Another day, another problem fixing my dad's Windows XP Tablet PC. Why does it have to be such a struggle? I guess they have to keep it complicated to keep consultants paid right?
Today's Windows error appeared when I attempted to install my dad's copy of Office 2000. His company still uses Windows 2000 and Office 2000 so he figured he might as well make at least the office suite the same, plus he doesn't need the extra features of XP, 2003, 2007 or whatever version they're up to now. In fact he could easily tolerate Office 97!
It seems Windows XP with Service Pack 3 doesn't like it though; whenever I try to install it from either the traditional SETUP.EXE executable or INSTALL.MSI, I'm presented with an error that claims I don't have the right version of the Windows Installer installed. Yes, I need an installer to launch an installer. It would be hilarous if he didn't desperately need this machine working again soon. I even tried installing it from the Command Prompt and the same error appears.
D:\MSIEXEC -I INSTALL.MSI
The thing is, he does have Windows Installer 3.1 installed which as far as I know is the latest version. Plus, this is Office 2000 we're taking about, the only way this system could have a version of Windows Installer that was older than Office 2000 was if he was running a version of Windows that was older than Office 2000. Or at least that would be the logical thing to assume, let's not even get started with the .NET framework and how you can never be sure what version of that a person has installed in advance. What a royal mess.
ASIDE: What was wrong with darned SETUP.EXE files? Only Microsoft could come up with a system that required you to install an application to install an application!
Well okay I concede as a FreeBSD guy I generally need to install the ports system to install a application, but the point is the ports system will download and install applications for you, you don’t need to have it installed and have the correct version before you can run an entirely separate installer that does the same job that a dedicated, stand alone installer did before.
They really need to go back to Windows NT 3.51 and start again. Windows NT 3.51 was kinda cool, plus it had the clean and simple Windows 3.x interface.
Stuff it all, perhaps it's time to teach my dad how to use Gnumeric and Abiword… or failing those even OpenOffice.org, or perhaps even IBM Lotus Symphony. They're compatible with Microsoft Office 2000 file formats.