Thursday, March 22, 2012

Screw You Apple... and that goes double for MicroSoft

And don't give me any of this "that's OLD technology"... we've improved since then. I'm cursing you out because of how much you sucked THEN. I don't care how much you've improved... you were SUPPOSED to have stable products four years ago. And frankly, I don't believe you have improved one bit... if anything, you're probably layered more crap on top of crap and made things worse. Who do I blame? Apple? Microsoft? I blame them both for not TALKING to each other, and making things FAR more complicated than they should be.

So what am I griping about? Here's the deal...

A few years back, I built a new computer for my dad. It was the latest and the greatest (within a reasonable consumer's price range). Core 2 Duo, 8GB of memory, twin hard drives, beafy power supply... you know how I do. And a legal licensed version of WinXP (SP3).

All he needs to do is browse the web, read e-mail, run AOL (yes, they still have an app), view and edit photos, use Office (legal and licensed), and run iTunes w/ his iPod. Oh, and the Family Tree maker. THAT's IT.

So all of the sudden, when iTunes decides to update itself with features NOBODY gives a rats ass about... it tells him "Your computer is trying to access a network resource that is no longer available. Can't find iTunes.msi"

OK, this computer NEVER had access to any "network resource" that would be capable of mounting a volume and serving up a file like "iTunes.msi". That's just pure crap.

So I get the call, block off some time, and head up to dad's apartment. I try to force the manual update... get the same message he was complaining about (and he dutifully copied it down on yellow legal pad for my benefit, and seemed to expect me to read it and have a solution off the top of my head... sorry dad, it doesn't work that way). BTW: it took Apple's servers 11 minutes to get ready to attempt to update. Hey Apple, instead of paying a dividend, how about a few extra pipes to your servers ?!?

So maybe it's just the online updater that is confused... how about I d/l the standalone installer from OK, so another 11 minutes later, I have the .exe. A few minutes later, I get the same message... they just don't seem to be able to update their own damn software if they can't find a file that may or may not have existed on a non-existent server that is no longer there.

OK, time to do a quick web search before I go any further. Ah, right away, somebody else has the same issue. The solution is simple... uninstall iTunes, run Window's own registry fixer, then reinstall iTunes... however this poor soul online found that they could not uninstall iTunes because they kept getting that same message "network resource not available, can't find .msi".

OK, so let me start by getting this registry fixer from Windows. The article was kind enough to link me to it. However, that piece of software no longer exists. Windows now suggests you install their "Fix It" program. MS touts that it will fix problems with installs and uninstalls BEFORE you attempt to do the uninstall. Hmm... sounds good to me. Click and get the "Fix It". Now run "Fix It"... uh, Fix It requires .net.

OK, go to MS and get .net. Oh shit, there's a WIZARD getting involved now. Sooo, Wizard doesn't ask much, just checks my system and asks if I agree to their license... fine, I don't know what you are, or what you want from me... but sure, I'll agree if you'll just let me get ON with this procedure.

So IMMEDIATELY after I do this FRESH install of .net, what does the Wizard tell me? I should really run the UPDATES so it is secure and stable. But wait, this was a FRESH install... why the HELL do I need updates?!? Isn't that YOUR JOB Mr. Wizard??

15 minutes later I'm ready to run Fix It. Fix it then downloads some stuff, installs some sort of "power shell" app, then I agree to their terms... then it scans the regi, then suggests I just let it fix EVERYTHING. I say "No, prompt me". Then it asks what I want to do... I select "iTunes" from the list, and chose "I want to update iTunes". Nope, can't help you with that. Oh, and there's a "back" button on that window, so I should be able to go back and try another option from their suggestions, right? Nope, the back button is grey. After they could not help me with my problem, there were no other choices except to quit Fix It.

OK, lets run Fix It again... wait, it's not on the start menu, no icon on the desktop... did this thing install? Back to the actual file I downloaded, and it goes through the whole thing again... d/l some stuff, asks me to agree to their terms... scans the regi, suggests I fix everything... I say "prompt me" and this time choose "uninstall iTunes". OK Fix It... do your stuff. You should be able to uninstall iTunes, right? I mean, that's what you DO, right? That's what you just TOLD me you could do, right?

Window comes up saying "Trying to fix problem with iTunes"... a progress bar with a meaningless indicator... a series of squares that run across the whole bar, then repeat... does NOT indicate any progress, time left, actions taken... NOTHING.

I hear the hard drive clickity clack (quiet these days, but I can hear it). So I wait... and I wait... and I wait... OK, how long does it take to uninstall an app? Stop services, delete files, edit registry, restart services (if any)... what, seven minutes? (I'd say 45 seconds, but I'm being generous here).

Run down to my apartment, check the rice "Damn, over done... glad it didn't burn!" Check my messages, return a few phone calls, back up to pop's place... this must be 20 minutes later... guess what ?!? EXACTLY where I left it.

Still, no indication WHAT this thing is doing... NONE. It's just "Trying to fix problem with iTunes".

So I tell pop, let this run all night, I'll come back and check in the morning. Who wants to bet that it's still trying to fix problem with iTunes ten hours from now ?!?

I can't believe I used to do this for a living. Good Riddance !!