When Acrobat Reader freezes on startup

I just had a situation where Acrobat Reader was freezing up on startup. After searching, this page suggested the fix: delete all acr*.tmp files in C:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Temp.

That did the trick. Acrobat had created 66,000 temp files for me. Yay.

While searching, I also came across this page that suggests moving all of your Acrobat plugins to an “optional” folder so it launches faster. Yay again!

Of course, this only helps you if you’re running Acrobat 6. I refuse to upgrade. I wish I was still running 5. That version seemed to work much better. Are there free (and better*) alternatives to Acrobat Reader on Windows?

* This rules out Ghostview I’m afraid.

How to lose your job in 10 days

How? Be a mid-level employee at a big company and then make statements at a public conference that become taken out of context to make dramatic headlines like, “War on Terror overblown according to Microsoft“. The article even has a picture of the twin towers on fire next to the word “Microsoft”. Wow, you can’t buy that kind of great publicity!

But it gets better: He also touches on kidnapping. Another great thing that I’m sure Microsoft wants to be associated with! Next time you think of 9/11 or child kidnappings, think Microsoft. I know I will now, al beit with a chuckle.

Microsoft has apparently gone so far as to censor the portion of the conference video where their employee made the remarks that resulted in this headline. My respect for Microsoft will go way up if they don’t further reprimand this guy, but in this State of Fear we live in I can’t imagine them letting it slide. I totally agree with his point of view 100% but you can’t make statements like that while you’re representing a major corporation.

Use Google to fact check “Zeitgeist: The Movie”

BoingBoing recently posted a blurb about “Zeitgeist: The Movie”, a budget film* (I wouldn’t exactly call it a documentary) that “purports to tell the real truth about Christianity, 9/11, and the International Bankers.” I had to see what this was about!

I couldn’t even get a minute into the movie before I felt like I had to jump out on to the internets to verify some of the material they were throwing out: “Horus [the Egyptian Sun God] had 12 disciples, was resurrected, … was born on December 25th … and that is why Christmas is celebrated on December 25th.” This contradicted what I had thought previously; that Christmas was celebrated on December 25th because the Romans had made it that day to attract followers. Searching the internets for q=horus christmas returns little useful results. Searches for q=horus disciples actually turns up a lot of hits disputing that claim. Wikipedia’s page on Horus makes no reference to Horus having 12 disciples or any kind of birthday.

Next up was this bit about “ages,” or “eras”, a period of 2150 years corresponding the movement of the Earth to the signs of the Zodiac. The movie says that the Moses ushered in the age of Ares, Jesus ushered in the age of Pisces, and the next age will be the age of Aquarius. Whistling a certain tune I headed out to Google again. q=jesus zodiac pisces returns 220,000 hits, but I wouldn’t exactly call the top hits reputable; it’s mostly people hawking astrological bible books. Some of the quotes on these pages look like a classified ad from the Weekly World News: “The Great Pyramid’s ‘missing capstone’ has puzzled Egyptologists for centuries…” (But for $24.99 + shipping we’ll explain everything!) q=moses zodiac returns similar pages. q=era 2150 returns a hit to the science fiction book “2150 AD”.

OK. So the movie is a little flakey on the facts and references. In fact, here’s a Google search about the movie that does return some reasonable hits: q=zeitgeigst movie bullshit — 437,000 results!

As pure entertainment, Zeitgeist hits the mark. (A better title would have been “Illuminati: The Movie“)… But seriously, if you’re into this sort of stuff, I would recommend viewing Bill Moyer’s Joseph Campbell and The Power of Myth, which is based on scholarly inquiry, not conspiracy theories. It’s a little dry on the special effects, but at least you won’t feel like you’re being fleeced while you’re watching it!

Update: Too funny. I just noticed the “statement” page for Zeitgeist says, “some information contained [in the movie] is not obtained by simple keyword searches on the Internet…” …why? Is The Man keeping this information from us? It gets better: “It is my hope that people will not take what is said in the film as the truth.” LOL. I’ve been pwned.