Big news today in the antivirus software world.  A McAfee antivirus update has caused widespread havoc by causing computers to continually reboot:

“The computer problem forced about a third of the hospitals in Rhode Island to postpone elective surgeries and stop treating patients without traumas in emergency rooms.”

This particular outage appears to have affected corporate clients only, not individual consumer clients. 

The article concludes with this ominous note:

“It’s not uncommon for antivirus programs to misidentify legitimate files as viruses. Last month, antivirus software from Bitdefender locked up PCs running several different versions of Windows.” 

I didn’t realize it was “not uncommon.”  Before today I figured companies life McAfee would run so many redundant tests that they would never have this type of problem. Not so.

I never set automatic updates for any of my software. Not antivirus, not antispam, nor windows, nor anything else, except when the software doesn’t allow me to change the setting (curse you Google toolbar, I can’t live without you!).  I want to control, and know, what my computer is doing and when.  Perhaps I’m too much of a control freak.  But I’m a control freak with a working computer.