bad encrypt dictionary

For a few days I’ve been trying to figure out why an Adobe Acrobat document I created on one computer wouldn’t open on another computer. When I tried to open it, I’d receive an error message that said simply “bad encrypt dictionary”. That’s it.

I created the document in Acrobat 7.0, and encrypted it with 7.0 encryption (the program offers options for different levels or versions of encryption). I tried searching with Google for the error message, but there were so many posts about DRM (digital rights management) that I couldn’t see the fix quickly or easily. (With so many students applying to the UCs and Stanford, it’s been a very busy week, so I couldn’t spend more than a few minutes searching.) It turned out to be a really simple thing–the 6.0 Reader I was using couldn’t read 7.0 encryption, so updating this version of Adobe Acrobat Reader solved the problem.

When will software companies realize that creating user-friendly error messages will certainly result in greater usage, sales, and satisfaction for their products? For example, why couldn’t this error message read something like this: Continue reading

Google Christmas Present

Well, last year some of us Google customers/publishers received the radio that would change colors while you played it. But this year, it’s the geek traveler’s toolkit. I like this year’s gift more, as I’ll be more likely to use it througout the year.

I received some good goodies from Google, including: a 128 MB flashdrive, which is much less than the one I currently use, but certainly welcome; a wireless mini-mouse with NiMH rechargeable batteries included; a USB hub with a four-to-one whatever-you-call-it (yeah, I’m not the biggest geek on the planet); a cool earphone that looks to be made to use for Google Talk (one ear piece, a microphone with a disconnector, and two jacks), and a few other cool things, all contained in a leatherette case.

Here’s the best picture I have so far:

Google Christmas Presents for 2005

Other forum posts that I’ve read have said that some people have not received a wireless mouse (but have received a wired mouse instead), nor the headset.