While Rachel Dodes' article focuses on defeating spyware by starting over, I found it that the best part of the article is Ms. Dodes' explanation of the tools she used to try to get rid of the spyware without reinstalling (although it would have been nice if they had provided hyperlinks for more than just Mozilla Firefox and Windows Update, especially as the first two links are for sites where the author claims that you can actually get spyware). The actual description of the reinstallation is a bit lacking, though.

It is important to note that some computers, including my own, contain a hidden, manufacturer-installed hard drive "partition," which houses operating system software that can be deployed in an emergency. But since not all computers have this feature, I chose to use the XP installation disks instead.

I assume that Ms. Dodes was attempting to experience a "standard" reinstallation procedure. In terms of her personal computer's performance, however, it might have been a better idea for her to use the IBM partition in order to restore the software pre-installed on her computer. These can include essential software to communicate with your computer's various components (like device drivers), important programs you use everyday (like Microsoft Office), and the completely useless (for example, my old HP Pavilion came with WildTangent). In most cases, using the partition to reinstall and removing any programs you do not want/need is much easier than attempting to find device drivers on the manufacturer's website.

Far more importantly, the article glosses over the most important part of the reinstallation. As anyone who has installed Windows 2000/XP, reformat and reinstallation has the unfortunate side effect of erasing all previous Windows updates on the computer, allowing it to become easily infected (or in some cases, reinfected) by a plethora of viruses. Ms. Dodes did take the precaution of using an external router to prevent this, but the importance of this action is not emphasized in the article.

Despite this mild shortcoming, this article was still better than the majority of pieces in the New York Times' Circuits section. While allowing reporters with no technical knowledge to write articles may work wonders for readers' comprehension, it results in oversimplifications and confusion all too often.