Skype Update 3.6.0.248 - Well, Maybe...

Skype Update 3.6.0.248 - Well, Maybe...

Summary: As mentioned last night, Skype appears to have made some sort of attempt to release an update yesterday. Like so many other things with Skype, it just didn't quite work right - but this time they managed to fail even earlier than usual.

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TOPICS: Linux
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As mentioned last night, Skype appears to have made some sort of attempt to release an update yesterday. Like so many other things with Skype, it just didn't quite work right - but this time they managed to fail even earlier than usual. Downloading through their web page still delivers the previous (current) version, 3.6.0.244, more often than not. Last night at about 10:00 PM CET I got 244; at about 11:00 PM I got 248, and this morning at 5:30 AM I got 244 again! Oh, and of course trying to get it through "check for updates" within Skype has been broken for a very, very long time. So, the confusion in the Skype Forum grows, and the latest advice from an "expert" there is "maybe try when Estonia wakes up" (oh, and if you would like to pay this "expert" for that advice, he is accepting "donations" through PayPal). Anyway, the point is, with Skype now delivering seemingly random releases, how are users supposed to know what version they are supposed to be running? For that matter, how do they even know what version they ARE running, since it is not clear whether the problem now is that the actual wrong version is being delivered, or is that the correct version is being delivered with the wrong identification text? (I'm sure all of these kinds of things make the people at eBay so PROUD that they payed a couple of BILLION dollars for Skype! It does show, however, how smart the Skype founders were, they knew when to take the money and run!)

In any event, the release notes for this new release don't offer much hope to the long-suffering Skype users with video problems. It looks like what has happened is that Skype has been forced to squeeze out a release in an attempt to fix the steadily increasing number of major security flaws that have been reported the past few weeks, and they actually really weren't ready to release yet. Perhaps that's why the whole process has been so slipshod. The first item on the release notes is the security fix; after that, it is "bugfix: Skype crashed when ...", "bugfix: Skype crashed when ....", "bugfix: Skype crashed when ..." over and over again. Not a single mention of fixing any of the video problems.

Of course, I guess when you're spending all your time chasing down "Skype crashed when ..." problems, you don't have much left for "trivial" video problems like no incoming video, no outgoing video, color bars in video, video crashes Skype, video crashes Windows and the like... (Late breaking news: Skype Journal reports that even with the latest version (248), a Skype call was "self closed", which I take to mean that it still crashes... ah, well, Skype, back to chasing those pesky "Skype crashed when..." problems.)

I am becoming ever more convinced of how appropriate the new "motto" is that someone made up for Skype a couple of months ago, in the midst of the "0207 SkypeIn Numbers" fiasco:

Skype - Take a Deep Breath - This Is Going To Hurt

jw 6/2/2008

Topic: Linux

J.A. Watson

About J.A. Watson

I started working with what we called "analog computers" in aircraft maintenance with the United States Air Force in 1970. After finishing military service and returning to university, I was introduced to microprocessors and machine language programming on Intel 4040 processors. After that I also worked on, operated and programmed Digital Equipment Corporation PDP-8, PDP-11 (/45 and /70) and VAX minicomputers. I was involved with the first wave of Unix-based microcomputers, in the early '80s. I have been working in software development, operation, installation and support since then.

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