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It’s got to the stage where Linux offers a *much* better experience than Windows in terms of software management!

For example, I recently upgraded a couple of my machines to Office 2010 …

  1. Go to the Microsoft Volume Licensing Service Center
  2. Find a version of Office 2010 that will work on my machine (i.e. Office 2k10 Professional Plus 32bit). Why should I have to do this? Can the Microsoft Service Center not automatically figure out the most appropriate version given that they know what my current licensing arrangement is, what operating system I am running etc.
  3. Download the ISO
  4. Unzip the ISO using 7-zip
  5. Find and run setup.exe
  6. Answer some inane questions
  7. Reboot (strictly not needed, but wtf)
  8. Start using Office 2010 – wonder whether the copy is activated – discover that it is not, so use the Backstage view (and the “Activate” button which is not intuitively located at all!)
  9. Try activating, find out that it doesn’t work (some really silly error message about DNS server failure!). Discover that this error message means you haven’t entered a product key!
  10. Back to the volume licensing service center.
  11. Find the Office 2010 product key
  12. Enter the key
  13. Activate.
  14. Close Word and restart
  15. Ok. I now have Word 2010 and Onenote etc. Still the installation is only marginally complete – since a lot of stuff is messed up. Outlook needs me to download a social connector. Figure out that it makes sense to wait for Live Wave 4 to hit the streets.
  16. Discover that the Onenote 2010 interop assemblies are all wrong and won’t work nicely with Visual Studio 2010 or LINQPad. Generate my own interop assembly.
  17. Figure out that OneNote’s send to blog feature uses Word instead of Live Writer. Word 2010 doesn’t seem to have found my WordPress account (though Word 2008 was correctly setup and also Microsoft already knows all this – I have entered all my accounts into Windows Live Profile (or somesuch).


Upgrading on Debian/Ubuntu


  1. Start a command shell
  2. apt-get update && apt-get dist-upgrade <return>

Wham! All done!

root@revision-control:~# apt-get update && apt-get upgrade
The following packages will be upgraded:
linux-image-2.6.24-27-virtual linux-libc-dev tzdata
3 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
Need to get 10.1MB of archives.
After this operation, 0B of additional disk space will be used.

Do you want to continue [Y/n]?


How cool is that? 


How it should be on Windows


1. Start Windows “Software Manager” (perhaps the venerable appwiz.cpl)

2. Select “Office 2008”

3. Click “Upgrade”

Microsoft already knows my Windows Live ID (it’s bleeping everywhere in Windows already). Just use my Live ID to find my Volume Licensing Contract, figure out that I am entitled to Office 2010. Schedule Office 2010 to be installed (via Microsoft Update). And when I next login … wham Office 2010 should be installed and ready with all my previous settings (this is an upgrade after all!). Oh and the copy of Office 2010 should be pre-activated (after all it’s via a Volume Licensing contract n’est ce pas?).


More Linux goodness


And then there is the super-cool “cnf” aka “command not found”. Say you’re in a command shell:


The program 'emacs' can be found in the following packages:
* emacs21-nox
* emacs22
* emacs-snapshot-nox
* e3
* emacs-snapshot
* emacs22-gtk
* emacs21
* emacs22-nox
* jove

Try: apt-get install <selected package>

-bash: emacs: command not found

Do I know what to do next? Hell yeah! Do I have to go to Microsoft Marketplace to find emacs from one of the 100 vendors there?

Sorely tempted to install OpenSUSE as my base O/S and run Windows in VM just like people with Mac’s do.