Thursday, October 27, 2005


It started when I went to print some photos from a recent holiday. First, I printed a nozzle test, and sure enough I needed to clean the print heads. I've had a number of Epson ink jets; my current one is a wide format 2200. I love it, it produces awesome photo prints virtually indistinguishable from actual photographs. But every Epson ink jet has had this same problem, which I assume is caused by the print heads drying out. You'd think after so many years and so many million printers they would have come up with a solution to this problem!

So I run the head cleaning and print another nozzle check, still no good. (It often takes several cleaning cycles.) I go to run another head cleaning and it tells me one of the ink cartridges is empty. No problem, I have a spare for each color. Or not. I have every color except the one that's run out! So much for printing.

Since I'm sitting at the computer, I figure I might as well do something useful. I was running the free version of AVG at home even though we have a paid license at work. I don't think there's any difference in the software, but with the paid version you get access to better servers for the updates and I have had problems getting updates with the free version. I figure all I have to do is install the paid version.

The first problem is that the AVG installer tells me I have an old version of Roxio CD Creator that will cause problems with AVG and other programs. It helpfully provides a link to the Roxio update page. I download the update, but when I try to run it, it tells me it's intended for a newer version of CD Creator. It doesn't actually say whether it has updated my old version or not, so I try the AVG installer again, just to confirm that the problem isn't fixed.

So I get on the Roxio site to try to find an update for my version. After some digging I find it and click on the download link. But now it wants my login and password. I have no idea if I ever registered the software, but probably not since it came already installed on the computer. But it lets me type in my email address to see if I'm registered - and tells me I'm not. So I go through several screens of registration until finally it tells me I'm already registered under that email address! Next problem is I don't know the password, but they have a link in case you forgot your password and I follow that and eventually I get my download.

But when I try to run the update, it fails and tells me it's messed up my installed copy and I'll have to reinstall! How's that for a friendly update! Luckily I have the install disk handy and I start up the install. I get a big warning saying this version of CD Creator is not intended for this version of Windows. Huh? This version of CD Creator is what came with the computer, as did Windows XP. The disk even lists Windows XP on the label. And it's always worked fine. I shake my head, ignore the warning, and continue.

Now I'm back to AVG. I start up the install once more. This time I get farther - it tells me that I already have AVG installed and that if I want to install this version I have to uninstall the current version. Of course, it doesn't offer to do this for me; I have to abort the install (again!), uninstall my current version, and then restart the installer once more. During this process I have no virus protection, which makes me a little nervous, kind of like walking around naked in a snow storm.

To add to the "fun" most of these installs / updates / upgrades / uninstalls requires me to reboot. Remember when Windows XP came out and one of their big features was that you wouldn't have to reboot every time you touched anything? I guess everyone has forgotten about that "feature". Microsoft has gotten so big I guess you have to treat their promises as if they come from a politician - only good for the duration of the election.

The good news is that I finally got AVG updated. I'm not sure whether CD Creator is still working or not - I guess I'll find out the next time I try to use it.

I have a fair bit of patience with this sort of thing, I know how hard it is to make foolproof software like installers. But some of these things stretch even my patience level! I can only imagine what it's like for someone who has no concept of what's going on or why they're being asked (forced) to jump through a bunch of irrational hoops.

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