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Unmanned > Mars & Missions > MER > Tech, General and Imagery
The sol number and local time feature on the MER site went down a week or so ago when I updated the flash player. I just get an "f" in the upper left-hand side of the two boxes with a link to the adobe website. I tried un-installing the flash player and re-installing it but it still doesn't work. Is anyone else having this problem?
Same here.
Toma B
Me to... mad.gif

ESA site to... :-(
It looks like Flash 10 breaks some things that were working fine with all the previous versions, that happened to a program I use that has a dialogue made with Flash and for which the buttons stopped working.

And the update is the real culprit, I used a virtual machine with Flash 9 installed and everything was good; I updated Flash, restarted the browser, and the "f" appeared instead of the image.

The solution, as far as I know, is uninstalling Flash 10 and installing Flash 9, the problem is finding it, I found it here.

The uninstaller is available on the Adobe site, just click on the "Different operating system or browser?" link on the "Install Adobe Flash Player" page.

Edit: I think the Flash 9 link I posted does not install Flash 9, it does not include the flash.ocx file. Sorry.
Flash 10 also breaks the image uploaded for Wordpress.

A great many thanks for the warning from all of us who still have not upgraded to v. 10 !
Too late for me, although my Firefox seems to have escaped the "improvements". Hopefully, everyone starts playing nice again soon.
You can get a version of Flash 9 via FileHippo - it's a handy site for finding installers.

Flash 9 Installer for Firefox\Chrome\Safari
Flash 9 Installer for IE

I was able to upgrade to v10 and then downgrade back to v9 with these reliably.

I think it is only fair to point out that Adobe recommends that you upgrade to v10 and run at least version because all 9.x and earlier versions are vulnerable to a number of fairly significant security flaws -
I agree, it would be better if JPL made their site compatible with version 10.
QUOTE (helvick @ Nov 1 2008, 07:03 PM) *
I think it is only fair to point out that Adobe recommends that you upgrade to v10 and run at least version because earlier versions are vulnerable to a number of fairly significant security flaws

< begin: infosec public service announcement...>


This thing, which infected victim's machines through Flash security bugs (amongst others) was in the wild and stealing bank / CC account information, personal ID data and passwords for 18 months before being discovered. (At that point a lot of people suddenly get virus alerts... without realising they've been infected for a long time.) Now that Windows auto-updates itself fairly reliably, the merchants of such remote-access trojans, data stealers, spam-bots and suchlike are increasingly relying on exploits against vulnerabilities in browser plugins - stuff like Flash, Acrobat, QuickTime, even Java - and for more targeted attacks, things like Word, Excel and Powerpoint.

Yes, it's a pain sometimes; I've found quite a few online video sites have broken in v10, most recently the Dan Maas / MER stuff -- *very* frustrating! - and "fullscreen" crashes my browser - however I'd rather have crashy software than an empty bank account. Youtube and the BBC News online works, and that's good enough for me. YMMV. If you really MUST use the older versions, I strongly recommend having two separate systems; treat one as expendable, and never do any online banking, checking webmail, or log into anything important on that machine.

Personally, I'd never rely on A/V, any more than I'd rely on a firewall; not having insecure, widely deployed software installed in the first place is a much better bet... and whatever you use, make sure you apply security patches & updates! Using "minority" apps, OSes (and even non-Intel x86 architectures) also helps reduce the threat a great deal. Of course, that still leaves targeted attacks by the proverbial North Korean ninja types,.. but that's another story.

You can check whether Flash needs an update, here:

For Acrobat, you need to check the version manually ("Help" menu, then "About Acrobat Reader", in the stand-alone application.) At the time of writing the latest version is 8.1.2 . Get it here (Warning, 47Mb!)

Del Palmer
QUOTE (imipak @ Nov 2 2008, 04:14 PM) *
Youtube and the BBC News online works, and that's good enough for me.

But what about the MER clocks? wink.gif I have them embedded in the upper right corner of my Home Page, and would really miss them if they didn't work. According to the Adobe site, I have version 9, which begs the question: why did my system miss out on the update? After all, the update is automatic, no? It has to be automatic, otherwise I'd still be on version 7, since I never manually update software that continues to work just fine. smile.gif
QUOTE (Del Palmer @ Nov 3 2008, 01:56 AM) *
why did my system miss out on the update? After all, the update is automatic, no?

Good question; I don't know the answer. In my experience, the Flash auto-updater doesn't work 100% reliably for everyone. (And if it did, no-one would be getting pwned thru' known vulnerabilities in it, which isn't the case.) It may be that it only makes point updates automatically, with major releases needing a manual intervention, like Firefox.
This has probably been dealt with already, but I created a tiny EXCEL file that converts Oppy image filename data to Sol# for Opportunity:
Click to view attachment
Paste the full image file name into cell A3, and the approx. Sol number comes out in cell D3. These should match up to the Sol numbers listed in the Mars Exploratoin Rovers homepage on the NASA website.
(You can also just paste the timestemp in B3)
(I regenerated the calculation formula empirically, some of the online calculators I found drifted off in the higher Sol numbers)
It's not fancy, but it functions.
I don't know what that has to do with flash player problems rolleyes.gif

However I find Tman's filename decoder both accurate and very useful.
Ahhhh! I figured someone had developed a solution, somewhere! Thanks for reposting that link!
It turns out there is a Y2K-style problem in most flash applications. When they check the version number for compatibility, they only check the first digit, forgetting that one day in the distant future, this number might go to two digits. It's possible to work around this problem without downgrading by giving the flash dll a little brain surgery. Just locate the two spots in the code where the strings "10,0" occur and change them to something like "90,0". This will make the bad version checkers think you still have v9 while you can enjoy the benefits of actually having v10.

I'd post my modified binary except it's probably illegal, and tampering with a binary might cause your computer to implode into a black hole. I wouldn't want to be responsible for that. But from what I've seen so far, it works for me.

I might point out that since this problem is a bug on the application side rather than a bug in v10 itself, it's unlikely that Adobe will (or even can) fix it by updating Flash. Since it's also unlikely that every bad application will get fixed, this kind of patch might be the only way to get things running for a wide variety of uses.
Del Palmer
Anyone else having browser crashes when using Flash 9 on the new YouTube player? Just updated to v10 on Firefox which solves the issue, but will keep IE6 at v9 for the MER clocks. smile.gif
Update: The Spirit image seems to be working now but not Opportunity.
Del Palmer
I guess they've only just noticed the issue (it is usually around this time of year when they have to change the total sols count -- in Flash 9 land, Spirit's clock is correct but Oppy's clock reads Sol 1405.)
Both scripts are now working.
Did this "Flash 10" issue ever get resolved?

I ask because I've just bought myself a netbook, and having been advised by a friend to use Firefox on it (I know, I know, how behind am I...!!) I can now see why everyone raves about it, and have put it on my main PC too. Haven't needed it before because AOL (and yes, I am the last person on Earth using AOL...) has its own browser, which is really good actually, but I wanted to use the Firefox add-ons I've heard so much about, especially to let me download YouTube videos etc to use in my talks...

Anyway, installed FF on my PC, and an app (Downloadhelper) to let me download YouTube content, and an FLV viewer to let me, well, view them, but when I went to watch YouTube on the PC with Firefox it told me I needed to upgrade to Flash 10. Hmmm. That set alarm bells ringing, cos I remembered this thread reporting that that has caused some problems fpr people... but the subject just peters out, so, wondering now if I'm okay to go ahead and install it, or if it will frak things up. I can download stuff on my netbook just fine, so not a problem really, and that does kinda suggest the problems have been resolved, but still, can't hurt to ask. It would just be easier to do it on the PC, obviously...

Any advice/suggestions appreciated, as usual. smile.gif
No issues for me and I run Flash Player (the most recent) on a bunch of systems. I had a lot of problems with the early V10 Flash players as a lot of the training material I use in my job is built on Flash (amongst other things) but those issues have been resolved one way or another with the various minor version updates and other things.

Go for it, and welcome to the world of high performance browsing. smile.gif
QUOTE (helvick @ May 20 2009, 09:57 PM) *
Go for it, and welcome to the world of high performance browsing. smile.gif

Very reassuring, thanks. smile.gif
Not that it's really crucial, but I noticed that the clocks on the MER webpage are out of sync again.
Click to view attachment
They have been "out of synch all along". But this year not anybody seems to bother that they are attached wrongly to the respective Rover.
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