March 17, 2014
2 minutes

M-Protect Application

M-Protect, the virus protector that promised everything and fulfilled nothing, was an overnight sensation. After amassing a cult following of thirteen-year-olds and becoming the sponsor of the school’s crossfire tournament, this antivirus program was seemingly on the up and up. However, its ambition would become its downfall.

Getting things done — that’s the M-Protect way

This all started when I learned that I could very easily make GUIs with Visual Basic. I’m not sure why I settled on making a fake antivirus, but it might’ve been because I liked Avast and its sandbox feature a lot. Despite the reason, I knew having buttons and progress bars was enough to look legitimate, so I set out with Microsoft Paint and Visual Studio to make my first program.

The first version was very simple: no popup windows, only some interactive elements, and no ghastly red and blue color scheme. This needed to change. It’s clear that version 2 was more advanced, but that wasn’t good enough for me. I wanted something intelligent, beautiful, and enough to catch the eyes of my peers. For version 3, I wanted something bold, so I promised a redesign and a heuristic scanner. The only problem was I didn’t know how to code. To continue development, I downloaded a fancy looking program’s source code, but none of its libraries 😂 The end of M-Protect had come when I discovered dependency Hell.

M-Protect v2

I wouldn’t seriously start learning to code for another three years, but this experience definitely influenced my curiosity for computer science. In addition to the programming experience, I gained a surprising amount of advertising experience too.

Part of me wants to hide M-Protect away forever but another part admires getting an entire class excited about a piece of software, let alone one that didn’t work. Actually I take that back… I think the second version scanned for the string “virus” in files, but either way, it was very suspect 😂

Check out the exes if you’d like, but they’re mostly here for preservation.