Yeah, I got competition!!
(after finding out about the "Virus Fixer")
VIRUS FIXER by Richard Karsmakers
After over one and a half year, there is now finally another
virus killer available in Holland: STRIKE-a-LIGHT's "Virus
Fixer". It took several months for this program to be developed,
and the programming was partly in the capable hands of the first
Dutch virus killer ever: Frank "NoMoCo" Lemmen (remember him?).
Co-programmer Robert Heessels, probably one of the most
accomplished Dutch programmers, made sure the whole thing was put
in a very user-friendly environment. The result is a new tool in
the battle against viruses, that's up to high standards and
equally high reliability.
I knew when I started testing the program that I wouldn't find
any bugs. Especially Robert has this enormous chunk of experience
to back him up, and he automatically writes every routine as
water-tight as he can. So there are no bugs I could find! This
fact was altogether quite frustrating, as you can imagine that I
am very eager to tear down competition whenever such is possible.
I simply couldn't.
The program is really fool-proof. The thought of sending a copy
to Frøystein to have him test the program entered my mind for an
instant, for there surely can't be a program that's Frøystein-
proof, can there? I would probably have done that if the program
wouldn't have been written entirely in (modern) Dutch, and if it
wouldn't have been illegal to copy it to him (for the "Virus
Fixer" is NO Public Domain!).
The build-up of the "Virus Fixer" is more 'parallel' than that
of my own "VDU" (which is probably more 'sequential' or 'serial',
whatever you want to name it). You simply have one 'main menu'
from which all functions are accessible. Drives to check and
other options (like 'automatic immunization', 'check all/single
files') can be set in the installation menu.
Layout was in the hands of Holland's ultimate graphics man and
resource design specialist, Eerk Hofmeester, making sure that
nothing about the program or the language it uses can be
explained in more than one way; just like all STRIKE-a-LIGHT
programs, the "Virus Fixer" is the prototype of what all utility
programs should be like with regard to quality.
And have you already seen the STRIKE-a-LIGHT packaging?
That must be the most original and exclusive idea ever to
appear, even beyond out national borders: A small plastic
'suitcase' houses the disk, short program manual, 'disk note' and
registration form. It's slick. It's original. It's....
Just a moment. Something is happening right now. There is a
sound of many sandals on the stairs to my student's floor, and
some seconds later there is violent knocking on my door.
"Enter?" I utter, slightly confused about what might be outside
The door is opened and about ten people wearing long bordeaux-
red gowns enter. They immediately start examining my cupboards,
looking under my pile of press releases and opening all my
drawers. One of them even starts examining my pile of dirty
"Where is it?!" one of them cries, as about 10 seconds of
zealous searching does not reveal the Thing they appear to be
I gaze at them, dumbfounded, as if I am truly and honestly
innocent, and as if I do not know where It is what they're
looking for (to be quite frank, I really am and I really don't).
The people make way for another person that is wearing a mask.
The mask seems to be made out of self-adhesives of some kind,
yellow and black. Parts of the texts on these can still be read,
which seem to be occupied mainly with some kind of Stricken Light
and a phone number, 040-455281.
The man stands still all of a sudden.
"I sense something," he whispers softly, then looking at me
sharply and saying: "...IT must be here!"
"But where..." one of the others interrupts -
"Silent, fool!" the man with the mask retards, "I must think."
He then places both his hands at my temples, as if trying to
establish a link between my brain and the stuff in his head that
seems to have to perform a likewise function.
He closes his eyes and seems to be utilizing the aforemeant
stuff in his head.
At that moment, my eyes catch the text inscribed in gold on a
cheap plastic button that is attached to his robe.
"EXTOLLERS OF THE BLACK MINI-SUITCASE" I read.
"I sense something!" the man cries triumphantly as he seems to
experience the sheer sensation of my thought himself, thereby
nearly rendering me unconscious as his hands clash together
violently. I was just in time to draw back my head.
With a trembling hand, I point out a small black plastic
suitcase that is lying on my desk, precisely in front of the
major part of these, obviously religious, people.
All robed people now suddenly drop to the ground, making certain
movements that Moslims make when in prayer - but now only aimed
at this small black plastic suitcase on my desk instead of Mekka.
The man with the mask carefully lifts the object from my desk as
if it were a priceless golden bar inlaid with the most precious
"Hail! Hail!" he cries.
"Hail! Hail!" the other religious nuts cry in unison, as they
leave my room, close the door and descend from the stairs,
repeating it until they disappear out of the sight of my window -
and probably even beyond.
Ooofff. That's just how popular those STRIKE-a-LIGHT suitcases
Just a moment. I'll clean my temples and get on with it...
The "Virus Fixer" is entirely programmed in "Turbo C", and it
therefore fast and compact. I was somewhat amazed at the speed
with which the link-viruses are checked in their 'scan partition'
option: Awesome! It's at least twice as fast as any checker I've
seen before, although they do check for four link-viruses.
Earlier, I already mentioned their 'automatic immunization'.
This means that floppy disks are automatically immunized whenever
a disk is checked that is not write-protected. A very neat
feature. The "Virus Fixer" also uses the latest immunization
method possible (designed by yours truly).
With the "Virus Fixer", it is possible to check for link-and
bootsector viruses, and repairing damaged bootsector disks is
also possible (about 110 in total, using a neat dialog box). An
update for this program is made very regularly, so it recognizes
all the latest viruses (STRIKE-a-LIGHT and yours truly work
together with swapping new viruses and new innocent bootsectors).
There is also a, rather useless and crudely programmed, way to
get a directory on the screen (just slamming a dummy fileselector
on the screen). That's about the only 'minus' point.
It's hard to admit, but the "Virus Fixer" really is a flawless
piece of programming that is extremely powerful and that should
be in your software library if you master the Dutch language.
Yeah....I surely got some tough competition here!
The "Virus Fixer" is sold at ƒ49.95, and can be obtained through
all good software retailers as well as STRIKE-a-LIGHT:
Grote Berg 85
NL-5611 KJ Eindhoven
The text of the articles is identical to the originals like they appeared in old ST NEWS issues. Please take into consideration that the author(s) was (were) a lot younger and less responsible back then. So bad jokes, bad English, youthful arrogance, insults, bravura, over-crediting and tastelessness should be taken with at least a grain of salt. Any contact and/or payment information, as well as deadlines/release dates of any kind should be regarded as outdated. Due to the fact that these pages are not actually contained in an Atari executable here, references to scroll texts, featured demo screens and hidden articles may also be irrelevant.