February 7, 2009#

How to force MSI files to install on non-supported OS

setupioc Since I’m currently running Windows 7 Beta on my computer, I’ve ran into this issue quite a few times. You download some program you’ve been using on Windows Vista before, and once you try to install it, you’re being told “The operating system is not supported. Installation will be aborted.”

For many 3rd party installer systems, using Microsoft’s compatibility wizard will solve the problem. Just tell the wizard that the program requires special permission and ran on older OS version (e.g. Vista) and it should install fine. Unfortunately, this usually doesn’t work for Microsoft Installer packages (*.msi files). Here’s a short tutorial on how to still force those packages to install (taking the Samsung LightScribe software as an example): Continue Reading

January 23, 2009#

Is that really you, Microsoft?

“Change is the only constant.” I think it was Einstein who once said that. I also think it was Microsoft who tried to prove him wrong over the last years by constantly looking the other side whenever users did complain about their operating system. The ultimate proof I guess was Windows Vista. I don’t really hate it as much as most other people out there and I’m actually quite fine with it, but it took Microsoft way too long to get it released, the update, version and compatibility lists were way to complicated, it took them months after the initial release to get the system really stable and usable and finally, it’s hard to neglect the fact that Vista’s needs regarding memory, hard disk access and CPU load are quite a bit over the top, which is especially problematic for notebooks or even more netbooks. While I’m still quite ok with Vista though not particularly fond of it, I can absolutely understand everyone sticking with Windows XP for the time being. Microsoft never really admitted that Vista might have been a mistake, but obviously they must have taken note of that. Otherwise it’s inexplicable how they come to do so perfect with their next operating system, Windows 7. Continue Reading

February 11, 2008#

.NET Programming: OS and Service Pack Version

Yet another short article about how to programmatically detect the version of the operating system and installed service pack version in a .NET application (C#).

Basically I found three ways how to determine these version number in a C# application:

  1. Using the System.Environment.OSVersion class
    - Fast and easy, perfect to get Windows version including major, minor, revision and build section of the version number.
    - Problematic to get the service pack version: Gives you a string like e.g. ‘Service Pack 1, v.744′ which you’d have to parse then. Not an ideal and very stable way (regarding future service packs) to get the service pack version number.
  2. Using the WMI Interface
    SelectQuery query = new SelectQuery("Win32_OperatingSystem");
    ManagementObjectSearcher searcher = new ManagementObjectSearcher(query);
    foreach (ManagementObject mo in searcher.Get())
    int iSPVersionMajor = int.Parse(mo["ServicePackMajorVersion"].ToString());

    Allows to retrieve numeric (major and minor) version number of installed service pack

  3. Using native Win32 API: GetVersionEx

    I didn’t try this solution myself but it seems quite promising, too. More details can be found here.

Last but not least, some information about Windows Version and Build numbers:

February 28, 2007#

Is it real? … Or just a Windows Desktop background image?

Ever been bored? Well, here’s something you need to give a try. Really! Why don’t you just start to hunt down the location where your Windows Desktop wallpaper has been photographed? Nick Tosches story suggests that this can be a lot of fun and, by the way, it reminds me pretty much of Geocaching.

Last but not least, the story (which I found through David Pogue’s blog) is quite a piece of art. Really nice to read!