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Re: hangnail

** Reply to note from Bruce Shapiro  on Fri,
05 Jan 2001 16:32:43 -0500

> whenever I go to TYpe a file using either of my two parallel printers (an
> HP officejet and an Apple postscript laserwriter) the scary error message
> GENERAL FAILURE has started appearing on the command line.

Is it really a XyWrite error, or an error from DOS bleeding through
at the top of the screen (where your cursor would be if you shelled to
DOS).  I see this often when I'm fooling around -- not "General
Failure" (a scary guy, I agree), but other DOS errors, appearing on
lines 2 or 3 of the screen.  One way to find out (if it really happens
"whenever" you TYpe a file) would be to command TYF, which would
generate the printer output but not send it to the print queue -- not,
in short, send it outside the XyWrite closed system.  If you DON'T get
the error when TYFing, then I suspect that something is going on in
the dangerous and lawless world outside, prompting this militant
response.  Another way to check this is -- immediately after this
happens, hitting *no key* that could trigger a program or access the
Help system or incur any other error -- go to the CMline, issue VA/NV
$ER and see if it returns error #205, which is spelt -- and will ONLY
be displayed when an error occurs as -- "General failure." <==exactly
like that, including the casing, not "GENERAL FAILURE" as you've
written.  (There is no $tring "GENERAL FAILURE" in Editor.)  Now, that
is not to say that Editor couldn't do something that causes DOS to
react with such ferocity.  You may have a corrupt Editor, in which
case, trade it in for a fresh copy (which version are you running?  be
sure it's v4.018.  up near the top of the XyWWWeb page there's a link
to it, under "Software Requirements..." para 1).

Did you upgrade your Virus95 printer subsystem six months ago?  One
of the biggest problems with the SmallLimp way of interacting with
users is that you are always kept in the dark; they say "push this
button to upgrade", but you haven't a clue what they're actually doing
or replacing.  They thrive on user ignorance.

Robert Holmgren