Author: thelisnakfactor

Photoshop – Born Again

Here’s a reader question from Simona:

Hi, I just found your Geek Whisperer blog regarding updates, and how to keep your PC happy. I am always a bit fearful of updates, which explains why I’m constanly having issues with this damn machine. I wish I’d stumbled upon you earlier, but I promise I’ve learned the lesson!

I use Photoshop CS2 (PC, Windows XP Prof) and am having problems starting the program back up… invalid serial number or organisation … such and such… It is a few months since I last used the program, but it had been working fine.

In general, I could probably do with updating everything it’s been offering, and probably the whole of my CS2.

Basically, is there a way of retrieving the necessary updates to install? Recently, on closing down the PC, ‘Install updates and shut down’ was an option, but its gone now.

I have looked on the web for updates, but to be honest, I haven’t got a clue what I’m doing… I wouldn’t know if I was loading the relevant one or not, so I’d prefer to do the updates that pop up for my computer.

Sorry I’m so uniformed and clumsy in my geekspeak, but any help you could give me is appreciated!

Well Simona, I’m happy to hear that you are going to start keeping your software up-to-date. That will help you avoid many problems in the future… but let’s take a look at the problem that you have now.

With errors such as yours, the best thing to do is “Google the error.” Basically type the error message word for word into Google, in quotes (If that doesn’t work try without quotes).

Then read what other people did in a similar situation, or at least get an understanding about why it happened so that a techie (or a geek) can fix your issue.

Upon Googling your issue, I found very informative, as it addresses exactly what your issue is, and comes straight from Adobe.

However, there is also the start from scratch method that works very well; you can resolve your issue without doing anything fancy. To start from scratch, basically means to completely remove Adobe Photoshop from your computer, and then to reinstall it (and make sure you restart in-between each and every step when you are promoted).

Reinstalling usually resolves problems like this for any program. To do this properly, I would suggest following the guide at That guide can also be located by typing “Photoshop CS2 complete uninstall” into Google.

Google really is a wonderful resource for troubleshooting these ultra detailed problems, application specific problems… “wisdom of the crowd” and all that.

Now, if these two solutions do not fix your issues, then please let us know here at The Geek Whisperer. Send us a screenshot of the error message and we would be happy to help you further investigate your issue.

Practice safe computing.

Big Files = Big Issues

Here’s a reader tech question from Robbyn:

Writing with a technical question, using my MacBook Pro I’ve been trying to copy a 4.93 GB .mov file to an external hard drive. Every time I try to do this I get an error message that reads: “Sorry, the operation could not be completed because an unexpected error occurred. (Error code 0)” I’ve tried zipping the file, but still have the same problem. I’m also not sure how to split up the file without having to convert it to another format which I’d rather not do since I’m sending it to someone to edit and I’d like to have it in the raw format so as not to lose any quality.

Well Robbyn, it sounds like an issue with the file system type on your external hard drive. Now I know you are wondering what that means so let me give you a quick overview:

Windows likes to format their partitions using one of their file systems, and Macs like to use their own. Unfortunately, they really don’t get along all that well. The only file system type that really works well on both Windows machines and Macs is FAT32. However, FAT32 has a bunch of issues including being pretty poor compared to other the newer formats, and more importantly, not supporting files over 4gb in size.

Unfortunately, you are trying to copy a big file, and big files not supported.. that’s probably the problem right there. Simple solution – check if it is formatted in FAT32 and reformat to HFS+ “non-case sensitive” because you that’s really unnecessary, and “non-journaled” because it tends to be more compatible, albeit slightly less secure in cases of drive failure. This will have some repercussions though, including all files will be deleted during the reformatting process and, as you might have guessed, HFS+ drives are not supported in Windows.

Now the other issue – the drive might be formatted using the NTFS file system, which is the one Microsoft currently employs for most Windows XP machines and all later operating systems.  And the issue with NTFS, it cannot inherently be written to by Macs.  Solution – same as above.  For big files, you need to use HFS+ for make your Mac fully support NTFS using some downloads from the Internet.  I would suggest, unless you need to be able to use your drive on both a Windows and a Mac, use HFS+.

In order to do all of this on a Mac, you can follow the following steps:

  1. Open “Applications” in either your Finder, or on the Dock.
  2. Find and click on the folder named “Utilities.”
  3. In the “Utilities” folder you will find an application called “Disk Utility” – Open it.
  4. You should see something like the image below.
  5. Click on the drive you need to work on.
  6. Change the file format using the “Volume Format” drop down in the center of the screen.

Mac Disk Utility

Please ask for clarification if you need any further guidance. Best of luck.

Getting 30 Lives on Facebook

*Editorial note from David:

This isn’t a post isn’t entirely about video games. If video games don’t interest you, this is still cool stuff.

* * * * * *

One code to rule them all
One code to rule them all

Remember using that back in the day? If not, then you don’t play enough video games.

This is the infamous Konami code. Used in more video games then I count, including games as old as Contra (The game that made the code famous – entering the code game you 30 lives. If you couldn’t beat the game with that many lives you probably weren’t intelligent to live past your 10th birthday), and as new as games as Grand Theft Auto San Andreas and the Dance Dance Revolution series. You can check out the entire list of games that use this code on Wikipedia if you care (I don’t, but you might).

“Why do I bring this up?”

I’m glad you asked.

When you can cheat at life, well then it’s cool.  Take for instance Facebook.  I bet you didn’t know that Facebook had a bunch of cheat codes!  (Or as programmers and computer geeks like to call them, Easter Eggs.)

Go to your Facebook – yes I know you have one because everyone has one – and type in the above code (you can substitute ENTER for START since there isn’t a button on your keyboard that says START) (This doesn’t work on the brand new Safari 4 or Firefox 3.5b99 – yet).

WOW, right?  Bet you didn’t see that coming!  But wait there’s more.

Facebook is not the only website that does this.  There are tons of web pages that have hidden features that are activated by the Konami code. Here’s a list, but you need to know the code to see it.

Anything is possible – sometimes things are as obvious as Facebook’s, others are as small as adding a secret button that does something amazing to the web page.

Go cheat!  Enjoy the benefits of what thou hath not earned!


What timing! The Konami code unlocks an app called the “Developer Mode Enabler” on the brand new Palm Pre.

Will the Real Bill Gates Please Stand Up

After months of speculation, the creator of Conficker has revealed himself.

Now, for those of you who don’t know, I’m talking about the announcement earlier that Bill Gates made at his press conference when he admitted to writing the Conficker virus to give himself control over everyone’s computer.

“I left the security hole in Windows to allow me to one day start all of this.”  When asked what it it is he was starting, he simply smiled.

Microsoft products are installed on more than 99% of all of the world’s computers.  If this is Bill Gates’s first step towards taking control of all these computers then we might very well be screwed.

The exact outcome of this virus, although still not unclear, is going to leave us living in fear of Bill Gate.

“I tried my hand at philanthropy for a while but it just didn’t feel right. I needed to return to my roots and take another pass at conquering the world!” Gates concluded with an uncomfortably long and maniacal cackle.

Disclaimer – all information above has been gathered from reliable sources and can be verified with the use of the Interweb.