Today is the first time one of my stories is available to members of Critters! *gulp* "The French Maid" is a story I wrote many years ago, and even tried submitting a few times, before I decided it needed to be reworked. After making that decision, I got caught up in other aspects of life, so I didn't start rewriting it until a few months ago. It now gets to run the gauntlet, and I get my first chance to see the quality of critiques that come from Critters. Lots of people rave about it, so I'm hoping to get some good thoughts.
As I mentioned in my last post, I got a new laptop recently. Technically, it's an old laptop, but it's younger than my last. It's a hand-me-down from my dad, who just purchased a new one of his own (and it's got a photo skin with pictures of my son on it, which was SUPPOSED to be a gift for my dad... but it didn't want to come off in one piece...) He ran it with linux, so he just restored everything to factory settings before giving it to me.
I've been dragging my heels with the transfer of all my programs and files because that's such a time-consuming process--although the fact that my old laptop likes to act like a snail at times, especially when I have multiple internet windows open, is certainly a motivation to finish the process. I did discover, with my dad's help (thank you!), that my modem still works wirelessly! It just doesn't work for my old laptop. All this time I'd been thinking the modem had been fried, when it was really something screwy with the computer! At any rate, I can now have both online at the same time, which makes things soooo much faster.
Things were going well until I installed our virus/firewall/tune-up/backup software from our internet provider... and then suddenly I couldn't access the internet anymore. I was connected, but whenever I tried to open an internet window it would freeze. If I sent an error report after forcibly closing the program, it would send back a message to "click here to learn more about this problem," which would open another internet window which would freeze, and if I sent an error report it would send back a message....
So I called tech support (dad again) and we spent two evenings trying to pinpoint the problem. It turns out that there was a trial version of Norton Antivirus and Firewall on the computer, which was refusing to let me access the internet with one of its competitors installed. As I had no intention of using Norton, I deleted it and things are (hallelujah!) back to working again!
Of course, you can't just delete anything from Symantec. Residue remains, and the only way to completely get rid of it is by using the Norton Removal Tool, which is not particularly easy to find. As a courtesy to any readers who may, now or in the future, need to do the same thing, here is a link to where I downloaded it from. My computer also froze the first time I tried to remove one of the programs. It really was holding on tooth and nail...
Here's something funny; this was in the user agreement when I installed the Norton Removal Tool:
USE OR FACILITATION OF SYMANTEC PRODUCT IN CONNECTION WITH ANY ACTIVITY INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE DESIGN, DEVELOPMENT, FABRICATION, TRAINING, OR TESTING OF CHEMICAL, BIOLOGICAL, OR NUCLEAR MATERIALS, OR MISSILES, DRONES, OR SPACE LAUNCH VEHICLES CAPABLE OF DELIVERING WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION IS PROHIBITED, IN ACCORDANCE WITH U.S. LAW.
Darn, now I can't build that missile. Oh wait, I used the tool to remove all Symantec products from my computer, so the missile is still a go!
At any rate, things are going well now, although I have many more programs to install, and all of my files still to transfer. I thought Microsoft Office was going to give me a hard time too, since it was claiming I had already installed it onto the maximum number of computers (only if they're counting installs after a crash) but we managed to get that sorted out. I'm hoping to finish the transfer soon--my desk is getting crowded with two laptops on it.
Hey, how about that? I already have two critiques! I was incredibly nervous opening the first email, but they're both positive, with some indication of where things are confusing and a few things I hadn't thought of. We're off to a good start!