Strange Windows Errors and a Bowser in My Event Log
Wednesday, 24th October 2012, 11:10
Every now and again I see an error, sometimes even not of my own making. Occasionally they are a bit out there, and make you wonder what on earth was going on in the coder's mind to cause that in the first place. But mostly, they pop up from a product by a huge software company that has the money and resources to know better, but doesn't.
And sometimes I even screenshot them.
Program Directory Renaming?
I forget what I was running that caused this, but it was back when I used Windows Vista...
I definitely didn't have any directory called "C:\Program", and needless to say I clicked Ignore for fear it may actually try to rename my real program files directory in a fit of confusion. Whatever caused this, it may have been some bit of code somewhere that vaguely remembers DOS long file names and their abbreviated equivalents.
I feel this screenshot from my web browser sums up my feelings of Flash better than any other...
And I love the irony of it crashing on the very Adobe page itself.
Thankfully the growth of mobile and the wise decision by Steve Jobs to keep it off iPhones and iPads, combined with HTML5, is killing it off. Let's face it, there are only three uses for Flash on the internet:
- Banner ads
- Watching videos
- Making crappy websites
We can do all three with HTML5 now, and the last one we could do long before.
Today's simple lesson, if you are making a new website and using Flash, you are doing it wrong.
Mario's Nemesis Bowser in My Event Log
Now this last one, isn't actually a bug, or a typo, more an interesting aside...
It turns out, after a little research, that what appears to be a typo for Browser, isn't that at all.
A guy called Larry Osterman apparently wrote the kernel part of the computer browser service, and was written for Windows NT 3.1. I'm not that old school, I arrived around 4.0. :) Anyhow, since XP onwards all evolved from the NT codebase (which was separate from the DOS originated 3.1/95/98), that's why this message still exists.
Courtesy of Larry's Blog:
The bowser is actually the kernel mode portion of the Computer browser service. It also handles receiving broadcast mailslot messages and handing them. When I originally described the functionality, my boss at the time (who was rather opinionated) said "What a dog! Why don't we call it the bowser?"
For various technical reasons we didn't want to call the kernel component browser.sys (because it messed up the debugger to have two components with the same name), so the name bowser just stuck.
Thus was born the name of the "misspelled" system component. Nowadays the bowser is essentially gone (for instance, I can't find it on my XP SP2 installation), but the name lives on in eventlogs everywhere...
What irks me, is why does it start with a lower case letter? I guess the same reason BROWSER is listed in capitals, to make it easier to notice when scanning the log.
Now that is old school. :)