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Take a Running Leap

Filed under: General — 19day @ 21:49:13

I really don’t like February that much, it seems that bad things happen in February. That’s probably just because I pay more attention during the month. This time around it was particularly bad, but not for the usual reasons.

The start of the problems goes back a few years, but probably further still. Being the loveless loner that I am, I probably always disliked valentines day. But one February several years back I experienced quite the heartache. I have generally let go of that, but I still mark the day in my head. Sitting here, I can’t actually remember the specific day, but the month is known. One day maybe I’ll let the month go unremarked.

I had it happen again years later, again in a February (not that I really paid attention to the month at the time, but some time later I realized that it all happened in That Month Again). That one, if anything, was worse than the first time. It’s hard to know what to say.

So this February was probably one of the first Februaries that I actually entered feeling a sense of dread, what could happen this time? I had no personal life to speak of, so could it be one of those again?

Rather unfortunately, this time it was alllll about work. I don’t want to go into details, but work went basically about as bad as I could expect without actually being asked to resign or something (which is probably a failure of imagination on my part). It just seemed to keep coming and coming, and that took out most of the first half of the month. Valentines day came and went and didn’t improve things. The snow in Toronto made things particularly trying, having slept at work one night after staying until 2am hoping a storm would dissipate. I also failed to have a zero-fall winter.

Of course, it had to be a leap year, making the month a day longer than the common year. Things were calming down, no snow for a while, the last week was nearly done, and then found out that a co-worker, Cynthia, was leaving the company. It’s pretty sad really, she was part of what we unashamedly call the lunch-posse (but not to other people, and not to each other), and she was very nice to work with, and most importantly, patient with us QA.

And to top it off, one of my other dev friends is off on a month long vacation, I’m going to run out of people at work I can talk to… but that starts in March so I guess that doesn’t count as a Feb complaint.

And of course, the ride home was kind of sucky, as it snowed once more.

My dislike of February is in no danger of stopping.


Microsoft Dead Messenger

Filed under: General — 19day @ 09:44:26

How hard is it, exactly, to have a simple, lean, stable instant messaging client. ICQ had it for years and years, it worked quite well, but then it seemed two things happened. First people started existing on MSN alone and not in duality with ICQ (meaning I had to have both installed and running) and then ICQ seemed to make incredibly bloated and crappy versions and had no end of issues, (meaning everyone startd to migrate, mostly to MSN).

So now Messenger, now Live Messenger, is sort of a vital tool, most of my friends are on it, well, I guess I rarely use it despite being always connected, but that should mean I’m not doing ‘crazy’ stuff and it should just work, right?

Well, I’ve been having an issue on and off where the unread email count, according to messenger, was always 1. I could click on the button and go to my hotmail and see that there were, in fact, no messages, but that didn’t matter to messenger, always 1 mystery message outstanding. Over the months, I got used to it, whenever it read 2, that’s when I knew, ah, I have a new message.

So this morning, I look, and it says 4, hmm, busy night. I click on it… 2 new messages in my hotmail inbox. I read them, and now the unread count reads 2. Oh christ, it’s getting bigger.

I look online for a bit, and see many other people have had this problem, and microsoft doesn’t seem to think anything of it. Someone suggests closing out messenger completely and logging in again (I have only signed in and out at this point). So I signout and restart messenger and try to log in again…

You cannot use MSN Messenger at this time because your contact list is not available. Please try again later.
Click Help to learn more about your contact list. 81000378

What? I try again, nope. I look at the help on it, “check connectivity”, fine, I run their internal check, all pass. I check the MSN network status, apparently everything is up and running (but since it says that even during outtages that make the mainstream news, I don’t really trust it anyway) So I remote into my work computer, sign out of my work account and in again… fine. I sign out again and in as my personal account… still fine. Back at my home computer, I try logging into my work account…. same… error.

Shit, then it really is my computer.. or something, but nothing has changed. So I look at more help, people suggest all sorts of stuff, including one MS had suggested to me in the past: signing off and shutting down messenger, and clearing the caches, and signing in again. So I shut down the program, found the contact caches, killed them, and started messenger again. I sign in, no joy.

So then looking online somemore, people seem to have experienced this problem for months and Microsoft doesn’t seem to know what’s going on with that one either. One person suggested signing in through webmessenger, and then go back to the client one. Web Messenger signs in no problem, client one… 81000378. Another suggestion was to install the latest version. I already had a pretty recent version, but I thought I’d try.

I download their little downloader (I hate the trend now that users can’t be allowed to download the thing they actually want to install, but must be forced to download something that can download it for them) and it says it’s upgrading my current one. When it says it’s done, I try to login…. 81000378. Now quite angry, I just go and use Add/Remove programs (since Live doesn’t appear to have it’s own uninstaller) and uninstall Live messenger, the sign-in assistant which I never actually saw an icon or any way to run it, and of course the installation of the windows live installer, which I cannot fathom why it itself has an installation record. After it’s all gone, I go back to the msn messenger website, decline all the extra crap it would want to install on my computer for a second time, and download the downloader.

As it installs messenger again, I go to the bathroom to get ready for work. When I return, the installation has failed. For what reason? It doesn’t feel like telling me, other than that I can try again later. I click that button, and it launched a browser or something back to msn’s site. I close it all and run the installer again off the desktop, and install again, while I watch.

This time it succeeds, and launches messenger, I put in my login credentials, and finally am able to log in. It’s a pity that the new MSN looks like crap.. maybe I changed the colours on my old install. And, mercifully, 0 new emails.

Anyway, this ends the tale of me trying to get something to work at all. Join me in a couple of days when I try to install new RAM into my computer, will they turn out to be long crackers? Will my computer POST and just spin the memory check. Until next time. Same crap time. Same crap channel.

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