Below, we offer some solutions to the most typical problems. Of course, there are bound to be issues we haven't addressed here. If such an issue is troubling you, you should feel free to contact the HashThySelf Support Team with your query. You can rest assured that we will focus our entire technical team on solving your problem and ask him to get back to you as soon as possible.

However, keep in mind that HashThySelf is a free service that we provide for your entertainment. We just don't have the resources to solve immediately every problem that is reported. Therefore although we welcome bug-reports, we feel compelled to point out that the best kinds of bug reports are those that include a suggested fix.

Note that the Zetamaton will remember your photo and will answer without searching for second and subsequent requests. If you really want the Zetamaton to forget your likeness and search again, hit "Shmash" instead of "Hash". Normally you shouldn't have to do this, unless, for instance, you're updating your name or other information.

Happy Hashing.

Different photos of myself return different Zetas!

That's intentional. We look like different people at different times. HashThySelf does not do identity matches. It's just a fun service that returns your look-alike of the moment! Shading, pose, lighting and cropping can all affect the results. When there are several "best matches", the choice of any particular one from the pool will be affected by factors other than facial features.

My Zetas don't look anything like me. Are you kidding?

Such is the case sometimes, we're afraid. Our young Zetamaton will return better hits as it gets older and learns more.

The image I submitted didn't even have a face (sorry :-), but the Zetamaton responded with apparently valid Zetas?

Unfortunately, the face detection algorithm isn't perfect just yet. Please bear with us until we can train the face detector better. Meanwhile, please try to submit full-frontal photos of a single person with good lighting.

The image I submitted had more than one face, whose Zetas does the Zetamaton show?


The Shmash button is disabled in my browser!

We have disabled it temporarily. We do this intentionally from time to time in order to cope with heavy server load. Thanks for letting us know. We appreciate your patience and cooperation. If you really want to update your cache entry, please let us know.

The animation is rather jerky and uneven...

It appears that IE is able to handle the animations most smoothly, followed by Opera and then Mozilla Firefox (as of June 2007 anyway).

When I click on the Hash or Shmash button I go to a page with a rapidly changing image, but nothing happens.

This is the interim results page. It is displayed while the Zetamaton is searching HashSpace. Please do not hit re-load. Currently, wait times are of the order of about 4-5 seconds for a new request and could be up to 20 seconds if the server is fully loaded. If you just can't seem to get past this screen after a few minutes, maybe you have disabled javascript in your browser? If not, please let us know, along with the problematic photo and a description of your browser settings and we'll take a look.

I am George Bush. Everyone in the Universe knows me, especially in the Gulf. I know I'm in your index and cache 'cos I came up as a Zeta when my good friend Don hashed my dad. But how come I don't come up when I hash a photo of myself?

Such is the nature of the HashThySelf algorithm and the topology of HashSpace. HashThySelf does not do identity matches and, indeed, we actively prune identity matches from the returned results whenever possible. We just have to accept the fact that sometimes someone else looks more like us than we do ourselves!

Why didn't I get a zeta?

Aaah. Multifarious is thine answer. But seriously, it could be because of poor photo quality. Check the lighting, cropping and pose in the image. But then again, maybe you really are just one one of a kind. (Currently the Zetamaton is not trained on a sufficient number of children's faces and so you can expect to do poorly with children's photos).

How can I get better matches?

The Zetamaton does best on full frontal face shots in good lighting. If you can crop just that from your photo your chances of getting a match will be that much better. We hope that's what you meant by "get better matches." If not, a good cosmetic surgeon can help.

I get "Request entity too large" when I submit a snap. What gives?

We have limited the maximum size of uploadable files to 150KB. This ensures both quick uploads and reasonably fast processing. Several programs help you pare down a photo to under a hundred KB. For most purposes, if you open it up in your favorite paint program, scale it down to a size that's no bigger than your palm at 100% view, and save it back as a jpeg, that should produce satisfactory results. Windows XP users - you could try using the photo resizing XP power toy, available at's XP Power Toys page.

What image file formats do you support?

HashThySelf currently supports the following automatically detected file formats for upload. Images: JPEG, (.jpeg, jpg), GIF (.gif), TIFF (.tif, .tiff), Bitmaps (.bmp), SUN Rasters (.ras), MIFF (.mif), Encapsulated Postscript (.ps), and Portable Network Graphics (.png). We are actively working to add support for more media types and formats.

The Zetamaton says Brad Pitt is my Zeta. But why don't I come up as Brad Pitt's zeta? Isn't your similarity metric symmetric?

Sorry Bro. The metric is symmetric, but your quest ain't! It's like, uh, I know Brad Pitt, but he don't know me!