Category: Technophilia

The case of the missing cache


There’s a strange thing happening with Google and my computer — the Cached and Similar pages links that accompany every search result is missing when I perform searches at home. But when I’m in the office, Google returns results with those links in tact.

I tried just a whole slew of different search terms to find whether someone else has run across this same problem. I finally used "google cache similar pages missing result" and came across this this thread on an Apple discussion board.

I haven’t tried deleting my cookies yet, but I will when I get home.

[UPDATE 4/20/06] Yes, as a matter of fact, you do have to delete your cookies to get the cached and similar links back. So that begs the question — where the hell was this cookie set in the first place?

Help the help


I don’t know how this happened.

One day, my help files refused to launch. Anytime I clicked on a CHM, nothing happened. I don’t know at what point it stopped working, and I don’t know what I installed to make it stop working.

Thing is, the components to launch a CHM file are part and parcel of the Windows operating system — there isn’t really an easy way to reinstall that particular portion of the OS without reinstalling the entire OS.

And my Googlefu was failing me — I don’t remember the search term I used to find a forum post that actually had a workable suggestion.

Continue reading »

Lasers and mirrors


I heard about this game a long time ago (damn you Metafilter), but I didn’t get around to playing it till this week. Oh. My. Goofness. I am addicted. Addicted! And I’m determined to get through all the levels. I was so stumped by level 17, I found some spoilers. Shh!

Update: I managed to get through all 25 levels, and I only punked out of two of them. That is, I looked at the spoilers. But two out 25 — that’s pretty good. I managed to figure out the rest of them. That’s good, right?



In the past few weeks, I’ve noticed Hotmail — or rather, the Passport Network which handles Hotmail logins — has been incredibly temperamental. This morning, I had a tough time getting responses from Passport whenever I tried to do something in Hotmail — from checking my inbox to clearing out the junk mail box.

I’ve also noticed the signout page from Hotmail goes days without updates. After Hurricane Rita had passed, the big story on that signout page was the hurricane making landfall.

Oddly enough, remains fully updated. Between system updates that break computers and now musty content, is it more proof of rot?

Crippling updates — install now!


Just when I thought I found the Windows Update that crashed my system, it turns out there are four others that could have done the same. To wit, all five:

I’m not sure what it was about my system to cause any failures, and I’ll only blame age of the machine only so far. But five so-called “critical” updates that end up crippling a computer instead? Maybe Microsoft really is rotting.

Windows fix breaks machine. Go figure.


[This entry was edited because I was ragging on the wrong update.]

I mentioned how my old system reboots right before showing a login prompt. It turns out my system was failing at that point, and Windows was (stupidly) configured to reboot automatically upon a system failure.

Hard to diagnose a problem when the system acts in denial. I’ve since disabled that option.

After rolling back my Windows installation a few times, I determined it was one of the Windows updates that was causing the failure.

Continue reading »

An open letter to software GUI programmers


Dear Software GUI Programmers,

Please remember this rule when setting the colors of your user interface: if you specify a background color, you must also specify a foreground color.

In my efforts to reinstall software on my system this past weekend, I encountered a number of installer scripts and interfaces where white text was placed against a white background, or black text against a black background. Why? Because I set the default colors on my system to white-on-black, not black-on-white.

White backgrounds hurt my eyes, which is why none of my web sites have light backgrounds. So I changed my system to suit my need.

Unfortunately, most developers aren’t so vigilant. When you force your software to use white text, you can’t assume your user’s system will provide a dark background. Same goes for dark text.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve had to switch back and forth between schemes, just to use an application. It’s the first lesson of programming — assume your user will give bad input.

Two reasons


I’ve been neglectful of 日々の本 and way behind in stocking up reviews for two reasons.

First, I’ve spent at least an hour a night accompanying myself with a bunch of Shiina Ringo and UA songs. (Plus one Cocco song.) That’s the hour I would usually spend pulling entries out of my ass.

Second, is this.

804EFAE6 at 804000 — WTF?


On the morning after I returned from my trip to Hawai`i, I encountered a Windows 2000 error that made my computer reboot over and over and over again.

I let it reboot a few dozen times just to piece together the error message. All I managed to grab was “KMODE_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED, 0x0000001E (0xC0000005, 0x804EFAEG, 0x00000000, 0x00000000)”, something about ntoskrnl.sys, and something or other an error at “804EFAE6 at 804000”.

Evidently, no one else has every encountered this problem because Google returned no results for “804EFAE6“. If someone knows how I can decipher this error message, please let me know.

I reinstalled Windows 2000 — and because it overwrote the Registry, all my programs — but I never found out what was wrong in the first place.