Dumping XP SP2

After hestitating for a few weeks, and continually shushing the angry Windows Update popup balloon, I took the plunge and installed Service Pack 2 on my laptop at the beginning of the month. A few minutes ago I did a System Restore back to October 30 and sanity.

Most things were fine, but there was one annoyance and one showstopper. The annoyance was the little security shield in the lower right corner always telling me that I was running with scissors because my virus scanner, AVG, wasn’t scanning automatically. “Click here to fix things,” said the popup balloon, but when I clicked there the security setup window that came up gave me

  1. No way to start AVG’s automatic scanning, which I really didn’t want to do, but would have at least been consistent with what the popup promised.

  2. No way to tell it that I was running things the way I wanted and please shut the hell up.

Worse, though, was the new wireless connection software. The visuals were improved: nicer little icon in the bottom strip and bigger boxes containing more information on the wireless networks available. (There’s lots of wireless in my neighborhood. I can usually see 3 or 4 available networks.) But the software doesn’t work. It kept telling me that I wasn’t connected when I clearly was. Worse, it would periodically drop the connection that it didn’t think it had and then reconnect. That wasn’t so bad with web surfing—which is all about connecting, disconnecting, and reconnecting—but it was horrible for SSH connections to other machines. PuTTY would announce the connection was lost and then die, killing my login session to my computer at work.

The wireless software did have a sense of humor, though. When I would open the Available Wireless Networks window (I may be misremembering these names, but since I blew SP2 away I can’t check them) it would show my home network and say it was disconnected. When I clicked on it, the only option I was given for the network was “Disconnect!” Pretty funny, MS.