May 252010

The title says it all. I bought a new Dell Studio 1557 in November 2009. Lovely full HD WLED screen. Delighted with it. The only probem is (was) whenever I load up a DVD, after about a minute of playing, it starts juddering and the picture and sound go intermittent. I also had a problem burning a DVD recently when the same sort of thing happened.

I assumed it was a faulty DVD drive, but am very reluctant to return my machine as I use it for my business. I thought I’d see if anyone else on the web has had the same problem. And I’m glad I did. Several people have. In this thread, the problem is described and near the bottom, someone mentions that they tracked it down to the supplied Dell backup software (Dell Datasafe), which seems to poll the DVD drive every minute when a disk is loaded. So, as recommended, I fired up task manager (CTRL-ALT-DELETE) and killed the process STService.exe

Then I loaded up a DVD and watched it for about 10 minutes with no issues. Hallelujah 😀 It works just like it should.

So I celebrated that success by uninstalling Dell Datasafe to make it permanent. :X-P:

I just got back from school where I teach an ICT class. We watched a 40 minute DVD on this machine with no issues at all. Now it’s working how it should. I’m so pleased. 😀

Apr 122010

I’m in Poland at the moment. I’ve been accessing the BBC web site to catch up on the news etc. One thing I noticed was that there is annoying advertising on the site when you log in from abroad. :shout: It doesn’t appear when you log on in the UK, so I am used to seeing the site without these annoyances. I want my BBC back as it should be. :pissedoff:

I use Firefox and an excellent add-on called Adblock plus. To get rid of the video advertising or any other graphic, all you have to do is right click and “adblock image”. But it’s a slightly different story with google adsense, which is text, not graphics. “There has to be a way” I thought – so, ironically I googled “getting rid of adsense ads” and came up with this gem of a page…

…where it has four different ways of achieving that goal. One of them uses adblock plus. All I had to do was open adblock plus “preferences” and add a line to block. The line is this…*

and while I was there I did the Yahoo ones too…*

Now it looks as it should -but even better than that, it should work for all sorts of other sites too. 😀