Thursday, October 26, 2006

Halloween Potpourri

I don’t know about the rest of you, but dealing with software issues is scary for me.  With that being said, here is my scary Halloween story.


I have been having software issues for a couple of weeks now.  I really enjoy getting my AOL for free these days, but I would almost be willing to pay three or four dollars a month to have that “Live Support” option returned.  I’m sure a few of you have felt the same since the “big change.”


My troubles seem to have started small with little annoying things happening like not being able to turn the computer off in the normal way.  Later, they escalated and when I got Emails with those cute video presentations, the presentations would never load and play. 


I cannot tell you how many times I clicked on the button that said click here to download the Adobe Flash Player 7 in order to see the video.  Every time I did this, nothing happened.  Well, actually the screen said that the download was successful, but I would click on the play video button in the Email again and got the same message as before.  Each time I would fiddle with my Internet Explorer settings and try again.  I would save the Email as new for days and try, try, try to get the #### video to play, but to no avail.


I got a notice on the screen this past week that one of my security software packages was about to expire and I needed to go to the link and pay more than I would at the local store to “renew” my security subscription.   Hmmm, I thought, in view of my other problems, perhaps it was time to review my entire security strategy.


I decided that I would no longer piece together a mish mash of different software for anti-spy, anti-virus, firewall, and so forth.  I would buy a total package from one of the major players and cover everything under one umbrella that would all expire on the same date next year.  The price of getting it all bundled together would be less than half of what it would have cost to buy each package separately.  Off to the store I went this weekend and was extremely pleased at the price I ended up paying for this total security package.


I spent my free time Monday uninstalling software and installing the new security package.  Everything went well enough and my computer now shuts down in the normal way and in a very timely fashion again.  What was the problem?  Well, it turns out that AOL does not support this manufacturer’s software so the security screen on AOL tells me that the firewall and antivirus software is not detected.  This was the point where I wanted to chat live online with an AOLtechnician or call them on the phone. 


I kept with it, though and got a screen up finally that told me that AOL does indeed detect that I have this security loaded and running, but since AOL does not support this manufacturer’s software anymore, it did not know the status of these programs.  At one time AOL offered security protection from this same company, then one day AOL said they no longer had an agreement with that company and that they were going with a different company for their free online security.  I guess the falling out between the two companies was not a nice one, LOL.


I finally found a way to verify that my computer was being protected even while using AOL and breathed a sigh of relief.  The next day AOL would not work right.  I could not access other journals and it took forever for AOL to recognize my password and sign me on.  Now, instead of doing the smart thing and asking other journal writers if they were having the same problems that day, I over reacted and uninstalled all of my AOL software.


I must have at least ten AOL software CD’s that I’ve received in the mail in the past couple of years.  I grabbed one and loaded it up.  Turns out it was a pretty old version compared to what I was running before I wiped AOL off the computer.  I was able to sign on quickly,but had other problems and AOL was continually sending me downloads trying to update this version for me.  I located a more recent AOL CD and removed the old program and installed the new one. 


Things are working pretty well again with all the features I’ve become accustomed to however, AOL is still taking a long time to recognize my password at sign on.  I’ll live with it!  Another day spent in front of the computer uninstalling and installing software.  Another day off burned up faster than one can say Dock Master.  At least I made it to my yearly physical in time Tuesday morning before starting the final round of software battles.


The good news is that I am the picture of health!  My cholesterol numbers were some of the lowest the doctor had seen and my PSA reading was right on target.  I have to lose some weight, but other than that I am good to go!  Whew!  I was so happy I even let them give me a flu shot while I was there.


The point of this post is to share this experience with others so they may better choose how to react if the same things start happening to them.  Had I asked some of the other journal writers about my AOL problems, I would have found out that AOL in general was having problems that day.  The problem with downloading the Flash Player 7 software was caused by some free software I had downloaded called Download Manager.  The very first time I downloaded the Flash Player, it was successful, it just would not install because of where the Download Manager program had store the installation file.  I was able to ferret it out with my file search tools and got it to install properly, but only after I got rid of the Download Manager program.


I ran the disk defragmenter program after all of this was done and my computer is running as fast as it ever has, I now have complete security across the board under one manufacturer with a common installation date, and my computer turns itself off like it is supposed to when I tell it to.  The exercise was not a loss at all.


Before I forget, I must tell you that the effort that Paulette and I put into her resume last week paid off.  In just one week’s time she has two interviews lined up both as a result of sending that resume out.  Way to go Paulette, knock ‘em dead and get that job!  I would just love to be a kept man.  Well, one can dream, can’t they?  LOL!


I had some pictures I wanted to share and tell you about.  I’ve taken up so much space just writing this time I think I’ll leave you with this pretty shot of one branch of the marina and post the rest the next time.  Happy Halloween everyone and don’t forget to set your clocks and watches back for the time change Saturday night at 2 am.









pharmolo said...

Like the pics Sam.
By the way, it doesn't matter a monkey's whether you got on-line support from AOL or not. At least in the UK, you'd get more sense out of a monkey than out of the person sat 4,500 miles away in a certain subcontinent. I use AOL over an external ISP, so have few of the issues you mention. But AOL being what it is, I sympathise.

mrsm711 said...

I thought it wa my computer.  It won't shut off, it turns off in the middle of things, it takes wayyyyyy too long to acknowledge if I click.  I have my hubby tallked into getting me a new puter this weekend.  Hmmm! Maybe it is AOHell!
Another prety Picture posted.  :)     Tracy

madcobug said...

WOW! That made me nervous and tired just reading all you figured out to do. Ken and I both had problems a while back with adware making our computers not shut down properly. I couldn't get mine to come on one morning and off to the computer shop it went. They download Windows Defender from Microsoft and got rid of some adware and told Ken about it so he downloaded it on his computer and now they shut down properly. Charged me $80.00. We did have Webroot spyware installed on them at the time. AOL does not work properly since I went to the free version so I keep it online all day LOL. Good luck to Paula on getting one of those jobs. Happy Halloween to the both of you. That is a great picture. Have a good night. Helen

onestrangecat said...

yeah, ask around J-land if you are having problems -- especially with journals.  chances are good it's not you or your software.

since going free I have had more problems with getting spam, and stuff that shouldn't be going into spam is.

i have always bought my own security, i use AOL's free stuff too, but I really count on my Norton.  i have never had any problems.


piperacharmed1 said...

I stress out when I have software reading this just stresses me out  : )
Good luck to your wife...I hope she gets the job!!
And....send me one of those boats, would ya???   ; )~


lurkynat said...

Dear Sam
hang in thre my friend! Sounds like you've been through some loops alright! take care Sam!
thanks for sharing!

rivercitygirl1 said...

Hey Sam,
I've been having trouble with my AOL software too.  For some reason, and I have no idea how it started, whenever I start up my computer my AOL will try to start up by itself.  Then it tells me that some AOL main data file is damaged.  I close the application and click on the AOL icon and it starts up fine.  I don't know what's up with that one.  :\

motoxmom72 said...

Wow Sam...nice long entry. So sorry about PC problems.  I didn't go FREE when AOL offered it.  I am always afraid of taking "deals" like that.  I like my AOL just as it is, thank you.  beautiful pic as usual.  Thanks for sharing!

nightmaremom said...

So sorry Sam,,, had we known we could have helped... somewhat anyway.. but ya know AOL is so screwy at times one never knows.
Congrats to Paulette!

stupidsheetguy said...

I must say that you are a much calmer man than I am, particularly with my less-than-fond view of AOL and all its products. While I do appreciate the free AOL service, I think that AOL and its engineers are some of the most inept in the business.
But before I go filling YOUR comment space with my poison, lol, let me just congratulate you on your composure and stick-tuitiveness!

Good job, and best of luck to Paulette!


mavarin said...

It sounds as though you did everything right to get it all under control, except for networking with others, which might or might not have helped.  Kudos to you for getting it done!  And good luck to Paulette! - Karen

jeadie05 said...

So pleased you were able to suss it all out ,dont think I could ,Good luck to Paulette ,,,,Jan xx

jlocorriere05 said...

AOL do mess us about a lot but we're a stern bunch here! I'm glad you figured it out yourself, it feels good when you can do that! I love the picture, it looks so pretty there. Good luck to Paulette in her interviews! Jeannette xx  

ally123130585918 said...

Dealing with software issues scare me ~ I know so little about the workings of this computer I am sitting at ~ I just say a little prayer and ask it to be good to me ~ It seems to work most of the time ~ lol  ~ I have Norton security and it came up for renewal a couple of weeks ago ~ I saw an advert on TV saying they were selling them at PC World in a sale ~ I went and bought one and it was half the price they were asking on line ~ so I am covered for another year ~ I must say you are very patient doing everything you did to get it all to work OK ~ Reading your entry Sam it was like a Scary Halloween story ~ Glad your yearly physical is OK and you are a picture of health ~ Tell Paulette I wish her luck with her interviews I am sure she will get one of those positions she has applied for ~ and dream on Sam I doubt you will ever be a kept man she is just doing it for pocket money ~ Lovely picture look forward to seeing some more ~ Ally

wfhbear said...

Hey Sam, "Been there and Done That" as they say. Sometimes I get so frustrated with stuff like this that I walk away from the PC for a couple days. Just until I can't stand not being on line and get everything fixed. I have learned over the years not to just jump to the conclusion that whatever problem is going on I have created myself. Sometimes it is software and sometimes it is the on-line experience itself that causes problems. I've torn up my PC many times when it really didn't need it. Thanks for making me feel like everyone else. ("normal") Congratulations to Paulette on the interviews. I hope she can get what she wants. Right after I retired I was a "Kept Man" for over a year. It was great!! My Regards, Bill.

mutualaide said...

Oh, I think we've all done similar exercises in technology!  Lovely photo of the marina and you too, enjoy the Haunted Happenings in your neighborhood.  While you turning your clock back, don't forget to change those smoke detector batteries!

coloneljan said...

Wish I had a nickle for every day off I've spent trying to correct a computer problem!  I'd be retired by now.  Trouble is, I won't admit when I'm beat, tech support or not.  Good luck to Paulette!!

csandhollow said...

AOL has had issues for a long time. I still use them for free. I delleted their "security". Turns out it would not update after I went free and I was PAYING for firewall. I now get it cheaper direct from the source! I have learned to ignore all of AOLs warnings on my sign in box. It was wrong more times than right. AOL tech has never helped me since I first installed AOL on computer some years ago.

childebrand1968 said...

I don't mind software, until the issues you had occur.  Now I'm thinking still being on dial up (and paying) isn't so bad... LOL  I'm still thinking harware is more of a pain sometimes...

Sorry about all the time you spent, but if its any consolation, of all the times I have used AOLs live help~they've only been useful twice  ;)

Happy you're a healthy guy!  Great job to Paulette, too!  Hope she gets her choice!

Love the picture :)


ondinemonet said...

Hi Sam

Wonderful shot of the marina. :) What a nice sunny day that was! Computer software is so much fun, lol, I can tell you some hair-raising tales to be sure! LOL. Glad it all worked out in the end. Take care.

Always, Carly

onemoretina said...

    Hey there Sam !  I read your entry with a bit of a smile on my face, because I am the queen of computer glitches.  I am completely and totally reliant on The Big Guy to fix whatever problem I have with my computer.  Matter of fact, don't tell anyone, but I just last night I finally figured out how to put full size pics on my journal.  I know, I am computer challenged, but I plug away at it nevertheless !   Anyway, I'm glad you got the whole thing sorted out.
     Congrats to Paulette .. sounds like things are going her way.  Good for her!  Hope all else is well with you, and thanks for sharing that lovely pic of the marina know how I just love the water.  Take care, Tina

kcall14090 said...

HI Sam,
New to reading your blog and really enjoy it. With computer problems like you had, I call "Geek Squad"  they come to the house and when they leave, I feel like a a good way !!!  Good for you for hanging in there. Another side line business ???