Tags: microsoft

05/29/11

  11:43:05 am, by The Dreamer   , 804 words  
Categories: Stuff, Software, Computer, VoIP, BOINC

Death to Skype! Bring me its head!

Link: http://jeff-duntemann.livejournal.com/281642.html

Years ago, I had installed Skype on various computers thinking that I'd jump into the whole using my computer for VoIP calling either as a supplement to doing VoIP using ATA's or successor. It revived buying webcams and/or headsets on my newer computers. I bought a webcam for my dad. But, he never used it.

And, I've never really used any of the many new webcams I keep buying either. But, recently I've met some friends on line that are into chatting online using Skype. I did do it once, and it was a strange experience actually talking to people....rather than the usual type into a window or web form chatting that I'm accustom to for online chat. But, they weren't into the webcam feature of Skype, so I don't know if I'll ever get to use that part for more than just as the microphone. (Which I might not do, since I bought a headset for one of my computers...)

Meanwhile, yesterday on Gumby....the computer I installed Skype and a(n HP) webcam onto, because ole TARDIS wasn't feeling up to getting new hardware (the plastic tab in some of its USB ports have broken off, though the kind of still work sometimes....not as bad as the old Gumby where the front USB ports didn't work at all anymore....And, I was using a PCCard USB adapter to help...)

Anyways, yesterday I recall seeing this EasyBits Games or something dialog come up, when I was checking some stuff on the machine. It had been up for over 16 (reached a max of 16.8 this time, TARDIS is currently at 35.52 days), but it seemed confused. A java app said it was out of memory, though there was plenty on the machine (over 1900MB free)...so I tweaked its JVM settings. Though later I discovered that PRTG had stopped running at some point. Someday I'll install Nagios, or something and replace that aspect of PRTG that I use. I had switched to running it, because bello-monitors-the.net ceased operation a few months back...and I was using it to monitor the performance and availability of this blog. At first PRTG seemed the solution to doing this...but its more annoying than just works, so I'll probably look at some other online service...

Anyways, suddenly with no explanation my screen went dark and the lights went out on Gumby...a moment later it was booting back up. Nothing in the event log to explain why it had gone down. I came back later to see the finished boot, and dismiss the various dialogs that come up during a boot and see why PRTG was complaining about something I was sure I had told it to stop monitoring (LHAVEN....I haven't finished that post yet). That's when I saw the huge gap in data, and it had apparently stopped working sometime yesterday morning (this unexplained reboot was around 5:27pm).

I vaguely recall seeing a strange dialog from Skype in reference to EasyBits Go games, seemed odd that Skype wanted me to install something like this. And, I have Skype in offline state on this computer...since I had upgraded to Zen...and Skype is online there. But, I dismissed it. I wasn't interested in it. But, later I saw that it had installed itself anyways. :##

Then a strange Flash Player install dialog, not the usual one from Adobe that comes up now and then. But, it seemed to do the normal Adobe Flash Player install...the except it was the kind that tried to install crapware with it, that you have to figure out the checkbox to uncheck to not get it before downloading it...while needing to check other boxes for it to proceed.

Guess I should've read it, because it was yet another part of the Crapware infestation that was coming to my computer via Skype/Microsoft.

Did a quick google search this morning, and found out how that its realy crapware, because the uninstall doesn't do anything...have to do more complicated stuff to remove it.

:rs::rs::rs::rs::rs:

Found the steps to eradicate it at: Jeff Duntemann's ContraPositive Diary - EasyBits GO, Skype, and The Crapware Problem

:rs::rs::rs::rs::rs:

Just firing off this quick blog post and then to reboot.... :cool:

Wonder if the Free AVG will catch it later, or if I should install something like Norton Internet Security (I seem to have gotten a 3-seat license, but I'm only using it on one computer at the moment....I do need to upgrade the version of Trend that is running on TARDIS, but getting NIS working and not working on Zen has been quite the hassle...so maybe I'm still looking, at least its SONAR isn't going after BOINC like NAV used to on TARDIS....wouldn't be so bad, if it didn't start doing that just after I extended it for another year.)

Wonder if I shouldn't just remove Skype while I'm at it.... :hmm:

12/31/10

  03:05:38 pm, by The Dreamer   , 1078 words  
Categories: Hardware, Software, Computer, Momitsu V880N, Networking, TiVo HD / Premiere / Elite, Storage

December 31st Migration Update

Last night I was lazy....and then I was reminded of the Narcolepsy, Hypersomnia and Fibromyalgia online chat at talkaboutsleep.com.

Don't really remember what I did and didn't do install-wise, spent most of my time shopping online to see what options there were to adding more USB ports to the back of Zen. Other than the 6 ports on the back, there are 3 on the front. Two with the media card readers and one behind the door on the front. But, those don't count for regular device usage, because I want to leave the one behind the door free for when I need to plug something in (most likely a USB stick -- I recently got a Kingston DataTraveler 200 in 128GB :cool:) And, the other two will likely get small dongles 'permanently' installed in them in the future....when I get around to the purchase of those items. Hopefully the two items will be small enough to fit there together. One is a small flash drive for ReadyBoost use, and the other is a BlueTooth dongle. The latter is for plans to get back in to video chatting, and to pair one of the many bluetooth headsets I have around that I haven't used yet.

Right now there's only one free USB port on the back...and by the end of this post, it'll be gone. After this post, I'll plan to order some USB hubs... Meanwhile, looks like the StarTech PEXUSB7LP 7-Port USB PCIe adapter is in my wishlist....or rather in my Amazon cart for a future Amazon prime moment. It'll give me 6 more ports on the back of Zen.

Oh yeah...I started the copying of more stuff from my old computer. I got up to (but not including) "Documents and Settings" on the C drive, and I skipped by 'bin' folder since that'll take some sorting through to update, etc. Plus there's probably missing dependencies that I haven't gotten to yet. This morning I continued to copy over more stuff. I got through drives E, F, and H. I had like 17 long running streams going when I switched to look at other migration work. Plus I had copied some directories with the intent to go back and clean them out. Some of the dialogs were giving an estimate of 1 day. Though as other streams finished, things sped up...both for that stream and the transfer speed over my network. Guess ole TARDIS couldn't push data fast enough into many copy sessions to keep the network as busy as it could be. (was only seeing ~50Mbps rather than the possible ~250Mbps).

Eventually, they did finish, so I cleaned things up. The big item that I wanted to move was so that I could move Momitsu Media Center over to Zen. Though I don't actually use my Momitsu V880N that much these days to stream video files....since I've been playing with open source tools to convert video files to TiVo format and getting those files on to a TiVo for viewing. But, perhaps I'll get around to actually doing this...I haven't yet.

Oh yeah, I tried setting up Skype last night. I recalled seeing it among the preinstalled stuff, so I tried that. It was like version 4.1, and it wouldn't connect. I tried disabling the firewall (I have it on at the moment, though I trust my home network and I trust that my routers keep the outside out....but for the moment it hasn't gotten in my way....) that didn't help. I signed into the Skype site to make sure that they were there and that I had remembered my account info correctly. I knew it was the same ID as my eBay account, but a different password... I had it installed on my other computer (Gumby), which has a webcam, etc. But, it had crashed one morning and I hadn't done anything since. As it turns out later that day the news of widespread Skype outages came out, and now that I've read the details on The Register... it fits... Anyways, I uninstalled the pre-installed version and installed the latest from skype.com and then I was able to sign in (with firewall enabled.)

ASIDE: One annoyance with this HP computer, the keyboard has a compressed middle key area....and I use things like Home, End, Del, PgUp, PgDn more often than I would've thought...so the change in layout is annoying. Guess I might have to see about getting a new USB keyboard for my new HP. :**:

:!: Did find something interesting while setting up webcam. My monitor (the debranded one from Woot, attached by HDMI) shows up as a speaker option. I knew it had speakers, but I didn't connect the speaker audio cable to it. Well, it can get it digitally via HDMI. And, the sound is pretty good...in some ways better than the Sony 2.1 speakers I'm using. But, I'll leave the Sony 2.1 speakers as my primary. Not sure what I'll use the discovered monitor sound for. :hmm:

So, when the copying finished. It was time to finish the configuration of GoodSync to synchronize or backup the various document directories on Zen to the other places. And, then I decided that I should get to configuring my new webcam... one of the items I picked up from staples.com to pad to free shipping....not really sure I needed a new webcam, though I probably wasn't going to move the HP webcam on Gumby...though another one wouldn't have been bad. I also have a collection of past webcams, though not likely to have Windows 7 drivers for them....even though a couple of them were really nice webcams....at least back in the day. But, the new webcams make the old ones pale in comparison now. I especially like with both, the HP one on Gumby and the Microsoft Lifecam HD5000 that I got for Zen, webcams have autofocus. The only thing neither offered is the ability to reduce depth of field or blur out my background. I forget what I did in the old days....perhaps it didn't matter because the apartment I was in was poorly lit (rooms either had no light fixture, just a switched outlet...or a very cheap low wattage bulb in the available fixture.)...so I had spot lighting from halogen torchieres. And, probably just went by CRT glow when I was online. Oh wait...the Microsoft Lifecam's software does have a background blur option....guess I'm saved. :wave:

Guess the thing to finish things off, so I can eat and do some online shopping is setup Messenger.....

Now instead of subjecting some poor random forum to a long rambling thought, I will try to consolidate those things into this blog where they can be more easily ignored profess to be collected thoughts from my mind.

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