get no-charge support for virus and security problems. In North America, the phone number is 1-866-PCSAFETY. Other regions have other numbers.

Oh, and if you sign on to do support for friends or family, don't forget to make sure that their machine is set up for remote assistance.


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