[Solved] Chrome displays all text italic

A lot of text and links were displayed italic in Chrome on several webpages since a Windows 10 update. Firefox could display the text correctly. The problem occurred especially while on the WordPress administration pages, on the Chrome Web Store and the WhatsApp web interface.

A quick google learned that it could be caused by some extensions or a default font setting or even an experimental font setting in Chrome (DirectWire). Trying to change these options didn’t work for me. Then I started to inspect the code of those webpages. I found out that the text style wasn’t italic at all, meaning that it wasn’t changed incorrectly by extensions or default font settings or DirectWire.

I did notice however that all the italic text was the Google Font OpenSans font. It was included correctly in the web page but seemed corrupt in one way or the other. Then I searched for the font in my Windows Fonts directory and it seemed that the Open Sans font was installed locally as well, but only as an italic font.

It seems that Chrome uses locally installed fonts if they are available and completely ignores the included Google Fonts on the webpage. Even if a font variant is not available locally. Firefox handles this situation better by displaying the downloaded Google Font variant that is missing locally.

How to make the text appear normal in stead of italic

The solution is quite simple. Remove the locally installed OpenSans font. Make sure that you close Chrome first because it has the font in use and Windows won’t allow you to remove it

Font can't be deleted because it's in use

  1. Shut down Chrome (so that the font isn’t in use anymore)
  2. Go to Control Panel\Appearance and Personalisation\Fonts and remove the (italic-only) Open Sans font locally in your Windows Fonts directory
  3. Reopen Chrome.

I guess downloading all the Open Sans variants and install them locally would’ve helped as well.

Windows 10

While several people already have Windows 10 installed, my computer didn’t offer me that possibility yet. Searching on the Internet, I found several sites explaining how to force Windows update to download and install Windows 10 but none of these descriptions worked for me. I found out that one step was missing in my case: automatic installation of updates. My Windows Update was set up to automatically download updates but I chose the time of installation.

So in my case, the steps to perform were:

  1. Open Windows Update
  2. At the left, click “Change Settings”
  3. Make sure the selection menu under “Important Updates” says “Install updates automatically”, and make sure that under Recommended updates, the “Give me recommended updates the same way I receive important updates” option is checked.
  4. Remove all files in C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download
  5. Then, hit the windows key and type “cmd”. Right click the command prompt and choos for “Run as administrator”
  6. enter the command wuauclt.exe/updatenow. Don’t hit enter yet
  7. In the Windows Update window, click “Check for updates” on the left hand side.
  8. Immediately after that, hit enter in the command prompt, executing the command you previously entered

At this point, Windows Update started to download Windows 10.

However, after installation and preparing setup, the update failed and I ran into error 80240020 – which is quite known, so it seems. So I followed these steps to remove all downloaded files and re-downloaded everything.

Windows Live Messenger Coolness

There was a time that ICQ was world’s most popular instant messenger. That was before a famous company decided to inject its own messenger into its operating system. Windows messenger over MSN messenger to Windows Live messenger might currently be the most popular messenger- or is it Facebook these days? – I’m hardly using it. Both Windows and Messenger.

WLM Quick StatusSo it was until today I discovered that in Windows 7, if you hover the WLM icon, you can quickly change your status while it took me at least a minute before I found out how to change it in the application itself 🙂

It’s a little cool.
Nothing more.
Just sayin’.


Oracle 10g and W2K8R2

At the office, a lot of people are using MS Excel. And they’re using the ability to fetch external data into Excel. This external data is read from an Oracle 10g database. Now, given the fact that we recently changed to a new Citrix environment, using Windows 2008 R2 (thus x64) servers, you can already guess: Reloading the data in Excel just won’t work.

After a little search on the Internet, I found a question about the exact same problem I have: the question for a “Solution for ORA-6413 error showing connection not open

There’s just one answer.

Are you running a 32 bit Oracle client software on a 64 bit OS ?

It seems that this error is caused by a bug. The networking layer is unable to parse program locations that contain parenthesis in the path to the executable which is attempting to connect to Oracle, and 32 bit applications are installed in locations similar to “C:\Program Files (x86)\…” on 64 bit versions of Windows.

If that is the case, there are two solutions for this:

1) Use a version of the Oracle software that contains the fix for the bug (i.e. apply the latest available patch for the Oracle software)
2) Find the location of the application that is generating the error and relocate it to a directory without any parenthesis in the path.

Since it is a bug in the Oracle client, relocating the application to a folder without parenthesis is just a work-around. I’d go for solution 1: use a new version of the software. Luckily I still have that download from my previous Oracle troubles, on my x64 Windows 7 machine, and remembering the download took more than 30 minutes, I’m glad I can start installing immediately… Just to find out that the installer crashes as soon as it get launched.

Then I remembered.

Only a couple of days after finding a solution for my Oracle 10g troubles on Windows 7, a colleague of mine couldn’t start the installer either. What I couldn’t remember, is what the solution was. Luckily, there’s Google to show me that there’s a simple solution. Just moving the installer files to C:\ solves it and the installer works fine.

I said it before and I’ll repeat it. It IS still Windows after all…
Edit: As mentioned in the comments, it’s indeed not fair to blame the guys from Redmond. Totally agree.
And I forgot to mention that not only the installer just works after copying it to the root, the solution mentioned above did indeed work on the servers so Excel is now able to connect to the Oracle database.

The world is not quite ready for 64bit

64bitAs I told in the last few lines of my previous post, I had some issues installing the Oracle 10g client on my Windows 7 installation. After installing the 10g client, I immediately noticed it wouldn’t work: When opening the Microsoft ODBC Administrator, the Oracle datasource just wasn’t there. So I started to Google and the first hits I got were not very promising: 10g isn’t supported on Windows 7. It’s all over the place. Not supported. Won’t work. Why bother. One of the Oracle forum threads however shows that I had to use the 11g client. This isn’t supported either, but works at least. Better this than nothing, so I started to download the Oracle 11g 64bit client. Sure, my OS is 64 bit. 500MB. Damn.

When the download was finally finished, I installed this 11g client and noticed that indeed, the Oracle ODBC driver appeared in the ODBC manager. Hooray! So I set up the ODBC data source for the application that I tried to set up and indeed, I could choose the datasource, I selected it and … the application just crashed. Gone. Damn. As expected actually, since the software doesn’t support the 11g client. So I started to search further, noticed there was an update of the 10g client (with Vista support) so I started to download that one (another 500MB download) but I continued my search. I noticed a strange thing about another application, Powerbuilder 11, that has 11g support, but which refused to connect to the oracle database, although the 11g client was installed. It was a difficult search, but all of a sudden, I came across Google Groups where a few words were blinking.

PB is 32 bit and requires 32 bit client libraries.

How embarrassing. Of course! Powerbuilder didn’t say it couldn’t find the Oracle installation, it said it couldn’t load a specific DLL (a specific 64bit DLL). And that’s the reason why my 32bit installations of Oracle doesn’t appear in the ODBC manager: it only shows 64 bit ODBC drivers! So, I didn’t cancel my 64bit download of Oracle 10g, but I added two other downloads: 32bit version of the latest 10g and the 32bit version of 11g. (you can guess the filesize).

At the installation (I speak 2 hours later and a little modification later), I ran into this other problem. The installer didn’t continue since the OS version isn’t supported. It requires at most Windows 6.0 and I have Windows 6.1 (yes, Windows 7 is version 6.1). But there’s a quick and simple work-around by faking that the OS is supported. The installation worked. Powerbuilder could now connect to the Oracle database (using these 32bit data sources) but my problem on Heat was still standing: no 32bit ODBC drivers in my ODBC manager. There had to be a way to set them up. And there is. It’s called the “32bit version of the ODBC manager” which is the second hit when you enter “ODBC” in the start menu search field.

And now everything falls into place. The fact that Powerbuilder couldn’t see any of the System DSN’s, is part of the same problem: it can’t see any of the 64bit System DSN’s, but it CAN see all the 32bit System DSN’s.

So my problem is just that I installed the 64 bit version of Windows 7. If I would have installed the 32 bit version, I wouldn’t have had any problems I guess…

Running 64 bit Windows 7, my Oracle 10g problems are thus solved by

  • Installing the 32 bit versions of the Oracle clients (both 10g and 11g work without a problem – so far)
  • Setting up the ODBC data bases using the 32bit version of the ODBC manager (which is included by default)

It took me only three days to figure that out.

Windows 7

Windows 7

I just finished a two hour telephone call with Microsoft support. I just wanted to quickly install Windows 7 on my computer.

Problem is this “upgrade” version. You are licensed to install an upgrade version of Windows 7 when you have Windows XP installed on your computer. You find everywhere on the Internet (third party and Microsoft) that you CAN NOT upgrade your Windows XP, but you have the ability to perform a “clean install”.

So, since I knew that and since I had the option to “upgrade” my installation, I chose that option. The installer immediately warned me that this wouldn’t work, since I had a Windows XP installed, so I had to return and choose for the “clean installation”. As expected.

Installation went smoothly. There where all other Windows installations bugged you asking for advanced network options, usernames, keyboard layouts, … this Windows installation just installs. And so we come to the point where the product license had to be entered. The product license is invalid.

I retried, I entered the – signs manually (the installer inserts them automatically), I tried with capslock, without capslock… nothing helped. So I searched for the Microsoft Support number. Online and with another computer of course. The first thing I thought when I was connected with Microsoft was “OMG”. The computer voice was so low, I could hardly understand what they were saying. But, luckily for me, the support guy was understandable and in contrary to all other helpdesks, I could speak to someone almost immediately and thus without listening to some crappy music for several minutes. Microsoft support seems to know what they’re doing. They’re not suggesting “reboot your computer” and don’t answer any other run-over-a-pre-defined-list questions. Straight to the point. And while they’re waiting for their computers to search for information, they note my information so they don’t loose any time.

I had to give them my product key and this was the hardest thing to do of the entire phone call. When you spell some letters, they resemble another one, so he noted the key wrongly for three times. When he finally got it right, he could see nothing was wrong with the number, so he would redirect me to someone of technical service.

This second guy immediately knew who I was, so I didn’t have to explain everything overnew. He suggested to continue without Product Key and reinstall from the same dvd. This would be seen as an “upgrade” of a newer version and thus the key would work. I tried and indeed, that was the solution.

WTF??

So it takes twice as long to install Windows 7. So far the “fast installation”.

However, after that, Windows 7 works like a charm. So much faster than Windows XP, so much more userfriendly, faster, not only in response time but also as in “userexperience”… Overall VERY happy with the result.

And what you immediately see is that they have learned a lot from Mac OS X. A lot.
Now I only have to try to install some (old) applications. So far, everything looks good, except for the Oracle 10g client. It isn’t supported nor working on Windows 7. It seems that the v11 client isn’t supported either, but it should work. So I’m now downloading the 500MB package and will see what that’ll do…