Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Computer Lore for Occultists

This blog entry has been written in order to help some of my magician friends who do not specialize in computing, navigate around the occult trials of working safely on a Windows computer.   The idea is not to exhaustively cover every possible problem but to try to identify some easy tasks which will help a computer run smoother and problem free.   As with all demons, it is important to maintain the master/slave relationship with your computer and not get things reversed.  Computers work for us and if that relationship fails a lot of work may be necessary to re-establish control.

However just as if you have a serious possession you should consult an exorcist, if you have serious computer problems see an expert.   The final section in the document will cover some of the things you should do before speaking to a professional so that their job of fixing the issue is as easy as possible.

Most problems are resolved by rebooting.  Generally I advise people to always make sure they reboot once a day – I turn my computer off every night and back on again in the morning.  This closes everything down and clears the memory.  Using options like hibernate or sleep are not so thorough and not everything gets reset.  This option is Ok for on-off procedures during the day such as if you have to pop out but try to do a full reboot once a day or shut off your computer every night.

Finally, Should this page be useful, please send me your questions and I’ll maintain a Frequently Asked Questions document in case the question and answer will be of help to other people.

1.0 Know your tradition

There are a number of versions of Windows currently in use most likely ranging from Windows XP, through to Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8 (now 8.1).  So whilst I have tried to keep these instructions as generic as possible there may be slight differences in the instructions.

There could well be some differences with future versions of windows (and I may have got some XP details wrong, so if you notice an inaccuracy here please let me know and I’ll keep this document updated.  

2.0 Cleansing and Protection.

Like any good practice, regular cleansing is necessary in order to keep your computer free from attachments.  Rogue entities called viruses and spyware can potentially sneak in whenever they find a weakness is your defences and it is worth stepping back on occasionally and running a check to see if anything has managed to invoke itself onto your computer.  

Sadly this is not as easy as soaking in a salt bath, however like any good practice routine is essential and this should be done once  every lunar cycle or thereabouts.

2.1 Installing and updating your Anti-Virus software

A good anti-virus is the equivalent to Angelic protection and is totally required to clear out the devilish unclean filth which can get onto our computers.  Anti-virus software is essential and Microsoft does have a free version which is often pre-installed on computers.  You can install it from this link if you don’t already have it:

To use this however always ensure that you have the automatic downloading of updates switched on.  This means that any updates will be automatically added (see section 7 for instructions on opening control panel then look at Windows Updater.)

Additionally you may wish to enter into a compact with another agency to keep your computer clean and secure.  Many tools are free and are just as good as the expensive packages such as Norton/Symantec and MacAfee.  In a deal as loathsome as that made by Doctor Faustus these companies have made deals with computer distributors so that their software is distributed pre-installed on new PCs and will provide free protection usually for a month, although in some cases a full year and then they try the extortion game to keep people buying updates from them.  Symantec is notorious however in that it is a greedy program and steals processor cycles like a demon would eat childrens souls.

However I have been using computers for over 20 years now.  Whilst I agree that Anti-virus software is totally essential, using these packages is not and I recommend avoiding them.  First thing I always do with a new computer is install a different solution and then uninstall anything by Symantec or MacAfee.  This involves downloading and using the free version of Avast (or similar tool).  This has a firewall and anti-virus built in which is very good and not given me any problems in 5 years (since I have been using it).

Avast is free however they do have premium alternatives (which I do not use).  It does however require a licence which means you need to register with then (this is still free).  They will then send you a registration code by owl-mail which you need to enter into your computer using the instructions provided and renew this once a year.  Occasionally it will ask you to buy the premium version however those requests can be ignored.

2.2 Other tools and checks

The first and most important of these is Microsoft Safety Scanner.  This is a free tool which has a ten day licence.  This means that you need to download it afresh each time so that you are always using the latest version (which is primed to deal with the latest threats).

The link above is where you need to go to download the latest version.  Download it, run it then let it do its work.  I have found that this tool sometimes catches out things which sneak by other anti-virus packages so a regular check as useful in preventative care and I usually run this once a month.

2.3 Ongoing habits and safe surfing

Like the reckless use of the Ouija board, frequenters of the lurid underside of the web are where people are most likely to encounter nightside viral denizens and malign stray spirits.  It is generally best to only ever download anything from a known source and before you do anything only ever download once your firewall and Anti-virus software are up to date and active.   

Also ensure that you are careful with links and read the instructions on the installation package.  Many on-line application libraries exist as portals to find software tools however they have been set up in such a way as to be confusing and to mislead unwary surfers into downloading ad-ware and other such traps. 

So it is important to check what is being downloaded.  It is also important to ensure that you read the installation questions when you install software.  A great many installers try to trick you into installing extra rubbish as the same time you are installing your legitimate tools – usually this is parasitical nonsense such as toolbars for browsers linking to now desperate past-revenants such as “Ask Jeeves”.

For example:

The above screenshot was generated whilst writing this document, it comes from a legitimate Google site (always check the URL address at the top – this is the sigil which tells you whose page you are on).  I looked to temporarily download the Google toolbar so I can describe toolbars and how to clean them.  Look at the area which I have encircled.  Google also tries to steal my homepage and make itself a default.  This is fairly innocuous compared to what some software installers tries to do, but it shows that it is always worth reading what software tries to do.

3.0 Building your circle of protection – Firewalls

Your firewall is your magical circle and is designed to only permit particular traffic between your computer and the seething chaos which is the internet.  Windows comes with its own firewall which should be enabled.  To do this go to your Windows Firewall settings in Control Panel (see section 7) and ensure that it is on.

4.0 Manage your skrying tools

There are three main ways in which you can skry the internet; Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome.  Each is more of less equal and really down to individual preference.  However browsers do present problems in that they (and allied software) will try to install additional toolbars.  Occasionally it is worth running a check and uninstalling anything superfluous.  I generally consider anything except the default toolbars to be unacceptable.

These need to be first removed from the Browser and then uninstalled (see section on Banishing) from “Programs and Features”

In the above diagram, right clicking the blue area will bring up an option to remove toolbars from the browser.  This doesn’t actually remove the toolbar, merely deactivate it from the browser.  I have seen users who have had so many toolbars invading their browser that half the screen was lost.

When working with browsers I always recommend that you allow the browser to automatically update itself and install the latest updates.  This may mean that there will be an occasional interruption whilst it does this work but it means that the latest security patches are also available.

5.0 Banishing and un-installing

Software does sneak onto your computer and it is worth periodically checking to see what is installed and have a purge.  This can also potentially free up space if there are things that you do not use.

Open up the Programs and Features page as described in Section 7.

The first trick here is to look at the “Installed On” column.  Clicking this will sort the list by date and you will be able to see what has been installed.  So if your computer has suddenly started acting weirdly check that first.  If there is software here which claims that it has been installed around (or slightly before) high strangeness started effecting your computer it may be that something has snuck in.

This could be due to something you legitimately installed (software does not always work well on all systems) or it could be something malicious.  If you know what it is (and remember to skry on Google if you are not sure) then you can uninstall the software and things should improve.  It is always better to err on the side of caution though if you don’t know and get advice before deleting.

You can see in the illustration above that the top is the Google toolbar which I downloaded and installed earlier as an example.  That can go, so a quite right-click will remove it.  Some installers take you to a web page where they ask questions, answering these is optional so please feel free to ignore or be as rude as the software was in initially installing itself.

6.0 Psychic Attack.  – Is your computer compromised?

Despite all of the above, rogue daemons will occasionally sneak into your system.  The constant arms race between virus writers and anti-virus writers means that occasionally the diabolists are a step ahead and whilst this may all very well be part of the cosmic balance it is a nuisance if you have a virus or piece of malware running on your computer.  You will notice it straight away since your computer will be running really slowly.

Usually the above tools such as the Microsoft Safety Scanner will catch practically everything.  However sometimes it is useful to dig around and see what is happening.

The trick here is to see what is running.  To do this you will need to use the task manager and skry into your system to see what is running.  When you invoke the task manager servitor a windows will open which tells you everything that is running.  It looks like this:

Notice at the top there is a processes tab.  Click on that to bring you to the list and then click the CPU column to sort the list so you can see what is taking up the most CPU processes in order.  You may need click the CPU tab twice to bring the most processor intensive processes up are on the top.   If you see “System Idle Processes” on top such as we see here that is a good thing since this means that the computer is not running to maximum.  However if another process is continually taking this position then something may be wrong. 

A process hogging the processor can be caused by any of the following

i)                    It could have a lot to do and is grabbing what resources it needs to complete its task.  This can be for legitimate reasons.  For example if you cut and paste a very large amount of data it can take time to process everything, especially if you have a few applications running at once.  Give it some time such as 5 minutes and it should catch up.

ii)                   A bug in a program may mean that it has got itself a bit stuck.  It should resolve itself after a few minutes, if it does not resolve and save your work, then reboot.  That should fix that.

iii)                 A rogue process has snuck in and is carrying out its own unauthorised actions.  In a worse-case scenario malware could be controlling your PC and sending out spam messages.  This is rare but possible.

If you see something which you don’t understand look up the name of the process (under the Image name column and the command line column) from the window and type this into Google.  It does look that some of this may be in Enochian, but do not be alarmed, it is susceptible to the ultimate sorcery, that of a google search.

Almost certainly if there is a rogue programme running someone would have written about this so it should come up in a google search.   They should also give you some instructions as to how to banish it into the /dev/Null abyss forever.

7.0 Shortcuts and opening pages

This section details some methods to open some of the windows described through this guide.  There are other ways however this is one method.

7.1 Opening the Programms and Features

  •  Click the Start Menu.  In the “search programs and features” box type in “control panel”.  Then press enter.  This should bring up the control panel
  • When the control panel opens look at the top  right hand corner where there is a question “View By” and select “small icons”.  This makes everything visible.
  • Look for the Programs and Files icon and click that.

7.2 Opening the task manager

  • ·         Right click the bar at the bottom of the screen
  • ·         Select “Start Task Manager”

7.3 Quick shortcuts

Press these buttons at the same time to get the effect.
·         [CTRL] + C = Copy
·         [CTRL] + X = Cut
·         [CTRL] + V = Paste
·         [CTRL] + [Print Screen] = Copy entire desktop view (including all open windows)
·         [CTRL] + [ALT] + [Print Screen] = Copy open window

These combinations can be used to cut and paste data quickly.  So if you have an error you can use this to save the error message.

8.0 Asking for help

Most people are always happy to help others with computer problems.  There are some things that you can do to make the task of the helper easier.

Try to record in as much detail everything that happens.  If you get an error message write it down exactly.   Remember you can also google error messages to find out what they are saying.  Sometimes people find error messages intimidating and panic before reading them but sometimes they do say exactly what to do.  Don’t forget to look at the quick shortcuts section in 7.3 to find out how to quickly cut and paste errors into an email or document to pass onto anyone helping.

Copyright Paolo Sammut 2014