# I appear if things are broken, what am I?

This is a fun riddle hope you like it:

I appear if things are broken,

I'm not there if things are flawless,

But you can track me,

I'm not wanted,

I'm clueless,

I'm different to all,

You can't touch me by hand.

HINT 1:

I can go from 0 to 20.

HINT 2:

You can write me in words but also in numbers.

HINT 3: This will probably do the trick:

200 OK

HINT 4:

Humor is used on me (but not always)

HINT 5:

Clueless is a slang synonym.

HINT 6:

I'm some error message.

HINT 7:

Question: What am I?

And I thought this was an easy one :/

• A smelly repairman? – Devsman May 10 '16 at 15:36
• Uhg, trying to actually put in an answer... thought I was close with: 'tape' – sthede May 10 '16 at 21:07

HTTP 404 Error Page

I appear if things are broken,


If attempting to access a site, and the page is not found, or the server is not running something (or various other reasons), a 404 error page will appear.

I'm not there if things are flawless,


While not necessarily true, if you don't get a 404, I think the OP is referring to the chance that you're getting a 200, indicating that everything is working correctly.

But you can track me,


It's possible to use tools that crawl webpages to track dead links, or, in the case of a live site, like a forums, will check the link as the page is rendered. (Often via a cache)

I'm not wanted,


No one wants to get the dreaded 404 error page.

I'm clueless,

I'm different to all,


Most every site has a different 404 error page (unless using something like an initial PHP or IIS install, and they have not changed it.)

You can't touch me by hand.


You...can't touch a 404 error page. Unless you print it out and no one wants to know about that, anyways.

HINT 1:

I can go from 0 to 20.


The HTTP 404 error has 20 sub-statuses ranging from 404.1 to 404.20.

HINT 3:

Some websites report a "not found" error by returning a standard web page with a "200 OK" response code, falsely reporting that the page loaded properly; this is known as a soft 404.

HINT 4:

Humor is used on me (but not always)


Many 404 pages are humorous to lighten the mood of getting a dead link.

• You got it! The clueless is right, hint 1 is right also. I added the explanation for hint 3 also – Decypher May 10 '16 at 21:12
• Where on earth do you get "The HTTP 404 error has 20 sub-statuses ranging from 404.1 to 404.20"? RFC 7230 section 3.1.2 clearly specifies that a status-codes consists of exactly three digits -- no room for or mention of any possibility of "sub-statuses". 404 in particular is specified in section 6.5.4 of RFC 7231, which again makes no mention of "sub-statuses" at all. – Henning Makholm May 10 '16 at 22:46
• Yes, it's part of Microsoft's IIS specification, not the HTTP specification, but it's clearly what the OP was trying to point to. – Khale_Kitha May 10 '16 at 22:54
• @HenningMakholm You find more info here about substatus error codes defined by IIS – Decypher May 11 '16 at 6:02
• Substatuses are nonstandard IIS spec only and as such are not officially recognized by IANA – SLow Loris May 11 '16 at 10:14

Are you

HTTP 5xx error codes ?

I appear if things are broken,

error codes usually appears when something goes wrong

I'm not there if things are flawless,

yes.

But you can track me,

obviously, you appears on my screen.

I'm not wanted,

i would prefer to get the website i'm looking for.

I'm clueless,

Thank you, 503. And when will it be fixed ? 503 ? Please ?

I'm different to all,

Each status have its own usecase.

You can't touch me by hand,

but you hurt my eyes by appearing on my screen.

I can go from 0 to 20,

you can go from 500 to 520. (at least on the french wikipedia article)

You can write me in words but also in numbers,

Yes, 503, i'm looking at you.

200 OK.

A cousin, that i saw less often on my screen.

Are you

Exception(or Error)?

I appear if things are broken,

Exceptions appear if things are broken

I'm not there if things are flawless,

true.

But you can track me,

Exceptions can be tracked(by debugging).

I'm not wanted,

no body wants Exceptions to happen.

I'm clueless,

When an Exception is thrown everyone is in panic.

I'm different to all,

Same Exception can happen in different scenarios.

You can't touch me by hand.

obviously

I can go from 0 to 20.

I didn't get this, may some error Codes?.

• Very close very very close, the first hint should reveal it :/ I'm looking for something a bit more specific, but you are on the right path. Most of the answers are correct. – Decypher May 10 '16 at 13:40
• I'll try.... :) – Arun Xavier May 10 '16 at 13:44
• @ᴊᴀᴠʏ: Hope OP expects Bug ? – Arulkumar May 10 '16 at 14:27
• If it wasn't from the 0 to 20 hint, I would have been convinced you were talking about a segmentation fault (but those error codes go from 0 to 31 :( ). Also, a segfault would sometimes result in a valid answer to a problem on the Code Golf forums :P – JArkinstall May 10 '16 at 15:21

I think you are a

POSIX signal

I appear if things are broken

A lot of signals only appear when there is an error, most famously SIGSEGV

I'm not there if things are flawless

Program execution can go without a signal when there is no issue or specific user action (SIGSTOP or SIGHUP can be done in some terminals)

But you can track me

Some signals can be caught by the program for special behavior

I'm not wanted

But they are rarely expected and most will end the program

I'm clueless

Signal rarely contain much information about what caused them, they are just a number

I'm different to all

It is a different IO process than what most program are using

You can't touch me by hand.

Signals are intangible, although some of them have standard keyboard shortcuts

HINT 1: I can go from 0 to 20.

Depending on the architecture, signal are numbered from 1 to 20 (And 30-31 for user-defined signals)

HINT 2: You can write me in words but also in numbers

As seen through the answer, signals have a standard name in characters and can be used by some command (like kill) either with their number or name

• nope but close! – Decypher May 10 '16 at 15:48

Are you

The Windows Troubleshooting tool?

I appear if things are broken,

It pops up when things go wrong.

I'm not there if things are flawless,

You never see it if things run well.

But you can track me,

You can watch its progress, and find where the program files are.

I'm not wanted,

Nobody likes it, on account on how it does jack.

I'm clueless,

Never actually manages to solve a problem, just ends up restating that you have one.

I'm different to all,

Is a unique program. If you want to get technical, its namespace is different to avoid conflicts in the system.

You can't touch me by hand.

Is digital

I can go from 0 to 20.

No clue. Maybe frustration levels?

• The 0-20 is really a key clue here. If you find that you'll find the answer. – Decypher May 10 '16 at 15:49

I appear if things are broken

tape

I'm not there if things are flawless

who needs it, you are not broken

But you can track me

such as 8-track

I'm not wanted

such as red

I'm clueless

used to gather fingerprint clues

I'm different to all

fingerprints

You can't touch me by hand.

sticks to you

Hint1:

As in a measuring tape

Hint2:

TAPE 3691 (lame try at spelling tape upside down calculator style?)

Hint3: = ?

Hint4:

comedy tapes

Hint5: = ?

Hint6:

tape full ;)

Hint7: ?

• Please use spoilers, I will add them for you since this is your first post - please take a look at the edit I make by clicking above my name where is says "edited..." – Jonathan Allan May 10 '16 at 21:59
• Ty, yes it was my first shot, thanks for fixing it up for me. – sthede May 12 '16 at 14:38

Are you

the lifespan of an object ?

I appear if things are broken,

you don't know the lifespan of an object until it breaks

I'm not there if things are flawless,

flawless objects have an infinit lifespan

But you can track me,

you can "guess" an object is going to break so guess it lifespan.

I'm not wanted,

no body wants to know the lifespan of an object because it means the object is broken

I'm clueless,

no body knows exactly what the lifespan of an object is going to be

I'm different to all,

Every object break at a different moment

You can't touch me by hand.

obviously

I can go from 0 to 20.

That does not perfectly fits but usual objects usually break before 20 years.

• Nice try, but not the answer I'm looking for. I like your reply with the 1st hint hehe – Decypher May 10 '16 at 13:34

Are you

input interrupt

I appear if things are broken,

nobody processed the signal

I'm not there if things are flawless,

I instead poll for windows events

But you can track me,

Yes input is made for that

I'm not wanted,

normal execution has to be stopped anywhere

I'm clueless,

You know exactly wich input device

I'm different to all,

Each periferal has its code

You can't touch me by hand,

You can touch the mouse not its signals

I can go from 0 to 20,

for x86 architecture it goes from 0 to 15, maybe MIPS or ARM?

You can write me in words but also in numbers,

IRQ

200 OK.

cannot find it, seems related to webservers however I don't know web servers have error codes going from 0 to 20.

• no sorry this isn't the answer i'm looking for – Decypher May 10 '16 at 20:13

air

I appear if things are broken,

air is present in the gaps when things break

I'm not there if things are flawless,

opposite of previous

But you can track me,

it is possible to observe the movement of air indirectly (such as when paper blows in the wind)

I'm not wanted,

air is worthless (in terms of value - i.e. you can't sell it for anything; air is obviously wanted for breathing)

I'm clueless,

"airhead" is a slang term for a stupid person

I'm different to all,

air is not solid, unlike most things that we are familiar with in our daily lives

You can't touch me by hand.

it is impossible to touch or hold air

EDIT: And I'm a computer geek lol.