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Real Life Debugged » Let’s Debug It!

Archive for the Category ◊ Let's Debug It! ◊

Oleg Savitsky and Fedor Emelianenko

I had the AWESOME opportunity to meet and photograph MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko in August at Zealous Nation MMA, the facility my trainer Oleg Savitsky owns in Middlesex, NJ.

Oleg scheduled an invite-only Mixed Martial Arts seminar with Fedor and asked me to be the photographer. Fedor is, like, number one in the entire universe, ever.

Fedor and Oleg have competed against one another in World SAMBO competitions and they are friends and colleagues, now through M-1 Global.  Fedor kicks some massive ass, and also happens to be a really nice guy, like Oleg. I was so excited to meet him!

Little did I know I’d somehow manage to lose every single picture I took of this exclusive seminar except the last 10.

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So I got a new job doing embedded systems forensics - debugging medical devices that have possibly Gone Wrong.  Turns out my Phone on Fire book was an excellent calling card, as the position requires the same problem-solving brain twists as my own technical mysteries!

Pretty cool when your potential boss has read part of your book.

Anyway, we’d been working towards a Final Written Offer Letter for a little while.  I got a Verbal shortly after the interview, a Tentative Written Offer Letter a while later, and over the next couple months I completed two pretty comprehensive application packages about 1/2 a ream thick.  It would have been less stressful if Microsoft would have let me open my own thesis, but it got all registry passive-aggressive on me.

The final weeks we ramped asymptotically to 99.999% Goodness with the Tentative Official Offer Letter.  (My language, not theirs.)

So, happily, I get The Official Call from HR and I’ve passed all security clearances, have garnered the last 0.001% and am now officially 100% approved as a new hire!

… and (baited breath) shortly there after the long awaited Official Official Offer Letter arrives via email!  I double click, excited the day has finally arrived …

… and I can’t open the document.

 

Click to view

 

 

 

 

Gaaaaaa.

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I had a challenge getting my blog up after Wordpress was hacked a month ago.

Today I find that every image I’ve uploaded into every post does not appear.  Just Like This.

** pulls hair **

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Simple task - a job application requires the abstract of my PhD dissertation.  So I find the file, double click, and … ERROR.

Huh?

(Yes, I hear you cry!  I knew where the files were!)

You see, about 5 years ago I spent a couple days pulling stuff off boxes of floppies before the data puddled into magnetic goo.  Surrounded by mostly 3 1/2’s and many 5 1/4’s (and several disk backup tapes), I found my dissertation and with mixed memories (yes, the terror does fade with time), I tried to open the files.

Back then, Microsoft presented me with a different, although more frightening message when I attempted to open the files.  Something about not being able to read the old Word file format at all (Yikes!).

Had the ghost returned?

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I love tripping across relatively harmless bugs.  Amazing how the same types of bugs keep showing up over and over and how we don’t test our code enough before releasing it.

Weather.com has a new radar feature called TruPoint.  Rather than showing radar images from T-30 minutes to the present, this feature predicts future weather patterns of radar images.  T+30 minutes.  Kinda neat if it can actually show the magical storms that materialize out of nowhere just when the traditional radar implies blue skies for as far as the eye can see.

So if a prediction program is T+x, and x is negative, are we going forward or backward in time?

Anyway, I mucked around with the feature and got it to hang.  (Not on purpose.)

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Let’s Debug It Live: Recovering My Hacked Blog
Tuesday, April 13th, 2010 | Author: lisaksimone

I’m writing this post in Word because I can’t access my blog. It was hacked this weekend to provide you dear readers with low cost designer shoes and a delightful Trojan virus thrown in for free.

It appears the Wordpress and Network Solutions combo had a design flaw, and Network Solutions sent step-by-step instructions to recover (most) of our content. Like a good engineer (ahem) I followed the directions carefully. Didn’t work. But according to Network Solutions tech support, I am a special case. (Oh, the irony.) Alex expedited my request and then Elmer prioritized my case and now I’ll receive help in 1-3 business days. Grrr.

Thing is, I dug around on the server and found some strange goings-on with my blog files. I think the current account hack fix upset the carefully balanced apple cart Network Solutions built during my last trouble ticket mess.

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In the last post, we explored the cause of Cincinnati’s sweltering 222°F forecast.  After I mused about variable declarations and improper usage that we saw with the 119° snow day, reader John offered a different idea - that 222° was simply a typo for 22°.   I think he’s right, but we didn’t fully test the hypothesis against the original symptoms.  My bad.

And as software debugging usually goes, testing and fixing one bug opens the doors for more of their friends to come out and play.

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A couple weeks ago, we debugged a temperature sign displaying 119 °F degrees in the dead of winter. Turned out to be a variable out-of-bounds problem.

Above is another whacko temperature bug from Fail Blog.

I started mucking with this bug using the same logic. Since the correct value is probably around 23°F, and since 222°F  + 23°F looks dangerously close to 255, the magic roll-over (or roll-under) point of despair and destruction looks to be a prime suspect.

Flipping it around, 255°F - 222°F  = 33°F,  which is dangerously close to the freezing point of water (32°F).

And … 32°F is 0°C, which is another dangerous roll-under point for unsigned chars.

Finally, both the beyond-boiling temperature AND the “Alerts” box in the upper left corner are RED.  While the number of Alerts is zero, somewhere the software knows evilness has occurred.

This time you figure it out - what’s the exact cause of failure?

Related Posts:

Let’s Debug it: Snow That’s Hot to the Touch!
Bugs in Public - Errors in Software and in Common Sense

After waiting forever for pictures on my laptop to load to show my family, I finally decided to upgrade my RAM from 1GB to 2GB.  I was ready for SCREAMING fast performance.

Then the Windows Shutdown “Hibernate” option stopped working.

“System Error : Insufficient system resources exist to complete the API.”

Now, I live to Hibernate.  Or, I should say I don’t reboot my laptop unless I *have* to.  The computer gets to Hibernate whenever I take it with me so I can resume with all windows and programs exactly where I left them.

I love Hibernate.

But suddenly Hibernate and I were plunged into a Jr High school relationship of drama and fickleness.

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I had an mind-boggling problem yesterday. I belong to a Yahoo group and I registered with one of my Gmail accounts.  I was able to participate in the group for a couple weeks, but now when I send emails from that Gmail account, they’re rejected back to a DIFFERENT Gmail account.

Huh?

Okay, to be specific.  I registered with a Gmail address, let’s say, watchmefixthis@gmail.com (fake). My main Gmail address is lisaksimone(at)gmail.com (real).

So I posted as usual to my Yahoo group by sending an email from watchmefixthis@gmail.com. It was rejected back to me at lisaksimone(at)gmail.com.

Again, this time with more feeling.

Huh?!?

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