01 April 2009

MS-Windows is a four-letter word

The word in question is WAIT.

I needed to update OpenOffice Writer on two MS-Windows 2000 Pro machines today, from 2.2 to 3.0.1 in order to take advantage of a particular corrected feature which makes 3-fold brochures possible (almost easy) when printed out on an ordinary A4 printer.

Because MS-Windows software has intermingled sort-of dependencies, I first needed to update a virus scanner version, then (on one machine) Java, then OpenOffice. While I was there, I updated (on one machine) or added (another machine) The GIMP.

The virus scanner update failed on one machine. The machines are same make, model & specifications. The error message (at least there was one) was singularly useless. Running an MS-Windows workstation on-line, sans virus scanner, is essentially software suicide. So I hunted around to find another suitable virus scanner. 20 minutes after finding it, all done.

Then I updated Java, which would not start until after the scanner update.

Then I updated/installed The GIMP. Flawless. Maybe 10 minutes.

Then I updated OpenOffice. 35 minutes later... done.

Total elapsed time to update 2 machines: 2½ hours. The stuff which was software interlocked was extensive & often confusing.

Same updates here (already done) would have been a one-liner urpmi command, maybe 5-7 minutes.

1 comment:

GregoryO said...

Ah, Microsoft Package Management version in production. Did it get any better with Vista?

It just so happens you've touched on my pet peeve about MS Windows. I don't know of any other operating system family that sucks as much. Some of them require you to do a bit of work (e.g. Gentoo), but at least they're consistent and won't give you a borked system if you follow good practice.