Sunday, February 15, 2015

Harder Than it Should Be

It just works. - Steve Jobs

The problem about things that “just work” is when they don’t.

A nifty writing app (Desk) went on sale in the Mac App Store a few weeks ago. I noticed it while I was on Amtrak on the way to work and tried to download it. The download failed, because Amtrak WiFi blocks the App Store. No big deal, right? Just wait until later to download the app.

Now became later and I was on my home network and tried again to download the app and got a reply that the download timed out. I could download other apps, just not this one. We had moved past the “it just works” phase of things. I noticed in `Console` that the following request was timing out:

  2/13/15 9:53:20.491 AM storeaccountd[351]: ADI: {
    "Cache-Control" = "max-age=604800";
    Connection = "keep-alive";
    "Content-Length" = 0;
    Date = "Wed, 28 Jan 2015 15:26:24 GMT";
    Location = "";
    Server = "squid/2.6.STABLE21";
    Via = "1.1 8802 (squid/3.3.5)";
    "X-Cache" = "MISS from 8802";

Wait what?"” Seemed like the denied Amtrak page had snuck its way into my cache somehow. Weeks went by and we were way past the 7-day “max-age” for this request but it kept on failing. Restart computer? Restart app store? Clear Safari cache? No. No. And no.

I finally got this bad boy solved by delete the following directories: ~/Library/Cache: storeaccountd, storeassetd, storedownloadd, storeinappd. Seem simple? It took hours and hours of trying all sorts of things before the final answer. Standard engineering - hours of effort for a five minute solution.

Last night my Prius starter battery died. Mrs.Chaos was stranded. I headed out and we called the service. First guy showed up and tried to jump the car. All of the dashboard lights came on, but the car wouldn't start. He eventually gave up and I had to call a second service guy with a tow truck (expecting the car needed to be towed). Second guy showed up, put a jumper box on the battery, and aggressively rocked the car. The car clicked and then it started. "Yeah, when the battery dies a Prius goes into transmission lock. You need to get the transmission back into park before the car will start."

The problem about things that “just work” is when they don’t.