Saturday, March 21, 2009

Something's Chewing on My Internet Connection

The lady informs me that it looks like we won't be able to comment on the blogs we usually visit. We might be able to comment on a few. Something has happened to our internet connection.

It is slow to begin with. A dial-up connection that averages 26.4 kbps. For the past few days, it is taking forever to load a page (the "Blogs I'm Following" with all your updates took 15 minutes to load yesterday, and even then, it didn't load completely). The connection speed is the same as always and the speed of 'send' and 'receive' bytes looks no different than usual (although we sure seem to be "sending" a lot more bytes...millions more). Today, things loaded a bit faster, but when I try to visit your blogs, all the pages are loading very, very slowly. Then, at the bottom of the comments box on some of your blogs, it doesn't say "posting as Mr. Black" anymore. It has a drop-down box and asks me who I want to comment as, and it doesn't even list me! One of the choices is "Google Account", but when I choose that, it doesn't post my comment, it just reloads the page with a blank comment form!

The lady has "cleared the cache" and logged out and logged back in. Refreshed pages. Nothing seems to be working. She was able to comment over at Tristan and Crikey's page, but at both Mishkat's and Dash Mouth's pages (both have the blog format with the comment box at the bottom of the comments), the above problem happens. The lady didn't try any other blogs because everything is taking so long to load.

Now, the lady hopes this doesn't have anything to do with Photoshop Elements. She knows that Adobe has its software "phone home" to (ostensibly) check for updates (and I guess, to make sure you have legal copies of their software), but for a week after installing it, she did not notice any decrease in internet speed (and she was looking for it because she knew that Adobe would use Photoshop Elements to 'call their server'). The lady has up to date (updated daily) virus protection and ran a scan the other day. Some 'grayware' (not quite malware, I guess) was found. Something called addynamix (AdDynamix) was on her computer (I guess it follows her around to see what websites she visits). She deleted it, but has since found out (via some research) that it can insinuate itself into your hard drive, so even if you 'delete' it, it is still there, following you around the internet and, I assume, using some of your internet connection to send information to whoever it sends info to. This is probably not even noticed on a high-speed connection, but on a very slow one like ours, it makes doing anything on the web excruciatingly slow. If this addynamix is the culprit, she is stuck with it (at least for a while). This nice, new Dell laptop that she is using belongs to an organization that she does some desktop publishing for. She doesn't want to start messing around with it to try and get rid of something on the hard drive. This organization is 2 hours away and I guess she'll have to make a trip in the near future to see if their computer guy can make sure this addynamix is not the thing causing problems (and where it might be hiding on her hard drive). Her computer works fine and at the same speed as it always did. It is just the internet connection that has slowed down to a crawl. It does not appear to be the ISP, as the connection speed is the same as always.

She is giving Adobe the benefit of the doubt that this is not some third-party 'spyware' that Photoshop Elements loaded onto her computer. She has temporarily 'uninstalled' Elements to see if the internet speed is improved. It improved slightly. She is going to reinstall and see what happens.

Anyway, she did delete her browsing history and cookies and maybe that is why she is having the problems with blogs not recognizing me (Mr. Black!). She is not sure why clearing the cache, logging off Blogger and signing in again won't fix that. She didn't see anything in 'known issues' for Blogger.

Well, hopefully she'll be able to fix this. Even though we have rambled on in this post, we really just wanted our blogging friends to know why we are not commenting on their blogs. We miss visiting our friends!!

We'll see if we can do posting. At least that is something.

Thanks for listening, and if anyone has any advice to offer, it would be appreciated!


Mishkat said...

Sorry to hear that, Mr. Black! Dial-up can be so slow that it's probably really frustrating if it gets even slower.

I changed my comment box to a pop-up temporarily - if you have time, you can see if that helps?

It's really easy to pick up tracking cookies like the addynamics thing, and they can slow things down. I'm no computer expert, but I use Ad-Aware Free at work to get rid of tracking cookies. (My husband uses SpyBot on our home computer but I like Ad-Aware better). You can get it here:
The IT guy at work puts this version on all our computers. They have a paid version too, but so far I'm OK with the free one.

Also, defragmenting the hard drive can sometimes help. But sometimes Blogger can be excruciatingly slow - it might not even be you!

Daisy said...

Oh noes! Computers are hard. We picked up some real bad malware ("sinowal") and we ended up having to reformat the entire computer to get everything working right again.

We also started using the free Ad-Aware program a few weeks ago (in addition to our regular Norton security), and run a daily scan.

I hope you can get everything fixed up!

Tom and Tama-Chan said...

Oh My! Oh Dear! We do feel for you!

Cat with a garden said...

Argh! This sounds horrible! We hope you can get everything fixed. Mom looked like a sheep when she was reading your post and the comments. On our inquiry she said she hasn't got any virus protection. Nuffin'. Doble argh!
We hope to see our Mr Black back soon.
Purrs, Siena & Chilli

Tristan and Crikey said...

Oh, nuts! We hate it when gremlins attack computers! It seems to us that Blogger has been having problems lately. We use Webroot Spy Sweeper, and we run it when we're finished with our computer for the evening.
Pee Ess: You're right! Artists have used cat whiskers to apply paint and ink for years and years! The Japanese use/used the whiskers very skillfully in Suminagashi works. *Our Mama is an art historian*

Fat Eric said...

Hey there. I saw your comment on Derby's blog about my name...I may be called Fat ERic but it's just floof, you know??

Yours offendedly
Fat Eric, esq.

Mr. Black said...

@Fat Eric: Hello my new friend! I left a message on your blog. I assume you were not really offended by my post over at Derby's (where he said that he was sending you some treats). I did make an oblique reference to your name and that you probably didn't need any more treats. Heh, heh. No offense intended. I'm a wise guy.
Sincerely, Mr. Black, B.S., BFD

@all my blogging friends: Thank you for the great advice and encouraging words. I'm having a little bit of luck in commenting today.

Fin said...

Oh Mr Black this sounds like a real problem. I'll miss your witty comments, but naturally I will still come by to read anything you can manage to post.

Purrs and nose touches.


LizzyBean said...

We miss you & your witty comments, Mr. Black! Sorry about your wretched computer problems....I'm worthless with computers, myself. We'll just keep dropping by!

PinkynAsh said...

Sorry to hear you are having problems with your internet. The staff has a program called 'Malware Bytes', it fixed theirs when nothing else seemed to be working.We hope you are back soon

The Island Cats said...

Mr. Black, we're sorry you are having computer problems! We miss your witty comments! We hope you can figure out what's going on real soon so you can visit all of us!

VampyVictor said...

OH that is yukky! I have nothing more than to say to get anti spy ware program and defrag also.. that is what we would do but we haves no idea really... I hope that you get it worked out though it must be very frustrating :(

pughy said...

Ohh poor you, its a pain when anything goes wrong with the computers as they are now a lifeline and we are all lost without them.

Fear not we understand and will come visit you just the same.

Hugs Ginger Jasper xx

Tuck said...

Oh no Mr. Black! That is terrible news. I hope you get your internet fixed soon. I miss all of your funny comments and stories!!!

Fat Eric said...

Hello again,

No I was not really offended by your comment about my name, I was just joking!

Thanks for coming to visit my blog,

Fat Eric

A Few Good Cats said...

Mr. B., the other commenters have made good suggestions. The only thing we can add is WinPatrol. Hope this helps!

Kelvin said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.