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MathGroup Archive 2006

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Re: A serious error?

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg71913] Re: [mg71888] A serious error?
  • From: Andrzej Kozlowski <akoz at mimuw.edu.pl>
  • Date: Sun, 3 Dec 2006 06:26:45 -0500 (EST)
  • References: <200612021011.FAA28046@smc.vnet.net> <acbec1a40612020342h1e562dd0p33bb240342ed2fe4@mail.gmail.com> <8F021953-D130-4940-9D2C-EE4D63CCA7EE@mimuw.edu.pl> <acbec1a40612020441m354362ffob76339fd9e5bbbd9@mail.gmail.com>

On 2 Dec 2006, at 21:41, Chris Chiasson wrote:

> On 12/2/06, Andrzej Kozlowski <akoz at mimuw.edu.pl> wrote:
>> But Mathematica is definitely not corrupted. The proof is that it
>> works fine if the startup disk is an external disk. As I wrote:
>> exactly the same copy works fine if I boot form an external drive and
>> crashes on startup if I boot form my internal one. Moreover,
>> immediately after the problem occured I deleted Mathematica from my
>> internal hard drive and copied it again from the installation disk.
>> This has made no difference though.
>
> I misread. I thought you had two copies of Mathematica 5.1. You
> actually appear to have two copies of your entire system. Is that
> correct?

Yes. The one on the external FireWire hard drive is a bootable backup.
>
>> > Also, you may want to look into using a source code repository -  
>> I use
>> > subversion.
>>
>> Subversion of course would explain it. In fact I have been expecting
>> something like this since they poisoned Litvinenko -- (I am sorry,
>> this Mathematica problem must have affected my sense of humor - I
>> actually have no idea what you mean by "source code repository").
>
> I'm dying from laughing over here. ;)
>
> A code repository helps you keep your files freshly backed up (without
> costing a lot of space) and also allows you to manage multiple
> versions of your code quite easily. In addition, it is possible to
> look at older versions of your programs by telling the repository what
> revision you want.

Thanks. I have had a quick look at the documentation and it seems  
interesting. But it doesn't look like it would have helped with a  
system related problem. In fact, of coruse, I have a backup of my  
entire system on an external hard drive (even two on two external  
drives). Unfortunately these are huge disks so if I have to erase my  
internal hard disk and restore everything from one from the backup  
disks, it will take ages. Actually I only want to replace system  
files and most of the space is occupied by documents and  
applications, but it seems just to complicated to replace only system  
files under Unix (in the good old days of classic Mac OS it was a  
breeze ... In fact I remember the days when it was enough to replace  
just two files and you had a brand new operating system). So at the  
moment I am hoping that somebody will come up with an idea that goes  
like this: "just delete the file _FileName_ in directory  
_DirectoryName_.." . For the time being I am using Mathematica 5.0  
and have to reboot into my external hard drive if I really need to  
work in 5.1.

Of course another solution would be to get a new MacBook Pro and a  
newer version of Mathematica ;-)

Andrzej

>
> Here is a quick description for the subversion book:
> http://svnbook.red-bean.com/nightly/en/svn.intro.html#svn.intro.whatis
>
>> *This message was transferred with a trial version of CommuniGate 
>> (tm) Pro*
>>
>> On 2 Dec 2006, at 20:42, Chris Chiasson wrote:
>>
>> > A few ideas:
>> >
>> > This happens on my system when my network share is unavailable  
>> because
>> > I have set the environment variable MATHEMATICA_USERBASE to be on a
>> > network drive.
>> >
>> > Have you tried a Shift+Option startup of Mathematica?
>>
>> Yes. In fact, I manually deleted all the FrontEnd Caches, which  I
>> think is equivalent. (But I also tried th eShift-Option startup, just
>> in case).
>>
>> >
>> > If neither of those work, use a command that can give you a  
>> (binary)
>> > diff of a directory structure to compare the Mathematica install on
>> > your system with the backup install on your external drive. AFAIK,
>> > most of the files should be exactly the same, but if the front  
>> end is
>> > complaining - some of them might be missing or corrupt.
>>
>> But Mathematica is definitely not corrupted. The proof is that it
>> works fine if the startup disk is an external disk. As I wrote:
>> exactly the same copy works fine if I boot form an external drive and
>> crashes on startup if I boot form my internal one. Moreover,
>> immediately after the problem occured I deleted Mathematica from my
>> internal hard drive and copied it again from the installation disk.
>> This has made no difference though.
>> I have also found that Mahtematica 4.2 and 5.0 run fine when I boot
>> from the same internal hard drive that causes trouble with 5.1.
>> Moreover, no version of 5.1, no matter where I put it, will start up,
>> using the Front End. The kernel works fine, as I wrote.
>>
>> It really looks like the System has somehow remembered Mathematica
>> 5.1 and won't let it start up, perhaps by not allocating it memory
>> (?) I really have no idea how this sort of thing works under Unix
>> (which is what Mac OS is), but it certainly looks like it. I also
>> can't find any mention of error code 16 on Mac OS X on Apple's
>> support pages. I assume the message refers to a Mac OS X error,  but
>> Apple lists errors 1 to 32767 for Mac OS 9 and earlier only.
>> >
>> > Also, you may want to look into using a source code repository -  
>> I use
>> > subversion.
>>
>> Subversion of course would explain it. In fact I have been expecting
>> something like this since they poisoned Litvinenko -- (I am sorry,
>> this Mathematica problem must have affected my sense of humor - I
>> actually have no idea what you mean by "source code repository").
>>
>>
>> >
>> > Good luck,
>>
>> Thank a lot.
>> Andrzej
>>
>> >
>> > On 12/2/06, Andrzej Kozlowski <akoz at mimuw.edu.pl> wrote:
>> >> I have just encountered a puzzling problem with my Mathematica 5.1
>> >> for Mac OS X. It's probably an issue for technical support, but  
>> just
>> >> in case someone has encountered it before (and known the answer) I
>> >> have decided to post it here. (Actually, I am not even sure  
>> this is
>> >> really a Mathematica issue rather than a Mac OS X issue issue).
>> >> My Mathematica 5.1 was working fine this morning, but then for  
>> some
>> >> reason I restarted the computer and on next launch the following
>> >> message appeared:
>> >>
>> >> A serious error has occured while Mathematica was starting up.
>> >> Mathematica will probably not function properly until this  
>> problem is
>> >> resolved. You may choose to continue anyway, but Mathematica may
>> >> crash or exit without warning.
>> >>
>> >> The installation Mathematica may be corrupted. Contact technical
>> >> support or visti hhtp://www.wolfram.com for more information.  
>> Error
>> >> code: 16.
>> >>
>> >> I clicked "Continue Anyway" and Mathematica crashed as promised. I
>> >> then immediately re-installed Mathematica from a back-up disk  
>> and re-
>> >> started. Exactly the same thing occured. So corrupted installation
>> >> does not seem to be the problem. I decided to check if the problem
>> >> lies in my Home directory. I created a completely new user,  
>> logged in
>> >> as the freshly created user and tried launching Mathematica.  
>> The same
>> >> message, the same crash.
>> >> I then booted form an external hard disk, containing a back up of
>> >> most things on my hard disk. I launched the copy of Mathematica  
>> 5.1
>> >> on my internal hard drive (the same one that was crashing on
>> >> startup) . It launched and worked without a problem. So, it seems
>> >> that something is indeed wrong with the system software on the
>> >> internal drive. What could it be? The only thing that came to  
>> my mind
>> >> was some font corruption, so I replaced all the fonts in my  
>> internal
>> >> hard drive by those in the external one, but to no effect.
>> >>
>> >> I have also confirmed that the problem is only with the  
>> FrontEnd; if
>> >> I launch the Kernel from the command line it works fine. Just  
>> in case
>> >> I tried Mathematica 4.2 on the same system: it also works fine.
>> >>
>> >> At the moment it looks like I will have to replace the contents  
>> of my
>> >> internal hard disk with my external one. This is going to be time
>> >> consuming and I might even loose something, because the two disks
>> >> have not been kept not synchronized. So I consider this as a last
>> >> resort. Apart of that, however, I would like to solve this puzzle.
>> >> What could it be, that seems to affect only the Front End of
>> >> Mathematica 5.1, and does not lie within the application package
>> >> itself (since that works fine when used with a different startup
>> >> disk), nor in the User directory, and does not seem to be  
>> caused by a
>> >> corrupted font?
>> >>
>> >> Andrzej Kozlowski
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >
>> >
>> > --
>> > http://chris.chiasson.name/
>>
>>
>
>
> -- 
> http://chris.chiasson.name/


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