Skip to content


How I used Scroogle to “fix” a computer

A couple of weeks ago, I was asked to have a look at a “broken computer”, or more precisely, at a Mac with a “broken Internet”. “It broke when our ISP changed the [modem-router] – by the way, the phone line got broken too in the process”. I’m not anymore a big fan of fixing other people’s computers because that tends to be repetitive (always the same mistakes, always the same shitloads of junkware, and you can be sure that 2 months after you cleaned it all it will be all back as it was), but since I don’t know Macs much (more like “not at all”, in fact), I still find fixing them an interesting challenge.

So I discover a shiny Mac with apparently no central unit:
“- Mkay, where’s your central unit?
– My what?
– Well, nevermind. What’s that small thing, is this the [ISP-issued modem-router]?
– That is the computer.
– Oh” (Macs, eh…)

Then my summoner demonstrated the broken internet problem: open “Internet” (Safari + Google as start page), type a search, click any result => crash:
“- Look, Internet is broken
– Actually, it’s not Internet, it’s your browser.
– My what?
– Mkay, nervermind. I’m going to install a piece of software which should fix this.”

Then I went to getfirefox and got a weird page with no download link. After a bit of searching around, I finally find a useful message: “Your OS is too old to install Firefox 3.6”. (NB: that’s not a mistake, it was a few weeks ago, the current version of Fx was 9.0, still the website was telling me “too old for Fx 3.6”). Jeez, I didn’t know Fx had such high version requirements. Tried Chrome: same problem.

“- How old is your computer?
– I don’t know…”
(of course, why did I even ask)
I browsed around a bit, finally found the OS version: Mac OS 10.3.9. (c) Apple 19??-2004. It’s amazing how a Mac is able to _look_ recent while actually being an ancestor.
“- I guess you bought it like in 2004-2005?
– Sounds about right”

That looked like a dead-end: no way to upgrade the browser without first upgrading the system. Not sure how far that old Mac (512 MiB of RAM, if I remember well…) could even be upgraded, not to mention how much it would cost.

“- Maybe… you should get a new computer?
– What? Oh noes, it’s so recent!”
(come on, it’s 8 years old, finish it already!)
“- Okay, maybe I’ve got a workaround: I can replace Google with Scroogle.
– What?
– I can replace Google with another, plainer version. It gives the same results, but without the fancy look.
– Alright!”
(yeah, usually I don’t manage to convert people to Scroogle because “yuck, it’s ugly”, but suddenly when it can save a few hundred bucks, look doesn’t matter so much anymore)

So, I replaced Google with Scroogle SSL search French in the bookmarks and start page, explain that “yes the page – title and search button – is in English but the results will favor French pages”. I then offered my summoner to try for themselves: open “Internet” (Safari + Scroogle as start page), type a search, click any result =>
“- Google works, it’s a miracle!
– Actually, it’s not really Google, it’s Scroogle.
– It’s what?
– Nvm…”

They then tried a few other searches, and at some point went to Wikipedia:
“- Wait a minute, does it look normal to you?
– What do you mean? Yeah it works great!”
Honestly, the page was a wreck. To give you an idea, if you have the technical knowledge (if you don’t, just imagine): try loading Wikipedia without the stylesheets. No wonder eventually some AJAX-intensive site managed to crash that middle-age Safari…

Anyway, the official version is I “fixed Internet”, and as a bonus I withdrew someone from BigBrother’s reach. Half an hour well spent 🙂

Posted in funnies, privacy.


One Response

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

  1. Proxy List says

    Appreciate the recommendation. Will try it out. Everywhere accross the planet, Online surfers seek out ways to continue being confidential to the Websites many people visit. Those self same buyers are seeking solutions to access common Web pages which have been blocked coming from complete groups of buyers. Many Internet users possess trusted a good anonymizer and also Internet proxy products and services to remain disguised . or even gain access to on the web Television, Xbox 360 system Are living, Hulu, and other big subject material sites from around the globe. The favorite European anonymizer service provider HideME.ru features as a final point created an Uk Web site because of their expert services named InCloak.com.



Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.

Please solve the CAPTCHA below in order to fight spamWordPress CAPTCHA