PC playing up.

Tony Williams
Posts: 1294
Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2015 7:51 pm
Location: Somewhere in England
Contact:

Re: PC playing up.

Post by Tony Williams » Wed Oct 28, 2015 4:30 pm

had not previously considered anything but Microsoft because that's what I always had at work and even though I'm now retired I still use Office documents which I swap around with other people. Furthermore, I use proprietary software for a part-time editing job I do at home, and that was only compatible with Windows.

What drove me to Mac was initially the unsuitability of Win8 to meet my needs, but then I discovered the existence of Microsoft's Office:mac which provides fully-compatible versions of Word, Excel and Powerpoint specifically designed to run on a Mac (and quite cheaply, too). And to cap it all, the proprietary software has been modified to run on Macs (but not Win8!). Not a hard choice to make at that point...

I thought about the one-to-one service but it's not the kind of thing I'd be likely to use. I have access to their training videos plus the usual help function, and if that still doesn't answer my questions I have a Mac enthusiast on the end of a phone as part of their 90-day free help desk service.

Although I've only been using it for a few days I'm already seduced - it's such a beautiful system to use.

User avatar
Asthmatic Camel
Posts: 539
Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2015 8:54 pm

Re: PC playing up.

Post by Asthmatic Camel » Wed Oct 28, 2015 4:31 pm

f you're happy with it, all's well. I still use XP Pro on my main machine and much prefer it to Win7, 8 and Mac OS, (I'm not even going to mention the V word.) I did try the Linux distros like Ubuntu and, while they're good, I couldn't find drivers for some of my hardware. I understand that's less of a problem with new kit.

User avatar
bindeweede
Site Admin
Posts: 3374
Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2015 3:45 pm
Location: Hertfordshire, UK

Re: PC playing up.

Post by bindeweede » Wed Oct 28, 2015 4:32 pm

Right. Been away for a couple of days, and Firefox is now playing up. Why? I click on a couple of sites and it just freezes. Guardian, YT, whatever. Am now using Chrome, which I don't like, and have done a few searches on what might be the issue, but can't find an answer.

Anyone.....?

User avatar
Ketchup
Posts: 674
Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2015 10:15 pm
Location: Around the bend
Contact:

Re: PC playing up.

Post by Ketchup » Wed Oct 28, 2015 4:32 pm

I had the same problem when turning on this morning (Firefox / Windows 7 ) - painfully slow to open anything or just total freeze - but I think I've discovered what the 'problem' is ... I can see that "Windows is downloading updates" . Looks like there's quite a few of these updates too.
Normally, I would be able to click in to "check the progress of the downloads" but because of the slowness of everything it won't let me. All I can tell is that it's 50% complete at the moment (and that 50% has taken ages to get to that stage and seems stuck on that number for ages now). No doubt, a restart will be required once it reaches the 100%, but I think it's just a matter of patience for now.

If you are also on Windows 7, it might be the same "problem" - simply a massive update. If you turn your comp off before that long update is complete (and without the restart), it might have to start all over again.

(The last major update I had like this ended up being no less than 12 updates all in one - which took almost the whole day to complete! Huge difference once they had done though)

Suggest try a restart before anything else (if you haven't already done so).
~ Today is the Tomorrow you worried about Yesterday ~

User avatar
bindeweede
Site Admin
Posts: 3374
Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2015 3:45 pm
Location: Hertfordshire, UK

Re: PC playing up.

Post by bindeweede » Wed Oct 28, 2015 4:33 pm

I think you are right, Ketchup. I usually just let my laptop "hibernate" overnight. This morning when I opened up, a box popped up to say that Windows needed to restart the comp. While it was doing that, I had a coffee and everything now seems to be OK.

But it can be very frustrating when you don't know exactly what is going on.

Tony Williams
Posts: 1294
Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2015 7:51 pm
Location: Somewhere in England
Contact:

Re: PC playing up.

Post by Tony Williams » Wed Oct 28, 2015 4:33 pm

I have found my internet service gradually deteriorating over the past few months, something brought home to me on a recent trip abroad where the service was 100% reliable and very fast.

I have an iMac and used to use their own Safari browser, but became so frustrated in recent months by its monotonous mantra of "unable to find webpage" that I tried Chrome and found it much better: with both browsers open, Chrome succeeded in opening about two-thirds of the sites that Safari failed with. So its performance is merely poor rather than appalling.

I won't be able to get superfast broadband for at least another six months and I'm not sure what to do in the meantime. I do get fed up with having to access sites by constantly hitting the "refresh" button until I get there (sometimes it takes so long I just give up)

User avatar
Zep
Posts: 1315
Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2015 7:37 pm

Re: PC playing up.

Post by Zep » Wed Oct 28, 2015 4:34 pm

I suggest you try to separate testing your internet service from your PC when looking for network problems. There's a number of components between your browser screen and the websites you want, each of which may be a problem.

For example:

1) Have you another PC you can try on your network connection, i.e. plugged into that same cable? A friend with a laptop who might assist? (This tests if it is your PC and not the network connection)
2) Try changing the network cable between the modem and your PC. (Tests cable faults and basic plugging in issues)
3) Can your iMac use some other network connection OK, e.g. wireless? At an internet cafe or Macdonalds? (So the PC network port may be faulty)
4) Does your connection speed up/slow down due to weather? (outside cables may be deteriorating, getting wet or have animal damage)
5) Does everyone on your ISP have similar issues? You can usually check their support forums. (There are many reasons why your ISP may be slow, not excluding incompetence)
6) Is it just the websites you visit? (OK, so porn files are getting bigger, longer and more hi-res these days...sorry to put it that way! :))

_________________

Tony Williams
Posts: 1294
Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2015 7:51 pm
Location: Somewhere in England
Contact:

Re: PC playing up.

Post by Tony Williams » Wed Oct 28, 2015 4:35 pm

Thanks for your suggestions Zep. I have an iPad which shares the wireless connection I use, and that exhibits the same problems. That same iPad is fast when used elsewhere with decent reception, either with wifi or the mobile data service, so I'm reasonably confident that the problem isn't within the computer.

There has been a problem with my new ISP recently (Heart internet) but my difficulties started with my previous ISP and haven't been affected by the change.

I have an Apple wifi device linked to a router which is plugged into my telephone line, so the problem could lie with the wifi thingy (sorry about using such technical language...), the router, the telephone service or the cables in between. The only one I can quickly test myself is the wifi end, since I can directly plug my iMac into the router via cable. However, I suspect the telephone service is at fault since I have had intermittent problems with crackling reception over the landline, going back years - the sort of problem which always goes away when I get the telephone engineers to call.....

User avatar
Zep
Posts: 1315
Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2015 7:37 pm

Re: PC playing up.

Post by Zep » Wed Oct 28, 2015 4:35 pm

Good info! I suspect you are right too. You are describing a DSL or more likely ADSL service with line degradation problems or a very old phone exchange.

Degraded or low quality lines are particularly problematic for ADSL. ADSL uses high frequencies over the same copper wires used for your low frequency traffic, i.e. talking. The line filter you installed separates these frequencies from each other - low (talk) to the phone, high (data) to the router. Your brain can usually reconstruct talk traffic through crackle and level drops - your brain is good at that! Not so the router with data. Because the data frequencies are so high, the wavelengths are short. So any crackle or signal drop on the line interferes with broad swathes of data signals. That causes line errors which means your incoming data packets sent get lost. The router does sense this (it's keeping track of packets) and tries to recover by asking for retransmits of packets. But these may also be interfered with, repeating the cycle. Your PC has to timeout and then wait for these data packets to come again successfully. Some data losses are so long they can never be recovered from. That's what's happening when your browser stalls and you have to refresh the page, i.e. ask for it all again.

Solution: better line quality required. I doubt the lines get better when the engineers call. But I rather suspect what they are testing at your house is voice quality, not data quality. That can be OK for voice but still crap for data. Usually data quality can be tested from the exchange end using software that communicates with your router. All the latest model routers have the ability to run end-to-end data testing on their ADSL connections. Put simply, they get your router to reflect back any packets of a certain type, then send it a long stream of those packets from the exchange and see how long they take to come back and how many are retransmitted, lost, etc. This is all software based, and you should be able to get your phone provider or ISP to test this any time for free.

If they do find issues, you might ask to be connected to a new point in your exchange if possible. Although some exchanges are so old the connections are still being made mechanically, not electrically. These exchanges are usually too old and unreliable to run ADSL, hence "internet is not available in your phone area". You really need to be connected to a newer exchange rated to carry ADSL traffic, or find an alternative connection method, e.g. dial-up, cable or satellite.

Tony Williams
Posts: 1294
Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2015 7:51 pm
Location: Somewhere in England
Contact:

Re: PC playing up.

Post by Tony Williams » Wed Oct 28, 2015 4:36 pm

Thanks for that, Zep, very useful.

Cable is not available (I live out in the countryside so cable providers aren't interested) and I currently have no satellite connection, but I'll look into that. I doubt the ability of the lady in our telephone exchange to switch the plugs around any faster... :roll:

User avatar
Zep
Posts: 1315
Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2015 7:37 pm

Re: PC playing up.

Post by Zep » Wed Oct 28, 2015 4:37 pm

I'm here to help! : :lo

Some of our "country" cousins here are so "in the country" that the "last mile" of the network connection is two strands of barbed wire from the front gate some miles away from the house.

Incidentally, I'm not sure how UK satellite services are set up, but here you need a dial-up phone line as well with the satellite internet. That's for the outgoing data traffic, i.e. when you type or click on a link, etc. The dish is one-way only for data traffic in, i.e. webpages data, file downloads, etc.

You might also check out wireless internet in your area - look up WISP. It's a newish option where they use radio links from your microwave or phone towers, and you have a small dish on your roof. Sort of like satellite-lite. I gather the speeds are not terribly flash at this time, but it does work quite reliably (provided you don't get blackouts often, I suppose). It also works over most terrain and for some distances - 10-15km I seem to recall (I've got to go look this up again!). Which means a remote site far from a phone pole is not a problem. Here's one I Googled for you, not knowing where the heck you are: http://wireless.abinternet.co.uk/ABInternet/

Tony Williams
Posts: 1294
Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2015 7:51 pm
Location: Somewhere in England
Contact:

Re: PC playing up.

Post by Tony Williams » Wed Oct 28, 2015 4:38 pm

Thanks Zep, I'll take a look at that.

User avatar
chaggle
Posts: 2313
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2015 10:01 am

Re: PC playing up.

Post by chaggle » Wed Oct 28, 2015 4:39 pm

Satellite internet is two way here (literaly - the company is called Tooway).

http://www.europasat.com/landing-pages/ ... tAod32gAgg

It is expensive and has severe download limits.

The line of sight systems are generically known as WIMAX. I know little of it in the UK but we were on it for a time in Spain - it works fine but is slower and more expensive than landline based services there.

The other option is mobile phone based systems which again are quite expensive and have download limits and resilience issues.

My experience, admittedly in Spain rather than UK, is that landline based internet is currently the only option for heavy users unless you are really in the sticks (bush in Oz) when satellite might be considered or WIMAX if you are in line of sight of a tower.

Mobile technology should be used for just that - mobile phones and mobile internet.
Don't blame me - I voted remain :con

User avatar
Zep
Posts: 1315
Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2015 7:37 pm

Re: PC playing up.

Post by Zep » Wed Oct 28, 2015 4:40 pm

:si Thanks for the more relevant details, Chaggle!

User avatar
Tinkerbell
Posts: 824
Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2015 7:40 pm
Location: Andalucia, Spain

Re: PC playing up.

Post by Tinkerbell » Wed Oct 28, 2015 4:41 pm

Anybody advise me? have been very stupid and sprayed my keyboard with window cleaner, nice and clean but the keys went crazy for a while. Now I have lost my p (yes, I am cutting and pasting) and the back space is getting dodgy now...Has been over a week, I thought it would just dry out on its own and be ok again :con

Post Reply