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Apologies for my absence........

Posted: Thu Sep 10, 2015 3:56 pm
by J.R.
.... for the last five days.

Thanks to BT, I've had no fast internet service for this time.

My I.S.P. people must have been pulling their hair out !

Re: Apologies for my absence........

Posted: Thu Sep 10, 2015 7:35 pm
by Fjgrogan
I too have found mine more than usually temperamental in the last few days, so perhaps it is something local to this area. I usually just assume that I am doing something stupid. Recently there have been various problems with mine because apparently various things which I use (Ancestry, BT) no longer like Internet Explorer as a browser, but won't let me update any further - something to do with being on Windows Vista. To complicate matters further my recently acquired tablet (Tesco hudl 2) operates on Chrome so the sensible thing would be to switch to that - but I cannot remember the password I used when setting up Chrome. And Norton keep taking money from my account but my computer insists that I have no virus protection. I like to think that I am not particularly stupid, and not yet into the realms of dementia; I simply am not familiar with the relevant jargon - I probably just need a six-year-old to interpret!. Anyway I have a reliable friend coming round soon to sort out all these digital idiosyncracies - I hope. Good to have you back anyway JR.

Re: Apologies for my absence........

Posted: Fri Sep 11, 2015 8:58 am
by sejintenej
You two are not alone. My systems have been thoroughly messed up by both Microcr*p and Orange.
Microcr*p sent down some "updates" and I lost everything on both laptops (they wouldn't even boot up at first) and my wife's also. Fortunately I had backup discs for this laptop so I simply reloaded, losing all my extra programs like virus checkers etc. As for the other one some Microsoft geezer wanted me to drive an hour to buy some bit, come back and do all sorts in incomprehensible things.
So, this (French) laptop works at a dead slow but closes down every morning at about 8.30 for a couple of minutes. The other runs Firefox, IE still doen't work and typing is a chore - it suddenly jumps the cursor into existing text or simply ignores keys being pushed. The agent says that this is normal!

Next to Orange: in June the modem started cutting out for hours at a time, they wanted over €70 to check the line and found nothing so they sent another engineer but still it cut out - up to 9 times a day. (In one 75 minute period it went down for a total of 49 minutes). Next they had me reprogram the modem and everything worked for a while until things went wrong again! The new helpdesk bloke agreed that the line is unstable but wouldn't alllow reprogramming. Eventually they replaced their modem and within half an hour it cut out again though it has worked for 5 days - hurrah - at a snail pace.

So - communications might be delayed

Re: Apologies for my absence........

Posted: Fri Sep 11, 2015 4:20 pm
by Fjgrogan
I have just been attempting to use Ancestry, which has recently been tarted up and dumbed down. It looks prettier and adds lots of exciting tit-bits about background information like Irish Land Tax etc, but is virtually impossible to use for serious research any more. It insists that my 2xgreat grandmother was born in Colorado, rather than county Tipperary [perhaps it can't read beyond the first two letters (like our postman this week!)]. It is also telling me that it no longer supports IE,so I shall definitely have to switch, probably to Chrome, if I can remember my passwords. I am concerned that I do not have adequate backups and may be about to lose three hundred years worth of family history information which I have been accumulating for the last 60+ years! I am also intrigued to notice that although at night I switch Skype offline before shutting down the computer, but it always opens next morning to show me online or invisible. And I have had a number of contact requests from unknown men mostly in USA who all seem to be photographed either in uniform or at least wearing a bank of medals - one was even a marriage proposal - of course I instantly decline and block them all - however I once accidentally blocked my son-in-law when he appeared under an alias!! Bring back to quill pen or the slate, I say (pity about the lost research though). It would certainly save in time and frustration - no more games of Freecell, Solitaire etc.

Re: Apologies for my absence........

Posted: Fri Sep 11, 2015 4:27 pm
by Fjgrogan
............... and while I was typing the above my Skype went online with no assistance from me! I don't want to lose that - it my major link to my Finnish grandchildren.

Re: Apologies for my absence........

Posted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 2:45 pm
by jhopgood
Lots of things to say about the preceding, but as an Apple user, my problems are different.

If you don't want Skype to start every time

In Skype go to Tools -> Options -> General settings. Uncheck the option: "Start Skype when I start Windows". Save. Quit Skype and reboot your computer.

A word of warning with new "Windows" computers.

Recently my son, who lives in the North of Sweden, bought a new Dell laptop so that his wife could exclusively use their existing laptop.
He had both connected to the internet as he was passing data from the old to the new, when he received a phone call, in English with an Indian accent, informing him that Microsoft had detected that he was on line and that he had a problem.
He was sceptical and asked various questions about his new pc to confirm that they really were Microsoft and eventually allowed them access to his pc to correct the problem.
At the same time he looked up scams on the other laptop and was alarmed to see that he was being subject to a scam. Since they were still on the phone he told them that they had been found out and said he was about to shut down his laptop.

Their reply was that he could do what he liked but his laptop would not restart.

And they were right.

He had to contact Dell and get new start-up software, contact all of his banks and anyone else who had confidential information and then check everything once he was back on line to see if he had any additional problems.

Not an experience to be repeated but fortunately, he lost nothing except for some self esteem.

They must have had access to a Dell database to know he had a new pc, spoke English rather than Swedish etc.

So beware of strange phone calls.

Re: Apologies for my absence........

Posted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 8:38 pm
by sejintenej
To follow John's story and to follow-up my previous diatribe......

When Orange thought that they had the problem sorted they arranged to telephone me at a specified time a week later. A bit afterthe specified time (and after Orange had called) I had a call from a GFC (insert your own offensive swearwords) coolie claiming in south asian Indlish that he was from Orange and he demanded that I connect my laptop immediately so that he could do a test. (Their standard tests do not need a computer linked in).

After so many attempted scams I never trust one of that sort unless I know their ancestry back to the great bohdi tree.

I refused to connect (my laptop was in the car and we were about to go to the airport) so he promised on behalf of Orange that my telephone line would be cut off for six months unless I connected immediately.

I stilll have a very shaky connection but I do wonder how he knew about a call I had originally made to Orange - and for goodness sake I am not even in an English speaking country! Orange's own staff all live in France and I tend to use Franglish with them for a bit just to check them out as genuine.

In England I have had calls similar to John's son: I generally tell them that I run Linux. I have occasionally asked them to contact me via my IP address of I do wonder what Korea Posts and Telecommunications Co, Pyongyang thinks of the Indian messages!

Re: Apologies for my absence........

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 2:01 pm
by J.R.
Just to up-date the story, Jan and I use PlusNet, who utilise the BT phone lines.

I have to say that PlusNet are by far and away the best ISP I have ever used.

They eventually diagnosed why my connection kept slowing then dropping, and atributed it to a BT fault which they got fixed.

No trouble since, and yesterday I received a text from them, (I was in Horsham at the time enjoying a cheap pint of excellent bitter in the Wetherspoon's), to say they'd tried to ring me at home, but carried out a re-test on my home phone line, and there was no problems detected.

Incidently, they are based somewhere t'up North, and ALL their friendly staff speak with broad Yorkshire accents. So nice to hear these days rather than someone continents away who can only read off script-cards and even then, struggle with the English language !!

Re: Apologies for my absence........

Posted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:31 pm
by dsmg
I've had that very same scam several times now. Always an Indian or Pakistani voice, sometimes male sometimes female, phoning I think from USA and often at ungodly hours like 7 am on a Saturday. I saw through it the first time straightaway as they kept saying I had problems with Windows and I'm a Mac person.The second time I just played them on for about 15 minutes to see where they were leading and then had a long chat with the young lady asking why the hell she got mixed up in a scam like that. Sad really. There's just so much crap out there on the Internet and you have to be so careful. I had two windows computers die on me (teenage kids downloading music and films probably to blame) so I decided about 10 years ago to change to Mac and must say I've never had problems since.

Re: Apologies for my absence........

Posted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:38 pm
by jhopgood
I switched to Apple when I edited the Old Blue and so far so good, although I have had some strange problems. As we have an apple store in Valencia, all bar one have been sorted, and that they have never been able to replicate so I have a work around.
Apple is expensive but their service has been first class.

Re: Apologies for my absence........

Posted: Fri Sep 18, 2015 11:04 am
by sejintenej
jhopgood wrote:I switched to Apple when I edited the Old Blue and so far so good, although I have had some strange problems. As we have an apple store in Valencia, all bar one have been sorted, and that they have never been able to replicate so I have a work around.
Apple is expensive but their service has been first class.
My wife bought an IPad and for months we had to go to the Apple store at least every week when it lost everything. OK so they could fix it (after waiting in the queue) for three days but I don't have an Apple store within 800 miles that I know of (Valencia might be nearer ;-)

At least I have been with MS since the introduction of DOS so I can handle some problems

Each to his/her own taste though I do curse MCrap sometimes