Sunday, July 03, 2005


It's time to confess: I don't keep my consumer software as up-to-date as I ought to. As a software developer I know how difficult it is to deal with a user who is still running a version of your software that he downloaded three years ago, just before you released a version that fixed a big bag o'bugs.

But as a consumer it is hard to argue with the "ain't broke - don't mess with it" doctrine, especially in light of the fact that the Software Installation Package Developers Union appears to be controlled by Satanists.

From time to time, either bothered by guilt about running out-of-date software or tempted by a new feature, I decide to upgrade something. I almost always regret it.

Today, I was going through some of my photos from my recent trip to Alaska and I wanted to correct the color-balance on one of my photos. I opened the (rather decent) editor program that comes with Kodak's Easy-Share system and I couldn't find the color balance tool. Drat! It's kind of handy -- just point at an object in your picture that you think is gray and hey-presto! it is gray and all of the other colors in the picture are adjusted, too. (Assuming you'r picture contains a gray object.) So where was that tool? I remember using it on my laptop. Oh, yes... I remember. My laptop is running the new version of Easy-Share. Time to upgrade.

I downloaded the installer for the latest version (5) of EasyShare and started it up. It clicked and whirred, downloading the rest of the software, uncompressing it, monkeying with the icons on the desktop, and when the little green bar got to the right side of the window... it died.

Ok, I'll bite: what does Kodak have to say about my problem?

Translation: Well, that didn't work. Try making some random changes and try again. (Yes, they do suggest logging in as an administrator but I alreasy am running as an administrator.) Notice that the help note is only a week old? Maybe they're working on this one and have more advice if I just ask so I click the link at the bottom of the page...

Did I mention all the Satanists working in the software installation industry?

To be fair -- this message came from my browser (FireFox) and not directly from Kodak. I also tried the page with IE, but it is hard to capture a screenshot that shows that your browser has locked up.

UpdateLater that day.

OK, I tried one more thing. Windows was able to find an uninstaller to uninstall the fragments left behind after the failed upgrade. I uninstalled and then restarted the installer. I let it run while I mowed the grass.


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