Boy, have I had a bad few days!
My computer was running slow, so I bought "Fix-it Utilities 9" to clean up my hard disk. Instead of solving the problem, the utilities program made everything worse and I had to go to recovery mode. This meant I had to reinstall all the software I'd added since I bought the computer. I also lost all the document and photo files from my hard drive. (I keep back-ups on a separate hard drive but I hadn't backed up anything onto this since November and I lost a lot of stuff.)
Then, in the process of reinstalling software, I picked up a virus and my computer totally crashed.
I spent last evening installing some Norton security software and finally got things working again. But I'll still have to spend hours reinstalling lost programs.
Two important lessons from this whole episode:
1. Back up files every day or at least every week
2. Keep internet security software up-to-date.
Hopefully things will be back to normal soon and there'll be some of the weekend left over for watching birds!