Tuesday, May 15, 2007

How Windows comes closer to Linux ...

Some days ago, I got inspired by the following topic: "Things you can do in Linux but not Windows" (click to read).

For the larger part, I agree with the author. Some remarks however: One of the points the author is:

Take my settings with me where ever I go. In Linux, all your personal settings are stored in your Home folder, most in folders that begin with a period (like .gaim). So, I can copy all these settings from one computer to another. I can put these settings on a USB drive. When I switched from Gentoo to Ubuntu, I kept all my settings. On Windows, some settings are under your home folder and some are in the registry. So your settings are not portable.

True of course, but not the final word: there is a way around this... storing the registry information in a file. This can be done in several ways, but one of the most flexible one is probably using OPS file by means of the Office Resource Kit (free download).

Interested? Check out the Flex Profile Kit (Login Consultants) which does exactly that for a TS/Citrix environment but can easily used in a desktop environment as well. In principle, even a registry export/import would do...

This does not mean I don't like the UNIX way (quite the contrary!)... but at long as we can make Windows behave a little bit the same, we are already happy!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Good and bad applications

I'm doing some Solution4 packaging these days at a client's site. You'll probably ask "what the heck is Solution4"? Take a look at www.loginconsultants.com for more info. In short, it is our own script-based installation and maintenance framework that is primarily used for TS/Citrix environments.

When talking about packaging, we talk about getting applications installed on the Citrix box and making them ready for users to use. And, sadly enough, some applications can really spoil your day (or even days). Take for instance the free Autocad file viewer DWG True View. The installation medium comes with a ready-made MSI, but... you have to tweak the MSI tables to get the thing installed properly. Or, to give another example: the installation gives a strange error if "%ProfileFolder%\Application Data" does not exist.

There are also nice applications, luckily. For people living in Belgium, installing ITT Promedia is very easy: just copy the full contents of the CD and start it. Easy isn't it?!

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