Has there been some malware, some virus, some keystroke detector interfering with my machine?
Yes. And No.
I have removed...
And not before time.
You may wonder how I happened to have it installed at all.
My initial mistake was installing Norton Internet Security 2006. It had topped the tests in terms of virus protection and even though it was known it would have an impact on PC performance I figured it couldn't be that much.
How wrong I was.
It was a disaster. The machine went like me on Sunday morning.
When the one year subscription was up I took advantage of the upgrade to the 2007 version hoping that Symantec had fixed the speed issue.
It was terrible. But I still clung to hope that an upgrade would come and my machine could breathe again so I paid for another year's subscription.
At the end of the next year - now 2008 - I took off my head, put on a pumpkin and upgraded to Norton 360, which was meant to be the ducks guts and fix all previous issues, as well as adding in a whole bunch of new features.
Incredibly, given my history with the Norton product, I subscribed for two years to take advantage of the cheaper yearly price.
In chess that move would be annotated with a ?? meaning game losing blunder.
It is a shocking product. Truly shocking.
It is always stealing CPU time, scanning at seemingly random times but especially when I had a lot going on. It's as if it knew exactly when it could cause the greatest slow down. The impact on system boot time was remarkable; it would take 15-20 minutes before the bastard thing would stop its scanning and let me do something. I turned on every quick boot setting I could but to no avail.
While my life expectancy was greater then the men standing on the deck of the Titanic singing Near My God To Thee their spirits were higher than mine.
For today I exorcised Norton 360.
I have installed the trial version of AVG Internet Security. My machine is ready to go within 2 minutes of booting up. I can load my 10Mb+ Excel files in no time at all. With Norton 360 I had to turn MS Office scanning off, as it would take over a minute to load the files.
All is good.
The devil is gone.
While my arse still points towards the ground I will never buy another Symantec product again.
You shouldn't either.