Malware and Gremlins

Stressed man and technology overloadOh dear. Last week's post found me frustrated because I had to take a side-ways stop and remove Jetpack, then find a a different way to subscribe to my blog. This I thought I had managed to do, but “things” fell apart and Google decided my PC had been attacked by malware and gremlins.

I run MSE (Microsoft Security Essentials) and thought that would keep me covered, but I must have picked up some “nasty”, which I still don't think I've cleared – and no real idea how to. A friend advised me to run CW Shredder, SPybot, C.Cleaner and AdAware, which I have done, but, although the PC seems to be running better, Google is still complaining. My blogging trials seem never ending.

As an aside, I went to see my grand-daughter last Wednesday. She's almost nine months old and at the stage where she is on the verge of walking. She stands next to a piece of furniture, steadies herself, then lets go of her support, waves her hands in the air triumphantly for about three seconds then collapses on her bottom with a bump.

This reminds me of my blogging career. I think I'm getting somewhere, then it all comes down to earth with a crash and I find myself back with yet another mess to unravel. It's easy to forget that the idea of all this blogging was to be writing informative posts about Hair Mineral Analysis (HMA). I seem to spend more time researching WordPress settings, plugins and Internet Marketing techniques than HMA.

Anyway, like my grand-daughter, I keep dragging myself back up off the floor again to have another go.

Actually my paid work is still keeping me very much tied to the keyboard for the moment. After I spend time on that, it's all I can do to manage my weekly blog posts, together with commenting and working my way through emails.

The other day I downloaded a time logging program (TimeDoctor.com)  to try and fathom out where the days go – and more to the point – what I do all day.

It started off looking good, but then it blotted its copy-book by telling me off for working too long without a break. I was in full flow steaming through a blog-post and it told me to have a break. Yeah right!

Then – just to be be contrary – when I was doing a different type of work (that needed some pauses for concentration and thought) if I stopped hammering the keys for more than a few minutes, it would prompt me: “It's a bit quiet out there – are you still working?” Big brother is watching!

Both of these extremes were distracting to say the least so I've turned TimeDoctor off for the moment! With luck there will be settings I can modify to train it to my very erratic style of work.

So – another poor productivity week on the blogging front, but at least I'm earning well through other matters.

The good news was that Sunday was Mothering Sunday in the UK and both my boys (now men!) came to see me and took me out for a delicious meal. Next week is another week and I'll hope for better progress ….

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Ginny Carter - March 12, 2013

Oh dear what a week! For what it’s worth, I tend to bite the bullet with IT issues and pay someone to come and sort them out for me. By the time you’ve spent hours on it it’s worth it so you can focus on your business. Also I’ve used paymo.biz for time tracking – it doesn’t nag you but you log how long you spend on specific tasks and it really helped me to be more focused. Good luck!

    Joy Healey - March 12, 2013

    Hi Ginny, you’re almost certainly right about paying someone to fix it up for me. In fact my son is actually an IT professional and will do it for me, but he does tend to feel I should learn how to do it myself. I think he enjoys the challenges, but he’s not local enough to do them fast enough.

    Thanks for an alternative suggestion for time tracking. I’ve used Excel up to now, but I guess I ought to get more automated – it’s not the paid work I have trouble with, it’s the unpaid odds and ends where time just slips away 🙁

    Thanks for commenting.


Tim Bonner - March 12, 2013

Hi Joy

It sounds like you’re not having much luck. Sorry to hear you’re having problems with malware.

Have you got it sorted out yet?

I tried TimeDoctor too for a day and realised it wasn’t for me. It felt like big brother was watching and I didn’t find that it motivated me in any way.

At least it sounds as though you had a great Mother’s Day.

Here’s to a better week for you Joy!


    Joy Healey - March 12, 2013

    Hi Tim

    Well, my machine has got rid of the slowness and excess hard disk activity, but when I put the blog feed url http://HairMineralAnalysisReview.com/blog/feed into Google (to check my feed) it says I may be sending automated queries. Hmmm, just wondering if it could be the keyword software I use …. will email their support team. (Update: Keyword software totally exonerated!)

    Yes, TimeDoctor was a bit Big Brotherish; I’ve still got it loaded, but I keep turning it off to stop it prompting me – which isn’t the point of it really. I watched some videos and it seems more aimed at monitoring staff, rather than self-monitoring.

    I’ve installed RescueTime and ManicTime at the moment to see how they “feel”. At the moment it’s feeling as if my productivity would go up if I stopped trying to monitor my time!!!

    Will report back!


Debra Moser - March 12, 2013

I agree with Ginny, I also hire out my IT issues. It has saved me loads of time and frustration:) I commend you for doing it on your own. Good stuff! I haven’t even heard of TimeDoctor so my apologies up front not being able to help you out!

    Joy Healey - March 12, 2013

    Hi Debra

    Thanks for dropping by. Your out-sourcing strategy may be better than mine and get a better result. Just not had much luck with out-sourcing in the past. I guess I’ve not found the right people yet.

    I’m trying out a few of these programs like TimeDoctor. Interesting, but again not sure it’s the best use of my time! Still, I can allow myself a little pleasurable investigation I suppose!


Jan Kearney - March 13, 2013

I can’t be doing with Time doctor – it just doesn\’t understand my way of working lolWhen I need to focus i do set an alarm, 30-45 mins on and then a quick break just to move my legs and refresh the brain.

As for your feed giving you errors – you are redirecting HairMineralAnalysisReview.com/blog/feed to feed burner, except it’s not arriving because there’s a space in your feed URL.

feeds.feedburner.com/%20HairMineralAnalysisReview <== see that %20 it's a space and that feed does not exist.

Feedburner is owned by Google and for some reason it's putting up the most unhelpful error message. You aren't sending auto queries, there's nothing wrong with your comp or site – it's simply that the feed you are redirecting to doesn't exist.

Fix it by removing the space 🙂

    Joy Healey - March 13, 2013

    Hi Jan

    Thanks SO much for resolving my problem.

    Irritatingly enough I was entering HairMineralAnalysisReview.com/blog/feed (with NO space) and the space was being added when that was “translated” into the feedburner URL!
    When I remove the “introduced” space, as you suggest, all is well! Phew.

    Good to know that I’m NOT sending auto queries, and I guess it’s done my PC good to have a clean-up.

    I must confess I don’t think I will be continuing with Time Doctor because I just seem to have to keep turning it off so that I can concentrate!!

    Looking into a few others – but I may just end up going back to Excel for my “booked” hours and, as you suggest, set an alarm.

    Thanks once again!!


      Jan Kearney - March 13, 2013

      Don’t forget to fix your redirect too, not just take out the space manually 🙂

        Joy Healey - March 14, 2013

        Thanks Jan – but that’s proving a bit of a problem for me as I don’t know where to fix it!! I looked in feedburner http://screencast.com/t/Le1tsvScCcDm and have checked/updated with cursor and I just can’t see any space so not sure where else to look.

Bonnie Gean - March 14, 2013

I hate the PC when it does’t behave. LOL I let the partner deal with it and when he throws up his hands, I scoop the thing up and take it to the Geeks.

I’d rather than toy with it more than I need to. I used to in the past but these days I’m a writer, not a techie. 🙂

    Joy Healey - March 14, 2013

    I used to be a techie (MANY years ago), and my very technical son still thinks I ought to be – and to some extent I suppose I do too. I do seem to get more tied up with technical issues than what I’m meant to be doing (writing about Hair Mineral Analysis), but I keep thinking I’ll get it all set up and then can sit back and write! Some hopes….

Tonya Stephens - March 14, 2013

Hi Joy,
Whoa is me! Ok glad I haven’t undone Jet Pack…thanks for the heads up on what could happen and so sorry it’s happening to you!
I’ve been at this for over a year and I can tell you it does get overwhelming at first but after while you find your rhytmn. It sounds like you have a lot of experienc online already so hang in there you’ll work it out.

    Joy Healey - March 14, 2013

    Hi Tonya

    Well I’m glad to have been able to warn you. I would never have realized without being warned myself.

    Mostly am enjoying everything, just need to FOCUS better!!

    Thanks for dropping by.


Sue Worthington - March 19, 2013

Hi Joy
Love the analogy with your grand daughter – how sweet – and you know she will be running around soon without falling down – so remember that and you will be too!


    Joy Healey - March 19, 2013

    Hi Sue

    Thanks for the encouragement. You know I hadn’t even taken my own analogy that far!


Rauf Arshad - April 2, 2013

sometimes malaware comes with unapproved widgets and we can not control them and it effect our some posts . Well explained Joy

    Joy Healey - April 5, 2013

    You’re right there Rauf. Problem is for people just wanting to blog without expertise it can get to the stage where all you’re doing is fire-fighting (from one who knows!!)

Joy Healey - April 15, 2013

Thanks for popping by, hope to see you again.

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