Saturday, November 17, 2012

Skype Error 1603

So I had issues trying to upgrade Skype (on Windows 7).  It said there was a new version to download (6.0.something), and so I clicked the upgrade button as usual, but the upgrade install failed with code 1603, and no failure message.  The problem was after that the uninstaller .msi was deleted by the upgrade process so I couldn't actually remove the old install, but the new install wasn't complete either and wouldn't complete with pieces from the old version still left around.  If you're thinking of upgrading to Skype 6 (and I haven't seen any reason not to), it'd probably be a good idea to uninstall 5 first.  (Edit: Actually the default uninstaller doesn't seem to remove enough to make the new installer succeed, so use Revo even for this step.)  But if you're reading this, it's probably too late for that.  Here's how to fix this.
  1. Install an old version of Skype, like from here
  2. Uninstall the old version of Skype, removing everything (like with the free version of Revo Uninstaller)
  3. Download and install the latest version of Skype
It looks like this Microsoft FixIt package will correct the issue: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/886549.

Do note that 1603 seems to be a general error code for any Windows installer failure (for example, I got this error code when another instance of msiexec.exe was running), so this may not actually be your issue.  Check the error message to be sure you're fighting the right battle.

Speaking of Skype fail, when Skype updated for Windows 7 (which was a while ago), they took away the ability to minimize to the clock and instead always pinned to the taskbar.  I despise having something pinned to the taskbar AND being down by the clock (makes no sense to me to have something taking up 2 spots).  You can get around this by right clicking on the Skype icon in your start menu, hit properties, then under the compatibility tab run it in compatibility mode for Windows Vista.

Edit (5/26/2016): as of now, they at some point added the "keep skype in the taskbar while I'm signed in" option that fixes my last complaint.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Users of Powder Blast Beware

I've been a fan of Break-Free Powder Blast as a quick and easy way of cleaning firearms, and have been using it for a long time with no issues. After having neglected to clean my pistols the last few outings, I decided to give them a more-generous-than-usual application of my cleaner of choice. It seems some plastics and rubbers can be melted by the stuff. Fortunately, only minor cosmetic damage was done to my beloved CZ 75 (actually a CZ 85B). So if you're a user of Powder Blast (or similar solvents), you may want to make sure it's safe (or just always take those parts off) first. Also be careful about using it on magazines, I read someone on THR had melted it so bad it seized up.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Ubuntu 12.04 & Eclipse

I use Ubuntu at work for development, mostly with Jetbrains IntelliJ IDEA these days, I was surprised when I tried to fire up Eclipse for the first time in a while that I couldn't do so.  The error I was getting was
An error has occurred. See the log file /home/wittk/.eclipse/org.eclipse.platform_3.7.0_155965261/configuration/1338578313816.log
Here's an excerpt from the log mentioned in the message:
java.lang.UnsatisfiedLinkError: Could not load SWT library. Reasons: 
 no swt-gtk-3740 in java.library.path
 no swt-gtk in java.library.path
 Can't load library: /home/wittk/.swt/lib/linux/x86/libswt-gtk-3740.so
 Can't load library: /home/wittk/.swt/lib/linux/x86/libswt-gtk.so

The solution is to link the swt library files to the location it is looking.  This solution was mentioned here.  Just run the commands below.
cd ~/.swt/lib/linux/x86*
for file in /usr/lib/jni/libswt-*3740.so; do ln -s ${file}; done

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A Mercurial Userscript

I've got a minor complaint against the Mercurial web interface, and that is that when you are browsing around using the tip version, links will point to the nodeid tip points to rather than keeping the URLs with the relative tip version.  I think the way it should work is that you stay on the tip, unless you are click into a revision log (so that you can click specific revisions).  This is especially nice for sharing a link to the latest with someone, you would want to keep that link relative.
For the most part, I don't really care what Mercurial does, but since I do use their web interface because it's the SCM of choice for the OpenJDK project, I thought I'd whip up a userscript to remedy the situation.  Check out the script here, then test its effects by browsing the latest JDK sources:
http://hg.openjdk.java.net/jdk6/jdk6-gate/jdk/file/tip/src/share/classes/
http://hg.openjdk.java.net/jdk7/jdk7-gate/jdk/file/tip/src/share/classes/

Let me know if you have any problems or suggestions for improvement.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Chrome bug that's not a bug

As some others have explained, apparently the new tab button missing the + in Google Chrome isn't a bug.  I thought it was a bug, other Chrome users (non-geeks) in my family thought it was a bug.  But Google says "User experience research on our end seems to have confirmed that this change does not decrease usability and in fact can lead to an overall improvement in people's perceptions of the UI (some participants described the change as "cleaner" or "neater")." I think this is crazy. I suggest you star the issue, maybe they'll come to their senses.