Family Visits, Moms, and how AVG software is the worst

My mom had a huge impact on my technical career. My natural inclination to screw around with computers was well-nurtured but with a simple caveat.

“Everything better work by the time I get home.”

This past weekend I spent a few days in Pullman, visiting with my mom before she had to go back to school. My mom is a speech pathologist, and her school year started Monday.

Every time I visit, there’s always something she’s got waiting for my help with. Things too heavy to pick up. Things too tall to do without a ladder.

This time it was a question about her computer.

All tech people hate this, by the way.

“My computer seems to be slowing down pretty bad. Do you think it’s time for a new one?”

Her computer is 10-years old. Athlon II. 4GB of RAM.

Me – “Probably, but let’s take a look.”

Looking around, there were half a dozen programs that she’d stopped using 5 years ago, and a bunch of pictures from 2013. Aside from Zoom meetings and the the occasional Excel (Excel 2007 by the way) she didn’t actually touch much. But it was SLOW. Get up a go get a cup of coffee after you clicked a shortcut slow.

Me – “Show me how you normally start this up.”

She did. Turned off the box and after a few seconds, turned it on again. First thing she did was an AVG ‘scan.’

That ‘scan’ did something? And then her computer took multiple minutes for even starting up a notepad window.

Her – “See that? Seems like the computers giving up the ghost huh.”

Turns out AVG appeared to have a nasty bug that was opening hundreds of threads and leaving them open.

Hundreds of open threads hanging out, while AVG’s “Tune Up” application suggested she close OneDrive.

Funny thing happens when you shutdown down AVG software. It comes back. You can shut off services (they’ll come back on), uninstall the products (services stay on the machine, and start running again after a reboot), and change registry entries. AVG will still come back and try to convince you to let it ‘inspect’ things.

Frankly, for an ‘anti-virus’ software, AVG has a lot of ‘virus-y’ features.

Fortunately, Windows 10 has a pretty nice feature. Resetting to a clean install. Worked like a charm.

I did convince mom to buy the newest version of Office, but once that was done, she had everything working swimmingly. Faster than it had been in years.

Not fast by my standards, but extremely fast by hers.

Her – “Wow, it’s like I have a whole new computer!”

My professional opinion: AVG makes terrible software, and I recommend that you never install anything from them.

The photo is from my drive into town. It’s right on the 270, just as 195 splits off on Davis Way.

The credit union I work for put up the sign. Folks were there taking pictures of their kids being dropped off at school, which will be a great memory they’ll appreciate for a long time.

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