Tag Archives: computers

I Got a Windows Support Call

It happened. It finally happened. Someone with a south Asian accent, named John called me from “Microsoft Headquarters” and told me that my computer had some problems on it. I was actually excited at this point. I asked him to specify which computer it was. He asked if they were on a network, and I said one was at the moment. He had me go to it and asked me if it was running slow or freezing. I told him it was fine. And then he asked me to locate the Windows key and click it and R together. This is where it gets fun.

He said, “R as in Romeo.” That’s my sister’s dog’s name. I told him, “Oh, Romeo?” He answered, “Yes, Romeo. Do you see the Run window?” I answered, “No, I see Juliet.” He then repeats, “No, is there a Run window?” I just played dumb, saying, “Rambo?” He said, “No, Run!” But I responded, “I see Sylvester Stallone.” At this point, I was just giving random answers.

The last answer I gave to him was, “I see a monkey.” And his response? “You are the monkey.” I was ready to laugh at him. I then said, “Okay, I know this is a scam. But thanks for calling. It was fun.” He hung up after that.

After a quick search, I read that if I let this go on longer, he’d have me download a file, which would probably install malware or spyware or something. But one guy said that he told the scammer that his anti-virus kept deleting the files. The scammer asked him to go to Wal-Mart and send a Moneygram to someone in Bangladesh to buy software that would fix the “problem.” You can read the entire story here, as well as some other experiences.

I should mention that they called twice today, two hours apart. The first time, the guy hung up when I said, “Excuse me?”

For anyone who gets a call from Microsoft, it’s not Microsoft. They won’t call customers about viruses or problems.

If they call again, I’ll have to consider some other things to say:

  • I don’t have a computer.
  • I have a Mac.
  • I run Linux.
  • He has contact CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service), which is the Canadian version of the CIA.
  • He has contacted the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (my lack of Bengali skills may give this away as a lie).
  • He has contacted the Oval Office of the White House.
  • He has contacted Bill Gates.

Which do you think is best? And have you experienced this call before? Let me know in the comments below.

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WordPress Now Difficult to Use With Firefox

Firefox has been increasingly difficult for me to use in the past few months. I am constantly getting errors saying Firefox cannot run scripts. So, today, as I’m trying to look at my WordPress stats, I got this:

javascripterror

Unresponsive script. It’s not only made the script unresponsive, but made Firefox unresponsive.

I’ve now switched to Chrome, which I’m using to post this.

Anyone else have issues with Firefox? Let me know in the comments below.

There’s a New Post Editor!

I’d been using the old editor for quite some time. Then last year, a new editor appeared that lacked the functionality of the old one, and for some reason, only gave me the ability to see three lines in the text field. It was irritating. It only gave me a full view when I edited existing posts. It was fine for that, but not for making new posts. So, I continued using the old editor which is available on the old WP Admin Dashboard.

Well, there’s a new editor! And how does it look? It actually looks pretty good.  I like it. I may actually use it. I’m using it right now just to test it. Improvements over the previous “new” editor include a full list of categories and how they’re structured, larger visual editor, cleaner appearance, and far easier to use.

But, there’s a problem. There’s no option for adding a poll. I wonder why it hasn’t been included. I guess it’s time to visit WordPress forums and ask about it!

What do you think of the new editor?

Windows 10 – How Is It?

I’ve decided to delay upgrading to Windows 10. I have the option of doing it now, but I do have a year to install it. So, how is Windows 10 going now?

My wife has installed it, and I’ve heard nothing bad about it. It looks a lot more like Windows 7, which I absolutely loved. I’d still be using it if my old computer’s hard drive hadn’t failed. Windows 8.1 still gives me issues. I am looking forward to using Windows 10, but I’m not installing it yet.

Why? Well, I want to make sure that the major bugs are gone from the operating system. That’ll take some time. I’d like to install an OS that’s more stable and with fewer problems, so I’ll probably wait until around April to upgrade, once we’re in Canada.

Has anyone upgraded to Windows 10? How is it?

Unexpected Computer Problems

At this moment, my computer is having seizures. Well, it seems like it. The lock screen keeps flashing in desktop mode. It won’t start up properly. So, I’m now doing a system restore to a week ago.

This isn’t the first time this has happened. Damn Windows 8.1. I miss Windows 7.

Well, let’s see if this works.

Update

I’m typing this from my computer, so the restore obviously worked. At first, I restored to the last saved restore point, but that was after the most recent Windows update. The problem was still there. So, I had to restore to a week ago. That worked. Everything seems to work properly now.

The problem I was having was something that happened on another update more than a year ago. I’ve seen a couple of reasons for this issue, such as incompatible video driver and a faulty update that affected the startup program. Turns out my fast startup program was repeatedly running.

Well, hopefully no problems for now. This was originally going to be a temporary replacement computer until I could get a new one after we’ve moved to Canada. I think I’ll keep this computer as a writing computer for when I’m going from place to place or traveling.

Internet Veterans

I have a question for you all.  How long have you been using the Internet?  Do you consider yourself a veteran, a casual user, or a newbie?

I got my start when I started university back in 1995.  I had a custom built PC with Windows 3.11, a 540 MB hard disk drive, 8 MB of RAM, and a 14.4 dial-up modem.  That squeal was a very familiar sound to me until 2001 when I graduated from university and moved back to my hometown, where I used cable.  Now, when I started using the Internet, the popular web browser was Netscape.  Not just any Netscape, but 1.0.  I quickly found myself on Usenet newsgroups, surfing the web, and eventually a MUD (multi-user dungeon, a text-based chat and game system) called The Chatting Zone.  I learned html, made a rather crude website, though I honed my skills over the years.  I used IRC, became an administrator on the previously mentioned MUD, and when I moved to Japan in 2005, I retired from the administrative duties.  I started a blog in 2004 to chronicle my move to Japan, though I never really did get much done on it.  It was a blogspot blog, too. In 2007, I discovered YouTube and WordPress soon after.  I started a space and science blog on WordPress, though it’s been abandoned (it still exists, though).  I started my Japan blog in 2009, and it just celebrated its 5th anniversary.  I started my YouTube channel in 2009, as well.  I joined Facebook in 2009, as well.  In 2011, after the big earthquake in Japan, I joined Twitter for information about the earthquake.  I later joined Google+, and it wasn’t until this year that I started Pinterest.  As for this blog, it started nearly 2 1/2 years ago.

It’s been a wild 19 years.  More than half of my life has been spent using the Internet now.  I was at the right age to start using it, as in 1995, mostly university students used it.  I got my access through university.  What amazes me is how much it’s changed.  In 1995, I used dial-up, in 2014, I use broadband.  In 1995, I used Netscape, in 2014, I use Firefox (which is the descendent of Netscape).  In 1995, having images on a website was amazing, especially if it was an animated gif (pronounced jif).  In 2014, a website filled with animated gifs would be irritating.  In 1995, my hard drive was 540 MB.  In 2014, my hard drive has 1 TB, or 1,048,576 MB.  In 1995, I had 8 MB of RAM.  Now, I have 8 GB of RAM.  In 1995, my processor speed was 2.66 MHz.  Now, it’s 1.80 GHz (though my previous computer was a dual core with 2.2 GHz, and the one before that was 2.4 GHz Pentium).

Amazing how things change, isn’t it?

What an Odd Year So Far

It’s halfway through April now, and I’ve found this year to be a bit odd.  At least the norm doesn’t seem to apply this year.  There are various things that have happened which makes it unusual.

The weather has been crazy.  We had two big snowstorms in February in an area that sees maybe three days of about 5 cm of wet snow.  We had 30 cm twice one week apart.

This blog has seen an increase in activity, and so an increase in visitors.  The number of followers has passed 300 in the past two days, and that’s up by 50 in about a month.  I guess I was used to the slower pace.  Not that I’m complaining! But when I look at the site stats, I find something odd.  I’ll continue with the same amount of posting each day, and I’ll have days that are far more than usual (I had a record high 103 visitors one day this month), then suddenly drop to fewer than 30 for four consecutive days despite my posting continuing as normal.

On the computer side of things, my old Windows 7 computer began to fail.  It still works, but I haven’t used it recently.  My new Windows 8 computer works fine, except for one really weird glitch that seems to be quite common.  I fixed it, though.  And I still don’t have a working mouse.  I need to get one if I’m going to do some map editing for Ariadne.

As far as reading books goes, I haven’t read a single five star book this year yet.  I”m quite surprised.  They’ve all been three or four star books.  It’ll come, though.

Maybe these don’t seem so odd, but it makes me feel like this is an odd year.