Monday, March 28, 2011

Just Say NO to Adobe

I recently encountered a poor soul who was suffering from mysterious system crashes on his Macbook. It appears related to the interaction of the Mac and Adobe Flash player.
"It's a problem arising in the interaction of the OS 10.6 operating system and the Adobe Flash player."
I contributed my words of wisdom in the form "Just say no to Flash." Yeah, I know, you really can't since so many things depend on it like YouTube - but it's the spirit of the right answer. "Just say no to Adobe" is even more correct.

Tonight I discovered that I could no longer save Adobe Acrobat *.pdf files to one of my directories. A very clear message appearing in Adobe Acrobat version 10: "The disk you were saving to or the disk used for temporary files is full. Free some space on this disk and try again or save to a different disk."

Well, that's fine. Except there's plenty of space. A permissions problem? Nope. Thank God for Google. Here we discover that Adobe Acrobat won't save to a catalog/file string that is more than 100 characters long. Really? And this problem has only been around for 3 years or so. Nice product.

(Next Day's update) Well, I backed out Adobe Reader version 10 and installed version 9.4 Problem solved. Apparently, when advancing to version 10, Adobe reinstalled their 100 character limit problem in the product. Never live on the leading edge!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Windows 7 Unknown Network

I bought a new Dell Inspiron 1545 in December of 2010 before our last winter trip to Egypt. (See my travel blog for that story!) It functioned just fine there on a 3G network and at various other places around the world and at home. I only used it occasionally though and finally got around to starting to make it my regular laptop in late March of 2011.

About two days into that process, while working on shared files on my home network, I started getting the "Unknown Network" icon on my network connection and a failure to connect through to the Internet.

I researched the issue. WOW! Some of the damnedest, weirdest solutions that I have ever seen for any problem!

None of them made any sense. But then I got suspicious. My computer had shipped from Dell with one of the worst viruses known to all Computerdom. It's called the McAfee virus! Here are some of the things it will do:
And those are just a few of its many evil symptoms.

So I removed McAfee from my system. Guess what? Unknown Network issue solved! WOO-HOO.

Sometimes these problems are so easy to fix you wonder why you didn't think of the solution earlier.

And, yes, Norton is on the same list as McAfee in my book. They got there about twelve years ago when the previous year's version expired on January 1 and the new version locked up my system.