Obtuse Error Messages Are Evil
I was getting this error message when I tried to open a document in Word 2003: “This document could not be registered. It will not be possible to create links from other documents to this document.”
Word still worked but I was unable to drag-and-drop content. And Outlook would not let me use Word as the editor for my email (which is perhaps an evil thing to do anyway).
Turns out the problem was that a service was not starting automatically (DCOM Server Process Launcher). I don’t recall making that change but that’s beside the point. The point is that the error message is terrible. It is disrespectful to the user because it hints at an underlying problem but does not give you any guidance on how to fix it. Sadly, disrespectful error messages are much too common.
Go to VSLive Toronto – I’ll pay 10% (sort of)
Here’s what you need to do:
- Go to https://ftponline.com/conferences/register/vslive/2006/toronto/
- Enter TDERE as your priority code for a 10% discount
- Complete your registration
- Go to VSLive Toronto and learn some stuff
There is some good content this year including a bunch of promising stuff on Day 1 (.NET Focus Day) and lots of interesting sessions from some well-known speakers. Looks like some really solid technical content this year – I don’t see any dud time slots. Here’s the agenda:
Sure, pop a random CD in your computer – what’s the harm?
An IT training firm in the U.K. conducted a stunt (or promotion, depending on your feelings about it) to demonstrate that users in London’s Golden Mile, its financial district, need more security training. They stood alongside the road and handed out CDs claiming to contain a special Valentine’s Day promotion. While no numbers have been provided, a spokesperson for the firm indicated that the CD, when inserted, would “call home” to the firm indicating the user had run it.
The CDs had written on the outside that you ought not to do this because it might be a violation of policy. Despite this, some employees ran the CDs anyway.
As a security conscious guy, this makes me scream, “Aaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhh.” <heaving sigh>
This column also has some interesting thoughts on the Search Across Computers feature of the Google Desktop that you might want to read. Personally I loathe the Google Desktop. I love the Google Deskbar which has been discontinued as a standalone product. Too bad (thankfully I have a copy of the installer backed up for the future).