I have been tasked with installing a certain software package into a lab. Not a problem; that's my job.
First We have to download it. I go to the website, and for a while I couldn't find where the 'download' link was, to save my life. I eventually tripped over it purely by chance. At which point I found myself looking at a login before I could access the actual downloads. Anyway, I wasn't sure exactly which version I was supposed to be downloading in any case...
The Tuesday before the Friday after
the Friday I originally was planning to have this thing installed, the local contact gets the license info. The two days later he gets around to sending it to my boss. As we are testing a new job tracking system (a whole rant in itself), he put three of the four PDF files into a ticket, killing two birds with one stone. Why three? Because the new system will only allow three attachments to a ticket. (in total? in one transaction? the process was so painful he wasn't willing to experiment.) He decided to leave out the "Welcome Letter", and included everything which mentioned "license". As it turns out, the Welcome Letter had the magic details. From there it was:
- go to the indicated site
- click the link, which opened a new window.
- click the next link, which opened a new window.
- opens a new window, which loads another AX/J/A/RoR/WTF page which prompts for the Magic Username/Password.
- And the supplied details work (a small mercy). Thence, we find ourselves looking at an ActiveX plugin installation toolbar. Um, wait, what?
- *sigh* Install the plugin.
- Be presented with another scripted presentation of information. First there is a bespoke frame with the Readme in it. If you had not reflexively resized the window from where the script had shrunk it, you would not see that there are two scrollbars, one to the textblock, one to the window. Whatever, scroll the window down to where there is a plea to not redistribute these files at all ever pretty pretty please, then another bespoke frame, complete with bespoke scrollbar, all because there is one line of contents more than there is room to display. Why not simply resize the window to fit One More Damn Line? Buggered if I know. Maybe the Skript Kiddy Kookbook didn't include that code. So you are asked to check which files you want to download. The meat of the deal is the installation_CD_ISO.exe: 918MB. I'm hoping that this is a self-expanding archive of two ISO images, but I'm not going to bet on anything so sensible just yet.
- Click "Download selected files".
- Nothing happens.
- *sigh* redo steps 1—5, activate the plugin, then proceed back to this point, at which time you are presented with a window asking where you want to save the files. Select the preprepared location, and click "OK".
- Be awed and impressed (for all the wrong reasons) at what is presented to you now.
- Shaded backgrounds, so that a line of text looks like it's presented on a bump, are obviously cool, so every text line is done thus, making the thing look corrugated.
- When it starts up, the "Transfer Rate" is obviously zero bytes in zero seconds. You might present this as "--", or leave it blank, or some such, but no. You are presented here with "NaN kB/s" I kid you not. At least it doesn't divide by zero and bluescreen the PC...
- There are mouseover help areas, where the mouse cursor gets a little question mark. Well, one such area. It is at the top where the message is "Download enabled". The tooltip which pops up tells you "This indicates whether downloads are enabled or disabled." I mean, WHAT THE HELL IS THE POINT!?!?!? Why go to all that trouble to tell me the bleeding obvious?!
- This isn't presentation, but an associated WTF: the maximum speed I have seen on this download is 57kB/s... for 918MB. Do your own calculations.
- This is now past the end of the working day, so go home. Come in the next morning to find that the ActiveX thing has crashed at some point. *sigh* *curse* Redo from start.
And in investigating if there was a cache where this thing was downloading to before crashing, we discovered the various temp directories, containing the downloaded remnants (last night it got to about 300MB before dying), and a .dat file, containing wchar_t
text of the download destination, the temp directory location, and the source. So if they were going to all this trouble to hide the download source, they didn't to a very good job. I couldn't get it to work by cut-n-pasting into a browser, but there's probably field data embedded in the header with the login or something.
Whatever. Another three hours or so to go at this point, and then we get to see (maybe, all going well), whether we can progress to the stage of actually preparing to install
There is a license server involved.
Just to reiterate: all of this bullshit skriptkiddie activeX kookbook k0ding to protect their precious precious download files, with security not appreciably more than simply having an authenticated SFTP download site and allowing the browser to take care of it, but plenty of downsides which SFTP doesn't
have, all to get you to the point where you can set up the license server so that, after having made you jump through flaming hoops to get
this thing, you have to set up more
hoops to allow you to run
FFS. It's not like I have better things to do or something.
And as an aside, after an "upgrade" on the central servers, I find my self with no usenet access, which means I can't even rant in the Monastery. Not Having A Good Time, TYVM.Update
(4:25pm) — five hours later; it downloaded successfully. It was an auto-extraction file, which just set up a directory with 940MB of installation files in it, which I then burnt to a DVD ('CD image' my eye...), which is currently installing on the template. Then setting up a license server, pushing out the image... easy!