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Dealing with Adobe forums error, "a serious error has occurred in the system"

I happened to try to visit today an Adobe forums page, when I got this error:

System Error

We're sorry but a serious error has occurred in the system.

If this happens to you, I have a possible quick solution (if you just want to get to the page in question):

Use your browser's menu option to have it create a "new private window" (FireFox), or "new incognito Window" (Chrome), or "new session" (IE), or the like.

This will open a new window for your browser, and it will NOT send any cookies to the page in question. And you should find that suddenly the forums "work", which tells you that the problem was about the server's unhappiness with something about the cookies in your browser.

If that's enough, great. If you want to know a bit more, read on.

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Easily finding cached versions of a site/page when it's down or gone

Have you ever had a web site "go dark" on you? or found that a given page on a site somehow disappeared? Maybe it's only temporary (there may even be a "we're down" message, though the site or server may just fail to respond at all), or maybe the failure of the page or site will be permanent.

The good news is that there are at least two easy ways that you may well still be able to see that content you may be missing: the Google cache (to at least see the last version which Google may have cached), and the internet archive "wayback machine", which often lets you see YEARS back in the history of a page or entire site, including one that may be long-gone.

In this post I share tips (and gotchas) on using both tools.

They aren't GUARANTEED to have the page you're looking for, but I find that they do about 99% of the time I try them (and I use them a lot, because I'm often mining gold in old blog posts or articles which have gone away across many sites I have visited).

[Updated June 9 in a variety of ways, mostly minor, but with some additions in the "trip down memory lane" discussion.)

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proXPN users: a simpler soluton for "Connecting to proXPN has failed"

If you're a user of proXPN (a free/low-cost VPN service), and you get the error, "Connecting to proXPN has failed", here is a simple solution that you may not find offered elsewhere: just try restarting proXPN. For more information, read on.

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Getting around "Invalid screen name or password" error adding comments to Adobe ColdFusion docs

Hopefully folks know that one can add comments to the documentation on the Adobe ColdFusion docs pages (like that for the the CF9 Developer guide or the CF10, by clicking the "discuss" link at the bottom of any documentation page. You'll be asked to login with a valid Adobe id.

But have you ever found that when you tried that, you get:

Invalid screen name or password. Please try again.

...even though you KNOW that you're entering the right id? Indeed, one that has been used before?

Perhaps it also happens on other Adobe site properties, and the trick I propose may work for you, also.

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All My Blog Entries for 2012 (all but 3 about ColdFusion)

Following up my last blog entry (highlighting the top 10 most-viewed entries for my blog this year), here's a listing instead of all the entries I've done this year, if it may help someone more easily review if they missed any that might be interesting.

I present the list in two forms: first, just a list of all the entries (31 of them), and second, broken down by category, in case some category may be more interesting to you.

The entries

Here are the 31 entries, in descending order by date.

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Most-viewed ColdFusion blog entries of 2012

As the year comes to a close, many bloggers take a moment to document the most-viewed entries of the year on their blog. In that spirit, here are the top-viewed entries of the year for my blog.

I have more to say about the list (and such lists) below, but for those who like to "get to the point", here's the list:

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If ColdFusion or CFML are "dying", then why are there still 12 active conferences covering them?!

Often we hear some assert that CF's dying, whether they mean CF the product or CFML the language. I want to make one contention against that which I don't hear too often at all:

There are an awful lot of currently active conferences covering CF/CFML for such a "dying" product and/or language.

I count 12 annual conferences (for the current year) which cover the topics (CF or CFML) entirely or as a major track, as listed in the category on CFML conferences which I keep updated in my CF411 resource.

Here first are the next several coming up:

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Setting up ColdFusion to process html or other file extensions

As a follow-on to my last entry, Setting up CFBuilder to process htm files with the ColdFusion editor, I wanted to offer more info for those who may want to know more about this--or ensure that more is shared with any who would consider doing this.

If you're looking for how to configure CFBuilder to open htm files with the CFML editor, see that other entry. This one instead is about the related idea of having CF (the server) process htm (or other) file extensions. There are certainly pros and cons.

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Coming review of "ColdFusion 9 Developer Tutorial" book by John Farrar, and a free chapter for you

Today the publisher of John Farrar's new book, ColdFusion 9 Developer Tutorial offered to send me a review copy. I appreciate and look forward to that, as I've heard good things about it.

I'll post a review in coming weeks after I've had a chance to take a look.

Free Preview Chapter on ORM

In the meantime, they have also offered for free one of the chapters in the book so you can get a taste of the book's approach.

It's chapter 4, ORM Database Interaction, and as you'll see John leads you gently through this important new feature of CF9. Assuming you have no prior experience with ORM, he works in 20 pages from introducing the concepts, to quickly configuring and coding, to working with relationships, and more. You'll see he uses lots of screenshots and example code.

One editorial/review comment: I did notice that the preview chapter lists a last section to be on "custom configuration", which isn't ever found in the chapter. I brought this to John's attention and he apologized that it slipped through.

Having contributed to several books myself*, I know that can happen and I don't regard it as a big deal. It doesn't take away at all from the rest of the book.

Looking forward to the rest of the book

As for that rest of the book, and why you may want to consider it, the introduction indicates it "will teach you the basics of ColdFusion programming, basic application architecture, object reuse, and ORM concepts before showing you a range of topics including AJAX library integration, RESTful Web Services, Unit Testing, building custom tags, and his hybrid example of tags and objects COOP" ... "with real-world examples of the hows and whys, to get more done faster with ColdFusion 9" ...[and] "also covers the new features of ColdFusion Builder and additional version 9 updates".

I'm sure it will benefit many, and I'll look into all that when I get the review copy, and I'll be back to pass along my observations.

*I'm sure the publishers of my own books would think it appropriate at this point to mention those other books, which are also out recently and updated for CF9. They are the ColdFusion 9 Web Application Construction Kit, Volume 1 (Getting Started), Volume 2, Application Development, and Volume 3, Advanced Application Development.

Did you know CF's used by Dell, TomTom, BestBuy and more? Well...

Did you know CF's being used by Dell, TomTom, BestBuy and others? Well, it is, but through a service they license, but for public-facing parts of their sites, so it's indeed worth noting.

I had noticed today that Budd Wright from PelcoSolutions (aka DVS Interactive) blogged this weekend that "BestBuy Uses ColdFusion". That certainly caught my eye (heck, I was in the store just yesterday.)

Just the BestBuy "trade-in" site, but more than meets the eye

As I read it and saw it was about their trade-in site, I thought, "well, some may bemoan that it's 'just a subsite'", and therefore may not find it quite as compelling as if it were the main site. That may be so.

But on closer examination I found something that is indeed still more compelling. What BestBuy is using (that uses CF) is really a licensed service from dealtree.com. And if one looks at that page (where DealTree lists others using their service), we see that indeed it's used also by Dell, TomTom, Sharp, Buy.com, Gateway, Casio, Ebay, and others. So this is about more than just BestBuy! :-)

These other companies (Dell, TomTom, etc.) would have high expectations

They all certainly wouldn't have chosen if if it wasn't suitable to the task, and you'd think someone higher up in each company had to clear it, since trade-in processing is pretty public-facing (both in-store and online).

Perhaps we can hope it may raise the profile of CF within the companies (though really, it's probably just seen as a utility to most, SAAS that just works, so that may be too much to hope for.)

Still, since these are companies which will require fast response in both the in-store and online sites, it's certainly a nice set of examples of e-commerce CF use that we can point to, so thanks for sharing, Budd.

I figured this was all a little much to put in his blog as a comment. :-) Plus I thought that my blogging it separately might be a nice way to give his entry a little more "link juice" in the search engines. :-)

Who else is using CF?

I'm adding this after a couple of comments below, of people noting other sites using CF. I didn't think to mention it when I wrote this but I do keep a list of resources helping people who may wonder what other sites run CF. It's one of the 125+ categories in my CF411 site:

CFML-Powered Web Sites (who's using CFML?)

To be clear, I'm not keeping a list. Instead, I point there to many sites that do keep such lists.

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