17 December 2006

Headbutting Windows

I keep forgetting what a PITA Windows can be.

I had files to transfer from a Win98 box to a WinXP box. Would the two talk over the network? Hah! Not even at gunpoint.

So... I pulled down WinSCP & opened a new website on a Linux box downstairs, pushing the files up to the website — including WinSCP — via SCP, then fetching them out with a web browser to unpack & install them.

Naturally, the installers wanted to put everything in C: drive — which was full. Even when I told the installers to put stuff on D: some of them disobeyed, and some put most stuff on D: but wanted to drape a drappie of stuff on C: still.

What I wound up having to do was to de-install some stuff to make enough room to convince the installers to write (mostly) to D: drive, then re-install what I’d de-installed.

Then I had to spend some time convincing applications that they really were where they’d found themselves when they ran.


Nah! Too hard, it seems.

Then the installers kept wandering off into hyperspace for 20 or 30 minutes at a chunk. Why? They never confessed, but even the mouse pointer was frozen up while they had their little holidays.

However, eventually, I’ve got everything shifted in only about 5 or 6 times as long as it would’ve taken to do with Linux, and it mostly seems to be working — for now. Mission, sigh, accomplished.

I think it would be well worth duelling with WINE for the next round of this juggling of Win32 stuff.

One has to fiddle even more to make stuff work well, but OTOH, one has all of these extra controls & tools sitting close to hand which are actually capable of doing what you ask of them.

For example, you can run 8-bit-deep colours on a 24- or 32-bit-deep display, no worries. And, he types, glaring once more at a frozen installer, you can find out what’s actually happening to your programs. . . & if you dislike it, you can change it.

1 comment:

Leon Brooks said...

The final install of the day went on a complete holiday, I had to reset the machine this morning. Re-doing the install seems to have worked, no idea why. It complained about being unable to fit stuff on C: (which has ~2GB free) despite being told to install on D: — but seems to work afterwards.

I’ve also discovered that Win98 seems to be able to do hard-links; at least, the machine now has a folder I can click on — not marked as a short-cut (symlink) — to wind up in a completely different folder on the same drive. The folder was added by an installer. Don’t know how I’m going to safely remove that.