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December 30, 2008

Windows Installer 10 Year Anniversary

I'm sorry that I haven't posted in awhile. Frankly I'm starting to wonder if there is actually anything new to ever talk about in the MSI world. After all, it's an aging platform SDK that has changed very little over the last 10 years. ( For example, here's a thread between Stefan Krueger (InstallSite had long been around) and Heath Stewart in what seems to be his pre-Microsoft days.)

(Interesting aside: In the above thread, Heath says he's had "Great Success" with InstallShield. Later in September 2000 you'll find threads where's promoting Wise and bashing InstallShield saying that it "sucks". Hmmm... anyways, I remember trying the InstallShield for Windows Installer back in the summer of 1999 and thinking both ISWI and MSI in general sucked. I would continue to use InstallShield 5 for the next 4 years! )

Back to my original thought: Some day soon will mark the official 10 year anniversary of Windows Installer. The problem is, I'm not sure what date exactly. I suppose it'll be Jan 27, 2009 since Wikipedia says this is the ship date of Office 2000. I was searching the usenet archives and I came across the very first thread to ever refer to windows installer on this date 10 years ago. I think you'll find it a fitting:

From: "Tom Savage"
Subject: Office 2000 install error 1601!
Date: 1998/12/30
Message-ID: #1/1
X-Deja-AN: 427080025
X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V4.72.3110.3
Newsgroups: microsoft.public.msdn.general

Can't install the msdn version of Office 2000 on two test machines. Install
updated the Windows installer and asked me to reboot. Now it stops almost
immediately with an "install error 1601".
Could it be related to my previous installation of Frontpage 2000 B1
(removed it before the current install, but uninstall mentioned a registry
write error)? I removed all Frontpage references I could find from the
registry, and it didn't help.
Would really appreciate any help you could give me on this one. I had grown
very comfortable with Frontpage2000 despite its quirks.

From: "Steven Toney"
Subject: Re: Office 2000 install error 1601!
Date: 1998/12/30
Message-ID: <>#1/1
X-Deja-AN: 427260501
X-Priority: 3
X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V5.00.0810.800
X-MSMail-Priority: Normal
Newsgroups: microsoft.public.msdn.general

I think the new windows installer sucks!!

much to busy ,, difficult to tell plainly what is being installed and what
is not

install programs should be simple with clear choices and feedback on what
will be installed or removed.

this new program is none of these


From: "Tom Savage"
Subject: Re: Office 2000 install error 1601!
Date: 1998/12/31
Message-ID: #1/1
X-Deja-AN: 427449318
X-Priority: 3
X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V5.00.0810.800
X-MSMail-Priority: Normal
Reply-To: "Tom Savage"
Newsgroups: microsoft.public.msdn.general

_Lucky for me_ I found that c:\winnt\system32\msi.dll had not
self-registered during my repeated installations and uninstallations. I
registered it and the installation worked fine.
Well... almost fine. Now I have to get the Office2000 server extensions SQL
Server database to work right. "Version incompatibilities prevent
communication with the database". I'm using a hopelessly out-of-date and
incompatible SQL Server (v6.5 SP3)

December 13, 2008

The Day The Earth Stood Still Comments

I took yesterday off from work to hang out with my wife. After sending our kids off to school, dropping by the doctors office for some blood work and eating breakfast at Kerbey Lane Cafe, we decided that we could squeeze a movie in before having to pick Emma up from school.

We decided to see The Day The Earth Stood still since it was starting at 11am and the previews looked good. Unfortunately I hadn't picked up on how disappointing the movie was until we were sitting in the theater.

I have several issues with the politics of the movie, and I found the following comment on the Internet that says it better then I can:

Spoilers… (Or “Savers” if you don’t want to waste $10)

The aliens arrive in the usual idiotic fashion that makes the Conquistadors arrival in the new world look like a well planned diplomatic mission. The response by the Americans is predictable and right out of the Hollywood cliche’ handbook of STOOPID Americanism. The military’s lack of common sense is matched only by the oblivious idiocy of the enlightened Klatu who only realizes that killing 6 billion people is a bad idea when he sees a child crying about his dead daddy. Than the whole movie wraps up with an unexplained sudden ending as Klatu turns off all the lights and leaves. So now what? Are we left in the dark ages forever? Is the blackout a temporary measure to teach us a lesson or can we look forward to a Mad Max style sequel where humanity splits up into tribes and starts killing each other while they all starve to death in famine in a new enlightened more green style of misery?

Avoid this turd. Word of mouth should kill it off in a matter of weeks. But on the bright side the Wolverine preview looked pretty cool.


On the bright side, I actually had decent service at Kerbey Lane Cafe for a change. :-) Usually I have such a horrible experience. I really don't understand what Austinites see in that restaurant.