Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Solving problems without stress

First I was mad at Microsoft. I installed their recommended security patch and, after the requisite restart, couldn't access the internet. It wasn't Microsoft's fault, however, but the fault of my firewall - ZoneAlarm. Microsoft was fixing a problem that they'd been made aware of a while back, but somehow ZoneAlarm didn't (or couldn't) adapt their product in time for the patch's release. The patch caused ZoneAlarm to basically just shut down internet access.

It took me about 15 minutes to figure out what had happened and reverse what I'd done. That was it and I was back online.

I know that to you most of this is either uninteresting or gibberish or both. Still I'm shaking my head in wonder today. Wondering at how complex the "surfing the internet" still is; wondering at how many different pieces are necessary to be working together to provide security; wondering at how much less stressful I found this problem than I would have if it had happened 4 or 5 years ago (thanks to my greater knowledge and the improvements in Microsoft Windows, which make it much easier to 'undo' these sort of updates if necessary).

If this had happened in 2003 (or so) I'd have had hours of hair-pulling, nail-biting, stomach-churning aggravation before I would have somehow stumbled onto the solution and made all the necessary changes to get back online. Fifteen minutes. That's all it took today.