Sunday, October 7, 2007

Workaround to Google 4 Black Screen Of Death problem

Ever since I upgraded to Google Earth 4, I've had the extremely annoying problem that tilting to an oblique view produced a completely black screen. The only way to get the screen view back was to restart GE. Time to dust off that ol' BSOD acronym...

I just found a thread which provides a clue to why the problem occurs, and gives a workaround (which doesn't 100% remove the annoyance, since it only works for that one session).

Apparently the problem is caused by the use of a dual core AMD Athlon processor. The solution is to set the processor affinity to use only a single core for the GE process. (TaskManager, Processes Tab, rightclick process 'googleearth.exe', 'Set Affinity', select 1 processor only). I haven't yet found a way to persist this setting - anyone have any ideas?

Update: After a few milliseconds more browsing, I found that you can use the
imagecfg.exe utility to permanently set the processor affinity for a load image. Running the following command in the Google Earth directory does the trick:

imagecfg -a 0x1 googleearth.exe

Friday, October 5, 2007

Virtual nautical sightseeing around Victoria

The great thing about living on an island in the Pacific Ocean is that you're surrounded by... well, ocean. And the great thing about oceans is that there's always something going on. So much goes on, in fact, that Google manages to capture some of it on their infrequent satellite flyovers. Here's a couple of interesting events:
  • A nuclear submarine on its way home to Bangor. I'm happy to see that it's clearly making pretty good time, so if one of those warheads did happen to tip over it might be far enough away that we'd only hear the bang and get a bit of a suntan. And according to Google's yellow line it's keeping to its side of the street, which is a good thing too - a head on collision with a container ship would probably substantially lower the property values in my neighbourhood.
  • An apparently sinking ferry. No surprises really, we've had a bit of that going around recently. Hopefully everyone made it off this one, so as not to spoil B.C. Ferries' almost perfect record for the last two years. Never mind, we'll get the Germans to build us another one.
You have to really like this neogeography stuff, it's such a time-saver - I no longer have to walk two blocks to watch for nuclear submarines. And maybe take the ferry less often too, which is also good for the health!