Sunday, July 10, 2011

The perils of change

Homer has served me well.  Loyal, hardworking and only one disk failure and a blown PSU in more than 5 years.  I say 5 years, a guess, because I’ve forgotten how long Homer has been my developer PC. 

Homer is creaking Pentium 4 (with Hyper threading!!) PC which has been expanded beyond his use-by date.  I’d grown used to the performance (lack of), as you do, but it was his time.

Homer2 (or is it now 3 or 4) has arrived and I’m writing this blog entry on it now.  Homer2 is a shiny new Core i7 based PC with all sorts of gizmos.

Homer2 has had some tantrums already though, which has meant Homer isn’t going anywhere fast.  Instead of getting ready for a new life as a test PC, Homer is still fully configured and sitting in a remote desktop session on one of Homer2’s monitors.

Tantrums?  How about:

  • McAfee not really uninstalling and having to be forcibly ejected.
  • Office 2010 needing 5 attempts to install before actually working.
  • Windows Live Writer, my blogging tool of choice, being packaged with all manner of applications I don’t want.  And needing 3 runs at an install.
  • My shiny new Blu Ray drive working fine in PowerDVD when run separately but not in Windows Media Player.
  • My favourite anti-virus product, Avast!, blocking all web and mail traffic for whatever reason (Microsoft Security Essentials is now getting a chance).

Oh, development environments!  That’s what I bought the PC for!

Visual Studio 2008 installed first time, downloaded patches and set up MSDN without missing a beat.  The Feature Pack also went on just fine.  But, there had to be one, the incremental (temperamental?) linker is crashing and I’m getting some strange unresolved external reference I’d never seen before.

Ho Hum.  Two days wasted.  Seems to me like some products should be spending more time in User Experience, Build and Integration testing.

Still, StrokePlay now builds in 90% less time – just not fully.  It’ll just take an extended number of those fast builds to recoup the lost time.

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