When you first install Google Chrome in Windows 7 x64, it doesn't work. It installs. It runs. But it doesn't actually display anything. I've found several fixes for the problem, but they're not complete. They only work if you launch Chrome from its icon.
The fix for launching Chrome from its icon:
- Right click the icon and select Properties
- Select the Shortcut tab
- Add a space and --in-process-plugins to the Target field, after …\chrome.exe"
- Click OK
It's a pretty simple fix, but it works; however, it does have one disadvantage. If Chrome is not already open, opening a link from another program (if Chrome is your default web browser) or from Open With doesn't work. It's not a big deal, but after a few times, it can get on your nerves.
To completely resolve the problem requires a few changes to the registry. Essentially, we're applying the same fix to four locations in the registry with one minor change. The registry commands to launch Chrome contain additional arguments.
Each key needs to be changed from looking like
…\chrome.exe" -- "%1"
…\chrome.exe"--in-process-plugins -- "%1"
The registry keys to change:
When I sat down at my computer today, it had rebooted on it's own during the night. When I logged in, Windows 7 notified me it had recovered from a crash. Then I noticed I was staring at a default profile. All of my settings and data were missing.
Upon further investigation, a new profile had been created in C:\Users\TEMP. At first, I thought maybe something had been corrupted in the profile and it was creating a new one. I've seen it happen as far back as Windows 2000. It's a pain, but that type of error is possible to recover data from by forcing it to recreate the profile in the right place. The first step of which, is logging off.
After logging into the other account on the computer, the TEMP profile had completely disappeared. When I logged back into my account, my settings and data had returned, though the system was running a bit sluggish.
A reboot later, everything was back to normal. I suspect this is a debugging feature, but I can't be certain. I thought I would share my experience in case anyone else out there experiences a similar problem.
The weather outside is getting hotter, and all those lovely air conditioners are sucking the power right out of my computers… It happens every year.
So far this year, it happened twice… within 24 hours. I learned long ago to live by the words "save early, save often," but losing 10-30 minutes of work is still 10-30 minutes of work.
At my last job, I had a UPS on my workstation. It was the same one the servers were plugged into, a side effect of having them directly behind my desk.
However, since last summer, I've been working from home and no longer have that benefit. I didn’t' have the money last year to go out and buy a big enough UPS to sustain me, so I lived with it. I probably lost power a dozen or so times in 12 months. Very annoying.
This year, I'd had enough (and happened to have the money in my pocket at the time), so I went out and bought one after the second time. I ended up buying a GeekSquad brand UPS from Best Buy (which is really a CyberPower UPS with a different cover on it) because I didn't have quite enough on me to buy the equivalent unit from APC (a brand I know and love, at least on it's higher end products). We'll see how it does. I haven't had another outage to test it on, but it didn't seem to mind too much when I unplugged it to clean behind my desk earlier today.
I got another gigabyte of RAM for Spectre today. Now, hopefully, I won't have to watch the memory usage spike and the machine drag every time I switch between the 15-20 programs I have running at once. That's only a slight exaggeration, but Zend Studio and Photoshop both should count as 5 each.
I'm sitting at work on my lunch break looking at the stick of RAM as it sits on my desk. And I'm laughing to myself because there's not a single computer in the building that I can recall using DDR2. My work computer needs an upgrade, but I don't see that happening anytime soon.
I've been noticing a lot of problems with Wraith lately. First, it was a bad stick of RAM, then it started turning off by itself at random. The best I could figure out was that it was a bad power supply. All the signs were there. Luckily, I had a spare power supply lying around, or so I though.
I installed the spare power supply and when I went to connect the 4-pin connector to the motherboard, it wouldn't go in. I pulled it out and looked into the connector on the motherboard, and it looked like something was stuck in there. So I looked at the connector on the old power supply. I was suprised by what I found. I've never seen anything like that before.
The best I can figure out is that it shorted out at some point in time, but it looks like it had been that way for awhile. But after thinking about it some more, the only way I could imagine it shorting where it would do that is when it was installed. I hadn't installed the power supply in that case or motherboard. I blame Duck.
So here I was, left with a dilemma. I have my old P4 2.4 GHz processor and motherboard I could install, but it has problems too. It wouldn't support the 3.2 GHz P4 from Wraith either. So I went out and spent $300 I shouldn't have. But it was either that, or work from my laptop for a long time. That's just not acceptable.
So now, I have Spectre. On the bright side, Spectre has a dual core AMD Athlon 64 x2 3800+ and 1 GB of DDR2 RAM. It's a nice speed bump.
The downside of all of it was that I had to do a fresh install of Windows Vista. I'm posting from it now, but I've still got a lot of software to reinstall today.
The traditional method of distributing large files is to put them on a central server. Each client then downloads the file directly from the server. It's a gratifyingly simple approach, but it doesn't scale. For every download, the server consumes bandwidth equal to the size of the file. You probably don't have enough bandwidth to serve a large file to a large audience, and even if you did, your bandwidth bill would go through the roof. The larger the file, the larger the audience, the worse your bandwidth problem gets. It's a popularity tax.
With BitTorrent, you also start by placing your large file on a central server. But once the downloading begins, something magical happens: as clients download the file, they share whatever parts of the file they have with each other. Clients can opportunistically connect with any other client to obtain multiple parts of the file at once. And it scales perfectly: as file size and audience size increases, the bandwidth of the BitTorrent distribution network also increases. Your server does less and less work with each connected client. It's an elegant, egalitarian way of sharing large files with large audiences.
The part that really made me "oooh" and "aaaah" was the link to some source code for a visualization of how BitTorrent works. There's an animated gif in the article that shows part of it, but it really doesn't do the visualization justice. To remedy that, I've uploaded the java applet with the visualization so it can be seen in all it's glory.
This is getting ridiculous. Tuesday, when I came to work, my left monitor was dead. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. I had to replace it with an older monitor (which had been mine at one time) off a desk that is seldom used. It’s dark and can’t be adjusted to make it bright enough to use regularly. But it’s just usable enough to do something on.
Today, while I was talking to one of the salesmen, the right monitor died. It went fuzzy for a few seconds, then flickered, then finally went out completely. All this time, it was making odd popping sounds.
Now I have the problem of trying to steal someone else’s monitor so I can work. The LCD monitor I stole was from a not quite seldom used desk, but I can get away with it for the moment. But then I had to spend about 15 minutes getting the colors adjusted so it looked like it was supposed to. I ended up having to adjust the white point on the monitor funny to get it to be dark enough. It was just too bright.
All together, that makes three monitors that have died on me in the last 45 days. I haven’t been able to replace any of them. I’ve just had to keep stealing from where I could. This should finally force the issue so I can get replacements.
The world is random. Computers aren't. Randomness is really, really hard for computers. It's important to understand the ramifications of this big divide between the analog and digital world, otherwise you're likely to make the same rookie mistakes Netscape did.
The article provides a decent explanation of why random numbers are important for cryptography and why computers aren't any good at it. The biggest problem with using a computer as a random number generator is that they are designed for the opposite. They are made to provide the consistent results. To get true randomness, you have to "reach outside the computer".
After the mess that was fixing my car this weekend, my problems from yesterday were not a welcome addition. Monday morning, I was woken up at 9:30 by a call from work. One of the registers up front had crashed and wouldn't boot up again.
Tuesday, after I got to work, it was immediately apparent that it was a failed hard drive. It was receiving SMART errors and making clicking sounds instead of booting. Because it was a necessity to get it up and running quickly, I went down the street (in someone else's car) to get a new hard drive for it. I hadn't even bothered to check the warranty, because get a replacement that way would have taken too long. I've discovered since then that it doesn't matter anyway. The drive was 4 years old.
The rest of my morning, up until about 1:00 PM, was spent reinstalling Windows and the various programs required to make it work as a register on our system. But I kept being interrupted by a printer problem on the other register up front. At about 1:00, I took the almost finished register computer back up front to hook it up and install the printer drivers. But the fun didn't stop there.
As I was hooking it up, I discovered that our AS/400, that hosts most of our software, had crashed. I ran to the back to find out what was wrong. The UPS for the server was off. I turned it on and walked away. A minute later, I walked back by and it was off again. Every time I turned it back on, it would almost immediately shut back down. This wasn't going to work.
To bypass the problem and get us running again, I plugged the AS/400 directly into the wall. We have another UPS in the building, but it's already running 3 servers and doesn't have enough capacity to run the AS/400 as well.
Forty-five minutes later, after the AS/400 had booted back up, I was finally able to finish setting up the register computer. But then the other printer kept failing all day and it's hard to work on it when they're trying to use it. So for the last two hours, I rigged that register to use the printer from the newly rebuilt one that wasn't being used that day anyway.
This morning, I spent 30 minutes cleaning out the non-working printer. Once I could finally watch it failing to feed properly, it was apparent it was a mechanical problem. I converted it to feed from the front instead of the back after cleaning it, and it seems to be working fine now.
If my car hadn't started working yesterday, it would have been a complete disaster of a day.
As of last night, Goblin, my desktop at home, has taken a temporary leave of absence. It all started about a month ago when the computer caught a nasty virus. The worst part was watching it happen. It was one of those that installed several others in the process. For the next couple of weeks, I kept cleaning off more and more. Eventually, I got it clean, but it wasn’t the same. Every 2-12 hours, it would get a fatal exception and crash. Apparently, one of the drivers that didn’t want to identify itself had been corrupted. I tried several methods to recover it without reinstalling, but none of them worked. So for another week, I dealt with it rather than take the time to reinstall.
Last night, I finally got fed up enough with it to finally do something about the problem. Satyr, the Media Center computer in the living room had been having issues as well, although they seemed to all be software related. After some minor surgery, all of the memory and storage from Goblin, as well as the video card with dual monitor support, had been moved to Satyr, which had a faster processor. Through the whole process, I felt a little bit like a necromancer during this whole process, so Wraith seemed like an appropriate name. Perhaps I’ve just been playing too much Warmachine.
I learned an important lesson during this process. When using a shop vac to dust out your computer, always do so in a well ventilated area. I’d used it to vacuum out some of the dust, but that wasn’t getting enough of it, so I switched it to blow the dust out. By the end of it, the cloud of dust in my computer room was so thick I could barely see the other wall. I ended up coughing for an hour or two afterward.
Next, it needed an operating system. I’ve been enjoying running Vista RC1 at work, so I thought I would install RC2 at home. Unfortunately, there’d been a problem with the disk I’d burned of it and it wouldn’t install. So I thought, I’ll install Fedora Core 6, which I’d been wanting to try out anyway. If I’d have thought about it, I would have realized that might be a bad idea. Both of the disks had been burned the same day, on the same computer. It didn’t work either. And to make it worse, my good copy of XP was sitting on my desk at work.
After sitting there frustrated for about 20 minutes, I remembered having another copy of Vista RC2 that I thought had been bad. I figured at this point, it wouldn’t hurt to try it. Luckily, it installed just fine. After three hours of bullshit, I finally had a working computer again.