Randomly Mental ™

My Online Junk-Drawer of Blogging Miscellany ™

Posts Tagged ‘Complaints’

Why Can’t I Install Shockwave Player on Windows XP?

Posted by kristobaldude on July 29, 2012

Adobe Shockwave Player

Adobe Shockwave Player

Why Can’t I Install Shockwave Player on Windows XP?


If you have problems installing Adobe Shockwave Player, work through the steps below. After each step, restart the computer to ensure that the changes take effect before moving on to the next step.

1. Uninstall previous versions

Be sure to remove previous versions before you install Shockwave Player. Use any of the following methods:

  • Double-click the uninstaller.exe file in C:\Windows\system32\Adobe\Shockwave 11.
  • Use the Add Or Remove Programs utility in the Windows Control Panel.
  • (Shockwave 8 and 8.5) Use the uninstaller available from the Web Players page.

Note: Close all applications before you run the Shockwave Player uninstaller. Quit all running applications, including browsers and instant messaging clients. Check the Windows system tray to make sure that no applications that use Shockwave Player are in use.

2. Download the Adobe Shockwave Player installer

Download the installer from the Download Center.

3. Check browser settings (Internet Explorer)

Before installing Shockwave Player, check the following browser settings:

Check the security level

Make sure that the security level is not set to High or to a custom level that doesn’t allow viewing of ActiveX controls. Typically, the default security level (medium) allows you to view Shockwave content. For a custom level, ensure that both Download Signed ActiveX Controls and Run ActiveX Controls And Plug-ins are set to Prompt.

  • Open Internet Explorer.
  • Choose Tools > Internet Options.
  • Click the Security tab.
  • Click Defaul Level, or click Custom Level and do the following:a. Find the section ActiveX Controls And Plug-ins.b. Set Download Signed ActiveX Controls to Prompt.

    c. Set Run ActiveX Controls And Plug-ins to Prompt.

Check user permissions

If you don’t have administrator access to Windows XP SP2 , Windows Vista or Windows 7, you can’t install Shockwave Player successfully. Administrative privileges are required for the Windows system registry and for the C:\WINDOWS\system32\Adobe\Shockwave folder.

4. Download an alternate installer

  • If the issue still occurs, download an alternate Shockwave Player installer.
  • Close all applications and run the installer.
  • Go to the test page to confirm that Shockwave Player installed successfully.

5. Check firewall and utility settings

Some Internet utilities, such as Norton Internet Utilities, function similar to a firewall and can restrict viewing of ActiveX controls. In some cases, they block Shockwave content. Ensure that firewall or utility settings are set to allow ActiveX controls and Shockwave (SWF) content.


Posted in .Interesting Reads & Reblogs | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Disconnected: a first-hand look at Sprint’s customer abuse (updated) | Ars Technica

Posted by kristobaldude on June 13, 2012

Disconnected: a first-hand look at Sprint’s customer abuse (updated)

Sprint sucks

Sprint sucks

Surely no one needs to call Sprint customer service 90 times in six months? …

by  – July 13 2007, 8:45am PDT

Sprint got into hot water last week when word began to trickle up the media food chain that the company is booting customers who roam too much (including soldiers stationed in no-service zones) or who call customer service too many times. If you caught the media coverage of this story in everything from the Wall Street Journal to a segment last night on CNN, then you probably noticed a common theme in the online responses and “man on the street” interviews—indeed, you may have had this reaction yourself: booting American soldiers at West Point for excessive use of the “free roaming” service is a big no-no, but anyone who calls customer service 90 times in six months deserves to have their account canceled.

If your reaction to the news of Sprint booting people for excessive customer service calls was, “Good for Sprint… people are whiners,” then I’d urge you to rethink that attitude.

ZDNET blogger Russell Shaw, who has been following this controversy in a series of posts, reportsthe following experience of a Sprint customer named Rene:

“The vast majority of my calls were to fix errors Sprint made,” Rene tells me in her latest email. “Most of the calls were transferred numerous times, disconnected (forcing me to call back) or they told me to call a different #. “That’s why the actual “call #” was so high.”

I can personally vouch that Rene’s account isn’t at all far-fetched. As a long-time Sprint customer who has had major problems trying to recoup massive overcharges from a generally incompetent and unresponsive Sprint customer service department, I can tell you from first-hand experience: if Sprint owes you $300 or more (like they did me), then you’d better be prepared to dial customer service again and again and again if you want your money back.

I was promised follow-up calls, refunds, and all sorts of other things that never materialized. And every time I made a call to customer service, I had to bring a new agent up to speed on my apparently baffling and peculiar case history. (The language barrier between me and the typical Sprint rep didn’t help, either.) Over the course of about a month, I got disconnected, transferred, and generally jerked around until finally, at long last, a sympathetic … (Read more here)

Posted in .Interesting Reads & Reblogs | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Are CNET.com & DOWNLOAD.com Software Reviews Even Credible or Reliable Anymore?

Posted by kristobaldude on February 14, 2011

Unreliable? Untrustworthy?

Unreliable? Untrustworthy?

So I have been using Acronis True Image Home 11 since 2009, and have been using other incarnations of the software since 2004.  Acronis has always proven a very reliable (and free) option for backing up and creating hard disk drive images in my own personal experience.  In fact, the only problems I’ve ever had with a given version was when a new media format was released (SATA, USB, 1TB DRIVES, etc…), which is understandable because they don’t have crystal balls to predict the future.  The solution in those cases has usually been to upgrade to the newest version – Voila – no problem!

Such was the case (Version 11 recognized my 750GB external drive, but not my new 1TB external drive, both by Western Digital), that prompted me today (2011.02.14) to search for what the new consensus for best “disk imaging software” was.  The actual search I issued was “disk image software review”.  I knew TopTenReviews.com would pop up of course, and probably CNET and PC Magazine, all of whom are known for their reviews on software and hardware products.

Now, I generally lean toward the advice given on Top Ten Reviews because A) I have been able to verify their findings on my own in the past & B)  CNET/DOWNLOAD.COM (same company) has been really slacking for the last few years, and their reviews have shown less-than reliable.


Top Ten Reviews

Top Ten Reviews

Nonetheless, I saw that TopTenReviews had rated Acronis True Image Home 2011 as it’s top pick, noting “Acronis True Image customer support is top–notch; when we filled out a technical request, we received an answer within two hours. Telephone customer support is available too.”  First, let me say that the brevity and lack of detail should throw up a red flag and is a good indicator that this review may be un-thorough at best and biased and deceptive at worst.   SO WHAT you filled out a request and got a response back … who cares, if the response wasn’t relevant to the problem, or was relevant but didn’t provide an applicable solution???  By the way, this is a frequent problem with outsourcing – getting back cookie-cutter responses from script-monkeys who don’t have the ability nor the inclination to think outside the scope of  what answers they have been taught to parrot back to unsuspecting customers who were desperately seeking real help.  As you can probably tell, I have been dis-serviced by customer NON-support (from various companies using overseas outsourcing) many times, and it has left it’s mark on me.




I decided I’d check out Download.com to see what they had to say.  Their imaging programs were in the “Backup Software” category.   When I first looked, Acronis was the top choice.  Then I noticed that in an opaque gray (making it hard to see if you’re not looking for it) the image said “Sponsored Match

"Sponsored Match"

"Sponsored Match"

, which I could then figure out probably means “SOMEBODY PAID US TO PUT THIS ONE FIRST or at least HIGH ON THE LIST”.

Well, it’s hard to have faith in a review that was paid for by the company being reviewed – just drops the credibility of the reveiw and reviewer like a hot potato!  But, I decided to read further anyway and see what customers had to say about why it was so bad.

There were many problems with Download.com’s review of ATIH 2011 and it’s reviewing process in general. They include:

  • Heading is for the 2011 version, but the Editor’s review is for the 2010 version – Very misleading to the average consumer
  • Every single review for the current version (2011) is 1-star out of 5 (meaning really poor)
Acronis 2011 on Download.com

Acronis 2011 on Download.com


(NOTE: These are excerpts of the reviews that show up first for the “latest version” of the product, as of 02/14/11)

It failed midway in the restore process. I actually tried restoring from this software on three different occasions, each with issues. I was only able to restore an older full backup image – it fails miserably with incremental backups

‘Customer No-Service’ provided by a very polite Indian call center. Sadly, they were not empowered by Acronis to help fix any problems!!

Bought Acronis to use with my work computer. It did not install properly. It was a nightmare trying to get support from ACRONIS & I tried unsuccessfully for 2 1/2 months. Please think twice before buying any product from ACRONIS!!! Horrible experience

After installling Acronis I could not see or access network shares or printers. 2 hours of unsuccessfully rebuilding networks; finally a search on error codes pointed to Acronis as the culpret. uninstalling Acronis fixed the network issue instant … Critical bug at least in XP. Some sites refenced 7 havign same is

When you install Acronis True Image Home it replaces the Windows Backup interface with its own interface.There are options to return to the Windows Backup interface in both backup and restore (via Control Panel), as well as the main Acronis interface but these functions don’t work.I discovered this when Windows began doing a backup that had been scheduled before I installed Acronis.Not only was I unable to restore the Windows Backup interface to change the settings but I couldn’t restore it even after uninstalling Acronis.Windows erroneously continues to indicate that a backup is in progress when it clearly isn’t and no amount of restores and restarts will now fix it or allow a return to the original interface.It appears that the only way to solve the problem is to reinstall Windows.I’m out a pile of money and faced with huge hassles trying to recover my system.Don’t go near Acronis and their product

I got no response from two requests for technical assistance. When I try to run a backup, I just get a message that says ‘the product has stopped working’

I purchased the product from a big box retailer. Initial install produced errors and was told by Acronis website, that it was a known issue for my particular ‘build number’ I was unabale to figure out how to get to the support people as I coudn’t get past their ‘suggested resolve’ site. I did get to the live chat page, but couldn’t get a response on their end. Finally figured out the install issue ( i had originally chose the wrong install option) and was able to get the upgrade. First 3 bakups failed on one PC. (Backup was corrupt) and I am still working on it. I suspect I will eventually resolve these issues but it has certainly been painful… and without support

Quick qualifier: I’m very experienced with computers and with imaging. I have nearly a B.S. in Computer Networking, A+ certification, fairly high IQ, blah blah. Yet I could not get the backup onto DVD!!! Now, I would like to know what the F%$# is wrong with Acronis that they can’t insure that the most basic functions of True Image will work? Well Acronis???? Why couldn’t I get the image onto DVD????


If Acronis True Image Home 2011 is “an unreliable piece of junk” as one user states in his review, this portion that follows echoes my sentiments exactly: “[ATIH 2011] has gone from a product I used to enthusiastically recommend to friends to one I’m embarrassed by ever having said a positive word about. I would add that CNet’s review of this product confirms my impression in recent years that CNet is no longer a reliable source of reviews. The editors obviously didn’t test this product in any serious way or they would have given it no more than one star


So, What Do You Think people?

  1. Is Acronis a good option for Windows XP users?
  2. Can reviews at Download.com or TopTenReviews.com be trusted?
  3. What Disk Imaging software do YOU trust?

Let me know where you sit on these issues by leaving a comment below!

Posted in .Kristobaldude's Posts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

FACEBOOK: How Can I View All My Own Posts?

Posted by kristobaldude on January 9, 2011

Facebook QuestionDate: 01/09/11

[NOTE:  A search for “How Can I View All My Own Posts?” on Google yields mostly results such as “How to keep my friends from viewing my posts”, which is obviously not the same, and therefore yields answers one might classify as less-than-helpful.  Therefore, I am bloggin today about this issue.

Beacuase most of the “How do I ask Facebook a question that isn’t already included in the FAQ” type links cannot be found in the newest Facebook incarnation (c. December 2010), I used this link:


to submit my issue to Facebook.  Here is the content of my submission:

How can I View All My Own Posts As One Feed?  There used to be a link but it doesn’t work anymore.  Without this option, to manually find all things that I have posted (statuses, notes, discussions, etc …) would take weeks or even months – I know because I tried it in 2008, and as a person with a full-time job, it took me over 2 months to “gather” and print all my posts.  THIS NEEDS TO BE A FUNCTION IN FACEBOOK, otherwise the task would become too unweildy.

I am guessing that Facebook programmers either moved the location of this function, or overlooked it’s inclusion in the new version.  The third option would be that Facebook DELIBERATELY didn’t include that ability, but that simply makes no sense.  Therefore, if the function exists, but has moved, please advise me on it’s new location and how one can implement it, or if it has been left out, please put it back in … As a programmer, I’m sure all that would be required is to run a SQL query that gathers all items tagged with “created by this user”, or something similar, which is automatically generated whenever the user posts anything on their profile.  Then buffer it in php script and output it as one feed – voila – done!  End of problem.

This feature could be made more useful even by the addition of these features which have never been available in Facebook to my knowledge, in conjunction with the “View All My Posts” function I am describing:

1) Print All button – Format all entries returned for printing and then print.

2) My Posts on MY PROFILE vs. My Posts on OTHERS’ PROFILES – Another tag can be used with a slightly modified SQL query to Allow choosing between posts by you on your profile, and posts by you on other people’s profiles.

3) Print Photos & Comments – Use a checkbox system to let users pick what photos they want to print and the picture will be formatted for printing, along with all the comment thread underneathe the photo

These last 3 are just additional modifications that could be added for greater user friendliness and satisfaction.

Thank you for your time!

Posted in .Kristobaldude's Posts | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

NETFLIX Internet Connection Problem CODE N8383

Posted by kristobaldude on December 31, 2010

Netflix Instant Watch Error

Netflix Instant Watch Error

What does this mean? This usually does not mean what it seems to indicate (i.e.: That you are having problems with your internet connection). Rather, according to tech support, it is basically their “default” or generic message that you get when there is a problem with a movie.

In other words, if you see this error while watching or starting a movie, try other movies and see if you can watch them fine (try popular movies like Shrek or Heroes Season 1). If those play OK, then in that context, this message means simply “This movie is malfunctioning”. It might make more sense if they had a message that said “This movie is broken at this time. Please try another selection”, and included an icon that told you if they were already working on the issue, and if not, then another link would take you right to reporting the error.

That makes sense, but it’s not going to happen. “Why?”, you ask? Because Netflix has gotten rid of their email support, according to the rep I spoke with today. It seems like Netflix is going downhill. I guess maybe it’s time to start supporting Blockbuster online.

Posted in .Kristobaldude's Posts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »


Posted by kristobaldude on December 16, 2010

Facebook ProblemFacebook is gone! (3:21 PM CST) … I tried logging into facebook on both firefox and IE7 and all I get is a blank page! Google didn’t have any relevant results from today, hence this short post. It really made me wonder though: HAS FACEBOOK REPLACED OUR NORMAL MEANS OF COMMUNICATION and WHAT DO WE DO WHEN FACEBOOK GOES DOWN? Sure, we can post on other sites like Twitter, and Reddit, or even WordPress … but, We know if we want instant response and connectivity to our loved ones, friends, and those most important in our inner circle, that facebook is the place to post. Has Facebook, (for better or for worse) engendered a complete paradigm shiftin communication for our generation.

Facebook - You're Doing It Wrong

Facebook - You're Doing It Wrong

What other alternatives for total connectivity are there? Should we even have total connectivity? These are all questions that one is forced to ask, in our current era of literally “instant” communication.


P.S: Let us know if you have experienced or are currently experiencing this problem!

Posted in .Kristobaldude's Posts, WORLDVIEW | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »


Posted by kristobaldude on December 7, 2010

Facebook Problem(12/08/10) – UPDATE: As of today, I am no longer experiencing problems posting.  There was no explanation of the bug, or what the solution was … it just started working.  I have been able to post to my page and to others’ personal pages to my heart’s content!!! 🙂

However, I am interested to know if anyone else is still having these problems?

Since switching to the new Facebook 3 days ago, I have been unable (try as I might), to post any new links directly on my wall, or anyone else’s wall … This really sucks!!!  A GOOGLE search came up with almost zero hits on answers to this problem, and I’ve had others tell me they’re experiencing the same thing, yet, again, a google search is only showing very few complaints on this issue …  WHICH IS WHY i CREATED THIS POST!

These are the links I tried to post this morning (about 3 days ago):





, all to no avail.

There are two aspects to this problem:

1)  This only seems to be occuring with people who have switched to newest version of Facebook, released less than a week ago (today is Dec 7, 2010).  So, those who haven’t switched yet, don’t seem to be experiencing these problems. ON THE OTHER HAND … There is no way to SWITCH BACK TO THE OLD VERSION OF FACEBOOK.  I have been trying for 3 days to post, all to no avail.

2)  The only link posts that have worked for me are posts directly from a “share” or “facebook” button, on a given site.

I hope FACEBOOK comes up with a solution to this soon!!!

Also, I’d love to hear from anyone else having these same problems … and if you come up with a good solution, please share here as well! 🙂

Posted in .Kristobaldude's Posts, SOLVED! | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments »

SOLVED! NEW FACEBOOK PROBLEMS: Can’t create band page!!!

Posted by kristobaldude on December 6, 2010

Facebook Problem
[UPDATE: RE: Band Pages - I was successfully able to create a band page this morning (12/06/10, c. 11:30 AM cst), so the bug has apparently been fixed! Kudos to Root Music and Facebook for the quick turnaround time!!!]
HOWEVER … The problem with posting links still persists  😦
(NOTE:  I have posted a new blog entry dedicated to this issue over here)

Frustrated … New Facebook won’t let me create a band page.

Here is the error I get when trying to post a band page:

Sorry, something went wrong.

We’re working on getting this fixed as soon as we can.

… hmm, well that tells me a lot

Posted in .Kristobaldude's Posts, SOLVED! | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »


Posted by kristobaldude on September 22, 2010

Facebook Problem(NOTE: Originally posted 2010.09.22, 2:00 PM)

I can’t get facebook to work for me today for some reason. Facts: Can access all other sites, the internet in general is working fine, but on two separate computers (same router), facebook errors out when I try to login to my account.



Posted in .Kristobaldude's Posts | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Your General Motors bonds aren’t worth much any more … (or WTF is MTLQQ & Where The F*** Is My Money?)

Posted by kristobaldude on June 5, 2010

(Fearing this article will disappear, I have copied it from http://www.usatoday.com/money/perfi/columnist/krantz/2009-07-24-general-motors-bonds_N.htm  All credit for the article goes to Matt Krantz), though the image is sourced from a different site.)

Q: What’s going to happen to my $300,000 of General Motors bonds?

A: I’m afraid I don’t have good news for you.

First, you no longer own General Motors bonds. You own bonds of Motors Liquidation Co., which is the name of the company formerly known as General Motors. After GM teetered on on the brink of collapse, the company entered bankruptcy to restructure. In the process it left behind some assets in Motors Liquidation Co. (MTLQQ) as the new General Motors emerged with most of the company’s assets.

All the publicly traded shares of the old GM and the bonds issued by the old GM were moved into the Motors Liquidation Co., whose fate, and the fate of your bond investment, is going to be determined in bankruptcy court.

Mostly likely, the company will sell what assets it has, and the proceeds will be paid to creditors, including bondholders. Its extremely difficult to know how much bondholders will get when this is completed. It’s fair to suspect that what you get will be well below what you invested, but I wouldn’t want to hazard a guess on how much lower it will be.

You can read answers here to frequently asked questions about the bankruptcy and what it means.

You can keep up with bankruptcy proceedings here.

In the meantime, if you don’t want to wait to see what the recovery will be, you can contact your broker. There’s a chance the broker might be able to sell some of the securities at a significant discount if you need immediate cash.

But this might incur too much of a loss for you, and you might have difficulty finding a broker who can do it for you at a reasonable commission.

Matt Krantz is a financial markets reporter at USA TODAY and author of Investing Online for Dummies. He answers a different reader question every weekday in his Ask Matt column at money.usatoday.com. To submit a question, e-mail Matt at mkrantz@usatoday.com. Click here to see previous Ask Matt columns. Follow Matt on Twitter at: twitter.com/mattkrantz

Posted in AUTOMOTIVE | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

%d bloggers like this: