Attempting to install Lord of the Rings Online for the first time on a fairly stock Vista system, and the installer fails while updating some Visual C++ runtime library. When are we going to learn that we should not depend on the latest versions of every single library? Software should simply not require users to upgrade their libraries. (I say this having just shipped a product that fails on Java 5 on the Mac but succeeds on Java 6, so I’m hardly blameless here. The bug is really Apple’s fault, but we should have worked around it. Update: looks like a colleague fixed that a few hours ago. Cool.)

However, the real WTF is this error message I got while the installer was updating the files:

An error occurred while installing Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 Redistributable Package (X86). Please download and install 'Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 Redistributable Package (X86' from 'http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=hexstring'

Naturally, I can’t copy and paste that URL. I’m supposed to type it into my web browser. More likely I just won’t play the game and try Warhammer instead.

To make matters worse when I attempt to e-mail a bug report I get this error:

The report could not be submitted

And again I can’t copy and paste the text of the error dialog. When are we going to figure out that all text on the screen should be able to be easily copied without taking a screenshot and typing it all in again?

4 Responses to “LOTR Install FAIL”

  1. Pearl Says:

    Hi! This is going to sound incredibly random. I was looking online for some tutorial tips for java, and found a page that you had written in 1997 while at UNC. Suddenly gripped with an intense curiosity (and further propelled by procrastination in reading about conditional operators), I decided to google your name and came to this blog. I read your bio, and I, too, hope that one day you will write a non-fiction work that I will be able to read without the assistance of a programmer! :)

    Good luck!

  2. Steve Says:

    It’s completely non-obvious, but you can actually copy the text out of a standard Windows dialog box – just hit ctrl-c while it has focus.

    I know this doesn’t address your (legitimate) complaint, but it is a useful trick.

  3. Frodo Says:

    The installer is actually doing you a favor, LOTRO is pretty terrible.

  4. Noel Says:

    It’s a shame about the installer, LOTRO is a great game.

    For what it’s worth it appears to be due to access priviledge issues for the “Program Files” folder. I tend to avoid using that folder for installing my software, as there is some dissembling involved (for one account, see http://www.clipboardextender.com/off-topic/vista-program-files-hide-and-seek).

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