Keeping to the centre of the Herd.

Tim is fond of the analogy of the herd of wildebeest for computer systems. If you are a wildebeest you don't want to be on the edge of the herd as it is there that you are most prone to be picked off by the lions. In some ways the same is true in computing (though oddly this would lead us all to run Windows which obviously is not something I would recommend). However once you have made the decision to run a particular OS think hard before you do stuff that is radically different from the rest of the herd. If it is not justified then don't do it. You will get into areas where even though things should work they won't.

Today's lesson was on a friends PC running windows XP pro. Since I am the geek on the street, like so many other geeks, I get to be the person who is asked for advice on computer problems despite the fact that every one knows I will have a dig that if they did not run Windows they would not be in the mess they are. Anyway back to the real world.

For some reason the Symantec anti virus software would not install on his computer. The error message was not given, so since I had two hours to burn while my son was at a Party I popped around to take a look.

The install would fail as it could not access C:\\ which was because the whole system was installed on H:, there was no C: drive. Now this computer has just moved not to the edge of the herd but is wondering around on it's own with a sign saying “Would you like fries”. It had been installed by a “professional” if any one can tell me why this was a good idea please do.

Thanks to google and the subst command I tricked Symantec to install and the system can now be scanned for viri and has a firewall etc. Yes it is a bug in Symantec that it can't install if there is no C: drive and it was still upset about the “system integrator” (if I recall correctly) but that is what you get on the edge of the herd.

If the system was mine I would reinstall it back into the centre of the herd, and install XP on the C drive. Then I would also use the other 32 bits of the AMD CPU it has and load Solaris.

While I'm ranting, I don't use Internet explorer as it won't run on Solaris for starters but being forced to use it today I struggled with the lack of tabbed browsing and being able to type “/” to search a web page. Firefox really does beat it hands down.

Tags: Windows, symantec, firefox, subst, wildebeest

Comments:

Chris, You have just described 'dual booting', my only recommended way to run Redmond based ware. (You can then be assured that at least one (1) OS will work AFTER Redmond's finest software stops.) Unknown to most, SYMANTEC NAV does NOT stop 'infections'! Their new 'Norton Internet Security 2005 AntiSpyware Edition' (Suite) is highly recommended for protecting Redmond environments. DO NOT download and install 'trialware' of NIS2005ASE product as you MUST remove and re-install this software which suffers from 'activation' maladies. A BETTER THOUGHT, JUST USE SOLARIS!

Posted by William R. Walling on June 25, 2005 at 04:00 PM BST #

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This is the old blog of Chris Gerhard. It has mostly moved to http://chrisgerhard.wordpress.com

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