software

Photoshop modal dialogue bug

Ridiculous bug in Photoshop (CS4).  If you try to load a batch script, the default location appears to be Desktop, and if you happen to have an alias to a server volume there which youʼre not currently connected to (e.g. networkingʼs off or youʼre not at the office etc.) it has a completely modal dialogue box with no cancel button or option to change location, which halts everything and just comes up every thirty seconds or so saying this server canʼt be connected to.  The only solution seems to be to force-quit and move your server volume aliases.  This is the kind of thing that makes me want to go back to pre-CS Photoshop and never return.  Lower processor temperatures too...  I have no idea whether it persists in later Photoshops and I donʼt plan to submit to a licensing scheme to find out.  So Iʼm using the GIMP for the purpose.

some data recovery

an experience of recovery from Postgresql database files

Ooh weirdness.

I had a significant drive failure a few weeks ago during backup, which managed to take out both the source and destination drives.  OK I should be rotating backups to avoid this problem, check that for the future.  Amongst the files was the most-recent-state postgres, and this is tricky.  I could have restored from the last dump, but thanks to a months-long bout of illness this was a bit behind.

Default to Home

OhhhhhFFs.  Oafs.  What happened to Firefox?  Not surprising its market share has crumbled away, thereʼs so much wrong with it since about version 18 (or 5?) ... seems now there is no longer any option to really set the default encoding recognition to UTF-8, which means FF canʼt be made to work as a convenient tool to view plain page fragments any more – unless youʼre a Windows-using American, addressing only that part of the domestic Anglo audience which has never had any exposure to either traditional typography or emoji, to take two examples.  How many of that remainder can even read ASCII I couldnʼt say, but thatʼs the market segment Mozilla are catering to here.

Apparently this default is now set in Gecko, and so canʼt be changed in FF about:config.  You could recompile it, presumably, if you really wanted to.  Oh, and adding a BOM doesnʼt trigger recognition, and the menu option retains the UTF-8 setting on reload even though the display is mojibake – not interpreted as requested.  And changing locale doesnʼt make any difference.

Seriously, Mozilla, if you donʼt want people to be able to view fragments and text files, donʼt allow FF to open anything without an HTML header.  Then your project can just die off quietly and you can all go home and find something useful to do.  <angry dinosaur emoticon placeholder>

tell me about it

That worked.  :-)

snapshot of email with preset title for spambots

Anyone who wants to post a comment or contact for other nonspamming reasons can do so by selecting a different ‘category’ from the menu.  This wonʼt catch every spammer but the botsʼll need to be programmed to read.  Should work for a few months?

 

Update 2014-10-26: One got through yesterday.  Ah well.

reasons to switch

One more reason to switch to a normal BSD or Linux.  OSX (10.5, and I donʼt know if fixed in 10.{6,}) makes hard links difficult to use.

Situation:  I have one stylesheet file to be used in multiple ePUB files.  I develop ePUBs with a web browser (in current practice, Safari).  Hmmm ... Safari doesnʼt read MacOS aliases.  Actually I remember that coming up with web browsers before.  It does read symlinks or hard links, good.  But the Finderʼs contextual menu compress command doesnʼt include symlinked files.  Oh well, use hard linking.  Errr...

drupal overlay i kill you

Iʼve turned off the Drupal Overlay system.  One too many times of the big problem.

The small problem is that itʼs slow.  (Isnʼt javascript always slow?)

trust me iʼm a writer

(This article – which contains an illustrative range of ‘profane’ terms – started out as a tangent in an upcoming post, but has grown too large – so here itʼs by itself.)

The author of a fiction website I like to keep up with has a proposal for a simple ‘rating’ scheme for websites to declare their suitability for age and sensitivity of readers.  (It may be based on the US film industryʼs rating scheme, not sure.)  The system is used on-site, normally rated ‘all welcome except those with uptight parents’, but the author found it necessary a few years ago to supersede that with an age-14 limit for one story.  She had decided to use stronger language, and make it more honestly (rather than cartoonishly) violent than usual.

I believe the idea here is that you try to reassure the parents of some of your possible audience that children are safe with you (most of the time anyway).  And fair enough.  Trouble is, if I was a parent, I wouldnʼt trust authorsʼ self certification – even if I thought access restrictions were all that useful in the first place.  Itʼs much like the content description meta tags we learned to distrust years ago.  They may be useful, but Iʼd want independent content rating, based on an actual examination.  Of course I would also want it to be genuinely independent and objective, which may be hard.  I fear many parents, and self-appointed advisors of parents, just want the appearance of safety measures, irrespective of practicality.

I also fear that, though I am no longer fresh in the world, some people and organisations seem interested in managing my access for me.  The increasingly alien UK government, for one, have decided that the UK population will have access restrictions by default, and enforced by social stigma.

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