I ran into some problems with the ComiXology app on my Nexus 7 tablet the other day. I tried to add a comic I’d unlocked on the website (the backer pre-release of the next chapter of Code Monkey Save World), and it crashed. From that point on every time I tried to launch the app, it would crash immediately. At the time I was in a hurry, so I set it aside for later. Within a day, an update with “bushels of bugfixes” came out, so I figured it was probably a known issue and put it out of my mind.

I didn’t test it until this morning, though. Wednesday = new comics day, of course. The same thing happened, even though I’d powered the tablet off overnight.


I figured I’d follow the standard troubleshooting pattern of clearing data (but that would mean re-downloading all the comics that I hadn’t read yet, or was keeping on the tablet to re-read), uninstalling/reinstalling, etc. A pain, but a necessary step before submitting a bug report.

So I opened Settings, then Manage Apps, then the Comics app… Continue reading

Comic-Con 2011 ticket sales crashed under heavy load shortly after going online.

I think we’re seeing another shift in the process of getting to Comic-Con.

It used to be that, as long as you were aware of the onsale dates and could both plan your trip and pay for your tickets far enough ahead of time, getting those tickets wasn’t a problem. Sure, the show might sell out months ahead of time, but it would take weeks or months to get to that point.

Now, people are looking at preview night already being sold out, and looking back at their last experience with hotel reservations, and freaking out: We can’t just buy our tickets this week – we have to buy them NOW, as soon as they go on sale, or we won’t be able to get in!

Get enough people reacting that way, and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Fear of a rush ends up creating a rush, just like fear of a run on a bank often triggers one. Add in the live progress bars as a feedback mechanism, and it snowballs even faster.

Until it crashes the server, anyway…

(Originally posted as a comment at The Beat.)

A few weeks ago, I stopped at the post office on the way to work. As I walked to the door, my eye was immediately drawn to the big hole in the wall where, apparently, a car had crashed into the building while trying to park.

Whatever vehicle had done the damage was long gone, and the area around was cordoned off with yellow caution tape. Since I like to take pictures of weird stuff, I snapped a photo with my cell phone. (No, I didn’t cross the tape; it’s just not visible in the frame.)

This morning, I stopped at the same post office again. This time, my eye was drawn to a new addition to the facility:

One of these bright yellow posts stood in front of each parking space along the building. You can still see where the concrete has been spread around the base, and absolutely no paint has worn off. Clearly someone decided not to take any more chances with wayward cars!

I put the Pushing Daisies soundtrack CD in my computer and it rebooted. Fortunately it took less than a minute….

Of course I tried it again to see if it was a fluke. Same thing. Then I decided to try with another CD. Apparently any audio CD crashes it. Shows how often I use CDs these days.

At least the DVD-RW drive works. IIRC it doesn’t have CD-audio hooked up, but the player seems perfectly happy to just read it digitally.

I guess I’ll have to set aside some time on Sunday to figure out what’s causing the problem. It’s a bit late tonight, and tomorrow’s going to be busy!

  • Usability question: Is it better for a form to auto-detect the credit card type from its number, or have the user select it as an error check? # (Consensus on Twitter & Facebook was to have the user select it.)
  • In case you were worried, the world will NOT end on this date (or any other) in 2012. #
  • Yay, the PC isn’t totally crashed! Grabbed a current backup & now running chkdsk. Work last week, home this week. Pattern? #
  • Chkdsk is FINALLY running. If you get a “cannot open volume for direct access” error trying to run it on Windows XP, try running msconfig and selecting a Diagnostic startup. #