Warning: ActivBoards don’t work when Google Updater or AOL are installed!

I experienced some weird signal loss with a few of our ActivBoards that I could only reproduce on the teachers laptops that used those ActivBoards. I took my known good laptop with me to test the board to verify that it was the teachers laptop, not the ActivBoard. I also took the teachers laptop to another ActivBoard, which would then reproduce the error without fail. This led me to start looking at what was installed on the laptop for conflicts.

In each case, 8 total, the laptop either had the AOL client installed or a Google product that had installed the Google Updater. After removing or actually first disabling these programs, I found these laptops worked without any further trouble with any ActivBoard. I let the laptops run for a week with the updater or AOL disabled before I then re-enabled the offending software for a final proof of theory. Bingo, the systems started losing signal with the ActivBoards within an hour, sometimes within 30 seconds.

Our district does not condone the use of Google products such as Google Desktop or toolbar and does not support them, ditto for AOL. I personally consider the AOL client software a poor piece of programming that takes over your system without any regard to your wishes or what else is installed.

I’ll be warning teachers more often about Google and AOL so that I don’t have to make a service call that could have been avoided.

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