Friday, March 20, 2009

Fastest IE 8 bug find ever

I’m cursed.

I use Chrome 2.0 beta for 1 minute, and I find a significant bug.

I buy the iPhone and spend months raging a personal war against bugs and missing functionality while the world celebrates.

My Google Cloud torments me. At one time last week I was at war with Google Gmail Video Chat (unstable), Google Reader (team was at a conference, so they missed a significant function outage for 6 days) and Google Outlook Sync and Google iPhone sync (significant bug, I found a fix).

Let’s not talk about Windows, shall we. Or Apple iChat. Or the botched OS X model for file permissions. Or iCal. Or …


Even by my standards though, Internet Explorer 8 install was impressive. I found a significant bug before it installed!

The benighted installer copied the install files to my “D:” drive – which does exist.

Why the D: Drive?!?!

Well, I saw something like this before with Microsoft Office installers in 2006

… Use Regedit to find "LocalCacheDrive" settings for Office. Notice that the drive letter is "D" when it should be "C"…

…In retrospect I think this all began when I installed Office with the 'remove install file option'. I use that option because I kept my install files on a hard drive. Alas, a separate hard drive in those days. Drive letter "D". Nowadays drive letter D: does not exist. The bug bites when Office looks for its install files using a drive letter that no longer exists. Office doesn't produce a dialog box or a reasonable error message, it just dies. The automated install process persists daily in the futile update. (Update: I've been told this was an ancient bug with Windows update too.)…

Yes, IE 8’s installer has the same I ran into in 2006, a bug that was very old even back then.

Update: Well, not quite the same bug. When I turned off drive D: there was a delay of a minute or so, then the installer continued using drive C: instead.

Of course on restart I had no network connectivity at all on my XP machine ...

Update: A restart cured the network hang -- looks like it was the result of having some Microsoft security updates waiting to be installed on restart. IE 8 is definitely snappier than IE 7 on my old XP box, but I have to run it in compatibility mode to get Blogger to render correctly.

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