Monthly Archives: August 2010

Computer hibernation: In medias res

As a man who has chiefly dealt with desktops, I have had relatively very little experience in regard to laptops. Another thing that  I have had relatively very little experience of is foreign languages such as French, Greek or Latin. For example, I often have to refer to a dictionary or at least think a bit  to realize that in medias res means in the middle of [another action].

People constantly throw foreign words at me, perhaps to make me think they are well-educated or very intelligent. (Well, they only manage to make me feel they are very annoying!) But I cannot throw foreign words on them as effectively. For instance I can shout at them “Stop using foreign word ad nauseam!” (Ad nauseam means exceedingly to a disgusting extent). But I can’t use foreign words to describe a recent experience. So, if I wanted to tell them that I saw a laptop computer that was hibernated while it was shutting down, should I say “I saw a laptop that was hibernated in medias res shut down”? I don’t know.

In any case, recently I saw a Windows XP laptop that was hibernated in the middle of being shut down! The user had configured it to hibernate when its lid was closed. Then, he had one day ordered the laptop to shut down, had closed the lid afterwards and had gone away. So, when I turned on the laptop next time, it resumed in the middle of a shutdown operation. Shortly after that, the laptop powered down.

The fact that I had to turn on the laptop twice wasn’t that annoying. However, I have heard of other stories about the consequences of disregarding a computer shutdown. One story had it that an application prevented shutdown; the owner didn’t notice, since he packed his laptop before actually seeing it  power down. Result: Half a day later, when he unpack his laptop, he found it completely devoid of battery power and had absolutely no clue as to why this had happened. (Only an analysis of Windows Event Log revealed the truth of what had happened.) I think it is wise to watch the computer while it is shutting down. After all, computers often shut down quickly and spending a few seconds ensuring the completion of this process on a laptop is not a wasted time.

Adware: Win32/Babylon

Babylon 6Today, while I was attending to a laptop computer with Windows XP Home edition, Microsoft Security Essentials, Microsoft’s latest free-of-charge antivirus software, alerted me that it found a moderate threat. To my extreme surprise, the threat in question, designated “Adware: Win32/Babylon”, was none other than Babylon version 7, a commercial dictionary and translation software.

Having visited Microsoft malware encyclopedia entry on Adware: Win32/Babylon, it seems that there is no mistake: Microsoft is now considering Babylon a malware. This designation has come into effect on 7 August 2010.

I was part amused and part … well.. not amused. Granted: I hate Babylon, so much so that times and again I thought it must be classified as a malware. And now, here is my wish granted: One of the finest antivirus programs have officially designated it as a malware. Unfortunately, I had to tell Microsoft Security Essentials to disregard this threat/product until I come up with an alternative translation and dictionary solution.

I need to do some investigations of my own, since I myself have a hand in linguistics and I definitely need something like Babylon.

UPDATE: On 23 August 2010, Microsoft updated the malware definition so that it does not catch the latest version of Babylon. Apparently, new versions of Babylon no longer exhibit malware-class behavior. Good for Babylon Ltd.

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