Windows Ain’t

The story of a Windows 8 upgrade that never happened!

With the January 31st, 2013 deadline looming for the chance to get a cheap Windows 8 Pro upgrade I decided to make the leap, hand-over my credit card info, and join the Windows 8 generation.

My joy was short-lived though. Well, I guess if you consider it lasted the entire time it took to download the upgrade and run the installer then it lasted for quite some time. But in the end, Windows 8 refused to install on my computer! Why is not entirely clear, but the message was absolute: Windows 8 installation has failed.

What makes this worse is before selling you the upgrade Microsoft insists on running a compatibility check tool. Now not every piece of software I had on the that computer was compatible – but that was to be expected and something I was prepared to live with. If that was really what prevented Windows 8 from installing then why wasn’t I told to un-install those pieces of software before proceeding?! I was confident my current Windows XP SP3 installation was all set to grow-up, but: Windows 8 installation has failed.

The computer also dual-boots to Arch Linux, but I don’t see why this should be a problem preventing me from installing Windows 8. In fact, I would expect Microsoft to see this as an opportunity to persuade me to rejoin the fold of faithful. I fully expected to have to reset my MBR once Windows 8 was installed, my GParted CD was on-hand and ready to go. But it never came to that: Windows 8 installation has failed.

And what makes this insulting, is googling “Windows 8 installation failed” turns up pages and pages of people with the same experience. Some managed to resolve the issue, most did not. I tried everything from disabling services, running as Administrator, deleting temp files, and even making a Steve Ballmer voodoo doll that I prayed to and sacrificed a chicken to. But to no avail: Windows 8 installation has failed.

As a last resort I supposed I could fire-up the Recovery Partition, re-install Windows XP from scratch, and then try the upgrade to Windows 8. But even then, after so many failed attempts, I’m pretty sure I’ll end up with: Windows 8 installation has failed.

So now my biggest concern is convincing Microsoft to give me my money back!

UPDATE: Windows 8 is now installed and running happily on my home computer! My problems seem to have come from Dell using a custom boot loader for their Dell Restore utility – which my installation of Linux had modified. Once I repaired that and restarted the installation process it went perfectly!

Cross-posted on 2FatDads

Corporate Greed is the Worst Public Relations at Yellow Pages

You know those thick yellow books we all have at home, that are really useful for boosting up kids at the dining table when you run out of actual booster seats? Well, turns-out there was a time before tablets, smart phones, and the Internet when people actually marched their fingers through those books to find phone numbers of businesses! Really!!!

Yellow Media, the publisher of those books – the Yellow Pages as they were known, has run into some trouble lately. Much like RIM, who’s market roared past them while they were busy gloating about how great they were, Yellow Media has also suffered from ignoring their market and assuming the old model was the only model. Not to say they haven’t tried, sites like AutoTrader.ca was quite successful (which is why they were able to sell it when they needed cash) and RedFlagDeals.com is my go to site when comparison shopping.

But these web sites just don’t provide the revenue to keep their print business afloat – I doubt any web site could ever produce the financial results that a traditional publishing business had. It’s just too easy to publish on the Internet – any idiot can set up a Content Management System (CMS) and populate with stuff – business listings, forums, news, etc.. If they’re serious they can get their own domain. And if they’re really serious they can even host the service themselves!

The leaders and directors of Yellow Media missed this simple fact. They thought no one could assail they’re lofty position as sole provider of phone numbers to North Americans. They missed the obvious fact the people’s web browser home pages most point to Google or Bing with a convenient search bar at the top, where they can type in the name of a company; iPhone users can just ask Siri! Android users can just ask Google! (I’m sure Windows Phone users can do something similar too).

So what happens to you when the world rushes past your astute leadership and whacks you in the ass as it laps you? Well, if you’re a director of Yellow Media you give yourself a raise – a 26% raise! Because all the patting yourself on the back is hard work and deserves some recognition! And in case anyone (like my, in this blog, in this post) points out the obvious, well, you back yourself up by spending another $300,000 to produce a report that says “look, all these other companies gave their directors big raises!” Of course you ignore that fact that your shortlist of companies are among the most successful in their industries!

I don’t agree with the Occupy movement in any way, shape or form. But it’s hard to not have sympathy when you see stuff like this!

BTW, don’t use your iPad as a booster – even the new iPad with it’s added thickness won’t be sufficient!

Source: The Globe and Mail

Cross-posted on 2FatDads