Skeptics Guide to the Universe Forums

Forum Admin => Forum Administration and Rules => Topic started by: daniel1948 on October 25, 2015, 05:27:07 PM

Title: Odd blue box in some posts.
Post by: daniel1948 on October 25, 2015, 05:27:07 PM
This seems odd to me. I have no idea whether it's on the board or just my computer:

Occasionally when a page loads, there is a small blue box, maybe a couple of inches on a side on my screen. Nothing shows through the box. Scrolling the page up or down does not change anything. If I scroll so the box scrolls off the screen, and then scroll back, it's still right where it was, blocking the same chunk of text. If I re-load the page, it's gone and all is well. Or, as I recently discovered, if I place my cursor over a line of text that disappears under the blue box, and click and drag into the box (as if highlighting the text) then the box disappears and again all is well. I can un-highlight the text by clicking anywhere else, and the box is still gone.

Obviously, not a serious problem, since a click-drag-click gets rid of it. But it seems weird.

Very old iMac running OS X 10.6.8 and the latest version of Chrome, Version 46.0.2490.80 (64-bit). But it did not start with this version of Chrome. It's been happening for a while.

I don't care if this gets fixed or not. Just curious.
Title: Re: Odd blue box in some posts.
Post by: wastrel on October 25, 2015, 05:43:27 PM
Any way you can grab a screen cap next time it occurs?
Title: Re: Odd blue box in some posts.
Post by: daniel1948 on October 26, 2015, 09:31:54 AM
I'll try. It's just a blue square at a random spot on the screen, but I will grab a screenshot and post it if I can.
Title: Re: Odd blue box in some posts.
Post by: The Latinist on October 26, 2015, 09:55:18 AM
Please do. Also please share OS & browser info.  I've not seen this on any of devices.
Title: Re: Odd blue box in some posts.
Post by: daniel1948 on October 26, 2015, 10:12:39 AM
Please do. Also please share OS & browser info.  I've not seen this on any of devices.

OS & Browser info is in my first post of this thread.

And why does it suddenly say "User not found" and three big grinning faces under my name, above my avatar, even though it knows my avatar, my post count, and my slogan under the avatar???

EDIT: Ignore that last paragraph. Now it's back to normal. Maybe a post count of 404 triggers that???
Title: Re: Odd blue box in some posts.
Post by: The Latinist on October 26, 2015, 01:00:37 PM
Yes, that happens at 404 posts.  Geek humor.  You might have noticed similar jokes at other post counts (13, 42, etc.)
Title: Re: Odd blue box in some posts.
Post by: Ambious on October 26, 2015, 01:23:43 PM
Did it have a sign on the side saying "Police Box"?
Title: Re: Odd blue box in some posts.
Post by: daniel1948 on October 26, 2015, 05:05:25 PM
Yes, that happens at 404 posts.  Geek humor.  You might have noticed similar jokes at other post counts (13, 42, etc.)

Yeah, I wondered because of the three huge grinning faces, and I know that there's something about 404 in geekland.

Did it have a sign on the side saying "Police Box"?

Nope.
Title: Re: Odd blue box in some posts.
Post by: Friendly Angel on October 26, 2015, 05:18:09 PM
So is the box thing part of the 404 joke - or some kind of glitch?
Title: Re: Odd blue box in some posts.
Post by: The Latinist on October 26, 2015, 07:41:15 PM
No, it's unrelated. But until we see a screen shot or have a way of reproducing it we really have nothing to go on as far as a solution.
Title: Re: Odd blue box in some posts.
Post by: daniel1948 on October 27, 2015, 10:16:37 AM
It has not repeated since I posted about it. No big deal. It was not really a problem, just an oddity. But I will grab a screen shot if it happens again.
Title: Re: Odd blue box in some posts.
Post by: The Latinist on October 27, 2015, 11:33:13 AM
Please do.  I'd like to fix it if we can.
Title: Re: Odd blue box in some posts.
Post by: daniel1948 on October 27, 2015, 08:40:32 PM
If nobody else reports such a thing, it might very well be on my end. I am using a VERY old OS, as mentioned. But yes, I'll post a pic if it happens again.
Title: Re: Odd blue box in some posts.
Post by: daniel1948 on October 28, 2015, 08:47:09 PM
Today it happened on a different web site, convincing me that the issue is at my end. I'm going to guess it might be my ten-year-old computer and 6-year-old OS having trouble keeping up.

I've considered getting a new computer, but my old one works fine for what I use it for (email, weather reports, chat boards, the occasional snail-mail letter, journal, a few web sites, and pics.) The games I play (chess and solitaire) don't require a lot of processing power. And when I go on-line window shopping for a new one, and look at the prices with the fanciest screens, which I'd want, the prices are high. You look at (e.g.) an $800 computer, but then you want more RAM, and then you want a solid state HD, and then you want a bigger screen, and then you want more pixels, and pretty soon you're looking at a $2K machine and reflecting on the fact that you don't really need a new computer at all.
Title: Re: Odd blue box in some posts.
Post by: daniel1948 on October 29, 2015, 04:01:16 PM
Okay. It happened again:

(http://i430.photobucket.com/albums/qq21/daniel1948x/Screen%20shot%202015-10-29%20at%206.32.26%20AM_zpsibojseeg.png)

I'm pretty sure it has nothing to do with sguforums.com since it happened on another web site also, though there the box was a different color, actually two different shades of gray there.

When I did a screen refresh, the blue box was gone and the page was as it should be. And on previous occasions, if I highlight or maybe just click on a line of text that goes into the blue box, the blue box disappears, and the entire page is normal. I.e. the hidden text appears. But if I highlight a line of text that does not intersect the box, the box remains.

I repeat that this is not a problem for me, since the box goes away easily. I'm just expressing my natural, or perhaps excessive, curiosity regarding anything unexpected.
Title: Re: Odd blue box in some posts.
Post by: Belgarath on October 29, 2015, 11:14:04 PM
Ok, I've actually seen this before.  This is likely an issue with your browser and how it interacts with your video card.

Since I see you're running Chrome, I might suggest the following:

Go to Settings.  Click 'Show Advanced Settings'

Scroll down to the bottom and turn off 'Use Hardware acceleration when available'

Let us know if that solves it.  But I've seen these video artifacts before with Chrome too.
Title: Re: Odd blue box in some posts.
Post by: daniel1948 on October 30, 2015, 09:44:41 AM
Okay. I unchecked hardware acceleration and re-started Chrome, and I'll report on whether it fixes it. Since it doesn't happen all the time, maybe not even every day, if it does fix it, it will be a while before I'm confident of an answer. If it doesn't fix it I'll post next time I get the blue box.

And thanks for this. I am confident it was/is at my end, not at sguforums. And it makes sense it is a hardware/software incompatibility, considering the age of my computer. Stuff used to last forever. Now a five-year-old computer is decrepit and a decade-old computer is an antique. I love my gadgets, but I'm not entirely convinced we're better off with them.
Title: Re: Odd blue box in some posts.
Post by: daniel1948 on October 30, 2015, 05:24:42 PM
The box thing (not blue, but a similar sort of thing) happened on a different web site. No screenshot this time. I can live with it, since it goes away on a refresh or a click-and-drag.
Title: Re: Odd blue box in some posts.
Post by: Belgarath on October 30, 2015, 06:25:30 PM
Yes.  I'm sure that it's related to your video card and chrome.   If it's the same either way I would leave the hardware acceleration turned on as that gives you some speed benefits on your browser.
Title: Re: Odd blue box in some posts.
Post by: daniel1948 on October 30, 2015, 08:21:38 PM
Thanks, Belgarath. And it happened again today, after my last post. Not on sguforums, but same thing. Okay, so my hardware is getting too old for my software. Maybe in 2016 I'll have to get a new computer. It's kind of annoying, because the computer works fine and does what I need it to. If I could freeze all my software I'd probably get another decade of reliable use out of it. Except that I suppose all the web sites will continue to change until the old software can no longer render them.

BTW, as near as I can tell, web sites render just as fast as they did with hardware acceleration turned on. I wonder if my computer even has the hardware in question. It's about a decade old, and I think it was the first model of iMac to use a dual-core CPU.
Title: Re: Odd blue box in some posts.
Post by: The Latinist on October 30, 2015, 11:11:24 PM
I'm in your position, daniel1948.  I've  got an 8 year-old MacBook with a Penryn Core2Duo that works just fine for almost everything I do.  I've replaced the battery and charger three times each and the LCD panel once. I put an SSD in it and doubled the RAM last year and have had it running better-than-new.  But I can't upgrade past 10.7.5 because there is no 64-bit driver for my graphics chipset.  It's been fine until now, but I can no longer update some software that's started to incorporate features that require 10.8+.  Already Safari is starting not to work with some sites.  I'm afraid I'm going to have to buy a new MacBook soon, but I know it'll never last as long or be as repairable or upgradable as my old standby.
Title: Re: Odd blue box in some posts.
Post by: daniel1948 on October 31, 2015, 09:40:42 AM
My iMac is all original, nothing replaced. Except that the Ethernet died a very long time ago. There was not yet an Apple Store here, so I went to an independent Mac store, where they told me I needed to replace the entire logic board, at a cost of about $200 less than an entire new computer. But somehow I found a dongle that is an Ethernet at one end and a USB at the other. It plugs into a USB drive, the Ethernet cable plugs into the other, and it has worked flawlessly ever since, which is probably six or seven years now.
Title: Re: Odd blue box in some posts.
Post by: PANTS! on January 02, 2016, 05:49:17 PM
This seems odd to me. I have no idea whether it's on the board or just my computer:

Occasionally when a page loads, there is a small blue box,

Thats just the Doctor in his TARDIS
Title: Re: Odd blue box in some posts.
Post by: daniel1948 on January 02, 2016, 07:49:00 PM
That iMac has been retired. This one has no blue boxes. I guess the Doctor has a preference for antiquated electronics.
Title: Re: Odd blue box in some posts.
Post by: The Latinist on January 02, 2016, 07:55:17 PM
This seems odd to me. I have no idea whether it's on the board or just my computer:

Occasionally when a page loads, there is a small blue box,

Thats just the Doctor in his TARDIS

That is my first thought every time I see this thread title.