I was cleaning a virus out of a Windows XP system for a client when the UPS driver showed up with my latest gadget. The virus was one of the fake Anti-Virus viruses, you know, the kind that pops up all kinds of warnings that your system is infected or you are being attacked from some random IP address even when you are not connected to the Internet. We should be able to start a class action suit against these folks for the money they cost our clients. Anyhow, the gadget was a new MP4 watch. I am a sucker for watches that do other things.
The package showed that the watch software required Windows 2000, XP or Vista. I had a computer close by that runs XP so I decided to test the watch on it. The only printed paper inside the package was a list, in several languages, of the contents of the box.
I hooked the cable up to the watch, then to the computer. A box popped up that said new hardware was found. Then a box popped up asking where I wanted to search for the drivers. I put the CD in and told the system to search everywhere. After a while, I got a message that no driver was found. Next, I checked the CD and saw a setup program so I ran that. After a while, and with several clicks to accept EULAs, I got a message telling me to connect the watch and click next. The watch was still connected, so I clicked next. The same message came back up. I thought that maybe disconnecting the watch and then plugging it back in might work. No go, same message. Time to try a restart.
I unplugged the watch and restarted the system. When I ran the setup program this time, I got a message that the software was already installed. I plugged the watch in and up popped the new device message. This time, I did not get a box to search for a driver. No new drive showed up in Explorer and there was no new program group for the software. So, I unplugged the watch, opened Add/Remove Software and removed the watch software. Reboot and try again.
This time, I left the watch unplugged and started setup. The message to plug the watch in came up. I plugged the watch in and pressed next. Same message. Uninstall the software again. I checked Device Manager and sure enough there was the watch as a USB storage device. I removed the device and unplugged the watch. Reboot again.
Time to try running setup and keeping fingers crossed. When it got to the message to plug the watch in, I did and clicked next. No message and a lot of activity from the CD. I finally got a message that the installation was complete. The watch showed up in Explorer and the software was in the Start Menu.
It only took 4 1/2 hours to get to this point but everything was working. I can upload files to the watch and they play fine. By this time, I have also finished my clients computer and have it ready to return.
When I got back, I decided to see what would happen if I plugged the watch into one of my Debian GNU/Linux computers. As soon as I plugged it in, two new USB storage device icons showed up on my desktop. I right clicked them and clicked mount. I opened Konqueror and there in /media were the drives. I copied files to the watch then closed Konqueror. I right clicked one of the watch icons and clicked Safely Remove and then unplugged the watch. The new files were there and played fine.
Total time to get the watch working in Linux, 1/4 hour.
Which system is it easier to get devices working in?
By the way, I love the watch. I will do a review of the watch when I finish the BASIC series.