Posts Tagged ‘error message’

Strange Firefox Errors

October 19, 2009

Most of the time Mozilla Firefox is a very reliable and fast web browser. So I was very surprised to see this error dialog box pop up on my screen.

Firefox Addons May Be Causing Problems

Firefox Addons May Be Causing Problems

I don’t know what the Windows Presentation Foundation is and I have never knowingly installed it. It sounds like a Microsoft product. I clicked on the “More Information” link and got something even more confusing:

This Connection is Untrusted

This Connection is Untrusted

This seems to be some sort of localization failure. I think I told Firefox (or maybe Windows XP) that I use British English. So it was having trouble checking access to the GB version of mozilla.com. That’s Firefox’s own maker!

The warnings were ambiguous but worrying so I decided to take the “Get me out of here!” option. I feared it could have been some fiendishly clever spoofing attack and en-gb.www.mozilla.com is a bad site. It does look like a strange address.

I tried “More Information” a second time with the same result.

I restarted Firefox as it requested to disable the Windows Presentation Foundation and everything seems to be working okay.

Another proof, as if more was needed, that computers in general and PCs in particular are far too complex. Why did Firefox need a secure http (https) connection to show me that information in the first place?

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Lightroom – Another Disk Operation is in Progress

August 27, 2009

Lightroom Warning

This is pretty lame:

Another disk operation is in progress. Please wait until the previous disk operation ends and retry.

This is the 21st Century Adobe! Companies mastered concurrent disk access decades ago. Why can’t you?

Note this only comes up some of the time. In this case I wanted to move a picture to another directory while Lightroom was importing a batch from a CF card. Of course Lightroom does multiple disk operations all the time. I don’t know why this is an exception.

I bet if I asked they’ll blame Windows and say it doesn’t happen on a Mac!

Unusual Lightroom Error

August 17, 2009
Failed to Find a Place?

Failed to Find a Place?

Here’s an error message I haven’t seen before. Maybe it was because I was starting a new Import while Lightroom was Rendering 1:1 Previews of the prior Import. So much for multi-tasking. I waited until the task finished, tried again and it was fine.

I wonder what it was trying to tell me. I cannot see it was a file system problem – NTFS is rock solid. It must have been something like it could not get a database lock on the catalog.

Unlike the “A non-empty name must be provided” error I got last week, this error must have been through Human Factors who came up with someting less intimidating but unfortunately also meaningless.

The writer forgot the cardinal rule of error messages: tell the user what do to about the error.

Two Annoying Flickr Errors

August 14, 2009

1. Flickr Has the Hiccups

Flickr Has the Hiccups

Flickr Has the Hiccups

A silly error message from Flickr. It’s funny the first time you see it, but on repetition it gets stale. They’ve been showing it for years.

More seriously, many non-native English speakers who use Flickr in English won’t have the foggiest idea what it means. “Hold your clicks?”

Their intent is, I’m sure, to decrease the load on their servers. I very much doubt any human is “looking into it”.

But if the reader doesn’t understand this usage of the verb “hold” it won’t work. They’ll click anyway.

Why not write something informal but in English everyone can understand?

“Flickr is overloaded at the moment. Please wait a few minutes then try again. Sorry for the inconvenience and thank you for being patient.”

I wonder how they render this page in other Flickr languages. They support 繁體中文, Deutsch, English, Español, Français, 한글, Italiano and Português.

2. Be More Specific

Flickr Add to Group Error

Flickr Add to Group Error

I sometimes get this error when I try to add a picture to a Flickr Group in the Organizr (organizer). Why can’t they give the correct reason and not leave me to guess from three possibilities?

Surely it does not add too much complexity to their protocol to have three error codes rather than one? It seems like laziness.

This is the 21st Century! Don’t leave it to users to figure out what they have done wrong.

In my case I’d already added the pictures to the group. The bulleted list was irrelevant.

For Security Reasons …

August 12, 2009

This phrase really annoys me when I see it. If I ever run a company again I will fire any employee who uses it. It is today’s all purpose, supposedly un-challengeable excuse for anything.

Click for a larger picture

Click for a larger picture

And don’t get me started about “you need …“.

In this case I subscribed to email updates to comments on a WordPress blog post I commented on. I received an email message with a link to click to confirm I’d subscribed.

The link must have expired or there’s a bug in WordPress, for I got this response each time I tried.

Sorry, I am not that interested, and I don’t need to do anything, thank you very much.