Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Aren't demonstrations brilliant

No. No they are not. Not when they don't go as expected.

Let me tell you about the one that didn't go as expected today. In fact, it came right back and bit me on the ass. It was a demonstration to train others how to set up a web based system. There were two of us showing it to about 5 others. I had done the software and configuration and the other guy had sorted the IT infrastructure and hardware. We had tested all elements of it beforehand successfully. I sat back and watched the first part of the session and took over half way through.

Literally, the second half failed on the first click. Any application that I started crashed immediately. I got more and more red faced with each failure dialog box. What could be wrong? We gave up at about 4pm and I looked into the issue.

Hours later, at 7:15pm to be precise, I found that the problem was not with the software at all. It was the PC that we were running it on which had somehow developed a problem with the .Net 2.0 runtime. I located a patch from a Microsoft post for that exact specific error code. When I installed it, Windows refused to install it.

Ah, good times.

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