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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Preparing for the big update

I've made up my mind today, finally, about what to do to my computer. I had been planning to make the switch to Linux for some time now, but I've decided to move those plans ahead as quickly as possible. So, I plan to spend most of my day tomorrow doing the work on it.

Why so early? Well, there have been a lot of issues that I've run into recently, especially while working on Parrot. Today I got an error (one that i've been getting on occasion for a few days now) that several programs "Cannot load dynamic library MSVCR90.dll". This file, as most programmers should know is version 9.0 of Microsoft's Visual C Runtime. Basically, this is the DLL that implements all of LIBC on windows. Not being able to load this is a big problem for applications that are trying to use standard library functions.

I managed to locate this DLL, burried away in a subfolder of Microsoft Visual C Express Edition, the free version of Microsoft's compiler suite. I moved the DLL to the windows/system32 directory where I knew it would be seen by the system. I have to account for the possibility that i've ruined my PATH variable somewhere along the way. This "worked" in that the error I was previously getting disappeared and a longer, more angry, error was thrown in it's place: "R6034 An application has made an attempt to load the C runtime library incorrectly. Please contact the application's support team for more information". I want to point out that half the programs that throw this error message still execute perfectly.

I don't rule out that this could be some kind of a virus or something, which is all the more reason to switch to a platform that is, at the very least, targeted for viruses less frequently. "Why don;t you switch to Mac?" I can already hear some people asking. The reaason is simple: I don't like vendor lock-in under microsoft, I am certainly not upgrading that to the Orwellian version of the same practiced by Apple.

Tomorrow, then, is the big day. I've got the ISO image for the latest stable Ubuntu downloaded already, and am going to burn it to a disk tonight. I need to backup a lot of data on here too, because I want to avoid the hassle of supporting an NTFS partition on my drive. I have a few requirements of software that I need, but I suspect Ubuntu either has them all included already or has provided an easy way to have them downloaded.

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