Monday, July 4, 2016
Small Adventure 48
I was sitting in front of the computer a couple nights ago, when a warning message suddenly popped up on the screen saying that I had no antivirus software running and should I switch the computer to Windows Defender? I clicked "no", and a second message popped up asking if I wanted to activate Windows firewall ("no"), and a third message for a Windows email protection program, or something (again, "no"). I use Norton because I hate the Windows version of everything, so I tried running the Norton command menu, and it complained that something was corrupted in the main executable. I tried repairing the software, reloading it, etc. Nothing worked. Finally, one of the error messages came up saying that the subscription had expired. Since the actual expiration date at the Norton site was still some months in the future, I needed to get Norton customer support working on this. But, it was late Sunday night, so I just disconnected the computer from the network, turned it off and kept reading my book until going to bed.
The next day, I called the Norton support desk, and one of their reps ended up remote-logging into my computer, uninstalling Norton, and reinstalling it, and then rebooting a few times. After a couple hours, Norton Antivirus was running again. Cost to me for this support - 0 yen. But, I did lose a lot of time, not having access to the PC during this period. The customer rep didn't say what caused the problem, but I'm thinking it may be related to Microsoft's insane attempts to get me to upgrade to Win 10. I don't want cloud support in any form, least of all at the operating system level, and I don't want to go the subscription route for anything else (I already have to pay a subscription fee for Norton and I resent that). So, no. I do not want to upgrade to Win 10. I just hope that Microsoft doesn't cripple anything else along the way.
Ok, so Carol Lay, creator of Lay Lines, over at Go Comics, mentioned that she had animated versions of three of her strips at her main site. I tried watching them, but windows complained that they're in Quicktime format and my computer doesn't have the apple application support files installed. I spent an hour running around trying to find how to download them from either the Microsoft or Apple main sites, with no luck. Every time I followed the links on the Microsoft site, it redirected me to the Win 10 update page. Sigh. I guess Microsoft really does hate Apple, and anything Apple-related. Bottom line is that I can't watch Quicktime files right now, and part of the reason in the push for the Win 10 upgrade. Argh.
Anyway, I was playing catch-up, having lost so much time because of the anti-virus issue and everything, trying to get everything done that I'd wanted to work on Sunday night and all day Monday. One of those things was to copy some files off my camera to the PC. But, when I plugged the little digital camera into the USB port, the Canon file manager program didn't auto-launch like normal. In fact, nothing happened at all. I tried unplugging the camera and plugging it back in, and still nothing.
What's funny is when you type something like "Norton blocks my PC from recognizing my Canon camera" and you get hits in a yahoo search on that exact string. Turns out that this is a problem that dates back at least to Win Vista, and happens when you uninstall and reinstall Norton anti-virus. Apparently, Norton doesn't recognize software drivers that were installed before Norton was. The Norton support site had specific instructions to follow, so I did that. I opened Control Panel->Device Manager, and then turned on the camera. Almost immediately an icon popped up in the manager for the camera, with an exclamation mark next to it. I tried clicking on "update" and "repair" but that didn't help. Finally, I clicked on "Uninstall." After the driver was removed, I turned the camera off and on again. That caused Windows to search the net for the driver, and reinstall it. After that, the camera manager program popped up, and I could pull the files off it again. Problem solved.
Now, I started thinking about a problem that has been plaguing me for years. When I first got this computer, I used the SD card slot, and that was a good thing. I hate using the camera manager program. It's slow, I have to go through a couple extra screens to get to the folder with my photos in it, and the manager takes time to pop up when the camera is first connected to the computer for the day. Plus, if the battery on the camera dies, I have to wait several hours for it to recharge before I can plug the camera in through the USB cable to the PC just to get at my latest photos and videos. I much prefer just taking the memory card out of the camera and popping that into the SD card slot and copying the files directly via the folder browser, independent of anything the camera itself might be doing. But, some years ago the SD card slot just simply stopped working, forcing me to use the camera manager.
After fixing the problem with the camera manager and Norton, the thought occurred to me that the card slot driver was somehow being similarly affected. So, I opened the Device Manager again, and put the camera memory card into the PC slot. At first, I didn't see anything change, but after trying this a few times, I got the feeling that something called "Teredo Tunneling Pseudo-Interface" was at fault, under the Networking heading. It was the only thing with an exclamation mark next to it, and the Device Manager kept scrolling through the list to show it on the screen. I uninstalled that, and suddenly the file browser opened for the SD card reader. Doing a search on this driver brings up a hit on a forum discussing this topic. Seems that Teredo is installed on most home computers for remote log-ins, and it's completely unnecessary. I have no idea how it got on my PC in the first place, but maybe it was part of a Windows update. Now that it's gone, though, I can use my card reader, so I guess I have to thank Norton for bringing the solution to my attention. (Looking at a discussion on the Microsoft forums, the same driver was clobbering someone else's sound card back in 2014. I guess it really is the fault of Microsoft... Not having the pseudo-interface doesn't seem to be causing any other problems, so "good riddance.")