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      Wednesday, February 26, 2014

mrs. crankypants
09:23 AM - 02/26/2014

The topic: Junk phone calls


I've got a call blocker. I like my call blocker. 

I don't like telemarketers. When the phone rings and I answer and there's no one there, I know it's a computer waiting for me to say something else before it connects me to a live person. So that live person doesn't have to waste his or her time with answering machines or unanswered lines. One of the worst companies at telemarketing here at my house, is AT&T.  I've blocked three numbers from them over the past six months. 

Even though my call blocker keeps the call from being completed, the phone still rings, at least once. 

So, last week, I called the number back. I told the guy "take this phone number off of your list; do not call here again. I do not want your DSL service, I do not want your U-verse television service, I do not want your landline phone service. I'm very happy with what we've got." So, as he makes a notation on the computer, he tries to sell me their service, comparing what they have to what we have. 

According to their website, their top download speed is 45 Mbps.

Here's what I just got doing a speed test.  We have Cox.

We pay $99 a month. We have three MagicJacks here, that's our phone service, lines provided by our internet. I don't have any complaints about our service. I don't.

So, he tells me that AT&T is fiberoptic, that the speed are ten times that of Cox. WTF? Really? Well, according to their website, they sure as hell don't have that 692.60 Mbps listed as an option. I kept telling him that I wasn't interested. I said "I'm calling you to tell you to quit calling here and you're trying to sell me on your system? It's not going to happen, so stop it", but he kept up.

Well, the phone rings last night. An 800 number. One not blocked. I answered it.


I started ranting to this guy, told him to quit calling! I was laughing when I did it, like geez, can't you guys take a hint? He was really taken aback.  "This is the first time I've called this number, ma'am!"

I hope they don't call again.

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08:26 AM - 02/26/2014

The topic: I’m back!


I'm back, I'm back, I'm back!

Hours of backup, two reinstallations of the operating system, waiting for all of the Windows updates....and I finally realized what the problem was that started it all.

Duplicate files.

Let me explain. 

My video software of choice is Corel's Video Studio V6 Ultimate. You can buy "plugins" that you add to VSV6 that give you the power to do different things with your movies or slideshow.

My goto company for these effects is NewBlueFX.  There are "transitions" that do cool things when the video goes from one photo or video to the next one.  And there are "special effects" that can do some really fun things with the videos. Like picture in picture. And there are the titles (if you've watched any of my YouTube videos, I've used NewBlue title for my logo in the video). 

I've been getting the NewBlueFX plugins for years. And I've installed them all. My first one was a freebie that makes video look like it's a cartoon. I've been hooked ever since. I usually take advantage of their special discounts during the year, I won't buy unless I get a huge discount. August is the best month for their discounts, but they had a good one not that long ago, one for 40% off. They had recently added a new Essential set and I love those, I have every one. I used the discount for Essentials VII. At first, it wasn't compatible with Corel, but I knew they'd eventually change that, so I bought it anyway. 

I found this little video over on the NewBlue website, it nicely showcases some of what their plugins can do.



Earlier this month, they came out with the update. I downloaded it last week. Monday, I think. Tried installing it on Tuesday and that's when the trouble began.

So, we have two companies. Corel and NewBlue. Well, Corel has some bonus software with the edition of the software I have. A couple from a company by the name of ProDAD and more from NewBlueFX. I had installed them all. I had installed all my other plugins. I had a lot of plugins. Well, when I installed NB VE VI yesterday afternoon, my Corel crashed. Again. So, after all the work I'd done this past week, and setting restore points after every addition, VideoStudio crashed when I installed  Video Essentials VI. 

Okay. I know it worked before last Tuesday. I opened up the files for it, had the open window on my desktop. I moved all of the new files to the desktop and started to put them back in one by one. Some didn't crash the program. Others did. I'd take out the ones that crashed it and I finally looked at the "library" thumbnails once Video Studio was running. There were duplicate plugins. Same name. This wasn't right.

I went through the list in the files and started moving one of the duplicate plugins to the desktop, out of the list. 

And I was able to install everything once the duplicates were gone from the list. 

What happened is the stuff that came with the Corel software had the same plugins that I'd already had from NewBlue. And it choked the program. Once I took the "bonus" features out, everything ran as it should.

A pretty simple fix. Too bad it took me over a week to figure it out.

NewBlue support was really helpful during all of this. When they didn't hear from me, they'd send an email wanting to know the progress. I liked this.

I'm still reinstalling programs, but at this point, I'm down to graphics. That will take a little time because some of the stuff is pretty old and I have to finesse it to get it to work. 

My computer is clean, though. Real clean.

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lisaviolet is sixty something, married with no kids, takes care of lots of cats, likes taking photographs, loves Southern California weather and spends altogether too much time avoiding her responsibilities.

In her spare time, she makes pretty things to sell in her store.

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