That post was based on notes I took while trying to install Microsoft PowerShell. I can’t tell you exactly what PowerShell does, because I never did make it all the way through the installation process. I can tell you that PowerShell is a small piece of software. It’s not part of MS’s core business (they give it away for free now) and it makes Windows XP much more useful, especially for advanced users. I can only assume that tools like this are built-in to Windows Vista/7 because jesus: Windows and DOS have been around for over 30 years now and they still don’t have a fucking decent command line? I can’t even comprehend how that could happen.
Just as a little contrast, here are the steps to install Xcode, which is OS X’s development environment.
- Login to developer.apple.com
- Click on iPhone link (or Mac link, both work)
- Click on Xcode 3.2.3 to start download (there is only one choice, not 17 fucking choices)
- Double-click on downloaded image to instal
To be fair, there’s more steps in there, but they’re all obvious, like clicking a “next” button. My point still stands: you can’t buy a more advanced software development tool for Macs than Xcode and it still takes four easy steps to download it. Somehow Microsoft took some piddly little free tool and made downloading it take the better part of an hour, an hour full of confusion and frustration.
I’ve heard a rumor that Microsoft gives out a free version of Visual Studio. If anyone is up for a challenge, go try and install it. If you can get a working “Hello World” program within 8 hours, I’ll buy you a beer.
- Google Search for “powershell”
- Click on first google result
- Click on “Download Windows PowerShell 1.0” — (at this point it should start downloading, right?)
- Arrive at “How to Download Windows PowerShell 1.0” page. Presented with 17 different options, 6 of which are for Windows XP Service Pack 2. I’m on service pack 3 (I know because I went and looked it up, I’m not counting those steps even though I should). Is it OK for me to download one of those 6 versions? I’m not sure. Fuck it, I’ll do it. Click on “English-Language Package for Windows XP”
- Arrive at “Windows PowerShell 1.0 English-Language Installation Package for Windows XP (KB926139)” page. Click on “Continue” button.
- Arrive at “Genuine Windows Validation” page. Click on “Validate” button.
- Download “GenuineCheck.exe”. Double-click to run it.
- Security warning pops up. Click on “Run” to run the executable I downloaded.
- Click the “Copy” button to copy my validation code from the executable.
- Paste the code into the validate field. Click the “Validate” button.
- Arrive back at the page from step 5. Click on the “Download” button.
- Arrive at “About your download” page with instructions on what to do if the download doesn’t start automatically. It doesn’t start automatically. Click on “Start your download” link.
- Get error, helpfully informing me that I must uninstall all previous versions of “Windows PowerShell(TM) 1.0” before installing “Windows PowerShell(TM) 1.0”. Baffled, because those are the same program. Give up and start drinking.