installation woes


After successfully getting Windows XP SP2 installed on my laptop, I started installing other software. 
This post has nothing to do with IE, but I need to vent.

Nameless 3rd Party App: Where do you want to install me?  How about c:\nameless?
Jeffdav: How about c:\program files\nameless?
Nameless 3rd Party App: It is a bad idea to install me somewhere with spaces in the path.  Continue anyway?
Jeffdav: No.  Lame.  At least it knows it is lame and told me while I still have a chance to do something about it. 
Jeffdav: Okay, fine, c:\nameless.

Nameless Microsoft App: Installing…
Nameless Microsoft App: Installing… <30 minutes later>
Microsoft Windows: You have lost your connection to the wireless LAN! (I was walking to a meeting.)
Nameless Microsoft App: Internal Error 3452.  [OK]
Microsoft Windows: You have reconnected to the wireless LAN!
Jeffdav: <clicks OK>
Nameless Microsoft App: Uninstalling…
Nameless Microsoft App: Thanks for playing.  Please start from the beginning again.

Of course I did have success stories.  Windows was easy to install off the slipstream CD.  Putty, as always, was easy to install since setup for putty is simply xcopy.

The moral of this story, I guess, is that Setup is Hard.

Comments (9)

  1. Nicholas Allen says:

    When I install a program that can’t handle spaces, I give it the short file name path c:progra~1nameless. Goes to the same location but avoids bustage. Programs ported from UNIX seem to have this problem a lot.

  2. XPSP2 happily went about starting its work for me on my laptop, until it said "Sorry – You’ve got to be plugged in for power" (I was moving from one room to another)Never mind that I had 4 hours of battery life. So, the install happily undid all it had done. 🙁

  3. Mike Wellems says:

    Setup *is* unreasonable Hard, and I put most of the blame for this on InstallShield. Companies spend all this time building their beautiful application, then budget a tiny amount for someone to create a cookie-cutter install, usually with IS. It’s too bad that the installs IS creates are downright moronic from a usability standpoint. Next time you install something, take a look at the first three or so screens. "Preparing InstallShield wizard, blah blah blah." "Initializing blah blah blah." "Welcome to the wizard which will help you install blah blah." By default, they encourage developers to create a multi-step wizard (usually a half-dozen or more screens) for something that could be done in one or two steps. Many, many big-name software packages (Adobe Reader comes to mind) use the same stupid wizard. My eyes were opened when I installed Macromedia Central, which was a simple two-step process. I have more rants about IS, such as how I feel they release buggy, poor-quality software to drive up support revenues, but I’ll save those for another day. On a side note, Microsoft had the opportunity to correct these issues with Windows Installer, but instead created something that has the same usability problems as InstallShield products.

  4. Peter Torr says:

    Brian: Yeah, but four hours of constant disk churning on your bateries? Maybe not… Imagine the complaint if setup *hadn’t* aborted, and instead your machine died in some unbootable state when the power ran out half way through setup? 🙁

  5. The setup program that expected you to answer its questions a certain way.