Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Problem installing Office 2011 updates

Grr, Microsoft -- Office 2011 won't update because it says I have to quit the "Sync Services Agent" and "Microsoft Database Daemon".

Solution: Open the terminal (use spotlight to find it quickly), and paste these two commands in, one at a time, hitting return after each:

  • killall "Microsoft Database Daemon"

  • launchctl unload ~/Library/LaunchAgents/

... then go back to the installer and try again.

For those who care, the problem here is that even if you go into Activity Monitor and quit the Sync Services Agent process, our good friend "launchd" notices that it died and restarts it.

I'm a little soft on whether unloading it actually quits the Sync Services Agent process -- it seemed to, but I don't know why. I'm also not sure whether I should be re-"load"-ing the job with launchctl -- after the Office update installed, the Sync Services Agent was relaunched somehow, so maybe Office just launched it.

Anyway hope that helps someone.
ps. Having worked in a big company, my guess is that the last person who truly understood the entire design of the Office suite from install to test is long gone, and we're left with myriads of people who only understand pieces of it. As they work on the parts, those parts grow increasingly incompatible with the other parts, and we're left with something that starts looking like a Frankenstein product. That's my theory, anyway.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Ebola and skin

Two quick things I learned this week:

  1. Here's a good overview from the CDC on how Ebola is spread. Note the caveat that "droplets of respiratory secretions [from coughs/sneezes] ... could be infectious".
  2. Lotions and other skin-care products break down the natural protective layer of keratin in your skin so they can penetrate. But then if you handle slightly toxic substances (like BPA on thermal receipts from stores) those substances end up in your blood. (Yikes! via Science Friday)

So, lotions allow things on your skin to penetrate into your blood -- like maybe droplets from sneezes, etc.?

I'm not sure either of these points give us the whole story here, but I do plan on being more cautious with lotions.

And what about hand sanitizers? I suspect the problem is suspending the alcohol in a lotion... I wonder if we shouldn't just use straight rubbing alcohol for cleaning hands? Like an alcohol dispenser at the sink by the soap?

Does anyone read this thing?

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