Rating: NNNNN

Heartbroken. Love never arrived, at least on my machine. NBy last Friday, when much of the online world was building walls against the so-called Love Bug (or the considerably more sinister-sounding Love Worm, as it’s become known in the past few days), my hard drive remained gloriously uninfected, stood up, as it were, by the biggest computer virus in history.It actually didn’t come as much of a surprise. As a Mac user, I’ve gotten used to pretty much ignoring the hysterical virus warnings that arrive in capital letters week in and week out. Most of the attachments are PC applications that won’t open, at least automatically, on my machine. This is something to be thankful for.

I also use Eudora to gather my e-mail, rather than Microsoft Outlook, the porous, perpetually flawed program that seems to welcome hackers and viruses. This initially took some effort. Outlook was the recommended e-mail application on my iMac, and finding out where they’d hidden Eudora on the drive was a challenge — but it seems to have been worth it.

Still, I couldn’t help peeking in my mailbox every so often, like Charlie Brown on Valentine’s Day, wondering whether the bug had arrived.

The closest I got was a spammed e-mail, entirely in Italian, that prominently featured the word “love” in English several times but did no damage. Fortunately.

With my machine up and running, I was left to read conspiracy-theory stories about Metallica and the Recording Industry Association of America itself unleashing the Love Bug on the world, since the virus handily erases unauthorized MP3 files from your hard drive.

Again, I should be thankful for this, but being left out, no matter how good it is for you, is never much fun.


Rototiller running riot? Wondering exactly when to put the tomatoes in? is just one of dozens of online resources for the plugged-in gardener, but it’s a worthwhile stop, offering free tips, forums with other plant freaks, a useful garden glossary and a guess- the-mystery-plant contest. Of course, there’s also a store on-site. MG



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