Rant 3 - What's a Little Virus Amongst Fiends?
It seems, for some obscure reason or reasons, that there are people out there who get their kicks out of emailing computer viruses to other people. Apparently I am one of those lucky people that they have deemed worthy of these viral gifts and I know I'm certainly not alone on this infectious mailing list. Steve Bamford at ARC told me he gets about 10 - 12 of these things on a daily basis.
My first reactions are anger and frustration, which I don't think are unreasonable or unusual feelings towards a deliberate attempt by persons unknown to wreak havoc on my virtual happy place. After the desire to seek out these unscrupulous individuals and string them up by their floppy disks subsides I am left with but one question: why?!? What do they hope to accomplish by injecting daily dosages of infectious material into the World Wide Web? Is it merely a bit of a lark, a bit of wicked fun, like filling your sister's shoes with custard or sticking the pancake batter gun into your co-worker's pants and pulling the trigger? Or is there some grand and nefarious plan to somehow topple the infrastructure of modern society by attacking model airplane websites?
Being the reasonably intelligent person I am, I attempt to put myself into the mindset of someone who likes to send computer viruses in order to try and understand the whys and wherefors. Admittedly, intelligence may be more of a hindrance in this case as we're clearly not dealing with mental giants here. Nonetheless, I have come up with several theories....
I'll start with the two I've already mentioned:
1) All a bit o' fun.
Just some happy go lucky, fun lovin' pranksters who have a bunch of virus programs sitting about like water balloons waiting to be tossed at unsuspecting passersby. Hee hee hee.... Gosh darn it, you crazy kids - I'm laughing myself silly here! No really, keep those cards and letters coming. Computer viruses are just the funniest damn things since the combination whoopee cushion/landmine hit the market....
2) A grand and nefarious plan to somehow topple the infrastructure of modern society by attacking model airplane websites.
Us nerdy modelling types naively think we're just innocently enjoying a relaxing pastime that never did anyone any harm - not counting glue sniffing. Oh no my friends. Plastic models are the very fabric of our civilisation, a billion dollar industry. Strike a blow at modellers and you strike down the cornerstone of capitalism. Furthermore, what are most mainstream injection moulded kits made of? Plastic! And what is a major constituent of plastic? Oil! Yes indeed my fellow polystyrene protagonists; taking the modeller out of the economic equation will not only topple the mighty capitalist giants but also bring the Middle East oil producers to their knees. Could this be just the beginning? Is my next kit purchase liable to contain deadly anthrax or nerve gas? Just what is in those little tubes of glue that you get with some Japanese kits?!?
Where it all goes a little fuzzy for me is how a virus in my inbox will get me to stop buying and building model airplanes. I'm sure they've got that all worked out.
3) A disgruntled modeller striking back at me for saying his tailplanes were crooked and he can't paint to save his life.
Fair enough. Let's face it, I can be a bit, err.... harsh? Cynical? Acid tongued? Critical? You get the idea. After all it is only a hobby. There's really no reason to go madly dashing about destroying the hopes and dreams of modellers who've built several hundred kits and painted them all with the help of their neighbour's dog. Especially when tens of thousands of dollars/pounds have been invested in reference material that has been studied until self-imposed expert status has been reached. Reference material that was then completely ignored when the actual kit in question was built. So you go on Mr. Disgruntled - send your little virus thingies if it makes you feel better. If you can come up with a virus that makes you build better you may be on to something.
4) Students.
You can blame them for anything and with good reason - they're always protesting about this, signing petitions about that, holding sit-ins, chaining themselves to things, defacing quality advertising, shouting, throwing things. There's just no pleasing some people, and especially if they're a student. I should know, I was one once. You should have seen me protest when it came time to pay that student loan back.
5) A rival model airplane webmaster who is insanely jealous of my stupendously amazing site and wants to shut me down.
Ummmmmm........ nah.
6) A super computer gone mad.
Bent on world domination and fuelled by a relentless desire to rid this planet of the human infestation that is slowly destroying it. Phase one is the email virus. Phase two will involve the systematic transformation of every television station into a home shopping channel. Madness, chaos and large purchases of cubic zirconium will follow until finally the human race will degenerate into mindless slaves whose only raison d'etre is to serve their computer master. This super computer has many names. You may know it as Visa, or Mastercard, or Amex, or....
So there you have it. My theories about the mysterious "virus people" - if they are in fact people and not a super computer or a student. And if the perpetrators are reading this - assuming you can read, of course - then let me assure you that not one of your pathetic attempts to infect my computer have been successful, nor are they ever likely to be successful. Why? Because I'm smarter than you, you dumb shits..... :-)
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