iChat completely broken with Netgear router [solved]

Recently (a couple weeks ago) an Apple software update made my iChat completely stop working. When I would sign on, no buddies would appear, and eventually it would flicker on and off repeatedly until AIM kicked me off with a too many sign on attempts error.
This thread solved it for me:
The solution was to log into my router’s setup page, click on WAN Setup, and click “Disable SPI Firewall”. Voila, that worked.

Other settings I tried that may work for you:
In WAN settings on the netgear page, uncheck “Respond to Ping on Internet Port” (mine was unchanged)
In UPnP on the netgear page some pages recommend turning UPnP on, but mine is off (try both). I will experiment later with whether this will affect audio/video conferences.
Delete the file ~/Library/Preferences/ (this will make you re-setup your account)
Delete the file ~/Library/Preferences/

Convert RealVideo .rm, Windows Media .wmv, youtube and google video Flash .flv files in OSX easily [solved]

I was pretty happy when ffmpegX could drag-and-drop convert my favorite DIVX, XVID, quicktime, VCDs, and other movie formats.
I got happier once I found out ffmpegX could play my favorite jackie chan movies with an imported subtitle file.
I was delighted to find out that with a combo of some firefox greasemonkey scripts, I could download flash video files from youtube and google video and convert them to whatever I format I want for editing later (imagine the video mashup possibilities!). (Use the mencoder codec, not the ffmpeg encoder, to successfully convert them.)
And I was just THRILLED to find out that ffmpegX can indeed convert my realvideo files, too! Looks like it can do some .wmv files too.
I cursed the day I chose to publish my videos for the web in realmedia format, only to watch real’s popularity decline and lose my original files and find out how hard (I thought) it was to decode my video from its locked .rm format. Drag and Dropping into the latest version of ffmpegX didn’t work at first, even though everything I’d read on the web said it should. Then I found this little goody on the ffmpegX downloads page:

If you want to encode from RealVideo sources with the mencoder engine, you should also install the reallibs package for ffmpegX 0.0.9u. This package is now optional because of its additional install complexity. First go on the Helix distribution page by clicking this link. From the list of builds you should select the latest “macos-gcc3-pb” / “All clients” link.

Aha! I had dug through their documentation and howto’s page looking for info but hadn’t thought to scroll down on their downloads page. Their conversion takes a special addition from Real’s open source Helix player library to work. The macos-gcc3-pb link they mentioned isn’t listed anymore, but they have a link that works, you just download it and copy the reallib folder to your /Library/Application Support/ffmpegX folder and you’re done!

Can ffmpegX do anything? Yes it can. Would I vote for it for president? Yes I would. Is it going in my dock? Yes it is. Am I going to pay the $15 registration fee, since it’s open source shareware and displays a reminder but doesn’t ever disable any of its functions, which is really nice of them? Yes I am.

Thank you ffmpegX!