Sunday, February 27, 2011

Skype's Disappearing Cat and Other Hidden Icons

Skype has some hidden emoticons not listed in the standard sub-menu of their chat window.  The complete list can be seen here.

However, there are a couple more that have caused people to think they may have a virus or wonder why exactly they are seeing:

1)  The disappearing cat.

How to recreate it:  hold down the keys C-A-T at the same time.
What happens:  a gray cat holds out its paw and eventually disappears.
Why:  this indicates that the typer's cat may be stepping on the keyboard.

2)  The disappearing hands.

How to recreate it:  hold down any three keys at the same time.
What happens:  two hands appear to wrap over the top of a line on the screen and eventually disappears.
Why:  this indicates the typer is probably leaning on the keyboard.

It's somewhat a mystery that Skype wouldn't let its users know what these are supposed to mean to the user.

Can't install Microsoft Security Essentials (Error Code 0x80070643)

Problem:  You can't install Microsoft Security Essentials and get an error coder 0x80070643.

First, be sure to go through these steps.

But when I found that this didn't help, I kept digging and realized I have was having other problems including not being able to open the Management Console or searching from the start menu.  Error 1606 also appeared in the event log.

That's when I came across KB886549, which addresses some registry settings pointing to user profile locations. Just run the "Fix it" button and you're set and should be able to install Microsoft Security Essentials.