25 October 2005

MS Windows, the ultimate freakin' laxative

I keep forgetting how frustrating it can be.

The Task: get two MS-Windows machines to talk to one another to verify that a piece of software doesn't break simply due to being run from a Samba share. Simple, no?

The Result: finally, the first (XP) and fourth (XP) machines talk to one another.

The Path There: Nothing can connect to the first’s share. The second (2000) machine won’t talk to or share with anybody. The third (XP) keeps prompting for a guest user password, and nothing will satisfy it. Yes, I have enabled the guest user. On each end and both ends, just in case. Yes, I have tried giving the guest accounts a password, and making real accounts that match. No, we’re not on a domain or AD setup... although the first (now working-ish) machine thought it was joined to (a nonexistent, never-existent) one when I first sat down to it.

The Remaining Problem: the application still breaks just as badly XP-to-XP (which is exactly the situation the developer has set up for testing, and there it works flawlessly) as it did Win2k-to-Samba.

The “diagnostic” (hah!) is a segfault in kernel.dll — XP tells you this if you insist, ’2000 just tells you that it died and a log has been written, but where? I can’t find it, and I’ve looked everywhere, menus and filesystem alike. Do I miss not being able to simply strace the sucker? You bet. Hmm. Maybe under WINE?

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