How to fix the download unsuccessful error on Android Market

A techie post on 6000 miles…? Surely not?
But yes – and I have my reasons. Read on.

I’m loving my Android-powered Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 phone: it’s fun, it’s useful, it’s damn good looking and Android is very stable compared with previous operating systems I have used.
However, I recently discovered an issue with the Android Market which manifested with the error: “Download Unsuccessful”.

I still don’t know what caused it, but it not only meant that I couldn’t add new applications to my flock (what is the collective noun for applications?), but also that I couldn’t update the applications I already had.
This was a problem.

I searched the internet for a solution and found several hundred, none of which actually worked. Running out of ideas and a full on, no holds barred, stick that in your pipe and smoke it factory reset seemed to be my only option.
However, through cleverly managing to stick two failed suggestions together I seem to have come up with a simple fix for the download unsuccessful problem, which I’m putting on here to help others and also so I can go back to it when this happens again.

Which it might.

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Select Applications.
  3. Select Manage Applications.
  4. Select Market.
  5. Select Clear cache.
  6. Press the back button (takes you back to list of installed applications)
  7. Select Download Manager.
  8. Select Clear data.
  9. You should now be able to download successfully from the Market.

Obviously, this worked on my X10, but I think that these are fairly basic/standard functions for Android phones, so I see no reason it shouldn’t work on yours as well.

If you use this fix – whether it works for you or not – please leave a comment with your phone details so others can learn from your experience.

When Hendo’s met Freddy

Many of you will remember the DIY Biltong post from a few weeks ago.
Well, since then I have experimented with many different sorts of meat and many different blends of spices in an attempt to create the world’s best raw-meat based snack. And while I was getting there slowly, my efforts received a huge boost on my birthday last week with a gift of 3kg of Freddy Hirsch biltong spices.
That’s enough to make 75kg worth of biltong.
I’m going to be busy.

The only issue is that since anyone can go and buy spices from Freddy, anyone can make first class biltong. But I don’t want to be one of the crowd.
I want my biltong to stand out; I want it to have a personal touch.
And that’s where Henderson’s Relish comes in. This “spicy Yorkshire sauce” has been made in Sheffield (right next door to the hospital I was born in) since the late 19th century.
It is to my home town what biltong is to my adopted country.

And, much like when Harry met Sally, the results of Hendo’s meeting Freddy are mindblowing.
It’s South Yorkshire meets South Africa.
It’s a pint of Magnet with a Klippies chaser in the pub on the corner of Bramall Lane and Voortrekker Road.
It’s bluddy bakgat, dun’t tha’ know, china?

It’s very me.

ISS mess

One of the best things about being a Dad is being able to tell your offspring amazing things.
Often, these things aren’t actually true and even if they are, parental licence allows for a huge degree of exaggeration.
I follow @twisst14, one of the bots on twitter, who helpfully tell me (to the nearest second) what time the International Space Station is coming over Cape Town. They can do it for wherever you’re based as well.
Forearmed with this information, I can confidently predict exactly when Alex is going to see a “shooting star” going across the sky.
The fact that I am always right fills him with amazement – a totally different reaction from that of his mother when I tell her that I’m always right.

Tonight’s ISS pass was very bright, but then so was the sky behind it and the long exposure on my camera was sadly affected by the blustery south-easter. Then Alex went a bit mad on Picasa and we ended up with the picture above. Bit retro and kinda funky, but not as sharp as the last time I snapped the ISS over Constantiaberg – so I’m calling it “ISS mess”.

Twisst tells me that I have another opportunity to spot the ISS again this evening at 21:02:58 and – judging by the snoring coming from Alex’s room – this time I’ll be watching it on my own.

UPDATE: Looked a lot better the following evening.

Constantia crab

I’m still wondering about that crab we saw yesterday. Under a car. In Constantia.

Thing is, I always thought crabs lived near the sea. (Apart from Coconut crabs, that is.)
And this was some distance away from the sea.

I’ve been doing some rudimentary calculations and worked out that the most accessible sea to Alphen Drive is about 12.4km away.

The route the crab may have taken up the M3.

There is sea nearer than that as the crow flies, but it’s over a massive mountain and anyway, crabs can’t fly.
And bearing in mind that this crab was only about 8cm across, that 12.4km is the equivalent of you or I walking to the moon.

So what exactly was this crab doing under a car in Constantia?
Do we get land crabs in South Africa? In Cape Town?
Or was it just on holiday? Constantia’s Green Belt is very pretty.

Google has been unhelpful and I’m not exactly sure who else to ask. Especially after some of the results I got when I searched for information about “crabs” on the internet. Goodness me.

I’m quite sure that’s not the kind of thing you’d find in a nice suburb like Constantia.

UPDATE: This tweet leads me to look into Potamidae spp. A-ha!

Impulsive Appulse Pic Blog

Everyone is going ape about the moon and Venus this evening.


Well, apparently, they’re very close together – but not really: they’re actually about 23½ million miles apart – but the perception is that they are close together in the night sky.
And they were even closer in the day sky too.

There’s a word for that, but I can’t remember what it is.
Quick google gives me “Appulse“.

You live, you google, you learn.

Who am I to deny myself such a blatant photo op?
Hence the image to the left.

And all this Micklethwaite-style rambling to fill in the space alongside it.
You may also like my long exposure sky pic, which is full of Cape Town’s light pollution.