Cannot view chm files in HTML Help

February 4, 2006

aka Google saves my ass the day (again)

It’s something that has probably been sitting on my system for the past few months but it’s not every day that you have a need to open up a .chm file.

It’s a popular format for lots of documentation on the web now as well as ebooks so I tend to have them saved in various locations around my hard drive. Today though I tried to open a file (located in a network share) and was a little perplexed to see a ‘Page cannot be displayed’ error. Being of an inquisitive nature it was not something I would simply put up with so after a bit of head scratching it was off to Google with the following query:

The number 1 result is from a Nik Cubrilovic based ‘down under’ as we like to say in the Northern hemisphere. It soon became apparent that I was one of many over the last few months who’d been afflicted by the same ‘bug’.

So what caused it and what can be done about it?

Well the common themes seemed to be Service Pack 2 and a ‘#’ in the path on the local computer. I am sorry to report none of these circumstances applied to me so I was really no better off. I’m still unsure why people would choose to use a ‘hash’ in a path but that’s another story.

Further reading down the post reveals a mysterious ‘unblock’ option which can be accessed (in some cases) by right clicking the file > propeties, once again though this did not apply to me (Service Pack 2 only) it was good to know however, these 2 bits of information seemed to suffice for a large number of users but alas I was still not able to view my file.

Then my salvation arrived in the form of a comment posted by Anish, it does involv a little registry hacking but was clear and easy to follow and it worked whooo…

You’ll notice the sub title of this page relates to Google and they didn’t provide me with the fix however, they made the journey from my problem to completion in microseconds and that’s what I am praising.


US plans to ‘fight the net’ revealed

January 30, 2006

London (BBC) – A newly declassified document gives a fascinating glimpse into the US military’s plans for “information operations” – from psychological operations, to attacks on hostile computer networks.

The declassified document is called “Information Operations Roadmap”. It was obtained by the National Security Archive at George Washington University using the Freedom of Information Act. Officials in the Pentagon wrote it in 2003. The Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, signed it.

The “roadmap” calls for a far-reaching overhaul of the military’s ability to conduct information operations and electronic warfare. And, in some detail, it makes recommendations for how the US armed forces should think about this new, virtual warfare.

The document says that information is “critical to military success”. Computer and telecommunications networks are of vital operational importance.

You can view the document (pdf) from the page below..

Article Continues

German firm bans office whingers

January 19, 2006

London (BBC) – Employees can be fired if they are caught complaining in the office. It may sound absurd, but employees have a clause in their contracts which states: “moaning and whinging at work is forbidden… except when accompanied with a constructive suggestion as to how to improve the situation”.

Negative energy

The chief executive of Nutzwerk, came up with the idea. She claims that “negative energy” puts a dampener not just on workers’ moods, but also on productivity.

“If you want to have fun in your company, and you want to reach a big target you have no chance if your employees are always angry,” she says, smiling broadly. “They waste time, and they waste the company’s time.”

Article Continues 

Malicious worm that talks back

December 12, 2005

London (BBC) –Now it seems that the latest worm to infect AOL’s instant messaging community, Aim, actually chats with the users it is targeting in order to persuade them to download and run an infected file.

Called IM.Myspace04.AIM – and someone really needs to think about the naming scheme used for viruses and worms, because that one is just dull – it uses infected computers to send itself to people on any Aim buddy list it finds, and even responds to messages sent to it in order to allay suspicion.

It can do this because it is a bot, or software robot, a program that can interact with people.

Although there have been malicious bots around for some time instant messaging, security firm IMLogic believes that this is the first time someone has tried to use bot code to help spread a worm around an IM network by pretending to be a legitimate user.

The first sign of attack is a message that appears to come from a contact, offering you a file to download. If you respond then the wormbot tries to persuade you to save the file, and it will even say “lol no its not a virus” (sic) if you ask about the possibility of infection.

If you do open the file then your security software is disabled, a backdoor is installed and the worm will start trying to reach the people on your personal buddy list. So far it does not seem to do any more damage, or steal any sensitive information.

Dont forget to Backpack It

November 5, 2005

Every once in a while I stumble into a web service or offering that really makes me smile and often think why I did not think of it first lol, it can be anything, Blogger is a good example. Usually these services or sites have to work hard to grab me by the short & curlies level as I have a short attention span for most web sites & services.

However I came to find a very useful new service which I think has captured my imagination and enthusiasm. It offers a wealth of usefulness, reviewed by one user as “Perfectly conceived… the most elegantly executed web app I’ve seen” which I have to agree with.

Further described by the developers as “Getting organised couldn’t be easier” the service is called

I was up an running with it within 2 minutes.

To get a good overview of what you can do an example page is available once you have setup your account.

I have been able to quickly take advantage of the API
You may also wish to read the manifesto