06 June 2007

Long upgrades...

OK, can you imagine upgrading Windows 3.11 to XP? Now can you imagine it being done while the system is being used?

Still on the ball? OK, now can you imagine the update being done not from a CD but over a dialup modem connection — still being used, & with the dialup link also being used?

Clinging in there? OK, while the update is happening, we’re also updating Office, Exchange, SQL Server, IIS & everything else we can lay paws on.

Bear in mind that the system is still being used. Now imagine the risks & consequences of inviting a virus or spyware widget aboard midway through this process. Pick a time when the old boot routines have been deleted & new ones are about to be installed, so a bluescreen spells a permanent death for the system.

Remember that dialup link? We’re pulling down about six gigabytes of data here, so the system has to survive these changes going on for about a week.

That’s pretty much what I’m doing now, updating a Mandriva 10 system to Mandriva 2007.1 using URPMI aimed at Pacific Internet’s mirror in Sydney. I must say that WestNet’s dialup connections have been utterly flawless throughout.

So far, it’s survived a new kernel, new X server, new mail server, new SQL database, the second office suite is going in now (5% complete on the main package), all bar two of the web browsers have been replaced, several development systems (e.g. KDevelop) have been replaced, as have several languages (Ruby, PERL, PHP, C (& C++), ForTran, TCL, etc) & so on.

We’ve got The GIMP, education packages, science packages (astronomy, chemistry, maths), statistics, time management, multimedia, telephones, fonts, chat clients, dictionaries, games, text-to-speech, contact management, manuals, DOS emulator, Windows emulator, arcade machine emulator, archivers, CD/DVD burners, VNC, half a dozen window managers (including 3D), work-rate monitor, traffic sniffers, report generators, office suites, virtual systems, Bibles, accounting, VoIP, antivirus (yes, we get stuff from ’Doze boxes), render farms, flight simulators, fortune cookies, OCR, firewalling, power management, name it.

About 2,000 packages from the 14,802 available (which includes PLF filesets).

First off, MS won’t supply you all of those at any price. Second off, the concept of 2,000 separate MS packages surviving sequential updates in one hit is a bit mind-boggling. Third off, the idea of any warranty covering this is a complete joke.

Yet, with Linux, it’s happening. 1,300 packages to go.


Leon Brooks said...

OBTW, this & the last post were made from said live system. Fear The Penguin! (-:

Anonymous said...

Technolgy recalcitrant finally moving into a modern era, well done

senectus said...

LOL, your a masochist Leon :-)

Leon Brooks said...

Senectus: no. (-:

A masochist would try this with Windows, looking forward to and lapping up the agony.

Down to 1100 packages left to update, now...

Leon Brooks said...

Down to 709 packages, now.

The installees include updated versions of WINE & DosBox, so der kinder will be happy with their toys (also copied Word Rescue & Maths Rescue to the older Linux box, which cheered them up), & included later versions of Lucy’s crucial games (medical issues can focus you down like that), so she’ll be happy.

No, wait, she’s discovered Ri-Li, so she’s more than happy. (-:

Leon Brooks said...

Finished this morning, after a short burst of 80 packages.

Elapsed time, close on 6 days. In use all the while. Try that one with a Windows install! (-:

It got interrupted last night, as I was running it from my laptop, and unbeknownst to me this had jiggled its power cable out as I put it down for the evening. After a few hours, it shut down, killing off the update process (hurrah for the --resume option!) which I restarted this morning.

Leon Brooks said...

Oh, sorry, "elapsed" is on-line time rather than real-elapsed.

Off-lines were not WestNet's fault, but someone picking up the 'phone handset. chat gets "NO DIALTONE" and has been told to give up at that point.