The Case Of The Single Step

Ransomware is in the news currently, with WannaCry and its various nasty successors taking out speed cameras and chocolate factories and all manner of other targets. It’s a clever technique, if you put aside the sheer evil of it: use advanced mathematics to scramble a victim’s computer files so they can only be unscrambled one […]

The Case Of The Remote Possibility

I’ve been working for some time with a small firm based in Cradoc, helping them sort out their computers and keep their software ticking along. They’ve been reluctant to upgrade from Windows XP to a more modern version of Windows because of a piece of software they use, called SellSmart 6000. That decision has had […]

The Case Of The Stopgap Solution

When I’m not gallivanting about the countryside fixing computers, I sometimes do work for clients at my own desk. One such client is an old workmate from my Sydney days, Tom. Tom works for a utility company that I won’t name, even pseudonymously, where he seems to have some kind of middle-management position that somehow […]

The Case Of The Easy Fix

Sometimes, I’m clever. Other times, I’m lucky. So far I’ve generally been at least one of those. This is a story about a time when I definitely wasn’t clever. I shall not name the community radio station in question, but it just so happened that a particular community radio station had a volunteer who also […]

The Case Of The Unearthly Disk Drive

Half the job of an IT blacksmith involves knowing your tools, but there’s a wrinkle that real blacksmiths rarely encounter: IT blacksmiths’ tools can become obsolete and disappear. I’ve never heard of a hammer being declared incompatible with the new 64-bit horseshoes so you have to find a new one. On the other hand, I […]

The Case Of The Nigerian Romance

Not all of my blacksmithing adventures are focused on computers. Sometimes the people are the key, and sometimes there’s even a happy ending. Glen was a simple fellow. Recently moved to Mountain River from somewhere on the mainland, he arrived with nothing but a laptop and a ute, and a dream of starting his own […]

The Case Of The Horror Movie Cliché

Dr Keith wasn’t all about the ransomware and the dangerous headgear. He also taught me an important lesson about horror films, and their applicability to daily life. The first time I dealt with him, he was having trouble with his laptop. It was, he told me over the phone, switching itself off at random. He’d […]

The Case Of The Doctor’s Ransom

Dr Keith was a pillar of the community: three days a week at the local medical centre, formerly an alderman before everything got amalgamated in the 1980s. He seemed a little sheepish on the phone, and when I popped round to his rather nice house in Dover, I quickly saw why. His computer screen was […]