Category Archives: Troubleshooting

Overload the Cores

I finally got around to trying out No Man’s Sky a few weeks ago. I started on a super-hot planet, where you need to find shelter and/or resources to recharge your suit’s hazard protection system to keep cool. Got killed a few times trying to figure out what I was doing. And after about 20 minutes, my computer spontaneously shut itself down.

I waited a few minutes to let it cool down, then tried again. Managed to figure out a bit more of what I needed to do in the game, and then the same thing happened.

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WordPress 5.7 Upgrade Breaks Posts with Emoji in the Title?

Not sure what might be going on here, but after upgrading to WordPress 5.7, some posts started timing out. Viewing the post. Searching in the Posts interface for anything that was in the post. Trying to list posts that had its tags. I could search for it on the blog, but not in the admin area. Error logs on the web server showed a connection timeout. The only way I could find them was through the Search Regex plugin, and it turned out I could still edit the post. Though I couldn’t save any changes without getting the same timeout.

Both posts that I’d been alerted to had emoji in the title. Hmmm….

I tried removing the emoji from the title and saving it. The post loaded again! And I could search for keywords and tags that matched it!

Just for kicks, I pasted the emoji back in. Saved. No problem.

I don’t know what changed, but apparently older versions of WordPress were storing emoji in titles differently or something, and re-saving it fixes it?

Anyway, that seems to work, so I’m posting this here for anyone else with the same issue to see what worked for me.

Update: I checked another blog that updated from 5.6 to 5.7 and had emoji — in some cases the same symbols — in titles, but it wasn’t affected by the same problem. I’d guess it’s either a combination with some plugin, or something left over from the fact that this site has been updated continuously from some very old versions of WordPress.

Tracking it Down

May update: It happened again on here, possibly after the upgrade to 5.7.1. This time I decided to dig into it in more detail and checked out the database. Because this is a Very Old Blog(tm), all the post columns (among others) were still using the Latin-1 character set, even though WordPress is working in Unicode now. So MySQL thinks it has Latin-1 data, but it’s actually UTF-8.

But you can’t just change the character set on live data. If the old charset matches the data, you need to convert it. If the old charset doesn’t match, you need to not convert it. Chances are you’ll either end up with double-encoded or broken data, like I got when I tried updating a column with PhpMyAdmin (after running a backup, of course!), and it deleted everything after the first emoji in each post!

Alex King’s post on converting mysql from latin1 to utf8 helped me solve it. Basically I took a copy of the mysqldump file I’d just created, searched for latin1 in the table definitions and replaced it with utf8, and re-imported the SQL file. So far everything I’ve spot-checked looks OK! Here’s hoping this actually fixed it right this time!

Or will I need to re-do the process with utf8mb4…?

Repair missing UEFI entry for Fedora Linux

After a windstorm led to multiple power dropouts*, I found that my computer would no longer boot to Fedora. It booted to Windows still, but wouldn’t load GRUB.

Fixing it was confusing, because it wasn’t clear where the problem was. I found lots of references to how to reinstall GRUB2 or how to regenerate a GRUB boot menu (which you can fix by booting to a live USB stick and mounting the system image or using specialized recovery tools), and lots of references to how to modify a Windows boot menu (depending on whether you are using UEFI or MBR), and so on, but the problem turned out to be that the UEFI firmware had lost the menu item, so it wouldn’t load GRUB, so GRUB couldn’t load Fedora.

This is how I added back that missing menu item:

  • Boot to a Fedora Live image off of USB in UEFI mode.
  • efibootmgr -v to see if there was actually a boot entry in the firmware for Linux. (There wasn’t. Only an entry for Windows. Which I’d managed to accidentally rename as Linux somehow, but it was pointing to the \EFI\Microsoft\Boot\bootmgfw.efi file, which is why the system was able to boot to Windows.)
  • Use the Gnome Disks tool to identify which partition on which disk has the EFI boot system.
  • Create a new entry pointing to the shim.efi in the Fedora folder.
    sudo efibootmgr -c -w -L Fedora -d /dev/sdb -p 1 -l /EFI/fedora/shim.efi
    -L is a label, which you can assign whatever you want.
    -d is the disk with the EFI partition.
    -p is the number of the EFI partition.
    Make sure you write the path to shim.efi in UNIX style (/), even though EFI stores DOS-style paths (\), or you’ll end up with it trying to point to EFIfedorashim.efi, which still won’t work!
  • efibootmgr -v again to make sure the entry is present and points to the actual file (it should point to \EFI\fedora\shim.efi now).

*I forgot that I’d left the computer on sleep mode instead of turned off all the way. After one of the outages it must have turned on — I’m not sure exactly, since I was in another room, but I came back in and it was on, stuck with the drive light active, unresponsive, while the room lights flickered repeatedly. I shut it off completely and didn’t turn it back on until the wind died down and the power settled out.

Fix for “Among Us” not joining games on Linux

“Among Us” isn’t labeled as compatible with Steam Play, but if you tell Steam to enable it for all Windows games, it will launch, and it will run…with one weird glitch: It won’t connect to any games, public or private.

Until you change your server region and change it back.

🤷 No, it doesn’t make sense to me either. But at least it works.

Wacom Registration error: “Profile ID Missing” (solved?)

This doesn’t seem to be a very common problem, given that when I searched for it I only found a single result on Google, but in case someone else out there runs into the same issue, I thought I’d write it up so they can find it.

I tried to register a Wacom Intuos drawing tablet. The way you do this is you open the Wacom software and click on the registration banner, which then opens your default web browser to the registration page on Wacom’s website, pre-filled with a serial number and some authorization token. If you’re already logged into a Wacom account, it should just register it immediately. Or you can create an account first.

The problem: I got a banner at the top with the error, “Profile ID Missing.” I went back to the Wacom Desktop Center, which popped up the registration banner again. Clicked again. Same problem.

Google search for Wacom register "Profile Id Missing" with one result, and the we've omitted similar results message.

Technically there was another result…which was another view of the same reviews.

The only reference I found when searching for wacom register "Profile ID Missing" was a German-language review review on the Amazon.de listing for an Intuos tablet. “Was zum Teufel ist eine Profile-ID?” They solved it by uninstalling and reinstalling the Wacom software, and for whatever reason, the registration link worked that time.

Before I got to that point, I tried something I didn’t think would work: I clicked in the URL bar on Firefox and hit Enter, causing it to reload the page. (I forget whether I’d already tried hitting the reload button.) Weirdly enough, it worked, and it registered the tablet. Finally!