Skype Notifications

If you are like a lot of other users of Skype you may have noticed some strange happenings with your notifications. For the last month or so I have had no notifications when a contact comes on-line. I put it down to a glitch in Skype. But there is more to it than that. Don’t be alarmed though if you are one of the many affected, they know of the problem.

I have all my alerts on, although I don’t get any for contacts coming on-line. For that reason I miss people and that is really starting to drive me nuts. So about a week ago I tried to reinstall Skype. No luck. So I started digging in the notifications. I tried turning them all off, saved it. Then switched them all back on again. Nope. I also tried various combinations of logging on then off in between changing settings. Absolutely no go.

In my explorations I also noticed that some of the sounds had been switched off as well. I had not made these adjustments so it looks like this might be related to the bigger problem as the sounds directly correspond to the loss of features.

These sort of problems pop up every now and then in Skype. I had an issue with my Web Cam not being available during a call. It resolved itself using one of the above measures. The other thing that can happen is that it is fixed in an upgrade of the software or just spontaneously resolves. Who knows why or how. This issue has however been persistent. So I took further measures.

Usually when you “Report a Problem” to Skype you either get nothing back or you get the standard support response: make sure you are using the latest version, ensure that you your drivers are up to date and that your operating system is updated. Very useful. This time I said that all of the above was in place, I am glad I did.

It turns out that this issue is a known problem and that the Skype team is working on the problem and that it should be fixed in a coming build. They recommended that I keep an eye on the download page and apologised. I thought that was nice of them. Keeping an eye on the download page is a good tip. As regular users of Skype may know updates have been built into the latest versions of Skype. But they are slow to remind users that there is a new version. Perhaps the two problems are related given the advice? One other thing I did not do and should have is check the forums and this has come up, although it took some digging to find it.

Since I have had this problem for a while and that I know I am not the only users affected I thought it valuable to pass on. While it still bugs me a lot, not having a program that works properly; I am glad that they are working on it. Patience I guess. It is also great that I got a response that is useful and informative.

Another Sad Departure

Sam with GilbertThis year has been a strange year for me, I have had a few more losses this year than I would have preferred. In April I lost my dog Amos. Last year there was yet another, but that is far more personal and I am not ready to blog about it yet. This afternoon we lost our very old bird, Gilbert. You might think losing a bird is not blog worthy, but read on. As with all our animals they are and were a part of our family and losing one is like losing a part of yourself.

We were given Gilbert as a wedding gift from very good friends of ours. But “Gilly” as he was known was not just any bird. When we got him, he might have had feathers but was just a chick. I remember having to come home from university at lunch time to hand feed him! Unfortunately I do not have any pictures in digital form to share with you. But we hand rared Gilly until he could eat on his own. Because he was hand rared he has always been tame and would roam the house and sit on whoever he liked. The cat came off second best on more than one occasion.

The pictures that appear in this post is testament to how long we had him, nearly 12 years. Our children have enjoyed him as much as we have. He was always happy and fun to be with.

Please don’t feel sorry for me or the family as we feel privileged to have had him as long as we did and he died in the way that was very befitting and due to him. If I were him I would have been contented.

I went outside after posting the last post and I was setting the hose up to water the lawn. I finished that and I was standingAngus with Gilbert next to the cage. I heard a scrapping noise and Gilbert was on the bottom of the cage in a bit of distress. I reached into his cage and got him out. I held him in my hands and sat down. Kate my wife called my eldest boy to come and see him. He is three and we felt that it was better that we included him rather than try to hide it from him. The latter would have been impossible anyway.

Angus and I sat there and scratched Gilbert’s head, just the way he liked and he passed away in my hands. He died where he was meant to and I feel that in some ways he chose it to be that way. So my son had some difficult questions after that which I answered as best I could. He reconciled that we would bury him in the yard, with his favourite toy. Angus although upset wanted very much to help, which he did.

My son placed Gilbert in the hole that I had dug and placed his favourite toy on his head (he used to scratch his head with it all the time). Angus was teary; as I was too, we filled it in and placed a cross near the hole. He was satisfied that it was right and he said he liked it and thought Gilbert would be happy there.

Now he is gone and I know there will be more losses, I dread each one as my pets are hardly that at all. I am not sure what is harder, the loss of another mate or that fact that my son now grapples with the realisation of his own mortality and that of all living things. Perhaps I lament the loss of innocence.

I do not regret sharing the experience with Angus, it was right and we shared something beautiful and sad together.