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Reasons that normal people install Google Chrome

A quick reference for every stuck-up web app developer who can’t be bothered to support even the latest version of Internet Explorer:

No. 1. Didn’t untick the box when installing Adobe Reader or some other crap that Google have paid to push installs.

No. 2. Home page of world’s most popular search engine tells them it will make their Internet faster:

"ooh, faster intarwebs!"

No. 3. It was installed for them by a techie relative who was screaming about IE only being good for downloading other browsers.


No. 28: They were accosted by the EEA Browser Choice update and Google was the only name they’d heard of.

No. 1564: They made an active choice to install Google Chrome to take advantage of its superior HTML5 support.

Got it? Good. Because the next time you tell me that the reason so many people are moving away from Internet Explorer is because of HTML5 support, I will print off your email 100 times, screw those 100 copies into a giant ball, drive to your office, and cram it into a very uncomfortable place.

Google not loading first time in IE11 via a web proxy on Windows 8.1? Turn off SPDY support.

Update 14/03/14: According to Microsoft, this problem is fixed in the March 2014 Cumulative security update for Internet Explorer. However, I was able to immediately reproduce the problem even after the update was installed, so the below still applies as far as I’m concerned.

As my former boss Bond once said, “If you’re going to live on the cutting edge, you’ve got to expect some blood”. One of the many joys of being an early adopter is finding stupid bugs before everyone else, and so as I began wide-scale testing of Windows 8.1 at my school, we found this one.

In a nutshell, pretty much every time we tried to load www.google.com in Internet Explorer 11, we got a “This page can’t be displayed” message, yet the site would inexplicably load fine just by clicking refresh. We saw the same with other Google sites such as Gmail and Google Drive – but most sites seemed immune. Both the desktop and Modern UI versions of IE were affected.

Like most schools, our web access goes via an HTTP proxy so that content not suitable for the 5 year-old cherubs can be filtered out. We use Smoothwall, which is one of the better filtering products out there, but so many applications are not designed with proxy support in mind that it does occasionally cause problems. It’s very rare for any mainstream browser to have a problem with proxies, but when I bypassed it, the problem immediately went away. What was more curious was that we were already running Internet Explorer 11 on our Windows 7 workstations too, and they didn’t have any problems.

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Enabling Dvorak for the Windows 8.1 on-screen keyboard

Dvorak keyboard layout in Windows 8.1

I’ve always been curious about the Dvorak keyboard layout, but the difficulty (and expense) of finding a quality keyboard to try it with has meant I never actually have tried it.

Then it occurred to me: I only ever use the on-screen keyboard on my Microsoft Surface (since I was too cheap to buy a type cover), and that can be remapped fairly simply:

The result:

Dvorak in IE 11

It’s safe to say you develop a new found appreciation for auto-complete immediately after turning it on. I am now taking bets on how long it takes me to switch back (place your bet on the back of a £50 note to the usual address). If nothing else, it certainly gives you an insight into how difficult children find using a QWERTY keyboard for the first time…

Dear Windows team

I know the Sound Recorder program  in Windows 7 isn’t something you probably spent much time on, but here’s a tip: flooding the Event log with 18 messages per second due to an invalid pointer exception you couldn’t be bothered to handle properly is not very helpful when I’m trying to troubleshoot.

Sound Recorder 0x80004003

Please learn to use exception handling properly, and while you’re at it, build in a counter check to make sure you aren’t writing 79,000 messages to the event log in a single session.

Love and kisses,
AngryTechnician

Office 2013 error: “Sorry, we are having some temporary server issues” – fix it by clearing a key in the registry

Update 27/02/14: Microsoft have released Service Pack 1 for Office 2013, and still does not contain a fix for the below issue.

Recently we began using Office 365 accounts with the Office 2013 desktop suite, and during a roll-out session for staff, almost everyone in the room got this error message when trying to load the sign-in screen for their Office 365 account for the first time:

Sorry, we are having some temporary server issues. Try again. Cancel.

“Sorry, we are having some temporary server issues.”

The error occurred even before asking for any login details, and a quick check of our Internet access logs revealed that Word wasn’t even attempting to contact a server. I hadn’t seen this during testing, and we couldn’t work past the error when we encountered it, so the roll-out session was a bust. To say I was irritated is somewhat of an understatement.

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Another way to scan DVB channels: w_scan

This is part of my series of articles on converting digital broadcast TV to IPTV: click here for the other articles in the series.

In previous articles, I’ve given examples of scanning for DVB channels using the scan utility in Linux. However, when I tried doing a channel scan yesterday, it refused to work:

angry-admin@dvb:~$ sudo scan ~/uk-CrystalPalace -u
scanning /home/local-admin/uk-CrystalPalace
using '/dev/dvb/adapter0/frontend0' and '/dev/dvb/adapter0/demux0'
initial transponder 490000000 0 3 9 1 0 0 0
initial transponder 514000000 0 2 9 3 0 0 0
initial transponder 545833330 0 2 9 3 0 0 0
initial transponder 506000000 0 3 9 1 0 0 0
initial transponder 482000000 0 3 9 1 0 0 0
initial transponder 530000000 0 3 9 1 0 0 0
>>> tune to: 490000000:INVERSION_AUTO:BANDWIDTH_8_MHZ:FEC_3_4:FEC_AUTO:QAM_16:TRANSMISSION_MODE_2K:GUARD_INTERVAL_1_32:HIERARCHY_NONE
WARNING: >>> tuning failed!!!

I got a lot more tuning failed!!! messages after that, and no scan results. I’m not sure exactly what is causing this yet, but somebody else in the UK noticed this too, and suspects it began right after a very recent transmitter retune. Luckily, he also had a solution: use a different scanning tool.
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Dear iWork users

Stop sending your stupid Pages files to people via email.

Some of us use computers for actual work and not just dicking around, so we have Windows computers. Even those die-hard Mac users who actually do work on them tend to install OpenOffice or buy Office for Mac, rather than use iWork.

I’m tired of trying to convert your documents for you because our staff have no idea what to do with them, so either sort your Mac out with a proper office suite or BUY A REAL COMPUTER.

Love and kisses,
AngryTechnician

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