Ikea has some serious usability issues.

Failure # 1. I went to IKea online and created an account profile before shopping. I did not realize I was at the US site, probably a search engine had me on the US site. Of course I wasn’t challenged for a postal code or anything. So I create my account, then realize I on the wrong country web site.

So I go to IKea Canada and try and log in with same user id. It recognizes I have an account with IKea US, and refuses to let me use the same user ID to log into the Canadian site. Further, it will not let me create an account on the Canadian site with the same email address.

Failure #2. I created a login on the Canadian site by using a secondary email.

I was unable to complete the purchase with mastercard, because although all information was entered correctly mastercard barks an error that it isn’t. So I tried with a Visa.

The Ikea site works with verified by Visa. Here is a clip in Google Chrome, you can see it suggests I hit the submit button, but none is visible. Hittening enter didn’t work either. You can see there appears to be something like a scroll bar towards the right, but it was scrolled all the way to the bottom.


So I logged out, logged into the site again with Firefox (my items were still in my cart, Yay!). Still no submit button. Oh wait, if you look close, you can see the top 3 or 4 pixels of what might be a button at the bottom of the form.

Sure enough, hitting that button with the mouse completed the purchase.

Shockingly hard to give Ikea money at their online store, I imagine most folks just give up.

Amongst the worst user experience of any online services are the login experience of pretty much any BC Library or municipal service (ie. recreation departments of most municipalities).

Why is it so bad? Because instead of logging in with a user id their users have a chance to remember, they have to use a barcode. That is right, to make it easy for some developer somewhere, the user ID is a 14 digit barcode. Man is it painful trying to use the BC Library to Go or the GVP Library to Go, especially on a mobile device. Every time you log in, or a different family member logs in, you have to type in the 14 digit barcode again. I think the BC Libraries have ExifTool community has been unable to do it..

Which frustrates me because I have a pile of video clips of geothermal features in yellowstone that I cannot extract the location information from.

Sony, why not at least document how your video files are encoded so apps like Exiftool or maybe even IMovie can extract the GPS data. After all, your camera is sold with GPS and geotagging features.

I have a Brother 9970CDW. If its configuration changes much (ie. move to wireless from wired et) Brother Control Center 4 will not recognize it for scanning etc. even though printing is fine.

The only way i could find to fix is to run
e:\install\MFC-9970CDW\Setup.exe off the install disk. That lets you add add the printer to control center 4.

Frustrating, difficult to figure out.

Kobo Desktop App is displaying “Content Locked. We are unable to display the selected content. It may be locked or corrupt.”.

Content Locked Kobo Desktop
Content Locked Kobo Desktop

This is reminiscent of a problem I had last year, I suspect the solution to my current problem will be the same desperate approach.

Have been on with tech support about 20 minutes so far. They haven’t asked me to reboot yet.

What we have accomplished so far is they asked me to check on one book they were testing with, and managed to completely obliterate it from my library, so not only can I not read it, it is not available to not read anymore. We have restarted Kobo desktop app a few times but they have still not asked me to restart my computer.

After 10 minutes she managed to put the book back in my Library, I still can not read it.

After another 10 minutes I have now been asked to read all the titles locked to the support agent. We agreed I did not need to test each one, I just had to read her the titles, yeah, all of them that I had ever purchased. Even though she could see my library. That took awhile.

Now it has been escalated to a higher tier of tech support. I have a reference number for my troubles.

Kobo is not yet ready for the consumer, at least on Mac. Imagine if your non-hacker spouse/parent/child experienced this? A half hour with tech support doesn’t fix it. If you good at computer hackery, probably best to steer clear of the Kobo ecosystem for the next few years. It is a nice service when it works, but way too much trouble when it doesn’t, which is frequently enough.

– it has been about a half hour since I talked to tech support, no contact back from tier 2 support.
No doubt they will call me next week during business hours, when I am working.

Here is the email I received confirming escalation to tier 2:

Recently you requested personal assistance from our on-line support center. Below is a summary of your request and our response.

If this issue is not resolved to your satisfaction, you may reopen it within the next 10 days.

Thank you for allowing us to be of service to you.

Content Locked Errors

Discussion Thread
Response Via Email (Shane T) 11/23/2013 10:32 AM
Hello, Doug

Thank you for contacting Kobo Customer Care. It was a pleasure speaking with you today.

The Tier 2 team will try to provide a resolution as soon as possible and will contact you if they require additional information in order to resolve your issue.

Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

Your reference number is:


The Kobo Team
Customer By Web Form 11/23/2013 09:33 AM
All purchased books display a content locked error in kobo desktop.

Question Reference #
Product Level 1: Other Kobo platform
Product Level 2: Desktop App
Category Level 1: Software
Category Level 2: Software Feature Issues
Date Created: 11/23/2013 09:33 AM
Last Updated: 11/23/2013 10:32 AM
Incident Source: Kobo Phone
Geo Interaction:
Incident Language: English
Phone Number:
Country: Canada
Indigo Store Number:
Content type: Books

Looks like they hope to resolve this in 10 days.

— Update Nov 27

No response from Kobo after two full business days.

Reinstalling doesn’t fix the problem (no surprise).

The fix is to:

  • Shut down Kobo Desktop
  • navigate to the “/Users/{your username}/Library/Application Support” directory.
  • Rename “Kobo Dekstop Edition” to “Kobo Backup”
  • Restart Kobo

Kobo, you can do better. How about a reset library button or something for when this nasty problem occurs?

— Update Dec 31
Kobo Support Never did attempt to contact me to resolve the problem. So if you get a content locked problem on your mac with your Kobo application, this blog post is your best available technical support.

I have been driven mad by years decades losing headers and footers in Microsoft Word (any version) when deleting a blank section. The problem is when you delete a section break, the headers and footers are naturally taken from the section below the break. Once you realize that, the solution involves about 30 mouse clicks:

Before you delete the section at the end of a document, edit the header of the section to be deleted link to the previous header. Repeat for the footer.

I was staying with my family at a hotel in Couer D’Alene, ID and we decided to go to Silverwood Theme Park. It is cheaper if you prepurchase and print your tickets ahead of time.

I used the Hotel’s guest computer, printed out the tickets, and collected my family from the hotel room. On the way down I thought I better delete the PDF from the downloads or wherever the browser might have left it, as someone else could potentially print it, take it to Silverwood, and claim the ticket. I deleted the PDF and noted dozens of guests had left PDF copies of tickets of silverwood purchases in the last few weeks.

Silverwood does not challenge for ID when they scan tickets, there is real potential for abuse.

In windows Office (outlook or word), if you run into your keyboard issuing a É when you mean a ? (question mark) or / (slash), you don’t need to reboot.

Ignore all the crazy advice on the internet to goof with your international keyboard settings, because you probably never messed them up in the first place. Especially if this only happens in Office or Word.

To turn this feature on (yeah, fun) or off,
press the LEFT alt key and the shift key. I found this here amongst the misinformation on this problem all over the web

I mus mistype this key sequence regularly. Now I don’t have to reboot.

update: This also happens on / or \ add words question mark and slash to be more search friendly.