Monday, April 28, 2008

Woe is me! More Computer woes!

Now I bored you all with my computer problems due to contracting other people's nasty viruses and worms while on my cruise recently but I thought those problems were solved. However the other day, while chatting with M in Second Life, a little box popped up on the screen. Virus alert!

Got to go and deal with this, I said to M and departed toute de suite. Laboriously I went through my rigmarole of trying to disinfect it with the Shaw Secure program provided by my broadband supplier, however it said it could not disinfect it but had renamed whatever it was. Great, I don't think. But I ran a complete scan of the hard drive and it came out clean.

I had written down the name of the culprit and since I was now at home instead of away, I decided to talk to the technical people at Shaw. Some nice young man said he would get a member of the heavy duty team to call me back and they would run some special scans. So for the next two evenings, Vance, by taking over my computer remotely, spent many hours running different kinds of scans and cleaning out the foreign nasties he found there. Finally he assured me that it was now completely virus and worm free. I thanked him profusely and was so happy to be back online once more.

Well it seems he didn't only take out all the nasties. A lot of the good stuff disappeared too. Like all the history in the browser. Oh well, it will build up again gradually, not to worry. All the cookies must have been taken out too. Half the sites I visit remembered me but many did not. And why was I not registering on MyBlogLog?

Now this was the really awful part. I could not even get into my MyBlogLog account. As an aside, let me tell about the notebook by my computer where every time I have to register for some new application I write it all down. I always try to use the same user name, JMB, but some sites want 6 or more letters or some want numbers and letters combined or sometimes JMB is already taken. There is more than one JMB? How can that be? So you might see me as JMB or No1JMB or Nobimp, depending on the application. I try to use only two passwords to keep it simple and then there are the different security questions. All in the book, thank goodness.

So off I go to MyBlogLog with the information and type it in. Nope. Doesn't work. Why is it asking for my Yahoo ID? Oh, now I remember, Yahoo bought out MyBlogLog. So what is my Yahoo ID? Back to the book. Another little problem. It's just a bit muddy in that particular entry in the book. It seems that I have more than one Yahoo ID. One is for dunnetworks from long ago and one is for the Blogpower mailing list and neither seemed to work in MyBlogLog. By now I'm getting pretty desperate for as you all know, I love MyBlogLog and can't do without it. So I email them for forgotten ID, forgotten password, you name it. Using all three email accounts. Finally I get back enough information to sign into the site. Much erasing and rewriting in the book for next time, bite my tongue, but all seems well again.

Until the next day, when I cannot access the internet at all. What? The little WiFi icon is fully green, I have a signal. But it seems instead of being connected to the B-------- House network I am connected to one with no active profile. I check out all the nearby networks, yes next door is there, yes the house on the other side, the one across the road, the one behind, all secured, so I am not connected to them. But there's a new network, VanWap, on the list and it is unsecured. Somehow I am connected to them, but not strongly enough to get the internet.

Hello, clever technical people at Shaw, what do I do? Why you must change the channel says the heavily accented person on the other end of the phone (are they outsourcing this to India as well?) then he walks me through the process and I reboot the computer and again all is well.

But not for long. Next day, same again. So I changed everything back to the original channel and there we sit. So far so good. But I am very nervous and just waiting for the other shoe to drop. I wish I knew who this VanWap is so I could tell them to secure their wretched network.

Then there is the next problem.

I have a brand new eye. One only so far it's true, but for the last few days I have noticed that the captcha on Blogger has become totally unreadable and even longer than usual. Have they been making changes without telling me? I find that I am having to type them in at least three times per comment and it is driving me insane. So let's look at the one above which I was asked to type today. Is it hjtymlf or lytymlf or? Even when you type a captcha carefully and are absolutely sure you are right, WRONG--ENTER THE LETTERS AS THEY ARE SHOWN IN THE IMAGE, it admonishes you. But I did! So I promise you, unless the religious fanatic attacks again with his/her ten page comments this is a

Captcha Free Blog

Exasperation Free Commenting*

* From Colin Campbell's sidebar


Liz said...

Oh, jmb, what troubles you have been having!

Isn't it amazing, watching the cursor moving over the screen and you're not controlling it? It's incredible - to me - that they can do that remotely from miles away!

I agree that the captcha has become twirly and swirly and crammed together making it really difficult to translate.

I hope your problems are sorted out now and that second living will become a breeze for you!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, It is very nice to here.

Computer Installation

Semaj Mahgih said...

JMB - I had 2nd Life on this computer and it was dropping out, going down and so on.

I threw all 2nd Life off the computer, even the hidden files and then it came good suddenly.

Later I downloaded Skype. I have an alert system on the Mac which tells me where programmes are connecting.

Skype was trying to connect to 1016 commerical sites on the first day but my system was blocking it so it crashed my system.

I dug Skype out lock stock and barrel and after a 20 minute sedlf repair of itself, including reloading software, it was OK again.

Facebook is another this way.

Be careful of going into any social networking.

So far with MyBlogLog there has been nothing untoward.

Colin Campbell said...

The new captcha system is starting to defeat the whole purpose. It is exasperating even for me and I have good eyesight. In almost every one I have to make at least one guess. Annoying beyond words.

Amazing. I am behind Mr Spam.

Nunyaa said...

I agree with JMB, am having trouble with captcha as well, sometimes it takes two or three goes to enter a reply.

Anonymous said...

Thats all terrible - I am glad you seem to have solved it for the moment. I agree on Captcha - I dont use it myself and I have found today that it is unuseable on loads of blogs. As you say it can't be read.

Baht At said...

captcha does seem to be getting to the stage where only teenage nerds with perfect vision can actually read it.

I failed one this morning!

Heart of Rachel said...

I'm sorry about your computer woes.

I have to do agree with that captcha thing on blogger. Now you have to type it before saving and publishing on Blogger. I often need to type it twice or thrice before I get it right.

Janice Thomson said...

Gosh so sorry about your computer JMB. I have heard before that 2nd life causes a lot of problems. There's a lot going on behind the scenes that most users of programs like this are totally unaware of and would be shocked to learn about.
Hope this gets resolved soon.

Tai said...

Bah! So frustrating, eh?

Ian Lidster said...

The recent captcha things on blogger are outrageous. I don't like having games played with me. REally sorry about your computure woes. I've had it happen, and it's awful.

jams o donnell said...

I've taken verification off to be helfpul to commenters (spammers wil be despatched without mercy though). If people with good eyesight are having problems then it's a farce.. me I have pretty poor vision so I may try the audio alternative in future.

Crushed said...

I find captcha hard sometime. I don't know how much it deters commentors, but maybe it does, psycholigically, in that you are more likely to consider whether your comment is worth leaving.

I find my PC is delayed by D's Myspace, which is no muse to me, I don't have a Myspace page. Might disinstall it.

Carver said...

I'm sorry about your computer woes. That is so frustrating. I can't read the security codes either. It's taking me at least 3 tries. Sometimes, I copy my comment, give up go back later and get it in 3 tries. So it's not just you by any means. I've been lucky not to have been spammed on my blog except for once, knock wood. I understand though why others use those codes but it's getting more and more frustrating for me to comment.

Dr.John said...

My nut left forty pages. I am also having real trouble entering those whatever they are called. Sometimes it takes four tries.

CalumCarr said...

We forget just how much we depend on pcs until we can no longer use them. Then it's PANIC.

Re captcha: I'm with everyone here. It's a right pain in the arse.

Sienna said...

Ooooh JMB, I'm sorry, but reading this had me giggling so, you tell it so funnily!
Cyberspace is wonderful, BUT....feel free to add the conditions. :)

I made the move (rather) tried to make the move from dial up to wireless broadband, with a 9 decibel aerial creating magic, then promptly lost the aerial and the steel pipe it was bolted to in the first storm we had after putting it up on the roof! (and a sheet of roof) they sure make dem dere bolts tough!

You have down well to negotiate virus/worm world....nothing like a good worming eh.


Ellee Seymour said...

I truly sympathise, I hope your problems are resolved now and I'm also impressed about your skill with Second Life.

CherryPie said...

I am glad I am not the only one who can never remember my user passwords. I try to keep to the same ones too, but sometimes you have to be creative.

With the captcha I thought I had my contacts in the same way round it was so blurry! It seems to have sorted itself out now.

As to James' comment about skype. The way Skype works it uses your systems bandwidth unless you have a Nat firewall to stop it!

jmb said...

Hi Liz,
It is amazing when they take over your desktop and do their thing. Still hopefully fixed!

Hi James,
I don't think it really had anything to do with SL, but who knows. Skype I'm not willing to give up since I videocall with my daughter all the time. Hopefully it's fixed.

Hi Colin,
The captcha is absurd. I think it might have cleared up a bit today.

Hi Nunyaa,
I will not be commenting soon if people have a captcha. It is so exasperating.

Hi Mutley,
All clear hopefully. I hope those blogger people fix it.

Hi Baht at,
It used to be if you failed the first they got easier but no longer.

Hi Rachel,
I guess these things are sent to make us humble! I have not noticed it in publishing. Are you using the Beta form?

Hi Janice,
I hope it is not SL causing the problems because it is fun.

Hi Tai,
Bah, you are right!

Hi Ian,
The Shaw people were great so I am grateful for that. Captcha begone I say.

Hi Jams,
Audio alternative? What is that? For the few spammers I've had it's not worth putting the captcha on.

HI Crushed,
It seems particularly bad lately. It certainly is making me think twice about leaving a comment, especially on those who post frequently. I'll read but not comment.
HI Carver,
Yes I have to copy the comment too sometimes. Photo Hunt was awful this past weekend.

Hi Dr John,
Maybe I had the same nut, it seemed like an awful lot of stuff and I had to put captcha on for a couple of days, since the nut came back two days in a row! I axed it pretty quickly however.

Hi Calum,
We are such sad things, tied to our computers, aren't we? Get rid of captcha everyone!

Hi Sienna,
Long time no see. Too bad about your aerial. Tough bolts indeed. A good worming. LOL. You'd know all about that!

Hi Ellee,
All solved I hope now, but don't be too impressed with my SL skills. I'm still stumbling around there,

Thanks to everyone for visiting and commenting.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Jmb, I know exactly how you feel! And I have a "little book" by my computer, too! But don't worry about the word verif - I think everybody is having trouble reading it lately!

Vic, the Cariboo Ponderer said...

I get very upset when my computer is not working properly. It is such an extension of me I am lost without it. It is annoying having to remember all those passwords I tend to stick with the same except for banking ones.

The word verification is a pain I dislike using it

Josie said...

Omigosh! JMB! I thought it was just me, but I am not able to decipher the letters in captcha word verification either. And often when I do, it still won't allow me to comment.

I had no idea Shaw would fix computers remotely. Our IT department at work does it, but I wasn't aware Shaw did it as well. I use Shaw, so now I know.

jmb said...

Hi Welshcakes,
I'm glad I'm not the only person with the book and it seems Blogger has fixed the captcha thank goodness.

Hi Vic Grace,
I try to keep the password/user name simple but often they won't let me!

Hi Josie,
I think they have fixed the captcha thing thank goodness. I was in despair with it.
I think the Shaw people were great and I really appreciated the service.