Skype is infected with a virus! – easybitsgo.exe

Today i see a popup in my task bar asking about some app and skype and i accidentally click the program next to skype and easybitsgo.exe starts to launch. WTF! I have a VIRUS!

Or so i thought anyway. I immediately hit google and find this Skype Forum Thread where everyone else is wondering what the hell is going on. Someone in the thread gave me instructions to disable this from happening again.

What I did was on skype, go under tools-options-advanced and uncheck “automatically stop extras” also click on the “manage other connections to skype” link on the bottom and remove Easybitsgames. I removed the program and it hasn’t shown up since.

So whos bright idea was this? Lets take a product that people like and do some sneaky bullshit that will make them think they have a virus and once they figure out whats going on they will become angry and post about it on forums and their blog. Nice move morons. So now what? We have to play this disable game every few weeks like Facebook?

Time to look for alternatives for making calls over the internet i guess. I really don’t understand why they would do this unless MS is intentionally trying to spend all their money on worthless products.

I just tried to respond to the skype forum and it posted under someone elses screen name. WTF is going on over there?

1969 Mark III Project – Met with Heart Pounding Performance Today

I found a great local shop to work with. I took the car in today and Thomas over at Heart Pounding Performance looked it over and gave me a quote for getting the windows & door locks working and reinstalling the armrests. He also put it on the lift and found that the motor mounts need to be replaced and the car is leaking oil & coolant. Monday work begins on the interior. They will get back to me with a price for the other stuff.

The car has undercoating so the frame is solid, no holes anywhere and barely any rust. I looked at paint chips today also. We talked about removing the vinyl top vs cleaning it up. I like it but i can feel rust bubbles under it. Makes more sense to take it off and paint the car once instead of dealing with it again in a year or 2 when the rust eats its way passed the vinyl. I want glossy black on the sides and a satin black on the top. That or maybe a ‘brilliant’ black on the top. That way the car is all black but it will have some character.

Best part about today was that i found out the AC works… and works really well. Worst part about today is that i found out that i can’t buy freon for it once it stops working and i will have to replace the entire system. Win some lose some :).

1969 Mark III Project – Picked up the car

I found a 1969 Lincoln Mark III in South Beloit IL. I have family there so they went over and took a look at it for me and gave it the thumbs up so i went and got it Saturday night. Driving it home was fun with the exception of the small sparking issue :). The drivers size door panel is off so the wires were exposed and started sparking on the way home.

Car is solid and the interior is very good. Black leather, head liner is perfect. The only thing that needs immediate attention is the drivers armrest. Someone took it off and didn’t put it back on. They made a mess of it so i am calling in a professional on this one. The body has a few rust spots that are visible but nothing a paint job wont fix.

The plan is to get the interior fixed and make sure everything under the hood is in good shape. Then paint, then wheels then air bags. That will get me going for the summer and this winter if the bank account allows i will have the engine pulled & polished.

1969 Lincoln Mark III
1969 Lincoln Mark III Restoration Project

Update! The Skinny on Monster Cable

Update! Both cables are defective. Couldn’t get either one to work properly. Glad i didnt waste my time fishing them.

I needed a 15′ HDMI cable for a retro-fit project where i had to snake it across the face of a fireplace then a sharp 90 degree turn back then another sharp 90 into the cabinet. I am replacing component-stereo cables with the HDMI cable.

I wanted something as thin and flexible as the cheese HDMI cables that come with DirecTV & cable boxes. This is difficult because those cables are 6′ and the typical 10’+ HDMI cable is twice as thick.

I found Monster Cable “Flat Screen” HDMI cables. They are just a hair over 1/8″ thick. Much smaller than the cheapo HDMI cables and super flexible (think USB cable). The connector is very small also. Should be easy to fish (hopefully) 🙂 $65 at Amazon.

Monster Cable HDMI
Monster Cable HDMI

Stanley 516150M – FatMax Tool Bag

I spotted this $20 bag at walmart today. The reason i noticed it was because of the plastic water proof bottom. One of my pet peeves with CLC bags was the cloth bottoms. I would find myself working outside all day wiring up rock speakers or CCTV cameras and water would soak right into my bag usually destroying the carboard base making the bag flimsy. It was also cause surface rust to build up on my hand tools.

The bag is small but loaded with pockets. The plastic at the bottom isn’t as rugged as the VetoProPac bags but its a step in the right direction.

516150M – FatMax® Tool Bag

Height 5-1/2″,139.7mm
Length 18-1/8″,460.38mm
Width 10-1/2″,266.7mm

What ever happened to the HP Slate?

Ever wonder what happened to the HP Slate? It was buzzing around the blogs for a while then pfft.. nothing. I found out where HP put them! In their printers!

Ok.. maybe they aren’t re-purposed Slate’s.. but they are removable 7″ wi-fi android “Zeen” tablets. No access to apps according to websites i have read. Screen quality sucked. Looked like 16 bit graphics or seriously stretched images. I wonder if these are being counted in the iPad vs Android polls.

Your low voltage stuff isn’t working

I got a call last week from an electrician telling me….

“I installed the outlets where you marked them on the wall but now your low voltage stuff isn’t working. It keeps tripping the breaker. I unplugged it. Just wanted to let you know”.

I explain to the electrician that there isn’t any low voltage stuff installed yet except the cable companies house amp. Electrician confirms “yep that’s the thing that keeps tripping the breaker”. I then explain that the house amp has to work or they lose internet and TV in the den. The electrician tells me that he will check it again and call me back. This was Friday. Fast forward to Monday morning. I have to meet with the electrician at 8AM to go over the work they did and find out whats up with the house amp. Oh.. an added bonus was that the electrician didn’t leave a note or tell the client so i also got an email at 7AM from the client about the issue.

Your Low Voltage Stuff Isn't Working
Your Low Voltage Stuff Isn't Working

I got there early so i checked TV in the Den.. not working. I go over to find the house amp in the closet disconnected. I look at the newly installed outlet and i seen burn marks and the house amp power supply is smoked. I tested the outlet and it was testing ok. As a temporary fix i bypassed the house amp by barreling the input and output. I immediately hear TV in the Den and internet is working fine. I don’t really know what happened. My uneducated (because i wasn’t there) is that the electrician got confused by the RG6 cable being used with the house amp and wall wart and some how wired it up wrong. I really hate that they use an RG6 for power for a lot of CCTV and Satellite devices. I know its convenient for technicians but its confusing to anyone else. The electrician was adding an outlet in the closet near the low voltage panel because some genius didn’t think about having power where all of the 2+2 low voltage cable from the apartment ran back to. All he had to do was unplug the walwart from the hall outlet where it was plugged in temporarily and plug it into the new outlet in the closet. I’m guessing he disconnected some of the RG6 cables and wired it back up wrong. Everything is working now.

The “low voltage stuff” was working when the electrician got there. It was not after he was working in that area. His new outlet or his re installation of a power cord killed the house amp. But for some reason he thought it was okay to call me up and let me know that i (now) have a problem. It didn’t register as his problem for some reason. The reason it was not my problem (and why i quickly let him know that over the phone and this morning) is because i was there when the cable guy came out (4 times) and made sure that his installation was done and working properly. I had the den TV installed and working properly and i had the clients wi-fi network setup and working properly before i left. And more importantly.. these things were done, tested before the electrician began his work. I was able to “point the finger” because a schedule exists and someone is making sure its being followed. If the cable guy, the electrician and I all showed up at the same time trying to work around each other it would have been much more difficult to pinpoint what the problem was and when it occurred. Having someone to blame is not the primary issue. My fear with the house amp was that somehow the electrician energized the low voltage box causing the circuit to break over and over. I was worried that i would be blowing things up all around the house if they left there assuming the issue was solely with my “low voltage stuff”. I wondered if the electrician brought 220 over to my 110 outlet. This happened before with an automated gate and they had power and ground reversed. I smoked 2 Crestron C2N-IIF’s screwing around with that gate when i finally urged the client to get a new gate guy to come and look at it.

Whether its 1 guy installing a TV for an hour or a team working on a large project for a month… everything has to be based on a schedule. Without it… chaos. When you have your act totally together you will find that all of those problems you dealt with in the past really belong to someone else. The cabinet guy for not following your drawings or the sheetrock guy for covering up your speakers or the landscapers for cutting your speaker wire. Those problems were yours because you were not following a schedule that allowed you to properly coordinate with others.

Laptop Bag – Another chapter of my ongoing obsession with tool organization

I found my first (of 3) Kenneth Cole Roller Laptop Bag at marshalls about 5 years ago. It was $99. It got damaged and i bought another one for $50 at tjmaxx but it was slightly smaller. When i finally found a larger one again at marshalls it was $50 and i gave the other one to my sister. It fits in the overhead bin on an airplane. The wheels make it super easy to manage when you have to walk far with it from a parking spot or thru an airport. It matches my luggage :).

Its big enough to organize and carry up to a 15″ laptop, programming cables & IR learners and basic testing gear. 17″ laptops wont fit inside of the smaller carrying bag and they kind of bang around in the compartment without it. I usually have 3 bags with me now. My vetopropac XL for tools, my okeechobee parts bag and my laptop roller bag. These 3 guys get me thru 99% of all service calls and upgrades.

Here are some iPhone pics.