[Solved] AOO stops responding when opening this one document

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[Solved] AOO stops responding when opening this one document

Postby alice980 » Sat Jul 15, 2017 11:06 am

I've spent a year now working on this one important document of 70 pages.
Now it's almost finished, I saved it and closed it. Now every time I try to open it, it crashes after the first click.
Resetting the user profile doesn't do any good. Other documents work just fine.
I worked on this file a few times on Microsoft word (always saved it to odt.) but that always messed up the formatting, so I stopped.
Could that be an issue?
Also OO has crashed before when I tried to edit the table of contents or inserting page numbers. But now it seems like I can't do anything anymore...
Please help me save a years worth of hard work...
Last edited by alice980 on Thu Jul 20, 2017 3:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: OpenOffice always crashes when opening this one document

Postby RoryOF » Sat Jul 15, 2017 11:08 am

Any message on the crash? Does the document appear to open, then crash?
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Re: OpenOffice always crashes when opening this one document

Postby John_Ha » Sat Jul 15, 2017 11:09 am

Welcome to the forum.

If you send me the file I will look at it - see your messages for my email ID.
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Re: OpenOffice always crashes when opening this one document

Postby alice980 » Sat Jul 15, 2017 11:13 am

There is no message. It just not responding anymore. soffice.bin is inactive.
And yes it appears to start as usual. But then it crashes..

Thank you, @John_Ha, I will send you the file!
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Re: OpenOffice always crashes when opening this one document

Postby John_Ha » Sat Jul 15, 2017 12:13 pm

alice980 sent me the 197kB .odt file. When I open it, I can see the text but then the screen greys out and Writer stops responding.

 Edit: Edited to correct text.

After some seconds - 30? 60? and several mis-starts, Writer eventually responds normally. I now have full control of the document. So, the problem is that it takes a long time to open. 


I extracted content.xml successfully but when I opened it in Notepad++, it crashed Notepad++ stopped responding. As the crash occurred Notepad++ only stopped responding when I tried to pretty print it, it appears there are problems with the XML tags is probably due to the size and/or complexity of the XML.

I therefore extracted all the text from content.xml (by deleting all the xml tags with Find and Replace with <[^>]+> as the search argument and nothing as replace; using Regular Expressions) and sent it to alice980. I will be out for the rest of the day but if alice980 posts the .odt file on a file share site, perhaps someone can look at it.

If nothing else works, you could almost certainly recover a previous version - see [Tutorial] How to find and un-delete Writer temporary files for instructions on how to identify and un-delete the temporary files Writer wrote while you were editing the file, and then deleted. You should be able to recover your file as it was when you last opened it or as it was when it was last saved with AutoRecovery.

You may also find previous versions of the file in the folder it is located in, but which have since been deleted.
Last edited by John_Ha on Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: OpenOffice always crashes when opening this one document

Postby John_Ha » Sat Jul 15, 2017 12:33 pm

In an emaIl alice980 says
I left the computer with the 'crashed' file open. This time I didn't kill the process. Half an hour later it works again. I deleted the table of contents just in case this was indeed the issue.
Thank you for trying to help! Maybe I was just panicking. Who knew that if 10 min don't do the trick, maybe 30 will...
I do not have half an hour every day to just waste for it to work though..
Anyways, it works now. Hopefully it'll stay that way... Please don't waste your precious time on it!

to which I responded
Excellent. Make sure you have a backup from now on!!

Also, create a new, empty text document and then go Insert > From file ..., and bring in your document. Save the new document. This often clears up problems with files.
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Re: OpenOffice always crashes when opening this one document

Postby alice980 » Sat Jul 15, 2017 1:02 pm

thank you John!
If it crashed your notepad, there must still be something wrong with it, though! If it happens again, I will still post the odt-file as suggested.
Thank you for the txt-file! If all else fails at least content is save!
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Re: OpenOffice always crashes when opening this one document

Postby john1320 » Sat Jul 15, 2017 4:41 pm

Alice, you also may try open it in LibreOffice. Several days ago I switched from OO to LO because of old unresolved bug with missing images.

Stable version could be downloaded here: https://www.libreoffice.org/download/libreoffice-still/
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Re: OpenOffice always crashes when opening this one document

Postby RoryOF » Sat Jul 15, 2017 5:16 pm

john1320 wrote:Alice, you also may try open it in LibreOffice. Several days ago I switched from OO to LO because of old unresolved bug with missing images.

Stable version could be downloaded here: https://www.libreoffice.org/download/libreoffice-still/


Don't rely on the missing image bug being fixed. Make regular backups.
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Re: OpenOffice always crashes when opening this one document

Postby john1320 » Sat Jul 15, 2017 5:46 pm

RoryOF wrote:Make regular backups.


I do : )
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Re: OpenOffice always crashes when opening this one document

Postby John_Ha » Sat Jul 15, 2017 7:50 pm

I have done some more analysis.

When I open the original .odt file Writer seems OK, but then goes into "Stopped responding" mode, written on the title-bar and also reported in TaskManager. But if I wait, the Stopped responding goes for a few seconds, then comes back. If I continue waiting for a minute or two, Writer is then OK. alice980 said it took 30 minutes for her PC to become OK.

During the period I was waiting, the document showed 92 pages (I have also see 117 pages) but when it stabilised, it had 80 pages.

I then made a trivial change (I added a space) and saved it. The new file opened without any problems. So, at this stage, the problem is fixed. (Interestingly, creating a new document and Insert > From file was not as effective as copying and pasting.)

 Edit: Oh no it isn't fixed! See edit below. 

What was happening? I think Writer was probably looping doing page layout and pagination because of the strange page counts. The new file always reports 80 pages. I wonder if the large number of footnotes was causing the problem - adding a footnote consumes space which spills normal text.

Examination of content.XML showed the typical result of direct formatting, namely hundreds and hundreds (and yet more hundreds!) of style definitions. The first line of user text is at line 5,521 - the previous 5,520 lines are all definitions. There are 214 style:name (Paragraph) - the last is P214 (<style:style style:name="P214" style:family="paragraph">). Similarly, there are 1,040 style:names (text) - the last is T1040 (<style:style style:name="T1040" style:family="text">). I wondered if the problem was that AOO has a 1,024 limit on style:names (text) and this had been exceeded??

There are lots of references and 404 footnotes. There were some Edit > Changes > Insert comments which are attached to highlighted text. I seem to recollect that highlighted text comments often seems to cause problems, as does adding comments with MS Word instead of AOO Writer.

 Edit: I was sending the new file to alice980 but thought I would check it again before doing so. Surprisingly, it now opens with 92 pages and stops responding as before. When it does respond it is back to 80 pages. So I am very confused.

alice980. Has anyone edited the file using MS Word? In particular has anyone used MS Word to record changes - that often seems to cause problems. 
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Re: OpenOffice always crashes when opening this one document

Postby RoryOF » Sat Jul 15, 2017 8:49 pm

A copy of the file to which John_Ha gave me the link opened with 93 pages, stable after about a minute. I was repeatedly able to scroll from first to last page and back again; I left the file open for 40 minutes; at all times I was able to insert and delete text in the German and Hebrew areas. The differing page count from his reports may be due to different fonts - I am running on linux. The Styles used seem reasonable in number; I haven't checked for direct formatting other than to note that paragraph indents are made using a tab, rather than Automatic in the Paragraph styles.
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Re: OpenOffice always crashes when opening this one document

Postby John_Ha » Sat Jul 15, 2017 9:22 pm

I am now fairly certain it is a pagination and/or layout problem.

There are often situations which are potentially unstable. For example, consider what happens if footnote xyz position is on the last line of the text before the footnotes start, and footnote xyz itself is the last footnote on the page. There are many such instances.

Say there is now a text spill on that page during page layout. The spill pulls the last line of text with the footnote position onto the next page > which pulls the footnote itself onto the next page > which frees up empty space on the previous page > which allows the line of text to be pulled back > which brings back the footnote pointer in that line > which brings back the footnote itself > but there isn't enough space for it > so the last line of the text with the footnote pointer gets spilled ... and we get back to where we started. The loop is endless but AOO pulls out of the loop after a set time and the layout is as it was when AOO pulled out.

This is why the page count is so variable. .

Note also how the table extends over multiple pages. Note also how, when the page count is higher than it should be, that there are gaps below the table rows on many pages, and white space to the end of that page. This is why the page count is high. If I then click PREVIEW, I get a message (bottom left?) saying Re-paginating, and the page numbers drop and the preview does not have any gaps. When I then go back to normal, the gaps are gone. So PREVIEW seems to force re-pagination on both Preview and normal view.

I often see a very similar problem with Master documents where the sub documents have images and where Writer leaves large blank spaces and the page count is very high. Often tables get broken with a few rows, then blank to the end of the page, then the rest of the table rows. Refreshing fixes it.

I think you will just have to accept is is "working as designed" and accept the delays, although the "table splitting with large white gaps" is arguably a fault. The best thing you can do is to "help Writer to layout the document by taking direct, manual control". First, and most important: try splitting the table into separate tables and, if your document is more or less laid out, split the table into one table per page. Second: can you help Writer layout the footnotes? You want to avoid a situation where the footnote number is located in the last line of text on a page or the first line of text on a page as it is then very susceptible to the looping described above.

You have several redundant Text Frames which you may care to delete. Find them in the Navigator (F5) > r-click > Edit Frame. Set to border on and you will see it - delete it.
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Re: OpenOffice always crashes when opening this one document

Postby alice980 » Sat Jul 15, 2017 10:05 pm

Wow! That page count thing drove me insane! I just didn't realize this was connected to the crashing. I realize my document is very complex. Having to use different languages which use different alphabets doesn't make it easier. I will try and do what you suggested to "help" Writer by fixing the table and the million footnotes!

To your question before, yes, I have tried working on this document on a different computer which only had MS Word. I've had issues before when someone recorded changes on MS Word, so I at least know not to do that. I think I inserted the table of contents on MS Word though. That's why I thought it may cause problems now. I deleted it and will also delete the comments and will in general be nicer to Writer in the future.

Except for the Re-pagination it works now, thank God! I will give another update once I've worked on the layout.

I'm amazed by how much effort you put into helping me! I wish I could I thank you more than just say 'thank you'... :D
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Re: OpenOffice always crashes when opening this one document

Postby RoryOF » Sun Jul 16, 2017 9:18 am

I would break the table down into "page sized" pieces (i.e., smaller tables); at present it has 45 rows,and extends over about 20 pages.
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Re: OpenOffice always crashes when opening this one document

Postby John_Ha » Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:59 am

Another idea. Put in redundant page breaks throughout the document. If a spill then does happen, it is stopped at the next page break. Imagine the worst case when you get a spill on page 1 which might ripple through spilling every page in the document. Writer has to work very hard to re-layout the document. And when it fixes the spill on a page, it affects every following page.

Don't forget you can make use of Page Preview to force Writer to re-paginate the document.

Clipboard02.png
Clipboard02.png (16.98 KiB) Viewed 6753 times

Also, it would be interesting to know the history of the file. Did you create it from new as a .odt file? Or did you take an existing file, possibly a .docx file, and use it for your document? I am pretty certain that the file has been saved by MS Word as a .docx file at some time in its history because some of the XML formatting in content.xml is typical of the horrible way in which MS Word seems to butcher XML tags. See, for example:

Code: Select all   Expand viewCollapse view
<text:p text:style-name="P115">
   <text:span text:style-name="T387">Vgl. Ezra Fleischer</text:span>
   <text:span text:style-name="T389">, „P</text:span>
   <text:span text:style-name="T402">iyyut</text:span>
   <text:span text:style-name="T389">“, in:</text:span>
   <text:span text:style-name="T387"> </text:span>
   <text:span text:style-name="T410">Encyclopaedia Judaica</text:span>
   <text:span text:style-name="T413">,</text:span>
   <text:span text:style-name="T410"> </text:span>
   <text:span text:style-name="T413">Bd. 16, Detroit u.a. </text:span>
   <text:span text:style-name="T422">2</text:span>
   <text:span text:style-name="T413">2007, S. 192-209, hier S. 192b.</text:span>
</text:p>

Similarly, I think that "WW_5f_CharLFO23LVL2" is an MS Word bullet definition:

Code: Select all   Expand viewCollapse view
<text:list-level-style-bullet text:level="2" text:style-name="WW_5f_CharLFO23LVL2" text:bullet-char="◦">
   <style:list-level-properties text:list-level-position-and-space-mode="label-alignment">
      <style:list-level-label-alignment text:label-followed-by="listtab" fo:text-indent="-6.35mm" fo:margin-left="19.05mm"/>
   </style:list-level-properties>
   <style:text-properties style:font-name="OpenSymbol"/>
</text:list-level-style-bullet>

File > Properties > General ..., shows the file was created in March 2017, has been open for 857 hours, and has been edited 625 times.
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Re: OpenOffice always crashes when opening this one document

Postby John_Ha » Sun Jul 16, 2017 11:37 am

john1320 wrote:Alice, you also may try open it in LibreOffice. Several days ago I switched from OO to LO because of old unresolved bug with missing images.

I am pretty sure that LibreOffice still has the identical "missing images" problem, along with a lot more instabilities. See Re: Please redirect users to LibreOffice
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Re: OpenOffice always crashes when opening this one document

Postby John_Ha » Sun Jul 16, 2017 12:58 pm

alice980 wrote:I wish I could I thank you more than just say 'thank you'... :D

Thank you for the thanks! I saw the "Please help me save a years worth of hard work..."

As an aid to those searching can I suggest you edit the Subject line on your frst post (Sign in and click the EDIT icon in it) to read "OpenOffice always hangs when opening this one document" as AOO did not crash - it was just very slooooooooooooooooooooooooooooow. It is always a good idea to wait when something hangs just in case, as here, it eventually fixes itself. Some Windows XP updates needed you to leave the PC for 24 hours or more.
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Re: OpenOffice always crashes when opening this one document

Postby John_Ha » Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:07 pm

More thoughts ...

I think the document was created using a template from MS Word which has hundreds of character styles, and many strange bullet styles, none of which are used in your text. It is best to use a simple, clean, minimum template for your work and not re-use a previous document - heavily edited documents seem to get "tangled" somehow.

Either press F11 (or click the Styles window > scroll to More > Click More) to open the Styles and Formatting window. This shows all the Styles available to use because they are stored in the template from which the document was created. Select (at the bottom) Applied Styles to tell you which styles are actually being used in the document.

styles.png
Styles
styles.png (17.5 KiB) Viewed 6725 times


Clipboard07.png
Character styles - where did all these (300!) WW_Char... character styles come from ????

Second, I think the document hangs when opening for a much shorter time on my PC because I have a Solid State Disk which is 10x faster than a hard disk.

Third, have a look at the table - it extends beyond the page margins. I have a feeling that, when I drag the table edges so that the table does not extend beyond the page margins, the document opens faster. Tables can extend beyond page margins so I am not sure why it seems better.

Clipboard02.png
Table extends beyond page margins

Tables can be split across pages, but I strongly recommend splitting the table into multiple small tables rather than carrying the same table across so many pages. I think this will help by controlling the layout problems which I think aries because you have so many footnotes. Be sure to work on a copy just in case you accidentally mess things up!!

I do not think that what you are seeing is a bug in AOO
. What is happening is that you (quite inadvertently!) are asking AOO to do a vast amount of work paginating the document because your many footnotes mean that any spill across a page end is likely to need a lot of work to sort it out and AOO may get into a loop doing so. The AOO developers thought of this and place a time limit on how long AOO stays in the loop so as to allow the document to work, albeit with layout errors like the blank gaps below the tables causing the pagination errors. I do not know if it is a bug that a table splits and leaves the white gaps because it could be working properly, and just that when AOO pulls out of the loop, AOO has not finished doing the table layout.
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Re: OpenOffice stops responding when opening this one docume

Postby John_Ha » Mon Jul 17, 2017 4:23 pm

Further analysis suggests that the table is somehow corrupted.

I came to this conclusion because I decided to apply a border to the tables to identify exactly how far each extended. I found the table did not highlight when selected, and I could not then apply the border to the selected table. I have not been able to diagnose what is causing the problem, but I would definitely suggest splitting the tables.

I put in a few splits in using "Right-click and choose Split Table in the pop-up menu" (I placed the cursor in the first row after the title row) and the document seems a little quicker to open.

Writer has a "Split table" option where the manual says:

Merging and splitting tables

One table can be split into two tables, and two tables can be merged into a single table. Tables are split only horizontally (the rows above the split point are put into one table, and the rows below into another).

To split a table:

1) Place the cursor in a cell which will be in the top row of the second table after the split (the table splits immediately above the cursor).
2) Right-click and choose Split Table in the pop-up menu. You can also use Table > Split Table from the menu bar.
3) A Split Table dialog box pops up. You can select No heading or an alternative formatting for the heading—the top row(s) of the new table.
4) Click OK. The table is then split into two tables separated by a blank paragraph.
Note If cells in one table include formulas using data from the other table, those cells will contain an error message: **Expression is faulty**.

To merge two tables:

1) Delete the blank paragraph between the tables. You must use the Delete key (not the Backspace key) to do this.
2) Select a cell in the second table.
3) Right-click and choose Merge Tables in the pop-up menu. You can also use Table > Merge Table from the menu bar.

Tip
To see clearly where the paragraphs are and to delete them easily, choose View > Nonprinting Characters (Ctrl+F10) or click the ¶ button in the Standard toolbar.

If this does not work, the much more difficult option is to copy and paste row contents into a new table. I do not know how the footnotes would cope with doing that.

Another alternative would be to use columns instead of a table - see [Tutorial] Columns in Writer: an introduction
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Re: OpenOffice stops responding when opening this one docume

Postby alice980 » Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:50 pm

So I tried to do every single suggested thing!

I deleted the table of contents and typed it again manually, I deleted the comments, I split the tables. I realized most of the content didn't even have to be in a table, so I extraced the text. Now it looks like this:
new table.jpg


I tried my best to avoid Footnotes at the end of the page and added as many page breaks as possible. I copied and pasted everything into a new document and only had to reajust the formatting of the Footnotes. I deleted all the empty frames and changed the styles that I could identify as MS Word-Styles into OO-Styles. (Don't know about all the WW_Char... character styles...)

During this whole process it stopped responding again once. I left it open for hours until I become too impatient and killed the process. It also crashed for real a couple times, with the pop up telling me it wasn't working anymore.
I am done now and it seems to be working as it should. One last check-up and I'm ready to print it. :super:

As for the history of the file, I created it last summer as an odt-file. In the beginning I swiched working back and forth between two computers, one had MS Word, and one OpenOffice. I guess this is where the XML-butchering comes from. I saved it online and also on the computers (Save as... to replace the old file with the updated one), that's why it says it had been created recently.

Thank you so much for all the help! Getting this thing done meant a lot more to me than just finishing a paper..!
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Re: OpenOffice stops responding when opening this one docume

Postby John_Ha » Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:24 pm

alice980 wrote:So I tried to do every single suggested thing! ... I am done now and it seems to be working as it should. One last check-up and I'm ready to print it. :super:

Thanks for letting us know - I am pleased it all worked out for you. Good luck with the paper. :D

Can you please view your first post in this thread and click the Edit button (top right in the post) and add [Solved] in front of the subject.

 Edit: I have just thought of another thing which could have been tried.

If you go View > Web layout ..., the document is portrayed as if it was a web page. It is a single page of whatever length is required laid out in huge, 10 meter long pages, and the footnotes all gather together at the very bottom of each page. There are thus no fewer layout issues when Writer lays out the document.

Interestingly, when I tried it, footnotes 1 - 218 gathered after table line 83, whereas footnotes 219 to the last footnote were at the end of the document as expected. I don't know why footnotes 1 - 218 were there. [because that is the end of Page 1] 
Last edited by John_Ha on Wed Jul 19, 2017 9:12 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: OpenOffice stops responding when opening this one docume

Postby RoryOF » Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:33 pm

And, please. if doing any further editing, make timed/dated backups at regular intervals, so that if things go wrong again, you only lose the last edits.
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Re: OpenOffice stops responding when opening this one docume

Postby John_Ha » Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:53 pm

RoryOF wrote: ... so that if things go wrong again ...

That should read "so that WHEN things go wrong again ..." :crazy:
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Re: OpenOffice stops responding when opening this one docume

Postby RoryOF » Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:06 pm

@John_Ha: I'd call you a pessimist if I could spell it!

In computing one should always remember Murphy's three Laws

1: Anything that can go wrong will go wrong
2: Nature always favours the hidden flaw
3: Things, when left to themselves, can only go from bad to worse.
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RoryOF
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Re: OpenOffice stops responding when opening this one docume

Postby RoryOF » Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:15 pm

John_Ha wrote:
 Edit: If you go View > Web layout ..., the document is portrayed as if it was a web page. It is a single page of whatever length is required, 


For information, in case there is some later misunderstanding: OpenOffice has an overall page limit of 300cm (about 120 inches) in /View /Print mode; in /View /Web mode the page length seems to be a little over 10 metres (about 10.94 metres by my measurement); these are internal structural limits. In web view, the display will continue on to another page when page is filled.

 Edit: Edited to correct erroneous information 
Apache OpenOffice 4.1.7 on Xubuntu 18.04.3 (mostly 64 bit version) and very infrequently on Win2K/XP
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Re: OpenOffice stops responding when opening this one docume

Postby John_Ha » Wed Jul 19, 2017 9:01 pm

Excellent catch!

That is exactly what was happening, except the web "page" is 10 metres long as can be seen in the image. When I set the A4 page to landscape, as expected, the pages get split at a different location in the text, but still with the first page being 10m long.

In reality, I just stumble around in the dark ... :knock:
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Re: OpenOffice stops responding when opening this one docume

Postby John_Ha » Wed Jul 19, 2017 9:08 pm

RoryOF wrote:In computing one should always remember Murphy's three Laws

... and the well known ditty

I do hate this computer
I really wish they'd sell it.
It never does what I want
but only what I tell it.


And, of course, the marvellous Windows Haikus.

(Attributed to Anon)

In Japan, they have replaced the impersonal and unhelpful Microsoft Error messages with Haiku. Haiku poetry has strict construction rules. Each poem has only 3 lines, 17 syllables: five syllables in the first line, seven in the second, five in the third. Haikus are used to communicate a timeless message, often achieving a wistful, yearning and powerful insight through extreme brevity - the essence of Zen.

Yesterday it worked.
Today it is not working.
Windows is like that.

Your file was big.
It might be very useful.
But now it is gone.

The Web site you seek
Cannot be located, but
Countless more exist.

Chaos reigns within.
Reflect, repent, and reboot.
Order shall return.

Program aborting:
Close all that you have worked on.
You ask far too much.

Windows NT crashed.
I am the Blue Screen of Death.
No one hears your screams.

First snow, then silence.
This thousand dollar screen dies
So beautifully.

With searching comes loss
And the presence of absence:
"My Novel" not found.

The Tao that is seen
Is not the true Tao-until
You bring fresh toner.

Stay the patient course.
Of little worth is your ire.
The network is down.

A crash reduces
Your expensive computer
To a simple stone.

Three things are certain:
Death, taxes and lost data.
Guess which has occurred.

You step in the stream,
But the water has moved on.
This page is not here.

Out of memory.
We wish to hold the whole sky,
But we never will.

Having been erased,
The document you're seeking
Must now be retyped.

Serious error.
All shortcuts have disappeared.
Screen. Mind. Both are blank.
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