Arrogant morons



  • So I decide to install Acrobat Reader, because Foxit insists on printing swathes of black ink instead of text.


    The installer downloads and runs, and it in turn downloads the [i]real[/i] installer, which... barfs, with a message saying:


    "Error 1327.Invalid Drive: X:\ Mapped to a user folder. The drive does not exist or could not be connected. You can either disconnect the drive or reassign the drive letter. For details refer http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/404/kb404946.html"


    The URL, of course, is neither clickable, nor even copyable.


    So, apart from the arrogance implicit in their even [i]caring[/i] about my mapped drives, it takes a special kind of moron to present a URL that can only be read with the human eye.


    I imagine this is the same special kind of moron who writes code that can't access a mapped network drive that I am happily accessing in another window at the very same time...



  •  I'm sorry.  I thought this was a thread about the presidential debates.

     BTW, SumatraPDF for all your basic PDF viewing needs.



  • I ditched Acrobat Reader in favour of Foxit for those kinda reasons (one being an installer that downloads and installs an installer that installs the final product for you - WHY?)

    I'm not completely WTF-free. I just get less (and different) WTFs than using Adobe's.



  • @Cassidy said:

    I ditched Acrobat Reader in favour of Foxit for those kinda reasons (one being an installer that downloads and installs an installer that installs the final product for you - WHY?)

    I'm not completely WTF-free. I just get less (and different) WTFs than using Adobe's.

    I use Foxit too, and I like it a lot better than Acrobat Reader. However, it does have a huge WTF of its own: If it detects that there's an update, it will popup a dialog box prompting you to update. This dialog disables the main window, but it spawns underneath it, resulting in your PDF opening up, but you can't interact with it because there's a modal you can't see. You have to tab away and tab back to put focus on the modal in order to use the program.


  • sockdevs

    I'm using Nitro Reader at the moment - it comes with its own PDF print driver.



  • @pkmnfrk said:

    This dialog disables the main window, but it spawns underneath it, resulting in your PDF opening up, but you can't interact with it because there's a modal you can't see. You have to tab away and tab back to put focus on the modal in order to use the program.
     

    Agreed that's a WTF, but I've got auto-update disabled so haven't encountered that meself.

    Still... WTF?



  • @Cassidy said:

    an installer that downloads and installs an installer that installs the final product for you - WHY?
     

     

    I can think of a couple ways this can actually be useful:

     

    • Final product contains parts that can be omitted based on context (e.g. builds for different architectures)
    • All the EULA/configuration/etc. stuff is handled up front by the mini-installer, thus leading to one long wait (EULA/config/etc, download+install) rather than two separate ones (download, EULA/config/etc, install)


  • sockdevs

    @Cassidy said:

    an installer that downloads and installs an installer that installs the final product for you - WHY?

    Ever installed the devkit for Windows Embedded Compact? Bootstrap setup EXE is under 1MB. The set-up on my workstation is over 40GB.



  • @emurphy said:

    I can think of a couple ways this can actually be useful:

    "Can" being the operative word. For Adobe Reader and/or Flash installer, unfortunately... no.

    @emurphy said:


    •  Final product contains parts that can be omitted based on context (e.g. builds for different architectures)

    .. would be useful if it was an all-in-one installer. Instead, it was an installer specifically for Vista/Win7, and 64-bit at that.

    @emurphy said:


    • All the EULA/configuration/etc. stuff is handled up front by the mini-installer, thus leading to one long wait (EULA/config/etc, download+install) rather than two separate ones (download, EULA/config/etc, install)

    Agreed, so once you've banged in all the relevant info you can leave it to chug away.

    ... except in the case of the Flash installer, it deletes its downloader irrespective of the installer being successful or not - so I encountered:

    1. download the flash installer for my specific OS and architecture
    2. run it, agree to EULA
    3. watch a progress bar inch up painstakingly as it proceeds to download the actual installer
    4. watch it error with an unspecified error message ("there was an error")
    5. watch the task bar empty as it rolled itself back
    6. discovered the original install file I downloaded has now vanished.

    Similar, there's no real info about where the real installer was downloaded to - I'd have liked to have copied this over to other machines and updated their flash version, but no... I had to install the same downloader which downloaded the same identical content to different machines. Annoying, particularly as some of the machines weren't internet-connectable and I'd have liked ported it over with a USB pen.

    Oh, and that "we've changed your update options" NO! JUST LEAVE IT ALONE! WHY THE FUCK DO YOU KEEP DOING THAT? I set them for a REASON! Stop overruling them!

     



  • @RaceProUK said:

    Ever installed the devkit for Windows Embedded Compact? Bootstrap setup EXE is under 1MB. The set-up on my workstation is over 40GB.
     

    I've no idea what that means. Do you mean you only had to download 1MB and not 40GB?


  • sockdevs

    @Cassidy said:

    @RaceProUK said:

    Ever installed the devkit for Windows Embedded Compact? Bootstrap setup EXE is under 1MB. The set-up on my workstation is over 40GB.
     

    I've no idea what that means. Do you mean you only had to download 1MB and not 40GB?

    What do you think?



  • @RaceProUK said:

    What do you think?
     

    What I know is that I've never installed the devkit for Windows Embedded Compact.[1]

    What I don't understand is the relevance of your original post to the shortcomings of Adobe's installation process.

    I'm guessing there's some reason you're trying to make a distinction between two file sizes there, but without further information forthcoming I'm still in the dark as to what you actually mean.

    [1] which probably explains why I don't understand the context of your post - my lack of experience leaves me in an uninformed position.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Cassidy said:

    Oh, and that "we've changed your update options" NO! JUST LEAVE IT ALONE! WHY THE FUCK DO YOU KEEP DOING THAT? I set them for a REASON! Stop overruling them!

     

    Well, it's because Adobe's the malware target du jour, and with updates coming as fast as they do, it's probably better for you to not mess with those settings. I don't like to have still yet another background autoupdater that runs all the time, either, but I let it go so I don't have to worry as much about it.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Cassidy said:

    @RaceProUK said:

    What do you think?
     

    What I know is that I've never installed the devkit for Windows Embedded Compact.[1]

    What I don't understand is the relevance of your original post to the shortcomings of Adobe's installation process.

    I'm guessing there's some reason you're trying to make a distinction between two file sizes there, but without further information forthcoming I'm still in the dark as to what you actually mean.

    [1] which probably explains why I don't understand the context of your post - my lack of experience leaves me in an uninformed position.

    Many large MS downloads--like visual studio--do this now. As someone else said above, you download a tiny little installer, it asks you to pick which components you want, then you can leave it alone while it downloads the rest of the stuff. But also, the other way, you have to download a 40GB installer, only to tell it you didn't need half of what you just downloaded.



  • @FrostCat said:

    it's probably better for you to not mess with those settings.
     

    No! it's probably better for me if THEY don't mess around with MY settings!

    I mean.. what's the point of setting them if they're going to be overridden by the next update?

    At least the installer warns you it's changed the settings, so there's some small mercies. I just wishit'd offer the option to leave them well alone.

    @FrostCat said:

    As someone else said above, you download a tiny little installer, it asks you to pick which components you want, then you can leave it alone while it downloads the rest of the stuff. But also, the other way, you have to download a 40GB installer, only to tell it you didn't need half of what you just downloaded.
     

    Ahhhhhhh.. okay. So "bootstrap.exe" is the installer, which then fetches only the components ("set-up") it requires? Makes sense now, ta.

    Yeah, I agree that's a useful way of proceeding - different concept to the nVidia "download this metric fuckton of drivers and we'll work out which one of them you actually want so you don't have to worry about picking the right one off the website".

    Unfortuntely, that "select specific components" model is an overkill for flash installer, and there's no way to preserve the installation files to do an offline deployment. Perhaps Adobe has something else waiting in the wings...?



  • There is an offline Flash installer.

    Even an MSI version for corporate deployment is available.

    Of course, Adobe wants you(/your company) to sign an agreement and stuff before they give you access to that.

    But the download page, while not linked from any regular ones, is public.



    Google for flashplayer distribution3.



    And offline installers for Adobe Acrobat Reader were available on ftp.adobe.com as recently as three months ago - maybe they're still there?



  • @bannedfromcoding said:

    There is an offline Flash installer.

    Even an MSI version for corporate deployment is available.

    Of course, Adobe wants you(/your company) to sign an agreement and stuff before they give you access to that.

    But the download page, while not linked from any regular ones, is public.



    Google for flashplayer distribution3.


    /me Proceeds to hinted-at page.

     /me Middle-clicks "Download MSI Installer", expecting a "Save/Open" dialog to appear.

     /me Does a double-take as it starts to open in a browser page, and fires up TamperData to verify that yes, Adobe is indeed serving it up as text/plain.

    20:53:46.265[31ms][total 31ms] Status: 206[Partial Content]
    GET http://download.macromedia.com/get/flashplayer/current/licensing/win/install_flash_player_11_active_x.msi Load Flags[LOAD_DOCUMENT_URI  LOAD_INITIAL_DOCUMENT_URI  ] Content Size[8601376] Mime Type[text/plain]
       Request Headers:
          Host[download.macromedia.com]
          User-Agent[Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.9.1) Gecko/20090624 Firefox/3.5 (.NET CLR 3.5.30729)]
          Accept[text/xml,application/xml,application/xhtml+xml,text/html;q=0.9,text/plain;q=0.8,image/png,/;q=0.5]
          Accept-Language[en-us,en;q=0.5]
          Accept-Encoding[gzip,deflate]
          Accept-Charset[ISO-8859-1,utf-8;q=0.7,*;q=0.7]
          Keep-Alive[4600]
          Connection[keep-alive]
          Referer[http://www.adobe.com/products/flashplayer/distribution3.html]
          Range[bytes=2041568-]
          If-Range["a486bb-a26600-4cb353f724040"]
       Response Headers:
          Server[Apache]
          Last-Modified[Thu, 04 Oct 2012 05:44:25 GMT]
          Etag["a486bb-a26600-4cb353f724040"]
          Accept-Ranges[bytes]
          Content-Type[text/plain; charset=UTF-8]
          Date[Tue, 23 Oct 2012 19:52:37 GMT]
          Content-Range[bytes 2041568-10642943/10642944]
          Content-Length[8601376]
          Connection[keep-alive]
     

    WTF!? 



  • Clearly they are promoting some sort of upcoming OCR software that they must be releasing in the near future...



  • Ahh, look at that, two of my pet hates in one story. First, error messages that aren't selectable/clickable. The penalty for programmers that do that should involve being beaten with old SCSI cables. Second, something that won't install if your home drive or documents folder is not on a local disk. Hey, programmers, heard of "Folder Redirection"? It's only been in Windows for 13 years.

    As for a PDF product, my preference is PDF-XChange Viewer. It is a great PDF viewer and annotator but not a pdf creator (at least not the free edition).



  • @Cassidy said:

    and there's no way to preserve the installation files to do an offline deployment

    I know Adobe USED to provide links to a folder containing (full) EXE and MSI installers for ie and non-ie versions of Flash Player. It was a "simple" process where you had to create an adobe ID account, fill a form and then receive a link by email. Last April I needed the links again, filled the form and got a "we dont provide OEM/full installers for public persons" automatic reply. I know I had the link somewhere.



  • @havokk said:

    Second, something that won't install if your home drive or documents folder is not on a local disk.

    But it's not even that. My X: drive has absolutely nothing to do with home drives or folders, or anything. I use it for archiving.


    And it's connecetd.



  • @Hatshepsut said:

    @havokk said:
    Second, something that won't install if your home drive or documents folder is not on a local disk.

    But it's not even that. My X: drive has absolutely nothing to do with home drives or folders, or anything. I use it for archiving.


    And it's connecetd.

    OK, problem found and fixed.

    Following the URL in the error dialog (which, of course I had to type in by hand - or actually cut an paste from my original post here, which I had typed in by hand), I find Adobe's 'details' of the problem.

    In fact it offers no background information, but suggests two solutions. Solution 1 is to remap the drive to a local directory using 'subst'. Nice.

    Solution 2 links to a MS Knowledgebase article which says there might be an incorrect entry in the 'User Shell Folders' registry key. Sure enough, the 'My Pictures' entry points to X:\Pictures - which doesn't exist on the mapped drive. Heaven knows when that got changed, but I restore it to its default value, re-run the install, and all goes well.

    So I take back my assertion above that my X: drive has nothing to do with home drives or folders.

    Now I know the answer, I can go back to the original error message:

    "Error 1327.Invalid Drive:" - No, the drive is fine.

    "X:\ Mapped to a user folder." - Yes it is, now that I know what a 'user folder' is. Well, actually the user folder is mapped to X:. Well, actually, it's mapped to a nonexistent subdirectory of X:.

    "The drive does not exist" - It most certainly does. The referenced subdirectory doesn't.

    "or could not be connected." - It most certainly can - it's connected right now.

    "You can either disconnect the drive" - So you've said the drive either doesn't exist, or couldn't be connected, and now you're suggesting I disconnect it. Interesting.

    "or reassign the drive letter." - OK, point it to an arbitrary location and hope there's a subdirectory with the right name?

    "For details refer http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/404/kb404946.html" - By manually typing the URL.

    Just about every piece of information in the message is wrong. Quite an achievement.



  •  Let me guess, the installer is running as administrator / another user? The X:-drive is only mapped to YOUR user, and if you're running as a non-priviliged user the priviliged user that is actually installing the program does not have an X:-drive.

     Very anoying indeed. Best to put the installer in C:\Temp or some other local writable location.



  • @pkmnfrk said:

    @Cassidy said:

    I ditched Acrobat Reader in favour of Foxit for those kinda reasons (one being an installer that downloads and installs an installer that installs the final product for you - WHY?)

    I'm not completely WTF-free. I just get less (and different) WTFs than using Adobe's.

    I use Foxit too, and I like it a lot better than Acrobat Reader. However, it does have a huge WTF of its own: If it detects that there's an update, it will popup a dialog box prompting you to update. This dialog disables the main window, but it spawns underneath it, resulting in your PDF opening up, but you can't interact with it because there's a modal you can't see. You have to tab away and tab back to put focus on the modal in order to use the program.

    I never liked Foxit vs Adobe Reader, not sure why, but then I found out that Chrome handles PDFs natively and I've been using Chrome exclusively as my PDF reader.



  • @MiffTheFox said:

    @pkmnfrk said:
    @Cassidy said:

    I ditched Acrobat Reader in favour of Foxit for those kinda reasons (one being an installer that downloads and installs an installer that installs the final product for you - WHY?)

    I'm not completely WTF-free. I just get less (and different) WTFs than using Adobe's.

    I use Foxit too, and I like it a lot better than Acrobat Reader. However, it does have a huge WTF of its own: If it detects that there's an update, it will popup a dialog box prompting you to update. This dialog disables the main window, but it spawns underneath it, resulting in your PDF opening up, but you can't interact with it because there's a modal you can't see. You have to tab away and tab back to put focus on the modal in order to use the program.

    I never liked Foxit vs Adobe Reader, not sure why, but then I found out that Chrome handles PDFs natively and I've been using Chrome exclusively as my PDF reader.

    It's pretty slick, though I did notice some small bugs when printing (doesn't listen to certain settings like single sided printing, and scaling was a bit off, IIRC).



  • @Hatshepsut said:

    @havokk said:
    Second, something that won't install if your home drive or documents folder is not on a local disk.

    But it's not even that. My X: drive has absolutely nothing to do with home drives or folders, or anything. I use it for archiving.


    And it's connecetd.

     

    I don't see why this (a different drive letter or folder path) should matter to the software, other than the location should exist and there's sufficient capacity to store files.

    The underlying OS should resolve the file paths/object reference to the right destination, be it a block on the local disk or blocks on a remote disk (a network source).

     



  • @atipico said:

    I know I had the link somewhere.

    Take a closer look at DaveK's post.



    Also, I recommend SumatraPDF. Small, no bells and whistles, does all I expect a reader to do.

    The eye-melting-yellow background visible when you have no documents open is a bit of a weird decision on the developer's part, tho.



  • @RaceProUK said:

    Ever installed the devkit for Windows Embedded Compact? ... The set-up on my workstation is over 40GB.
     

    I find it amusing that something with the word "Compact" in its title has such a small storage footprint.


  • sockdevs

    @too_many_usernames said:

    @RaceProUK said:

    Ever installed the devkit for Windows Embedded Compact? ... The set-up on my workstation is over 40GB.
     

    I find it amusing that something with the word "Compact" in its title has such a small storage footprint.

    That's the development tools (WinCE components, build system, board support packages, VS integration, etc.). A deployable WinCE image can be as little as 500kB. Theoretically, it could fit on a SIM card (though obviously wouldn't run on it).


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @MiffTheFox said:

    @pkmnfrk said:
    @Cassidy said:

    I ditched Acrobat Reader in favour of Foxit for those kinda reasons (one being an installer that downloads and installs an installer that installs the final product for you - WHY?)

    I'm not completely WTF-free. I just get less (and different) WTFs than using Adobe's.

    I use Foxit too, and I like it a lot better than Acrobat Reader. However, it does have a huge WTF of its own: If it detects that there's an update, it will popup a dialog box prompting you to update. This dialog disables the main window, but it spawns underneath it, resulting in your PDF opening up, but you can't interact with it because there's a modal you can't see. You have to tab away and tab back to put focus on the modal in order to use the program.

    I never liked Foxit vs Adobe Reader, not sure why, but then I found out that Chrome handles PDFs natively and I've been using Chrome exclusively as my PDF reader.

    Chrome's PDF support is great right up until you need to view a PDF that has JavaScript in it.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Cassidy said:

    @FrostCat said:

    it's probably better for you to not mess with those settings.
     

    No! it's probably better for me if THEY don't mess around with MY settings!

    I mean.. what's the point of setting them if they're going to be overridden by the next update?

    At least the installer warns you it's changed the settings, so there's some small mercies. I just wishit'd offer the option to leave them well alone.


    Ok, I'll go along with what you said here, as far as that goes, but what I meant was since Adobe's a pile of security fail, you should've left it to autoupdate, or you may find your b0xx0r r0xx0red some day.

    @Cassidy said:

    @FrostCat said:
    As someone else said above, you download a tiny little installer, it asks you to pick which components you want, then you can leave it alone while it downloads the rest of the stuff. But also, the other way, you have to download a 40GB installer, only to tell it you didn't need half of what you just downloaded.
     

    Ahhhhhhh.. okay. So "bootstrap.exe" is the installer, which then fetches only the components ("set-up") it requires? Makes sense now, ta.

    Yeah, I agree that's a useful way of proceeding - different concept to the nVidia "download this metric fuckton of drivers and we'll work out which one of them you actually want so you don't have to worry about picking the right one off the website".

    Unfortuntely, that "select specific components" model is an overkill for flash installer, and there's no way to preserve the installation files to do an offline deployment. Perhaps Adobe has something else waiting in the wings...?

    Yes. Also, others have mentioned that you can actually get an offline installer, or at least you could at some point in the past. I don't disagree with you about the idea of a two-stage installer being overkill for Reader or Flash.



  • @FrostCat said:

    Yes. Also, others have mentioned that you can actually get an offline installer, or at least you could at some point in the past.
     

    That's the one I used to use - I think majorgeeks.com used to have links to an offline installer, so I relied on that until adobe pulled the repo.@FrostCat said:

    I don't disagree with you about the idea of a two-stage installer being overkill for Reader or Flash.

    Aye, that - I just don't understand why Adobe can't cut out a convoluted step, but since it seems to work for most people they've left it as it (although I repeatedly give adverse feedback it hasn't changed much).

     



  • @Cassidy said:

    Aye, that - I just don't understand why Adobe can't cut out a convoluted step, but since it seems to work for most people they've left it as it (although I repeatedly give adverse feedback it hasn't changed much).
    Going through this page always gives me the full installer (regardless of language), though if I try to open that link in another browser, I get the bootstrap.



  • @ender said:

    Going through this page always gives me the full installer
     

    And me, too - but it's the Reader installer, not the Flash plugin.

    Close, but no cigar!



  • http://helpx.adobe.com/flash-player/kb/archived-flash-player-versions.html has a 119 MB zip file containing just about all the full standalone installers (mac, windows, .msi, etc). This can be found by clicking "Do you have a different operating system or browser?", then "If your operating system/browser combination is not displayed, click here for older versions of Adobe Flash Player." starting from the normal flash download page (http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/)



  • @spamcourt said:

    starting from the normal flash download page (http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/)
     

    ooo.. useful.

    I've just checked my bookmarks and the one I had pointed to an outdated FTP source, so that page is handy, ta.


  • BINNED

    @Hatshepsut said:


    The URL, of course, is neither clickable, nor even copyable.

    I had VS Express installer (IIRC, might be some other component that was needed for VS) do something similar, if not worse. I was trying to install it on a XP machine. First it started complaining about .NET 4.0 not being installed and it was incapable of fetching it itself. So, I downloaded it myself, installed it (after that installer complained about Windows Installer being out of date, had to upgrade that manually of course) and resumed the setup, only to get a generic "Installation failed" message later.

    Fortunately, there was a "view log" button which, ignoring all my settings, opened IE and displayed the log.

    The kicker? I was missing WIC, installer knew about that, it even provided a link to the installer in the log. The link they somehow managed to mess so badly not only it didn't work, I wasn't able to SELECT it. I eventually went into the source code (yes, the log was in HTML) to copy the URL.

    On a side note, I'm pretty sure it's the driver's fault but: on my dualboot system I use ext2fsd to mount my ext4 drives on Windows. Windows will hapilly mount them, read from them, write to them, install software on them, but will refuse to run anything requiring admin privileges, spouting something about network drive not being accessible. Reading this thread I guess I get it now, the drives are probably mounted just for me and admin user (or however Windows 7 handles it) doesn't even have access to them, it's just that I'm so used to all mounting being handled by root user (and things like gmount hiding that fact from the user for usability purposes) it went right under my radar.



  • @Hatshepsut said:

    @Hatshepsut said:
    @havokk said:
    Second, something that won't install if your home drive or documents folder is not on a local disk.

    But it's not even that. My X: drive has absolutely nothing to do with home drives or folders, or anything. I use it for archiving.


    And it's connecetd.

    OK, problem found and fixed.

    Following the URL in the error dialog (which, of course I had to type in by hand - or actually cut an paste from my original post here, which I had typed in by hand), I find Adobe's 'details' of the problem.

    In fact it offers no background information, but suggests two solutions. Solution 1 is to remap the drive to a local directory using 'subst'. Nice.

    Solution 2 links to a MS Knowledgebase article which says there might be an incorrect entry in the 'User Shell Folders' registry key. Sure enough, the 'My Pictures' entry points to X:\Pictures - which doesn't exist on the mapped drive. Heaven knows when that got changed, but I restore it to its default value, re-run the install, and all goes well.

    So I take back my assertion above that my X: drive has nothing to do with home drives or folders.

    Now I know the answer, I can go back to the original error message:

    "Error 1327.Invalid Drive:" - No, the drive is fine.

    "X:\ Mapped to a user folder." - Yes it is, now that I know what a 'user folder' is. Well, actually the user folder is mapped to X:. Well, actually, it's mapped to a nonexistent subdirectory of X:.

    "The drive does not exist" - It most certainly does. The referenced subdirectory doesn't.

    "or could not be connected." - It most certainly can - it's connected right now.

    "You can either disconnect the drive" - So you've said the drive either doesn't exist, or couldn't be connected, and now you're suggesting I disconnect it. Interesting.

    "or reassign the drive letter." - OK, point it to an arbitrary location and hope there's a subdirectory with the right name?

    "For details refer http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/404/kb404946.html" - By manually typing the URL.

    Just about every piece of information in the message is wrong. Quite an achievement.

    And of course now that it's installed, trying to print some pages of a document results in an error dialog saying "No pages selected."


    Kill me now.


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