Firefox slow, especially gmail? – remove skype extension.

Ever since I updated the home computer to run the RTM version of Windows7 my gmail and greader experience has been very frustrating in Firefox. GReader just had no idea what data to display in the right hand side of the screen and gmail would just stick in the “please wait”, “loading” or “still working” status after sending an email (but would actually send the email).

Rebooting firefox into safe mode, or running ie8 worked fine so I knew it was not the computer but had to be an extension. Fortunately this was 100% reproducible so I was able to do some diagnostic tests.

I disabled all the likely culprits – flashblock, adblock,greasemonkey, better gmail, web developer, noscript but I still had the same problem. It wasn’t until I disabled the skype extension that the performance of google reader was back to normal and I could now send mail again.  Seeing as though I only really use Skype to call my parents I don’t need the extension so it is now disabled. For some reason the uninstall button is disabled.

I did find a thread on the Google Help forums with the same solution which was nice to know that I wasn’t the only one with the problem and I came up with the same solution.

Skype Prime

Skype have now introduced premium phone and data capabilities if you have the latest version. Funnily enough their blog post doesn’t mention anything about it being great for those who want to host their own “personal video chats” or voicechats for a charge – instead it focuses on the use for support calls and such like……. I’m not convinced this will be the number one use for the technology, after all I think i’d spend more time talking someone through setting up a beta version of skype than I would solving their problem – although it would stop people asking me for free support – I could just tell them to call me on my skype number after they’ve worked out how to install it 😉

Skype password changed

hmmm – I got an email this morning stating that they were going to change my skype password in the next 24 hours due to a upgrade of their software. Why they can’t tell me that they have changed it now, instead of me waiting until I can’t log into skype and then changing it myself I don’t know. This also sounds suspiciously like one of the websites was hacked or compromised. I really can’t see any other reason that they would need to change passwords for so many people. There is more information at SkypeJournal and it seems like a lot of people share my concerns AND have trouble trying to get the password changed.
The funny thing is that they try to convince you that this is not a hoax by saying that there is a copy of the email on the website…Now if I was a scammer with a website such as it wouldn’t be difficult to host a copy of a phishing email that I am sending out to all my target customers would it?

Skype bonus

Skype are doing a decent bonus in that if you sign up for $10 or 10euros worth of skype out minutes (or voicemail) then you get 3 months of voicemail free and 2 hours of skypeout credit if you pay by credit card. I now only have .06euro’s left in my account after our first $10 purchase so I am about to renew. The annoying thing is that most of the people in the uk don’t have skype although I had a great 100 minute conversation about the church website this morning over skype for free 🙂

free skypeout

Today is a free skypeout day so you can get 10 minutes of free calls. Sign into Your Account to claim the minutes. Ironically you may have to wait 24 hours until you get it yet they encourage you to use it to tell your friends about the promotion.


Rather than paying the 10cents a minute on our current US phone provider to ring my sister in the uk I signed up for the skypeout service this afternoon. The annoying thing is that you have to pay 10euros up front but that gets you a rate of 1.1p/minute to us,uk,australia etc. So the 37 minute phone call cost about 40p. compare that to the 3 minute phone call on BT that she made to me at 27p. The quality was excellent – no different to a normal phone. The only downside is I don’t have a cordless headset whereas I do have a cordless phone so I had to sit at the computer, but that means you can look at web pages at the same time.
Now if only she would sign up for skype herself – then it would be totally free (apart from the 10euro’s I’ve just spent in prepaid time that unfortunately expires. That will however will probably come in handy for calling my parents and other non-broadband enabled uk technophobes)

Skype 1.3 is out

There’s a new version of skype that was released yesterday (which probably solved the audio hassles I was having!) The auto update function of skype doesn’t detect that a new version is available to download so you will need to download it yourself.

Skype now works for me!

There is a bug in skype in that if your config.xml contains the value 256 in the MicVolume then your voice is VERY VERY quiet. Changing it to 255 with notepad,saving the file and then launching skype again means you get crystal clear sound again. So if you have skype then let me know! Thanks to the various postings in the skype forum – I’ve spent several hours trying to work this one out.