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Old 01-28-2013, 01:13 PM   #1
Mike L
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Calibre on a Windows 8 tablet

I have installed Calibre (ver 0.9.16) on an HP Envy tablet running Windows 8.

Most of the time, it works perfectly. No surprises there. However, I am having a lot of difficulty with the Fetch News feature. In short, it is taking a huge amount of time to fetch even quite small downloads.

For example, I have been trying to download The Economist, which is less than 4 MB. The first time I tried, it took ten minutes to get 4%, after which it seemed to get stuck. The next time I tried, it took an hour to get to 20%, at which point I cancelled. I've had similar experiences with other sources.

By contrast, The Economist typically takes 3 - 4 minutes to download on my Thinkpad laptop or on my HP desktop machine, both of which run under Windows XP. This is on the same network and with the same Internet connection as the tablet.

I don't have any problem downloading files in other applications on the tablet. For example, I often fetch files from Radio Downloader, and this is just as quick on the tablet as on my other machines.

Does anyone know if there are any specific issues with fetching news in Calibre under Windows 8? Or any Calibre settings that might be affecting performance?

Thanks in advance.

Mike
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Old 01-28-2013, 10:37 PM   #2
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I'd guess you have some security/resource monitoring settings in windows 8 that throttle the download. A news download incolves downloading lots of individual small files. Some security programs freak out when they see a single process doing that without user interaction.
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Old 01-29-2013, 09:24 AM   #3
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Thanks for your reply. It looks like you've got the right answer.

I just tried temporarily disabling my anti-virus, and found that I could now download The Economist in six minutes. That's still twice as long as on my other machines (which have different anti-virus software), but it's a lot better than it was before.

I'm delighted that I can now take Calibre with me when travelling (although perhaps I should be worried about not having a-v protection while using it to download).

Mike
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Old 01-29-2013, 09:41 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Mike L View Post
Thanks for your reply. It looks like you've got the right answer.

I just tried temporarily disabling my anti-virus, and found that I could now download The Economist in six minutes. That's still twice as long as on my other machines (which have different anti-virus software), but it's a lot better than it was before.

I'm delighted that I can now take Calibre with me when travelling (although perhaps I should be worried about not having a-v protection while using it to download).

Mike
If you know it is the AV software, then I would have thought there should be a way to configure the AV software to ignore Calibre.
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Old 01-29-2013, 10:21 AM   #5
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If you know it is the AV software, then I would have thought there should be a way to configure the AV software to ignore Calibre.
I'd really like to do that, but I can't see how. The AV I'm using is Avast. It has an Exclusions screen, but that only lets you exclude given directories from an on-demand scan, which isn't what I want.

If anyone has any ideas, I'd be grateful. (Or maybe I should be using a different AV.)

Mike
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Old 01-29-2013, 11:20 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Mike L View Post
I'd really like to do that, but I can't see how. The AV I'm using is Avast. It has an Exclusions screen, but that only lets you exclude given directories from an on-demand scan, which isn't what I want.

If anyone has any ideas, I'd be grateful. (Or maybe I should be using a different AV.)

Mike
Perhaps this helps: https://support.avast.com/index.php?...barticleid=201
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Old 01-29-2013, 01:15 PM   #7
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Thanks for that link. It shows how to exclude files, but I'm not sure how that relates to a news download in Calibre.

Do I simply exclude .mobi files from the virus scan (the download saves the files in .mobi format by default)? That seems the obvious thing to do, but it goes against what Kovid said: "A news download involves downloading lots of individual small files". Is it those individiual files that I need to exclude? And, if so, how do I identify them?

Mike
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Old 01-29-2013, 05:57 PM   #8
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I haven't used Avast in a while, but it sounds like what's happening is the resident scanner (guardian shield? can't recall what they call it) is inspecting everything as it's downloaded. As far as I know, there's no capability to white list a web site so that it doesn't scan data coming a particular web site. So even when you create an exception for an application in one component, the web scanner still scans everything coming through anyway.

I personally only use the AV that Microsoft offers as an optional install with Win 8 but if you don't want to use that, it may be worth trying something other than Avast that might be faster at scanning that type of download activity.
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Old 01-30-2013, 04:47 AM   #9
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Since my last post, I've found that I don't have to disable the entire AV. It is enough to disable the "network shield" (this is presumably the "resident scanner" that CWatkinsNash referred to). I'm OK with this, provided I remember to re-enable it when the download has finished. It also means that I can't set a schedule to do the download unattended, but that's not too seriouis.

CWatkinsNash, you mentioned "the AV that Microsoft offers as an optional install with Win 8". Would that be Windows Defender? That appears to be installed on the computer, but is not enabled (possibly because it knows that I have Avast running). Does anyone have any views on whether Windows Defender would be a good choice as an anti-virus program?

Mike
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Old 01-30-2013, 05:48 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike L View Post
Thanks for that link. It shows how to exclude files, but I'm not sure how that relates to a news download in Calibre.
Once you set the proper excludes you should be fine. The fetch news download uses the ebook-convert.exe file to accomplish the download. I would go ahead and exclude all of the various exe files in calibre's program directory and the entire calibre library directory. Also excluding *.mobi, *.azw3 or whatever format you are using would be a good idea.

Good Luck.

Last edited by DoctorOhh; 01-30-2013 at 05:53 AM.
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Old 01-30-2013, 11:12 AM   #11
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I would go ahead and exclude all of the various exe files in calibre's program directory and the entire calibre library directory. Also excluding *.mobi, *.azw3 or whatever format you are using would be a good idea.
I've now tried all that, and also excluded the URL from which the news is downloaded. None of it solves the problem. The only solution I've found so far is to temporarily disable the whole of the Network Shield.

I think I'll give this up for now. I only download one news source per week, and the prolem only arises when I am on the road, as I would normally use my desktop system to run the download (this has a different AV). It would have been nice to solve it, but I guess I can live with it.

So thanks to all of you who have taken the trouble to reply.

Mike
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Old 01-30-2013, 12:23 PM   #12
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CWatkinsNash, you mentioned "the AV that Microsoft offers as an optional install with Win 8". Would that be Windows Defender? That appears to be installed on the computer, but is not enabled (possibly because it knows that I have Avast running). Does anyone have any views on whether Windows Defender would be a good choice as an anti-virus program?

Mike
Windows Defender in Win 8 is not the same as the previous thing that MS called Defender. (I hate when they do that.) It's actually sort of a combination of the functionality of the "old" Defender and Microsoft Security Essentials. It's as unobtrusive as MSE and very well integrated into Win 8. It's what I use on my Win 8 laptop, and I've been using MSE on my Vista and Win 7 machines for a couple of years now.

I used to use Avast, but it got too "big" for me. I've never had any issues with MSE or "new" Defender, but it often comes down to preference. I don't usually do any high-risk browsing, but I haven't had any infections since I've been using them.
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Old 01-30-2013, 03:10 PM   #13
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Thanks for that. I might give Defender a spin when I get a moment. I only installed Avast because it was the first one I found when I was looking for an AV. I use AVG Free on my other machines, but the free version no longer seems to be available (as far as I can see).

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Old 01-30-2013, 03:48 PM   #14
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Old 01-30-2013, 04:25 PM   #15
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Thanks for that. I might give Defender a spin when I get a moment. I only installed Avast because it was the first one I found when I was looking for an AV. I use AVG Free on my other machines, but the free version no longer seems to be available (as far as I can see).

Mike
There is still a free version. There's a download link at:

http://free.avg.com/us-en/free-antivirus-download

However, the last time I messed with AVG (and gave up on it), it was a) bloated to the point where it seriously interfered with normal operations, even when not running a full scan, and b) nagware, of the kind the I expect AV software to prevent.
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