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CAPTCHA problem when downloading files (update: resolved)

Filed under: Software Updates — by at 6:13 pm on Saturday, January 20, 2007

 (note: this issue has now been resolved.  please let us know if you still experience this problem.)
We’ve just been made aware of problem that some of you are experiencing when trying to download a file from our site. The problem is that the CAPTCHA (image verification) isn’t showing up, and therefore you’re unable to enter it to download a file.

The quick solution is to simply register (it’s free, easy, blah blah) and then you won’t even have to see the image verification page. However, we’ve found the cause of the problem and it should be resolved shortly.

For those that are curious what happened: We recompiled PHP on our primary server yesterday in order to enable the ZZIP module. This allows us the server to open compressed files (KMZ, specifically) and pull out the coordinates for use in our network links (like this one). However, when we recompiled it we forgot to include GD’s FreeType support, which is used for creating those CAPTCHA images. Since I never see them, I didn’t realize it was broken until someone pointed it out a little while ago.

Anyhow, things should be straightened out shortly. If you ever see a bug on the site in the future, don’t hesitate to tell us in our Site Issues forum or you can e-mail me directly at


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