Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Technical Question

I'm having a small problem with my computer setup here of late.

My ISP has this silly regulation of theirs that every four hours you are online, using their services, when the 4th hour is up, the connection automatically shuts down on you.

Now, supposedly (so they say), it won't go out on you if it detects you are "doing" something at that time. However, they say if you are just chatting on IM or playing a game, that type of activity doesn't generate enough "activity" to register with their system, so it shuts down - no warning, just boom and it is gone.

However, it also does that if you are typing something - like a BLOG POST! Which, without the internet connection being active, you can't stop and save your work as a draft! HELLO? PEOPLEPC.COM? Can you hear me?

Now, that aspect -almost losing what you have written into the blog post is not actually my problem here though.

If when my system self-disconnects, I happen to have Firefox open, using it to pen my blog, there is always the possibility once I get reconnected and re-open Firefox, that it will restore my previous session but that is also a bit risky too cause sometimes with blogger you can recover data, sometimes it gets contrary too and you can't.

But even that isn't really the problem I have that I have no clue how to get rid of it.

Within the past two-three weeks, when my system does the self-disconnect, it also pulls up another internet connection box - one that does not show on my network connection thing but it is to Peoplepc.com. However, the number that shows up there is a totally bogus number (555-555-5555) (yes, seriously folks, that's the number that shows up in this weird internet connection box) and my system will immediately begin to dial that bogus number which then gives me audio messages that the "number dialed is not a valid number." Yeah, right - I know that but how the heck to I get rid of this obnoxious little box that I did not install?

And, what's more, this "box" only seems to crop up if I have Firefox open. It doesn't happen if I happen to have IE open.

I asked the computer tech guy at the shop where I purchased this computer and he suggested that it is being caused by adware or spyware on my computer. He suggested I reinstall the freebie spyware program "Spybot - Search and Destroy" as he felt this would eliminate this pesky problem.

I tried to download the Spybot-S&D program but when I go to open the download I get an error message then saying the download is corrupt and to get another download. (Or wording somewhat to that effect.) I used Spybot-S&D on my old computer - no problems at all downloading the software or installling it - or running the program after that. But now, I can't get the software apparently to download a correct file. What's a person to do?

I've run the Ad-Aware program I have on the computer and it hasn't eliminated this little bit of internet connectivity interference. I have anti-virus protection running 24-7 and which is also self-updating on a daily basis but nothing is getting flagged down by that stuff either.

I'm just wondering if anyone else has a problem like this on their computer and if so, what did you do to correct it? Also, has anyone else experienced problems downloading the Spybot -S&D software too and how do I get around the errors I get when I try to install that program. (It tells me the "setup" is corrupt.)

Anyone with lots of knowledge about these weird little things who can help me, give me a clue how to fix this, please feel free to comment away - or e-mail me.

Hope someone out there has some suggestions that will allow me to get rid of this nuisance for once and for all.


TomCat said...

Hi Jeni. On problem #1 here's a link to a freeware program that will run in the background and generate sufficient network activity to fool your ISP into leaving you connected.

On problem #2, I doubt that it's spyware. I think it's more likely a problem with your installation of Firefox and/or one of its add-ons. My solution is to use IE7. :-) However if you MUST use Firefox, uninstall all the add-ons you have installed. If your box is still there. Uninstall Firefox and reinstall it from scratch. Once you have a working installation without the box, reinstall your add-ons one every day or two. When the box reappears, that add-on is the problem.

Vic Grace said...

I have been having a similar problem in that I keep losing my connection. Very frustrating although I do not get any messages. I use Firefox also. I also like their add-on program 'Ad-block' which eliminates all ads so I don't have them on my screen unless I want. I might try TomCats suggestion to have a the networked fooled into thinking it is really active. I was going to look into that myself as I had that on a different computer and it kept my connection live. I think it is my internet provider rather than Firefox and if I use IE7 I will have to endure all the ads which slow things down on dial up.

TomCat said...

Vic, the lost connection is an ISP thing that all people with dialup experiebce. The Firefox thing was her little box problem. Jeni, did this help?

The Shack said...

I've had the same problems with spybot on the old computer. Haven't used it at all on this one so don't know what to say.One suggestion though, write your blog entries on Word or whatever word-processing program you have them copy and paste them to blogspot. That way you won't lose them if you are disconnected in the middle of writing them.