All entries for March 2007

March 15, 2007

Retro Vista

I was silly enough to buy a new computer just as Microsoft was launching a new operating system – Windows Vista.

One of its annoyances is the removal of XP’s ability to easily associate more than one program with a single file extension. I found this feature, which Windows 98 had as well, rather useful. With htm, jpg and gif files, I think the best program for editing is not the best for viewing.

It is possible to get Vista to associate more than one program with a single file extension, but you must be prepared to either delve into the registry or buy third party software. A work-around, which reminds me of that days before Graphical User Interfaces, is to start with the program and then select the file rather than the other way around.


March 07, 2007

An Invisible Font

I spent six and a half hours yesterday finding and fixing a corrupted Windows/Fonts file.
One effect of the problem was that nothing appeared on my screen when I typed characters into Amazon’s search box. Nevertheless, what I had typed was used as a search criterion when I clicked on GO.
After about two hours of examining the page’s html I concluded that when the Style attribute of an element included “font-family: fixed;” blanks were rendered rather than visible characters.
You might have a similar problem if you can’t see one of these words fixed proportional serif sans-serif cursiv fantasy monospace in the following list:

    • fixed

    • proportional

    • serif

    • sans-serif

    • cursiv

    • fantasy

    • monospace

    I then spent another hour trying to find what was wrong with Mozilla as there was no problem with IE. I concluded it wasn’t Mozilla/Firefox’s fault – the culprit was a duff Windows/Fonts file.
    There are a mere 457 files in my version of Windows/Fonts. And deleting one often doesn’t have an impact until after a restart. Hence it took me three hours to isolate the culprit: a corrupted version of phonetic.fon

    March 2007

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