Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Mangone … from Bowen, Australia

(25 February 2014) The 10-meter  (30-foot)  Big Mango tourist attraction In  Bowen,  Queensland (Australia’s  mango-growing capital) went  missing overnight.

                 Before and After

Who would do such a thing, and why?

The  Brisbane Courier Mail seems to have got to the bottom of it  and soon, apparently, everything will be revealed.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Is there a way to eliminate the Notes 8.5.3 pre-load error? (J9THR24.dll is missing)

I want to keep Notes 8.5.3 running on one test system, and haven’t been able to eliminate that irritating boot-time error causing a problem with the nntspreld.exe task (the IBM Notes preloader). The follow dialog box keeps reappearing every time that you click  the OK button:


The only way to stop this is by  killing the task via Windows Task Manager.

I’ve tried the Notes installer’s “repair” option, quick enough but to no avail. Before spending more time (with no certainty of a good result) on doing an uninstall of Notes followed by a clean install, I thought that I’d ask the Notes community for assistance.

According to this Notes/Domino Fix List post (03 December 2010) the problem was supposed to be fixed by Notes 8.5.3 itself.

It’s puzzling that the fix list Technote tab indicates “There is no Lotus Support Services technote associated with this SPR right now. Please check again later.”

I’ve searched the  system for the supposedly missing DLL (J9THR42.dll) actually is present, it’s in the Notes\jvm\bin\ folder.

So why this error at boot time? My guess is that it’s some sort of Java PATH error, or something like that, but I may be way off the mark. Can anybody help me with this?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

What you think is right may actually be wrong – Inferring versus rationalising

Over at The Conversation there’s a thought-provoking new article (16 January 2014) about the process of thinking:

What you think is right may actually be wrong – here’s why

We like to think that we reach conclusions by reviewing facts, weighing evidence and analysing arguments. But this is not how humans usually operate, particularly when decisions are important or need to be made quickly.


We tend to prefer conclusions that fit our existing world-view, and that don’t require us to change a pleasant and familiar narrative. We are also more inclined to accept these conclusions, intuitively leaping to them when they are presented, and to offer resistance to conclusions that require us to change or seriously examine existing beliefs.

Go read the full article.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

A ship-shipping ship, shipping ships

Here’s one for New Year’s Day:

The title of the page at MajorGeeks was “Oh ship! A ship-shipping ship, shipping shipping ships.”

But -- compared with my blog title above (q.v.) -- I can’t quite follow why they wrote (after the comma) “shipping shipping ships” … Is the ship-shipping ship at bottom shipping some shipping-ships which in turn are themselves shipping ships?

Oh ship! It’s all too much  for me, after  last night’s celebrations. Perhaps somebody would explain the subtleties to me.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

99 Facts on The Future of Business - a MUST read for 2014 and beyond

Well, it’s the final day of the 2013 calendar year and a good time to consider what you should do for 2014 (and beyond).

I’d recommend that you mosey on over to SlideShare and look at 99 Facts on The Future of Business assembled from a wide range of sources by SAP:

Business Innovation is the key ingredient for growth in the future of business. Changes in technology, new customer expectations, a re-defined contract between employees and employers, strained resources, and business and social networks are requiring businesses to become insight-driven businesses.

In this presentation, we have gathered 99 facts that represent the changes taking place in the world today. Each facts represents a key insight and suggests where we need to focus and change to become viable, sustainable and growing future businesses.

Some of the slides present mind-boggling facts and statistics that should be relevant to planning for any organization, big or small (and not just businesses either), and even for us as individuals.

A few of the 99 factoids, taken at random:

  • 90% of all internet traffic in 2017 will be video (petabyte upon petabyte)
  • Data being stored is doubling every 18 months
  • Asian students account for 53% of all students studying abroad worldwide
  • 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels he or she is being treated
  • Tablet growth is more rapid than smartphone growth (3 time iPhone growth)
  • Small and Midsized Businesses (SMB) account for over 99% of all businesses in developed economies and 40-70% of value added in the economy (but are the least likely to sell online)


Friday, December 27, 2013

What could free software mean to a programmer?


From geek-and-poke.com … See other geeky cartoons there!

For more holiday season reading for programmers, take a look at this lengthy article at stackoverflow

What is the best comment in source code you have ever encountered?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

How to stop Windows task bar (system tray) icon tooltips being obscured

When parts of Microsoft Windows start behaving oddly or even completely stop operating it can be painful in the extreme trying to find a fix or a workaround.

Why not get support from Microsoft, you ask? Well, yes and no. Microsoft’s support website site is vast, and it’s a hit-and-miss affair to find any solution for your problem.

Success often lies with the vast user base of Windows -- in the hundreds of millions if not billions. If you’re persistent enough, sometimes more by chance more than anything else you’ll sooner or later find a forum or blog or a team of Windows specialists out there to help define and solve problem. In the early days of Windows this rarely happened, but these days it’s a lot more likely that you’ll hit the jackpot somewhere in the large community of Windows users..

The problem I’m discussing in this post occurred on some but not all of my Windows 7 systems, and happens on my Windows 8.0 desktop system yet not on Asus Slate touchscreen system (which also runs Windows 8.0).

Here’s the symptom: when I hover the mouse over an icon in the “system tray” -- more properly called the “notification area” -- the tooltips do not pop up on top, they are  partially (in some cases completely) obscured by the task bar. This equally applies to the pop-up panel that displays the so-called inactive icons.

I probably have quite a few more inactive icons than most people because I have tons of applications installed. Screenshot 1 shows the inactive icons panel being invoked on my desktop PC:


Once the above panel has opened, I found when I moved the mouse pointer to any one of the hidden (inactive) icons that each tooltip (pop-up help text) was always either partially or totally obscured by the panel (screenshot 2):


This has usually led me to move the mouse around the panel and hover it over different inactive icons, sometimes with the icon’s tooltip completely obscured, until by trial and error I came to the icon that I wanted to invoke at that time.

As I mentioned earlier in this post on some of my Windows systems this does not occur, so it’s pertinent to ask what causes this to happen and what can be done to get rid of the annoyance.

To cut a long story short, after several hours of research spread over some days (because it took me a while to determine some potential solutions and test them all).

The only success I had was in using one of the freeware utilities from Nir Sofer’s  bountiful website.

The tool of choice to download for fixing this problem is NirCmd which is a command-line utility having virtually a million-and-one divergent uses. The 32-bit and 64-bit NirCmd downloads are near the bottom of that page, as is the following link to the NirCmd Full Help File.

In my case, after extracting the command from its zip container I moved it into the C:\UTILS folder (adjust the example below to match your own choice of folder).

There’s a big pile of text in the NirCmd help file. The command variant that we’ll be using is settopmost to set the topmost state of a Windows form such as the task bar or the inactive task bar icons panel. (See here and here and here for some background about  the topmost state for a form.)

Since it is inconvenient to repetitively run NirCmd from a command-line [via a DOS command prompt window[, I decided to create a BAT file (in the UTILS folder, which is in my system PATH environment variable) called TooltipsFixer.bat which contained the following:

@echo Tooltips should no longer be obscured by the Task Bar ...
C:\UTILS\nircmd.exe win settopmost class "tooltips_class32" 1

Then I created a shortcut to the TooltipsFixer.bat file and placed it in a convenient place for repetitive use.

That’s because the problem keeps cropping up, therefore I need to run this BAT file most times that I access the inactive icons panel. One of the other solutions launches a Windows service that runs in the background and does away with the need to repeatedly correct the problem, which would be nice, but it didn’t work for me.

Now I merely double-click on this shortcut to rectify the problem and force the tooltips to display in front of the task bar, and in front of the inactive icons panel.

Problem solved. I’m still rather peeved that this issue cropped up in the first place, and wonder why it affects some systems yet not others (anybody know why?).

Google’s Blogger/BlogSpot commenting can “go cactus” on you

Today I kept failing to add a comment to one of my very own blog posts at Google’s BlogSpot (blogger.com). It had “gone cactus” on me, to use an Aussie term.

It was for the first time in a while, and hadn’t ever had this problem before. I was properly logged in with my Google account, typed a response, but whenever I clicked on the Submit button nothing appeared to happen, repeatedly.

After messing around for some time managed to get it working again by editing my Blogger profile and changing one of the commenting options:


The comments had been set to be “Embedded” which shouldn’t have been problematic but apparently was. I tried the up window” setting, but to no avail.

However when I altered the Comment Location setting to “Full page” the issue was resolved (I was again able to add comments to posts),

I’m using Firefox 25.0.1 browser running on 64-bit Windows 8.0 if that’s relevant (probably isn’t).

What caused all this is beyond me, but it worked and that’s all that I’m interested in. And perhaps the same Comment Location setting change will work for other BlogSpot users too.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

I was going to delay writing this, but here it is anyway …

What’s the difference between ignorance and apathy?
   ANSWER: I don’t know, and I don’t care!

It’s been one of those days for me, when random thoughts come flooding in for no apparent reason.

Well, perhaps it’s all been triggered by my reading the following article:
  Putting it off: some ideas about why we procrastinate

Go read it yourself – if you can be bothered. Else put it off until mañana.

And as we know from the famous Peggy Lee song of 1948, mañana is soon enough