BJK Research

The BugBlog

The BugBlog is a daily look at computer bugs, incompatibilities, and other things that can go wrong with your computer.

The BugBlog is free- but if you want to help support its existence, subscribe to the BugBlog Plus. A three month subscription is only $5. The BugBlog uses monthly archives.

BugBlog FAQ (updated 1/1/2007)

What does the BugBlog cover?

Who writes the BugBlog?

What do you know about bugs?

What do you cover?

How do you find bugs?

Can you guarantee that this information will fix my problem?

Do you have an RSS feed?

Why are you starting a subscription service?

How do I subscribe?

Aren't subscriptions a rip-off? Information wants to be free!

Are there any reviews of the BugBlog?

When is the BugBlog updated?


What does the BugBlog cover?

The BugBlog covers the things that go wrong when you use computers. These include classic bugs, or errors in coding; security problems; incompatibilities between programs, or between software and hardware. It also covers what we feel are really stupid and/or backwards features in programs – ones that companies often say aren’t bugs but “features”.

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Who writes the BugBlog?

The BugBlog is written by Bruce Kratofil, who is the BJK in the BJK Research at the top of this web site. Since I don't usually refer to myself in the third person, I'll switch to first person now.

What do you know about bugs?

Quite a lot, actually. I was a writer, senior editor and then Editor at the now-defunct BugNet between 1993 and 2003. For a long stretch of that time, I uncovered anywhere from 100 to 200 bugs a month, every month. One book that I co-authored, The Windows 95 BugBook, was even put on display at the Smithsonian Institution, in a special exhibit on computer bugs. I’ve written on bugs in InfoWorld, Network Magazine, ZD Net, and MSNBC, and syndicated in many newspapers world-wide. For more on the history of BugNet, you can read founder Bruce Brown’s (it only seems like everyone at BugNet was named Bruce) memoirs here. You can still visit the BugNet site, although it is more like an abandoned house nowadays. (Update 3/18/04: The old BugNet site now appears to be shut down. Reupdate: It's back online.)

The BugBlog now has over three year's worth of bugs up on the archive pages, going back to November 2002.

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What do you cover?

Well, quite a bit time is spent on Microsoft products – it is the most fertile territory for bugs. Other major software and hardware companies are covered too – Adobe, Macromedia, Novell, Apple, Cisco, Lotus, IBM and Oracle. Open source products and/or companies are covered too, – Red Hat, Mozilla, Open Office, and Apache. Some effort will also be made to cover hardware driver upgrades.

I won't cover each and every Linux distribution -- for now, I will cover Red Hat and Novell SUSE. If you see an issue with one of those, you may want to check your own distro to see if there is also a problem. Why Red Hat and Novell SUSE ? Because they have good documentation, and its easy to find stuff on their sites.

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How do you find bugs?

The BugBlog is not a testing lab. Almost everything written here comes from public documents from authoritative sources – a bug isn’t written up just because someone on a news group complains. Unless otherwise noted, everything written here comes from one of the following sources: directly from a technical document on a company’s web site, or in the case of open source product, from the supervising organization, such as Mozilla.org; certain authoritative third-party sources will also be used, such as CERT, or some of the independent security researchers. Every once in awhile, something will be written up from personal experience, without verification from these sources, but it will be clearly marked as such.

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Can you guarantee that this information will fix my problem?

No. Given the almost unlimited combinations of hardware, BIOS, software, and drivers, no one can guarantee that any one fix is for everybody. Information here will often be linked back to other, more detailed documents, that may give you more help. Certain fixes, such as editing the Registry, can be very dangerous and shouldn’t be undertaken if you aren’t sure what you are doing.

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Do you have an RSS feed?

Yep, an RSS 2.0 feed right here.RSS

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Why are you starting a subscription service?

I'm starting a subscription service because not nearly enough people were hitting the PayPal tip jar. That's really not that surprising -- as an economist, I know all about the "Free Rider" Principle. In general, people are perfectly happy letting someone else pay for things while they get it for free. I do it myself.

How much is a subscription? How do I subscribe?

You can subscribe here. It's only $5 for a three month subscription, and $18 for a whole year. For that, you will be getting at least 25 more bugs a week than the free site. Optionally, you can also receive a weekly newsletter of the bugs, organized by company/product. Somewhere down the road will be a searchable database.

Aren't subscriptions a rip-off? Information wants to be free!

You aren't paying for the information -- anyone who wants to can go out and dig this stuff up too. You are paying me to save you time -- and time is not free. It's a lot faster to come to one place and see all this stuff consolidated.

Are there any reviews of the BugBlog?

Yes there are. (I wouldn't have asked the question of myself otherwise.) Small Business Trends featured the BugBlog in a PowerBlog review on 3/7/04. Also, The BugBlog was selected as the daily "7 Wonders of the Web" on 5/5/2004.

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When is the BugBlog updated?

The free daily bug normally goes up in the morning (Eastern Time), every weekday and sometimes Saturday and/or Sunday. The schedule for the BugBlog Plus is a little more variable. The aim is to add five additional bugs each weekday afternoon or evening, but other business and other writing often means that you will get 10 on one day and none on another. In general, more bugs are added Monday through Wednesday, just before the BugBlog Plus newsletter gets mailed on Wednesday.

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Copyright 2003-2007 BJK Research LLC

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