Showing posts with label fail. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fail. Show all posts

Thursday, August 18, 2011

There, Their...

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Google+: Why... So... Serious??

I just tried to use Google's +1 feature, but inexplicably saw red, an exclamation point icon appeared instead of the usual cheerful blue +1. Upon clicking this, I was greeted with the following:
Your profile is currently suspended
Until your profile is unsuspended, you will be unable to create +1's.


Initially this smacked of the kind of shit I've experienced on Yahoo Answers, where a profile you might invest a lot of time and effort in gets suspended because you post a controversial answer that a bunch of people dislike and report to indulge their passive aggressive tendencies. A closer look at my profile revealed this additional clarification.
Your profile is suspended

After reviewing your profile, we determined that the name you provided violates our Community Standards.

If you believe that your profile has been suspended in error, please provide us with additional information via this form, and we will review your profile again.

Google's rules provided this additional tidbit:
Display Name
To help fight spam and prevent fake profiles, use the name your friends, family, or co-workers usually call you. For example, if your full legal name is Charles Jones Jr. but you normally use Chuck Jones or Junior Jones, either of these would be acceptable.

Google+ is still being tested so to me this is no biggie, but it is an annoyance. Some people might not want to use their real name, some might want to create a profile with a fake name for their cat, dog, business, narwhal, whatever.

They have provided the option to provide optional verification in the form of a photo ID...

Additional Verification Information (Optional Section)

Attach a copy of your ID with your name and photo clearly visible. You can block out other personal information. Your ID will only be used to verify your name and will be deleted after review.

I chose not to pursue this option, since I know who I am and I feel Google needn't know more than whom I've presented through my online persona. Facebook, certainly, doesn't mind...

Hopefully Google will unclench their social networking buttcheeks and let people have some latitude in terms of naming their profiles.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Windows 7 Service Pack 1 Boot Failure

Windows 7 SP1 has been released, but upon installing it, I found my system no longer boots into Windows. I get the BLACK screen of death, with the cursor flashing helplessly in the upper-left corner and no hard drive activity.

The dreaded BLACK screen of death, complete with animated cursor!

There were no obvious issues during the installation of the service pack, so I'm going to try using the BOOTREC utility in the Windows Recovery Environment in case some aspect of the service pack install, or some weird twist of fate, decided to damage the master boot record rendering my system unusable, for now.

Please feel free to share your own Windows 7 SP1 experience, whether good, bad, or ugly!

-= UPDATE =-

As I inserted my Windows 7 disc and rebooted, ready to attempt a repair through the recovery environment, I remembered something.

Before updating to Windows 7 SP1, I made a change on my system to enable AHCI (Advanced Host Controller Interface), which enables two of the best features of SATA, hot swapping and native command queueing. I'd just recently replaced the last of my old IDE hard drives and went full SATA.

To see whether this made a difference, I entered my system BIOS and changed the setting for "Configure SATA as" from IDE to AHCI, and then rebooted.

No more black screen
, my system successfully booted into Windows! 

Here are the steps I'd used originally to enable AHCI:
  1. Exit all Windows-based programs.
  2. Click Start, type regedit in the Start Search box, and then press ENTER.
  3. If you receive the User Account Control dialog box, click Continue.
  4. Locate and then click the following registry subkey:


  5. In the right pane, right-click Start in the Name column, and then click Modify.
  6. In the Value data box, type 0, and then click OK.
  7. On the File menu, click Exit to close Registry Editor.

I stumbled upon a Microsoft support article (922976) which is slightly different in that it specifies an additional registry key that may be modified in order to enable AHCI.


In my system's registry, the subkey value for Msahci I had changed to 0, but IastorV was still set to its default value, 3. I changed the latter so that both subkey values are set to 0, then rebooted, entered the BIOS, and this time changed the SATA setting from IDE back to the desired AHCI, saved changes, and rebooted once more.

Now, my system appears to be back to normal.
From this troubleshooting misadventure, it seems like the question of whether Windows 7 service pack 1 may want just ONE of those two registry subkey values set to 0 is no longer a question but a fact as far as AHCI goes.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Capture the Flag FAIL

Back in the days of Jedi Academy for the PC, I enjoyed playing capture the flag (CTF) games with a passion.

One game had me in pursuit of the enemy flag carrier, a guy named Skooby. As the screencap below shows, I loosed a blaster bolt at him just as he's inches away from capturing the flag.

The result...?!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wolfram Alpha on Sarah Palin

Almost a year ago, I managed to confound Wolfram Alpha with a long series of consecutive divide by zero calculations.

This time, in a process known colloquially as dicking around I found a way to confound Wolfram Alpha with a secret weapon. Sarah Palin.

"Computation timed out."

The input consists of an HTML hyperlink extracted from's product page for Sarah Palin's semenal work. I'm certain Wolfram Alpha wasn't intended to handle such input, but it's interesting nevertheless to see how it reacts when you throw something so absurd at it.

Wolfram Alpha also cheekily notes that the ISBN of "Going Rogue" is "an odd number." Indeed!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Wolfram Alpha - Divide By Too Many Zeros?

I seem to have inadvertently discovered a way to make Wolfram Alpha unavailable to me, at least for a little while.

At first I input a typical divide by zero, 1/0, it returned quickly enough with the expected response.

Then through the miracle of copy-and-paste I input the following into the search box:


In response, I eventually got this back:

"This Wolfram|Alpha Server is temporarily unavailable."

I guess as far as Wolfram Alpha goes, if you can't dazzle it with brilliance...