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Sunday January 04, 2004
04:16 AM

My Windows battle continues

[ #16619 ]

I have to use the public Windows 2000 computers to use the network, and there is no way that the ARmy is going to let me attach anything else to one of the wires.

No big deal, I thought. I just need to get my own little piece of the world set up.

The computers resist most changes. I may change a setting only to see it disappear when the computer restarts or I log out. That seems reasonable enough for a public computer. However, I read about "Roaming Profiles" for Windows 2000. Just the thing!, I thought. Alas, I have to be the administrator to set it up.

Now I am on to Plan Q. I copied the "Documents and Settings" folder to my USB key, and I will look at it later to see what I can set. If I can run an itty-bitty command file to set the PATH and home directory (apparently that is not HOME), I might be set. Then my programs (just added WinSCP which works, but is a GUI---cannot have it both ways) should save their settings in the right place and then look for them in the right place.
I even got a version of BASH for Windows, but I need to figure out how to set the paths so it looks for a .bash_profile on my USB key.

Sadly, success stories about this sort of thing come from people either using administrator privileges or some $500 program, so I am having very slow progress.

In the meantime, I am using my account to update some modules. They seem to have more modules installed than Randal (who installs every module, mostly), but with the crappy IP system they have here, SSH drops the connection after about 5 minutes most of the time. I think it is related to the number of people on the computers somehow. I have to run some commands with nohup and in the background then re-login to see if they worked.

Right now I am doing all of this work to update a problem in HTTP::Cookies::Mozilla. I have to change 1 bit---literally one bit---make a 0 into a 1---because one of the cookies in the test suite have a date in the past, so the test fails. Then, while I was there, I decide if I was going to change 1 bit I might as well change a lot of them, so I updated pod.t and prereq.t to only run if the modules are installed, and I got rid of the File::Find::Rule stuff. I have wanted to do this to all my modules, but just getting this far has taken me a week.

All I want is a computer that lets me get work done. Is that so much to ask?

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  • If you use Windows a bit more you will learn to hate it with every fibre in your being!

    Roaming profiles seems such a good idea, we use to have them at work, but IT found that with NT5 (2K) and particularly NT5.1 (XP) were so unreliable that they gave up on the idea, and roaming profiles are gradually being withdrawn.

    The lack of a sane file system is also a pain. I understand that since NT5/2K you can mount drives or devices(?) within a unified path structure, but I've never seen an NT admin do this, the

    -- "It's not magic, it's work..."
    • I already do not like Windows. It is the epitome of anti-productivity tools (despite a recent add I saw for Office).

      No chance of Cygwin, which I have used elsewhere. I cannot install things, and the distro is bigger than the portable storage space I have.

      I really do not need the command line that often. If I could change some settings and run a .ini or .bat or .whatever I would be happy.
  • this is what screen(1) was invented for. First thing you do when you log in to the remote box, run screen, then run all your other stuff within screen. They'll keep going even when your connection dies, and you'll be able to re-connect to them.
    • I have lived such the life of privilege up to now that these things are foreign to me.

      Still, how often do you get to sit at a computer, a public one no less, with a loaded pistol? I did unholster it and threaten the computer, and everyone laughed. I was really going to put a bullet through the screen though. I mean, I have enough money to replace it, and I have not shot a computer since Camp Camel.
      • Even though I'm in the Land Of Copious Bandwidth And Sane Client Machines, I still use screen. It means I can leave my IRC client connected all the time and just ssh in to see what rude things people have been saying about me.

        There are six key-strokes you need at minimum to drive screen. For all of them press C-a, then ...

        a - type a literal C-a (so that's C-a, a)

        c - create a new screen

        d - disconnect

        n - go to the next screen

        p - go to the previous screen

        ? - help! help! i'm being repressed!

        • Hey, thanks for the info. My usual development cycle has been---download, go away, read docs, plan my half hour of time, try something, fail, repeat.

          Shortcuts and wisdom cut down on that. :)
          • I'm too used to using control A to mean start of line to cope with screen usurping it, so I make screen use control O. I also like more scrollback lines than the default, so I tend to invoke screen as screen -e^Oo -h 5000

            I'm not a big vi user, so the lack of control O doesn't bother me.

            (Actually, I've got nested screens on different machines, sometimes 3 deep, with O, J and _ as the command keys. I thinK I identified control ^ as a viable 4th level screen)

  • (just added WinSCP which works, but is a GUI---cannot have it both ways)

    Does that mean that the PSCP that goes with PuTTY didn't work?

    • I haven't had luck with pscp because I don't have a working command line. I can't change directories. I think that is related to Admin privileges or some such. WinSCP is a GUI thing.

      Even my Windows friends here think Windows 2000 is stoopid.

      I have figured out, however, that my preferences for Mozilla and whatnot do get saved to the logged in users directory, so if I use the same computer again, my changes show up.

      I am still struggling to figure out how to set things myself so I can have my home direct