Arriving at Microsoft Update in the Cruising Vessel that is Internet Explorer 6, the scan took such an inordinately long time that I finally canceled it. Thinking that the PC's 256 MB RAM might be causing IE6 to act even more sluggish than usual, I closed that and turned on Automatic Updates, rebooted, dialed-up and waited for The Mothership to make contact. When it finally did, I deselected "Malicious Software Removal Tool" same as always and commenced with the update.
In time I noticed that the computer was throwing off a lot of heat, and Task Manager confirmed that the CPU was running continuously at 100%. The update seemed to be taking much longer than expected; hour after hour crept by as Automatic Updates crawled around inside my computer's guts, pushing the hardware to its limit.
The next day the CPU was still running at 100% and the update appeared to have barely progressed. Finally calling bullshit, I turned Automatic Updates off, rebooted my PC and launched der
Firefox, taking to the web in search of answers. It turned out that the Windows update client (wuauclt.exe) had a bug that made it necessary to download the latest Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer separately and install it before using MS Update. With the patch now in place, my CPU subsided and normal operation resumed.
In spite of all the frustration and unwelcome downtime, at least one good thing came of all this. The Microsoft Update CPU Stress Test inadvertently proved my newer computer capable of handling the heavy demands that would soon be placed upon it when I put it to work re-encoding 1080p video content to DVD format for viewing on my beloved old-style CRT television. To that end, and to better utilize my resources while the update was in progress, I proceeded to download some high-definition adult entertainment videos, gratis.
At this late date most of the bigger outlets' PC2100 RAM is generic brand at premium-brand-prices, but I found some 1 GB Kingston bricks at a smaller dealer and ordered four at ~$17 each, including shipping. This would be enough to generously outfit both computers.
Finding a decent ISP was more difficult, as there aren't many options in my area. The only offer that seemed workable was a DSL connection from my telecom provider, whose service and infrastructure shortcomings have been mentioned previously
. They were thrilled to sign me up, and said that the modem would be sent by mail and should arrive within two weeks.
And they wondered if I wanted to purchase a subscription to their internet security suite at an amazing low price, with free online backup.
So my dial-up days were finally coming to an end, but they weren't over just yet. Having already made a financial transaction using my unpatched computer, it was time for a visit to Microsoft Update via my phantom dial-up connection, which was sure to be dis
-connected, like, any time now