A dialog from the Cisco VPN installer reminded me of an episode of Seinfeld.
JERRY: What’s around you?
KRAMER: I’m lookin’ at Ray’s Pizza. You know where that is?
JERRY: Is it Famous Ray’s?
KRAMER: No. It’s Original Ray’s.
JERRY: Famous Original Ray’s?
KRAMER: It’s just Original, Jerry!
JERRY: Well, what street are you on?
KRAMER: Hey, I’m on first and first. How can the same street intersect with itself? I must be at the nexus of the universe!
Cisco’s VPN software is/was notorious for its stability issues on the Mac. Of course skepticism followed me to my Vista laptop. Every so often it would forget all of my connection settings forcing me to re-enter several bits of easily-forgettable information: IP addresses, obscure passwords and VPN configuration settings.
Let’s get the latest version.
Start the installer:
This is an upgrade from a previous version yet the installer is asking me to uninstall… itself? I must be at the nexus of the universe!
Consider the following:
- Cisco was able to detect this condition.
- Cisco wrote the installer for this application.
- Cisco wrote the installers for all previous versions of this application.
Perhaps Cisco, with its intimate knowledge of its own software, might be able to handle all of this for me? Isn’t this what computers are great at? Automation?
“Aww c’mon Rob!” you’re thinking. “Just uninstall and reinstall yourself. It can’t be that hard!” Here’s how that process went:
- Uninstalled original client which crashed the machine.
- Uninstalled (again) ‘successfully’. Reboot.
- Installed new client, detected remnants of previous install (even though I uninstalled it), rolled back install progress, started some sort of Cisco uninstall. Reboot.
- Installed new client (again). Reboot.
- Installed new client (again for the third time) and was successful.
Let’s learn from Cisco and Yahoo!’s less-than-stellar examples of error reporting – if we can detect it, we can probably do something about it.