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Summit Up

Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column that takes computer viruses a little too personally.

At least we did the first time we got one. But now that we’re a little more experienced, we can admit it freely: That’s right. We have a virus – or is it a worm?

But we weren’t always so open about the little nasties we contracted. The first time it happened, we didn’t tell anybody. It was like getting a sexually transmitted disease (just for the record, we really don’t know how it feels to get an STD, but we can imagine).

Our minds filled with horror, disgust, disbelief and shame. We trusted this person who gave us his disk. We innocently slipped the disk right into the slot and BAM! We got a virus.

So, we sat, wide-eyed and feeling betrayed. How could this person do this to us? And why wasn’t he taking responsibility, now that we were in such a mess? And, what if we unsuspectingly passed the virus on to someone else – what would that do to our reputation?

Those were the days before we used protection. The days when – like STDs – the viruses didn’t seem so noxious and didn’t run as rampant. The days of free love, where we only thought twice before slipping in a friend’s disk.

Don’t get us wrong – even in those days, we didn’t just take in any disk that showed up on our desk. We were discriminating. We had morals.

But now, it’s more complicated than checking out who has handled a disk and how many times it’s been around.

There’s e-mails. There’s Web sites. There’s things we don’t even know about because we tend to sit around and contemplate subjects like feet.

But we know a little about the orgy of computer-shared information out there in cyberland. And when we add what we learned in high school health class, our pointer fingers shake as we reach to turn on our computers.

You must’ve learned it too – the part about when you have intercourse (as they so fondly referred to it) with someone, you’re not just hooking up with one person, you’re subjecting yourself to everyone they’ve ever been with. That’s right. That cute blonde could be carrying some annoying – or horrendous – STD from a person you’ve never met.

Same goes for computer viruses.

So let this be a friendly reminder to protect yourself in all of your encounters. Our computer guys tell us to keep updating our antivirus software, don’t randomly give out our e-mail address (just like we try to avoid having our phone numbers written on bathroom walls) and abide by the new millennium’s version of “Don’t talk to strangers ” – “Don’t open e-mails from people you don’t know.”

So, that’s our high-tech health lesson for the day. Remember, a third of the nation’s population acquires an STD by the time they reach age 24. And if you think that’s cause for concern, just think how fast viruses spread in cyberspace. Don’t get caught with your pants down – install your firewall.

***

The Ristorante Ti Amo crew tells us they have beavers. Not on the menu, silly. But you’ll notice a few stumps in what used to be Tut Stork’s landscaping. Apparently, the rascals are living in the drainage area along that portion of Summit Boulevard.

Just another warning about what beavers can do, in case you leave any trees lying around.


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