Psychic debugging: Why Chinese characters don’t work


Here's a walkthrough of an actual case of psychic debugging.

I'm using the internal XYZ table-generating tool, but it appears to be useless in my case. Does this tool work? Right now, I'm just resorting to the manual method of generating my data table (Chinese and English).

Hooray for vague questions! "It appears to be useless."

But there were enough tiny clues in the question that made it possible to make a psychic guess.

First of all, the parenthetical "Chinese and English" suggests that there are Chinese characters in the data being passed to the XYZ table-generating tool.

Second of all, one might make a guess that the file encoding is wrong. Maybe the XYZ program expects the file to be in UTF-8 format, but you're saving it in UTF-16 format. Maybe the XYZ program supports only ASCII data.

I never heard back, which could have meant that my psychic powers were right, or it could have meant that my psychic powers were wrong, but the person figured, "No point asking this guy, all he does is make random guesses based on incomplete information."

Comments (15)
  1. Joshua says:

    "No point asking this guy, all he does is make random guesses based on incomplete information."

    That's more or less what I say about a certain guy who tries psychic debugging but simply isn't good enough to do it.

  2. Rushyo says:

    @Joshua The distinction lies in 'Why is he making random guesses on incomplete information?'. Is it unavailable to him, or is he just ignoring it?

  3. Anonymous Coward says:

    For the end user it's sometimes impossible to figure out which seemingly unrelated bit of information holds the clue to the riddle, so cut him some slack. Also, if you really want to know if your advice works, it's best to initiate some kind of follow-up.

  4. dave says:

    But the question was "does this tool work?".

    Surely the answer "yes" would have sufficed.

  5. Joshua says:

    @Rushyo: The distinction I am making is his hit rate is too low (less than 1%), where mine is approaching 50%.

  6. Alex says:

    There are two kinds of people in the world: Those that can extrapolate from incomplete information

  7. Michael says:

    I'm reading your support request, but it appears to be useless in my case.  Yes this tool works.  Right now, I'm just resorting to the manual method of psychic debugging (guess and check).

  8. Larry Hosken says:

    "Does this tool work?" This tool is WINNING in all planetary languages.

  9. cheong00 says:

    @Alex: Good to know I can count 10 types of people in the world.

  10. henke37 says:

    My guess was "You didn't use a supported font".

  11. blogless in seattle says:

    Does this blog work? Right now, I have to repost comments very often.

  12. Silly says:

    Awww. I was expecting a discourse on the work ethic of colourful Chinese individuals. Oh wait – blog title misinterpretation was yesterday's thing.

  13. cheong00 says:

    @Silly: Perheps a blog post on GM discuss plans to remove bug(s) in AD&D rulebook that prevent players to create new Chinese characters (don't ask me whether such a bug exist).

  14. Paul Parks says:

    @blogless: It appears to be useless.

  15. YouWin says:

    Doesn't really matter WHY he didn't follow up; you won :)

Comments are closed.

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