But there is this one huge problem. After a few hours (sometimes more, sometimes less) of working normally, my skype's sound system gets messed up. Not only does the in-call sound break up so badly that I can't understand anything the other person is saying, but the rest of the skype sounds (the ringer sound, the sounds skype makes when it starts up or shuts down) break up in the same manner. The person I'm talking to via skype, though, can hear me just fine.
It's a weird sort of problem, because it's not network related, it doesn't affect anything else on my system, and I just can't seem to figure it out.
Anyway, that's a rare problem (not present on my laptop, just my desktop) and not what I wanted to rant about. This is: Skype customer service is just horrid. The first time I wrote to them they responded in a few days. I described the problem pretty well, from a technical perspective. Of course I got the "dumb user" type of response that told me to try things I've already tried, which made me think they didn't read a word I wrote to them in my email. I responded again, explaining everything I did step by step, yada yada. 11 days went by without any response. I wrote them an angry email saying that if they didn't respond I'd complain about them to the BBB and write a rant here (I'm a little late on that). Guess what? Next day I get a prompt response apologizing, and asking me to try ... same old steps, maybe with an addition of one or two. I tried them, emailed back. And now it's been another 11 days without any response. I figure I'm not gonna write to them anymore. It's not like they'll actually help me fix the problem. I'm still gonna stay with skype while I'm living on LI (not much longer), but if you're thinking of paying them for their service, be aware that you won't get much support with it.
I've also had a problem with Gmail which made me switch to using Chrome instead of Firefox for a bit. My "Labels" and "Move to" menus would take 5-10 seconds to open every time I clicked on them... and because I use them pretty often, I actually switched away from Firefox, which I enjoy so much (seriously, you don't realize how valuable Adblock Plus is until you use a browser that doesn't support it.) So today I figured I'd try disabling all of my FF extensions and re-enabling them one, to see if maybe one of the extensions was causing this. Sure enough, it was. Guess which one. Yup, the Skype extension, which Skype installs automatically without asking you whether or not you want it. I disabled it and now my FF is working perfectly again.