46 Responses to 675 – White Smoke Mountain • 43

  1. Even paladin’s warhorses cannot get a proper new job in this economy, so to avoid being downsized they have to make do with the offers they get. I believe it’s called “on the job retraining”.

  2. Wow, so Bunker played D&D as a wet-behind-the-ears teenager, and then never played it again until he was 39? No wonder his gaming style is still so immature. (Assuming he only ever played D&D and no other, different RPG during those intermittent years. I know people like that who only play one single system and nothing else.)

    At least he has learned to not let people walk all over him anymore.. .well at least a bit. He did put Martin in his place twice.

      • Ah. Oh. Okaaaay. Misunderstanding. My bad.

        So he voluntarily advanced his character’s age to the middle age category, taking all the penalties to physical attributes? Wow. Why? It’s not like there’s a timeline for how much time has passed between AD&D und 3E and 4E, except in Living Greyhawk (and that was killed off when 4E came out).

        Yep, Bunker’s a masochist.

  3. Bunker’s so-called ‘friends’ were jerks. As is Enkidu — though surprisingly enough, to a lesser degree. Wow, never thought I’d ever say that…
    Well, I did anticipate that the princess and Killcrush would drop Bunker like a hot potato. He’s better off without them, anyway.

    *cough* As has been observed by someone recently, Bunker is looking very old and drawn.

  4. I like the parallel put between fighters and failures.

    On a side note, I’ve recently, as in yesterday, been decimated by a computer virus that both my usual AVG anti-virus and Avast, which I downloaded to give it a one last fight, failed to destroy(AVG marked some files and claimed to have cured them, in both scans I ran, Avast didn’t even detect a threat).
    I’ve since made a fresh install of my OS and have been slowly restoring my computer to its former glory and, wanting to avoid a second infection as much as possible, have thought to ask you guys(and gals…and inbetweens) for advice on good, free anti-virus programs(using AVG 9 for now…I’ve got to say AVG has never let me down before).

    And now for the monumental task of restoring my vast porn collection!

    • I have F-Secure Internet Security (Firewall + Antivirus) installed on my old creaky computer, and that worked fine, but my new computer has Bit Defender installed and when connected to my old PC to transfer files it remotely found a trojan that F-Secure had missed and couldn’t even see.

        • what was the name of the virus? many years ago I caught one that was the devil to get rid of. very few antivirus programmes would even detect it and none would clean it up (well, they would say they did and then by magic it would slightly change its file name and be back.) actually had to research the virus and found out the only way to get rid of it was with a specifically written programme for it and about a 15 step manual you had to follow to eradicate. all I remember of its name now was started with a ‘V’, like vendu or something maybe. I think spybot S&D was first non-specific programme to be able to find and clean it up. I still use AVG though and double check it with a free Kaspersky scan to make sure things okay. anyway, some of the viruses out there are really good and none of the companies can clean them up for a while. the important thing, AVG was at least able to see it and sometimes it takes a special programme to get rid of something for a while (conficker seems to be the new hard to get rid of virus, even Kaspersky is using a special instruction page and programme with steps to follow for that one right now)

          • Shame on me, it’s been so long since I’ve gotten a virus(first one on this PC in about two years) that I forgot to try and check it out on the internet.
            And I’ve used to use Spybot S&D but have forgotten about it since AVG did the job.

            The thing is that it was behaving rather…amateurishly, for lack of a better word.Besides the fact that it was annoying and irremovable, it only really tried to access some site with IE, which it couldn’t since I blocked it first.
            I mean, with such a tenacious little bugger I was expecting PC shutdowns, funky behavior etc.
            It was especially frustrating having AVG tell me it’s cured while it was trying to pop up new tabs on IE.

            I’ve since moved again to FF(used a program that changed the IE UI before that, still think it has better UI than FF). Anyone knows where I can change its annoying spell checker to include British English? When it marks “behaviour” as wrong it crosses the line.

    • Antivirus software? What antivirus software? I take a screen shot of the Task Manager (the ctrl-alt-del) processes tab. Then I run msconfig every time I see something new and remove it. Likewise I don’t run random things I download. If that fails I have all my documents on a thumb drive (which I backup every now and then) and reinstall everything. The downloadable programs are small enough that they are also on my thumb drive, while I keep a text list of the rest so I don’t miss anything. I’ve never had an antivirus program actually work on any real virus… ever. Manual removal is usually my best bet, though watching what I download makes viruses fairly rare.

      If you have an old hard drive it helps to install it in your new computer. After a few years a virus finally took down my system and I simply started booting off the 2nd drive. I had my antivirus scan the first drive, now that the virus on that drive can’t do jack squat, and it detected absolutely no viruses at all. But I can still use software from my first drive, and with my setup I don’t care about whether or not I’m able to boot from it. So yeah, that’s how you recover from a virus in the time it takes you to boot your computer. You still need to re-install everything one you get a new PC, but you need to do that anyway.

      • “Likewise I don’t run random things I download.”

        Well, duh. Neither do we. But modern trojans often download themselves when you’re accessing an infected website.

        If you have enough drives lying around to run one as a sandbox, fine, but not everyone can manage that.

        • Virtual machine sandbox, it may be slower but if you have enough computer it should do just fine. A separate physical hard drive is a good precaution in case whatever it is screws up the HD handling in some way that causes physical damage but you probably only need a partition of it to have a fully viable and featured sandbox.

          I used to use the MS operating system chain in the 90s and earlier 00s but I’d have to say that Ubuntu is far less work to keep running than a full set of MS operating system protection.

        • What kind of virus actually downloads itself from an infected website? That sounds like a browser problem or browser security settings problem. Every one I’ve seen tries to get you to click on something. I haven’t changed any security settings on Chrome and it seems fine, at least for the past few years. Before that I was using Opera and ditto, but Opera is a slow browser now. It is simply not possible for a program to download and run itself remotely; the browser or something else on your end MUST do it.

          I don’t have true extra drives lying around, I have a 5-8 year old drive from a previous computer. I think everyone can manage that. It can’t hold much beyond Windows, but it doesn’t matter b/c you can boot from it, scan your infected drive as a precaution (but usually viruses only hit boot files), then continue to run programs from your bigger drive. Then if you manage to remove the virus while your anti-virus is running in the background, you can switch back later (optional) with almost zero downtime.

          • Sorry to disagree, Eric, but Christina is correct. A huge source of viruses today are unrelated and innocent websites hacked by those who would spread the virus, which download in the background when you hit an innocuous button on the site, (like a nav button or something similar) and install themselves on your computer. Now there are probably many simple ways to keep this sort of thing from happening, but since I don’t know what they are, I just don’t use Windows for the internet, and keep my virus protection as up to date as possible.

          • Some of this stuff is performed by buffer over/under runs where data that doesn’t match the variable handling expectations contains pointers and triggers to change or run things on your system. A lot of viruses and worms and such will use a small enabler code snippet like that to make security holes which may not be exploited for some time or by the same website/service/whatever.
            Basically you can’t trust anything more complex than fully-validated, vanilla HTML 2.0 with no javascript, php, java, flash or other content. Yes, there is attack code that works within MP3s and image files too if you didn’t know that. Ultimately you can’t trust anything really, I’m aware of hacks on HTML render engines to perform buffer over/under-run attacks on those too.
            All of the above is stuff that can happen to you without having clicked on those porn-site links with .ru extensions.
            Other common methods of infecting the user end of things include worms that push through open networking services, the venerable ILOVEYOU method of giving the user something they will click on to infect their computer and enabling semi-legit infrastructures for hacking like Flash and other plugins that can easily do a large number of awful things to your system without you ever knowing about them.
            No website is safe and even if the website itself remains safe sad tricks like DNS poisoning (this tends to involve negligent ISPs mostly these days but can still happen) can take you to the wrong place where you will be phished at and assaulted with whatever the attacker can figure to attack your system with. Windows users at a minimum need a good third-party firewall and a number of different policing apps with regularly updated attack definitions to try and keep their computer relatively clean from this crap. How much more than this they may need I’m not sure and I’d have to do research to advise further.

            The only safe and secure computer is one that is turned off, unplugged and disassembled.

  5. Dang, I don’t think it works on 3.6.3, but I’ll check its behaviour again after I reboot the PC, just in case it needs time to kick in(comments about it don’t seem positive though).
    I guess I’ll just have to ignore the spell-checker then.

    • I have a PC I use for D&D stuff, but I use my Mac for everything else. I caught Lena surfing on the PC though so I did install some virus protection. I don’t remember what it was called (Doctor something? It wasn’t free.) but I simply went to PC World’s website and looked up their top rated apps. They will tell you how much everything costs (or doesn’t) as well.

      • PC World, you say? I’ll have a more thorough look at it later.

        BTW, I’m not sure why everyone praises FF so much. Without add-ons it lacks rather basic options.
        I’m quite a simple user, I don’t need shortcuts for every action under the sun or customizable buttons, tabs and menus, but simple tab options like duplication, opening/closing options etc are things I shouldn’t have to look for in add-ons. That’s the reason I stayed away from it so far.
        At least I’ve found this Tab Mix Plus so I can finally use it properly.
        I’ll have to look for a few more add-ons to get all my previous utilities though.

        And don’t get me wrong, FF seems very nice and all, I’m just annoyed that its vanilla install is so bare.

        Oh, and to complete my poor web education, I’ve had the misfortune of accidentally clicking an unknown combination of keys a few times in the past while posting comments, that reversed my writing direction(not language), same as that function on Word and the likes. Anyone knows what causes it and how to fix it apart from copy-pasting the comment in a new tab?

        • I can’t speak for everyone else, but I use FireFox primarily because I design websites, and FireFox is more standards-compliant than any version of IE I’ve ever used. FireFox displays things the way they are supposed to be displayed, so I do all my testing in FireFox until I’m satisfied with the design. Then I call up the site in IE to see what it breaks and hack my code ’till it works there, too.

          For day-to-day use, I don’t use any plugins – the “bare bones” is more than sufficient for casual browsing in my experience.

          • I use Google Chrome and, when that fails, IE. 99% of the time Google Chrome works well. IE is compatible with everything out there so I patiently put up with its stupidity 1% of the time.

            I have tried Firefox and I likewise found it to be nothing but annoying. Passable compared to IE, maybe, but I don’t consider that much of a benchmark.

            • Haven’t tried Chrome yet – last I looked it was in open Beta. Might check it out.

              Never had any problems with FF, however. But now I’m curious – what about it annoys you?

              • The interface and maybe the speed, I forget. I forget but maybe how it renders things too, so I’d have to resort to IE 5% of the time instead of 1%. Didn’t have any crashes either IIRC.

      • After reading a bit on PC World(thanks for mentioning that site, Kevin) regarding various free AV programs I’ve decided to check out Avira.
        I didn’t like the fact that AVG didn’t score all that great there and that it was on the same version I had(then again the reviews are almost a year old now).

  6. this shit is why I have a internet computer and a gaming computer wont catch me using internet much on my gaming machine

    as for advice on viruses? prevention. I know its too late but really unless your using firefox with noscript your pretty much asking to get a virus

    you dont even have to download anything, viruses and trojans are frequently in ad banners and gets loaded into your cashe without even needing to click on it (any avid gamer knows this as its frequently how gamers lose MMO accounts to hackers)