I broke my Blogo on Friday. Well, it wasn’t my fault. Blogo for whatever reason decided it was going to stop working. Blogo, by the way, is the client that I use to write my blog posts.
Now, I like Blogo. Blogo is the only client I’ve ever used that allowed me to tab in my paragraphs. Nothing else has ever allowed that. Whenever I brought it up, like to the people who write Microsoft’s LiveBlog program, I’m treated like an idiot child for daring to want to indent the first line of my paragraphs with a tab. Something… I don’t know, that nearly every author has ever done, ever. It’s just one of those things, you know? You pick up a book and, lo!, paragraphs are indented. But who reads books anymore? And, really, can we afford to waste precious Internet resources by displaying something as useless as a few spaces? I suppose not.
Even though I like Blogo, it appears it has a few issues. And that’s OK because all programs have issues. It just so happened that I managed to run into an issue on Friday just as everyone on this side of the Earth was leaving the office.
What’s worse than the problem I had with Blogo, though, is the problem (I’m assuming) with OS X. For this part to make sense, I need to tell you how I fixed my problem: I deleted a file. A file. A single file. A single file that, to the naked eye, appears to just have a bunch of text in it. Nonetheless, this file brought poor Blogo to its knees.
If I were running Windows I would have fixed the problem, one way or another, in, maybe, half an hour depending on how obfuscated the developers wanted to make things. I don’t think most do, though, unless it’s related to some sort of trial time-out value or copy protection. So, let’s say five minutes.
With OS X I spent several hours Friday night, Saturday, and Sunday trying to track down the problem. HOURS. Hours that I could have spent… Well… Doing something. I don’t know what, but probably something.
I Google’d! I Yahoo!’d! I Bing’ed! I very nearly Asked Jeeves! In the end I relied on using a utility called ‘grep’ to search my drive for a word that I used in the blog post I was working on before it all went down in flames. And I still didn’t find what I was looking for. All those sites were entirely useless because, at best, any results mentioned a directory where a programs information is kept: /Users/[username]/Library/Application Support. That should have been good, but, as near as I can tell, Blogo doesn’t store anything there. Not a thing.
With Windows, most things are stored in the Registry. Functionaly, it’s like one big file (I know it isn’t; work with me) that contains the settings to Windows and all the programs you have installed. Sometimes you can search through there and find just what you’re looking for. If it’s not there it’s probably in one of the hidden directories in your user directory. Having used Windows for decades this is old hat to me.
Now, I will tell you the directory where I found my rogue file that needed to be eliminated: /Users/[username]/Library/Containers/com.blogo.Blogo/Data/Library/Application Support/Blogo/accounts/Garden of Entropy/posts/
Now, that directory contained a lot of directories, each corrosponding to blogs I posted so it was a fairly easy matter (despite the cryptic directory names, like pr9qlqIMw) to find my Agent of Mayhem. I copied it, first, to see if I could salvage the text, then removed it.
But what a strange trip. For instance, if you stop at the Data directory you’ll see what looks like an alternate reality of your home directory. There are directories called Desktop, Documents, Downloads, Library, Movies, Music, and Pictures. Just like if you were getting a listing of ~/ Bizarre!
Anyway, Blogo worked. So I took the next logical step and loaded up the errant post I had moved out of the deep heirechy of directories into TextEdit. This showed me a bunch of, well, I’ll call it HTML even though it’s probably XML. Either way, it was a simple matter to select all, copy, and then paste into a new Blogo post.
I saved it. Or, rather, I attempted to save it and was told it was malformed. Then I quit Blogo and tried to re-open it (for fun). Blogo was busted again.
It only took me a few minutes to fix it that time around since I knew where to go and what to do. But I was puzzled as to why doing a copy & paste from one text editor to another would cause things to go all higgledy-piggeldy again. My guess is that there’s something that isn’t displayed that’s still in the text and causes Blogo to go berserk. And I’m going to blame the whole mentality of “It just works” as being the real cause.
Not, mind you, that it’s an Apple thing. No. At least, not just an Apple thing. It’s a convenience thing.
Have you ever thought it was weird that you could get a virus just by openeing an e-mail? Once upon a time it wasn’t possible. Once upon a time a person who suggested opening an e-mail would give you a virus was laughed at and scorned by people who knew better. Because, back then, e-mails were just text. Getting a virus reading an email would have been like opening a word processor document and getting a virus. Laughable.
And then Microsoft made it possible. They did this because they wanted (to simplify the whole thing) to make programs be able to inter-operate and pass data back and forth. Like, embedding an Excel spreadsheet into the e-mail so you could see it just by reading it. Or putting it into a Word document. Whatever. It was done to make things easier which, in turn, made it possible to have Word macro virus’ infect just about everything. Because they had the power to do just about everything.
So there’s your price for convenience. Things are a lot better now, though. I guess.
It still leaves me with the question, “How do I get what I was writing back into a blog post without killing Blogo again?” Well, I suppose I could re-type it. But I won’t. I might be able to use a different text editor and save it as plain ASCII. This is something I know I can do with Windows, but I’m not too sure about OS X. The big problem I face now is that Blogo has nothing in place to continue working if it happens upon a corrupted file when it’s loading up so even by experimenting I risk getting to a point where Blogo won’t start again. And there’s only going to be so many times I’ll do that before I give up on it.
I managed it. Just like I always do. So this is what I wrote that killed Blogo. Since I went through so much trouble to recover it I’ll include it here. So you’ll read it. And you’ll enjoy it.
I’m not a big fan of metrics. I understand why they’re used, of course, I just don’t believe that all things can be measured in numbers. Not whole numbers, anyway.
This isn’t about the metric system. I have no problem with the metric system. I think the US could have switched over had they done it my way but, as is usual, nobody asked for my opinion on the matter.
My method would have been to just switch everything over instead of trying to gradually introduce it. Let’s be real; most Americans don’t care of some foreign feller has to deal with two systems of weights and measurements when trying to ship stuff over the world. For the most part we don’t care if some American feller has to worry about it. Gallons and pounds has always been good enough for us, it’s good enough for everyone else, too!
But if you were to switch everything overnight people would adapt. I don’t know about other people, but when I go looking for a gallon of milk I don’t read the label to see if it’s a gallon. I just reach for the biggest jug there is. It doesn’t matter to me if it’s a gallon or a liter. Same with the cars. If the needle is getting close to the red ‘E’ then it’s time to fill up. Sort of.
If it were the same price to fill up in liters as it would be in gallons there’d be a problem because then my gas tank would hold something like 60 liters. It sure sounds like a lot of gas, though!
As far as temperature goes, well, that’s pretty subjective even when it’s got numbers attached to it. Sure, water freezes at 0°C (which is pretty straightforward) but what’s the real difference between 0° and 1°? Do we really need anything besides “Freezing!”, “Cold!”, “Nice!”, and “Oh my God, it’s too freaken hot!”? Nope. Never. Except, maybe, for cooking.
Good old Fahrenheit has the edge in cooking, I think. Most things, as near as I can tell, bake at 350°F which sounds a lot nicer than 176.667°C. 350 is easy to remember. When in doubt, always set the oven to three-fiddy. Oven dials are labelled something like “250”, “300”, “350”, “400”, “450”, “500”, “Broil.” How would they look with “121”, “148”, “176”, “204”, “232”, “260”, “Griller”? Silly. That’s how. The only round number is 260 and that’ll give you charcoal if cooked for more than a few minutes.