Problems might just be gone …


For a few weeks now, I’ve been having performance issues with one of my Windows 10 laptops. I’ve uninstalled software that I rarely use, but the issue seems to have remained. What happens is that I’ll be using for example Microsoft Word and suddenly it hangs with the message “Word is not responding” and this will happen three or four times during the session. I end up having to restart Windows and hope the problem has gone away. Often this fixes the issue, but occasionally it doesn’t.

Today, while I was looking at the Task Manager application, I noticed something called ‘software reporting tool’. I had not seen it before and so I ran an online search and discovered that it is a program that checks to see if any software is going to affect the Google Chrome browser. There were reports that it has a high CPU usage when checking and the check often takes 20 minutes or so to run. The date on the file is 4th October which seems to coincide with the second time I had problems. Things seemed to improve after I removed my other printer, but then problems re-emerged a few days later.

The sites I looked at (and I always check a few to see if they say the same thing) told me that the process is not necessary and can be stopped. They also said that Google may restart the process again whenever the Chrome bowser updates. It gave instructions on how to prevent it running and how to prevent Google from restarting it. The instructions for this can be found at https://www.ghacks.net and searching for ‘how to block the Chrome Software reporter tool’.

It may not fix the problem, but the tool sends scan information back to Google, so there may be privacy issues here.

We shall see if there is any improvement.

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On another point, this was written using the WordPress editor on an iPad Mini. I had not thought of that as an option, but it seems to work quite well. I do need to understand how the HTML style tags work for formatting, but there must be a tutorial out there.

 

Too clever for my own good …


This is a little techy. I have been having a problem all week with the performance of my main laptop. Applications were slow to open and even slower to close. I scoured the internet for answers and did everything, bar re-installing Windows, that was suggested. But the problem remained, and it was getting worse. Some programs were now not even opening. Then today I had an idea. You see, I have two laptops on my home network, both with an attached printer. At the beginning of the week, I thought it would be good if I could print to both printers in an effort to save ink, as the other printer never gets used. After a couple of hours and a fair bit of stress, I got it working. I then installed the other printer on my main laptop so that it could be seen. Then all I had to do was to ensure the other laptop and printer were switched on and I could print to it. Really quite pleased with myself at that point.

I didn’t really want to have the other laptop and printer to be on all the time, so I shut both down. This was on Monday afternoon. On Tuesday, I started to notice the performance issues. As Tuesday was the day when Microsoft updates Windows, I put the problems down to that. When there was a second update pushed on Wednesday, I was convinced that everything would now be okay. Not so. The performance had improved slightly, but not so as you would notice. It was getting so bad that I began to think I had a virus or something. I searched the internet for the problem and the answers were as I expected: run an anti-virus; run an anti-malware; run a disk clean-up even reformat hard drive and start again. Well I tried all except the last one, but nothing seemed to work. Then another search, came up with something. I may have a corrupt drive recently installed. Hmmm … the only driver recently installed was the printer driver for the other printer. I thought I would have a look at that. I removed the printer from the device list (an I assume that removed the driver) and did a full reboot, rather than a restart.

Now (touch wood) it seems to be back to as normal as it was before. I had a quick online chat with the printer help desk (free thankfully). It would appear, that when the other laptop and printer were switched off any software that you can print from would be looking for the printers when the software opens. As the printer was off, it was not visible and so the delays. I’m not entirely convinced, but it does seem to have been resolved.

(Written with Word 365 – blog template)

It’s been a while …


Well 10 days anyway. Nothing much to say really. My fourth, annual ‘op anniversary’ passed without any fuss. In fact it was spent working in the garden. What else … oh yes we updated our satellite television\telephone\broadbanddish subscription. I have to admit, I was a little worried about this, given that when he’s at home, R*** spend most of his time on YouTube and Nick Jr. Any issue with either the broadband or TV could would have caused real problems. However, everything went very smoothly. K*** is getting to grips with the new handset and the onscreen TV guide, but we will both get there, and R*** should not have any problems with it.

Now I say, “everything went very smoothly”, it did up until this morning. K*** wanted to print out her car insurance document printerand tried to do it from her iPad. Nothing happened! Our main printer, downstairs is a wireless network printer so printing from tablets, phones and the like is easy. I checked everything I could think off with no success, but the printer was showing as being connected in the network settings app . I checked the printer website and one of its forums and found that I needed to tell the printer that we had a new router as the IP address had changed. So after about twenty minutes of scrambling about at theSmug Mug back of the printer and another ten minutes rooting through drawers to find cables, I eventually got it working again. You know what, I felt such a “smug bas***d” when five copies of the said insurance document flew out of the printer!

Watch out !! Scammer about !!


I’m always up for a bargain, so when I decided that I needed to buy some ink for my printer, I turned as usual to the internet.  To be exact, I nearly always go though EBay and this occasion was no different. I ran a search and the price for a twin-pack (colour and black) seemed to be between £17.00 an £20.00, with the average price falling in at £18.49. A little more than I expected, so I sorted the list by price. Amazingly the price of £7.99 was listed for the same twin-pack size. A ‘bargain’ I thought and delved a little deeper into the product and seller. That is when I began to smell a rat!

A quick look at the seven reviews of the ink, showed that they were reviews for ink sold by a different seller. The reviews also had been made within 10 minutes of each other. Unusual to say the least. I then had a quick look at the sellers profile, which stated that they had been a member of EBay since August 7th 2017. The same day that I was looking. That rat smell was getting stronger. How could a seller have seven reviews (all showing 100%) for sales on the same day that they had started trading?

Unusually for me, I reported it to EBay, and was pleased to see that the following day, the listing had been removed. But what’s this? Further down the search was a new listing, from another new seller, selling the same pack at the same price, with even the same reviews! Another reporting to EBay. I look the next day (today) and once again the fraudulent listing has been removed, only to be replaced by two new listings for the same product, this time at £10.49. I will leave you to guess what I did next.

Now I would say that I’m quite a savvy shopper, so I wasn’t really taken in by this confidence trick, but there are many people that would see this is a real bargain. What seems to happening here is one of four things:

  1. they are selling fakes – possible
  2. they are selling stolen goods – more likely or
  3. they are just stealing peoples money – which is my favourite
  4. they are genuine

If number 4 was correct, and I have been mistaken, then why does EBay remove the listings?

The old adage seems to apply here – “If it looks too good to be true, then it probably isn’t”

…..and not just printers !!!


   Sunday was a  bit of a ‘technology FAIL’ day. It started, when read a report on ‘The Register’ that told me that my PC was in ‘DANGER!!!!’ The ‘danger’ was that much of my software ‘may’ be at risk, due to not patching. Being the careful IT nerd that I am, I immediately logged onto Microsoft, and updated everything they told me to. This took, being Microsoft, a good hour to do. And of course the obligatory restart was required.

   Now, the problems started. Or more to the point, now my PC refused to start !!! I spent the next 40 minutes, trying, without success to get Windows to start. The next 50 minutes were spent trying to do a systems restore from Safe Mode. This is not for the faint hearted, I can tell you. It was after nearly 2 hours worth of hair pulling, gnashing of teeth and copious amounts of swearing, that I noticed that the light on my portable hard drive was continuously flashing. This indicated that the drive was being accessed, which should not happen as Windows is loading.  I removed the drive, and guess what ……… problem solved. It would appear, that my £39.95, 80gb Maxtor pocket drive is goosed !!! The problem now, is, do I buy another ??? For the same money, I can get a 250gb drive, of better quality. I need to think about this one.

   Then, my blogging software packed up !!!! The system restore, had trashed some of the dot.net framework, that had been updated. So, I re-updated again, and everything is now serene again.

   Guess what though ? The HP printer, that I ‘borrowed’ from S****, needed a new ink cartridge. Not a problem, I thought as I had bought a couple, just after he had got the thing. So what is the problem. Well some silly sod, bought the wrong colour cartridge, that’s what. No names are to be mentioned (a no blame culture here), but as I bought the cartridges…… get my drift ?

Bloody printers !!!!!


   What is it with printers in this house !!! Is it the printers, or is just me ? We have had the Epson D78 about three years now, and it has now decided to be a pain. There always seem so be a problem with it recognising the magenta cartridge. Usually takes a few attempts at reinstalling the cartridge, before it accepts that it is genuine. Tonight, it was not having it at all. Then when I managed to get to recognise it, the damn printer would not print grey shades. We have always had printer problems!!! Right from the old Lexmark from 10 years ago, with it’s £20.00+ cartridges, up to the Lexmark multi function that we got 4 years ago. I’m now using S****’s HP DeskJet, that he got when he started Uni. It’s hardly been used, so I’ll use that for a while. I have a strong suspicion, that the problems lie with the ink.

   Work went quite well. The files I was sending off worked without a problem, so that’s another tick in the box. Another batch of files went off this afternoon, so I’m ‘flavour of the month’ at the moment. It won’t last !!

Another day off ….


   Yes, another day off on Wednesday. well it is my wedding anniversary, so i think I’m entitled. A reasonable day at work today. S**** appeared to be in a better mood than yesterday (I’m still flavour of the month) although still managing to be a pain. The migration from Lotus Notes to Outlook continues, with very few hitches that I can see. A couple of people have had a few problems, but no one seems to have anything major. The photocopier/printer packed up today. It was unbelievable. The status message said ‘Faulty Printer Board  – call service engineer’. Now you would think that would indicate that a serious problem existed. However, it took one of the staff nearly 20 minutes off trying to remove imaginary jammed paper, before they told me of the problem !!!!

   Mrs H ordered the new car today. She’s not picked the colour yet, as there are new models coming out in December. Apparently, because of the popularity of the Volvo C30, she was advised to order now. It will seem very different for her, from the Scenic.

   The car seemed fine after it’s service, although it was a nightmare driving to work. Dark, foggy, lots of rain with plenty of spray on the motorway, made for a scary experience. Most of the drivers seemed to take note of the conditions and drive appropriately, but there are always the odd lunatic, like the guy that left it too late at A1/M1 junction. The half-wit came flying across from the 3rd lane and joined the A1 by crossing the hatchings. Another few seconds, and he would have hit the banking.

   The quote came through for my car insurance renewal today. I have not had a claim in 4 years, and LV have increased the premium by 10.5%. Outrageous !!!!