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Install XP in 5 hours

Is Windows XP that bad? Or is Mark Pilgrim just an idiot?

Canadian Bacon
Sunday, August 22, 2004

For me, a normal install for WinXP w/ SP1 is about an hour, maybe a couple minutes more for patching.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

After reading the article, yes he is an idiot.  However, it does take a while to install Winodws, even you if you are not an idiot.  I've done several installations over the last couple of years and my experience with XP has been:

Actual installation: 25 minutes
Delete all the unnecessary crap and arrange things the way I like them:  30 - 45 minutes
Install drivers (printers, scanners, etc) and applications and tweak everything the way I like it: 2 hours

About 3 hours from start to finish.

Gern Blaansten
Sunday, August 22, 2004

Read his list. Idiot.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

what, specifically, is idiotic about his list?

of course, the missing last step is to take an image of the system so next time this happens it's a straight restore. but that's just not the point of the article.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Installing Windows can be a pain, but there are ways to make it less painful.  It's called "Work smarter, not harder".

How to install Windows in 10 minutes:

Copy your Windows CD to your hard drive, add a folder containing all your drivers and favorite applications, throw in a text file that contains the serial numbers for all your favorite applications and burn the whole mess to a bootable DVD.

Now when you install, you've got everything you need in one place.  Once you get Windows installed and all tweaked out just the way you want, use Ghost (or other disk imaging program) to make a copy of your hard drive and save it to another drive (or another partition).

Next time you want to/need to re-install, just restore the Ghost image -- takes 10 minutes on my computer.

pastor of muppets
Sunday, August 22, 2004

It's idiotic because it's a fucking false list. What emacs has to do with XP? In this case 5 hrs is irrelevant. It took 5 hrs to setup all apps he need with all settings he need. It has nothing to do how many minutes xp setup needs.

That's why it's idiotic.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Oh yeah... he's an idiot.  I don't even agree with his basic assertion that XP has a "half life".  I got my XP laptop in November 2001 and it still runs surprisingly well.  The sercret?  I keep it virus free and run a registry cleaning utility every 6 mo.  My experience is probably unusually fortunate, but it shows that it isn't an inherent property of the system itself.  Besides, anyone who ends an article with the expression "suck my left tit" doesn't exactly scream of competance.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

I've experienced Windows half-life in all its forms, and yes, Windows does have a half-life, including XP; however, my XP half-life was 18 months, not 9.

His article highlights the reason that I've become a default user of computers.  I reject almost all customization just to avoid massive re-customization every time I re-install or move to another computer.  I've always thought it was the mark of a mature user that he doesn't have to get everything "just so".

Justin Johnson
Sunday, August 22, 2004

Maybe if the guy was organised and had the right driver cds etc. it wouldn't have taken him so long.  That and the fact he's using tonnes of utilities.

The task that takes the longest when installing a Windows OS is the patching that is required. 

It's not perfect but it isn't that bad.

Monday, August 23, 2004

OK, you've missed the point....

yes, there's hyperbole.

but he expected a modern OS with sooper-dooper plug & play support to handle his devices. but i guess every device maker sticks half the device in the driver, so that doesn't work.

and wouldn't it be nice to transfer all the doo-dads and customization between machines/rebuilds?

yeah, i'm one who only slowly customizes my machine. so a straight build/rebuild only takes a few hours (slowest part: reinstalling visual studio). but true 'up to speed' time is weeks or months, incrementally. and by that time i don't even remember all the little tweaks for the next time a rebuild is necessary.

(rebuilds recently have been due more to hardware failure than XP XPiration, but that's worse because ghost doesn't help. and to think, i just turned on my 11 year old Mac tonight to look at some old files and it worked just fine, if slowly.)

Monday, August 23, 2004

He works for IBM. 'nuff said??

Just me (Sir to you)
Monday, August 23, 2004

That article was written long before he got a job with IBM...

James 'Smiler' Farrer
Monday, August 23, 2004

The article must have proved to IBM then that his level of incompetence was just right for IBM management.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Like Justin, I have stopped bothering to customize my installations of windows. A re-install of XP takes me a whole day, of which a significant portion involves finding where all the disks have been filed away and the never ending reboots. I do not believe that anyone can:
install xp,
install patches from update cd,
install patches from windows update,
install office,
install patches,
install vs 6,
install patches,
install vs dot net,
install patches,
install msdn
in under 2 hours with broadband. The above 10 steps involve 16 cd-roms and at least 20 reboots. Heaven forbid I need to install acrobat, photoshop and maybe a game or 2.

Monday, August 23, 2004

I haven't had any trouble at all with XP. I bought a laptop with it on within weeks of the first release in 2002, and it ran with no significant trouble for approx 2 years until I actually replaced the computer itself a few months back (due to hardware failure). Same story so far on my new laptop, running great and I expect it to continue.

It's because I don't mess around customising everything. I'm quite happy with the default install settings, bar one or two minor changes that I make. I install only what I need - which is plenty of stuff, but not too excessive. If I don't use it, it goes. I have Windows Update set to auto-update (though I've stopped it doing SP2) and regularly run ad-aware (though it rarely finds very much even though I use IE6) and have norton av running constantly. I also found it necessary to upgrade the RAM to 512 as I was constantly running into swap. In fact, I think I need to upgrade again as I'm now generally using 5 - 600mb. Making sure that I have the hardware to support what I'm doing will help to keep the system healthy.

I suspect the biggest reason that it lasts as well as it does is that it's not full of the latest P2P file (read: virus) sharing programs and dodgy music or software.

James U-S
Monday, August 23, 2004

Along these lines, how do people feel about the XP Files and Settings Transfer Wizard?  It's nice that it transfers all your Windows & Office settings (especially Outlook with its 50 different settings dialogs), but does it gum up the works in the process?

Monday, August 23, 2004

I've never tried it, at least partially because when doing a customer's PC that's full of junk I'd be worried that it would take some of the junk across with it. I feel much happier doing file transfer myself (via a virus scanner) and generally there aren't that many settings of importance anyway.

James U-S
Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Mark is not an idiot. Just someone who is not, or does not want to be, very familiar with Windows. The tools and techniques that he is comfortable working with are clearly indicated in his list. I would argue that these work in fairly uniform manner in all operating systems other than Windows (read UNIX. There are no non-UNIXy operating systems left). The fact that they are (a) not available out of the box, and (b) need to be installed and configured in a different manner in Windows, would cause him a lot of pain. If users conforming to Mark's profile are important to Microsoft, they need to take this factor into consideration. Such users need the one true U**X way of installing, configuring and running applications. SFU is a step in that direction, but more needs to be done.
The product key and the driver bit is overreaction on Mark's part, in my opinion. It's tempting to compare against other systems, but what does one compare against? Windows is the only commercial, mass-market operating system for all classes of computers. As such, it is the only operating system, which needs to talk about product keys and the necessity of signed third-party drivers.
Now, the dangerous part. Mark does a couple of things that are very bad in terms of security.
1.    He creates a new user, and gives that user Administrator access. Would he do this on either Linux or OS X?
2.    He uses TweakUI to autologon as said user. I repeat my earlier question.
Who does one blame? Microsoft, probably, for not educating users.

Raj Chaudhuri
Tuesday, August 24, 2004

This guy is an absolute moron.

I ran my Windows2000 build for over 4 years.
I also installed XP in under an hour (perhaps way less)
And so far, it's perfect.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

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