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Author Topic: Installers: "This may take several minutes."  (Read 3054 times)

superboyac

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Installers: "This may take several minutes."
« on: September 30, 2009, 05:56:07 PM »
We've all seen this message whenever we install programs.  My question to you is this:  Has it EVER taken several minutes?  Not to me.  We're not talking about Adobe Acrobat, or the MS Office Suite.  I'm talking about all our little shareware programs.  Isn't it time we got rid of this nonsense?

I'm just being facetious here.  I know it's just the default thing of these installers.  It's funny because for most of these programs, the installation barely lasts a couple of seconds.  I'd love to hear some funny stories if you've ever obediently waited several minutes installing some 2 MB program before deciding that something was wrong.

You:  "Um, I've waited several hours now, and it's still not done.  The message says several minutes, so should I cancel?"
Tech Support:  "Dude, it's just a stupid little message.  It doesn't actually mean anything."

MilesAhead

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Re: Installers: "This may take several minutes."
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2009, 06:32:59 PM »
Windows Vista SP1 installer should have "This may reboot your computer saying Phase1, Phase2, Phase3 with each boot, waste 2 hours, then say 'Service Pack not installed ... Rolling Back'  ... so do you really want to continue? I know I wouldn't"

edit: but to your point, seems a lot of this stuff originated back with slow systems and HDs. The continued expansion and performance of systems seems like it's taking people by surprise.  Note the lack of native 64 bit compilers and IDEs. It's almost like everyone was surprised Vista64 SP1 works and now all these PCs on the rack come with 6 GB+ ram and 64 bit OS, but no 64 bit software toys afa development(or at least not free/reasonably priced for the single developer.)

But I can remember installers that would just appear to hang.  You had to watch the disk LED to know your system wasn't locked up.


« Last Edit: September 30, 2009, 06:38:24 PM by MilesAhead »

tranglos

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Re: Installers: "This may take several minutes."
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2009, 06:33:52 PM »
It's a holdover from who knows how long ago - Windows 3.0 days at least. And you're right, it never takes that long. My guess is the message comes as default with the installer builder(*), and few people bother to change it, since packaging an installer is generally tedious and painful, and you want to minimize the damage. Or maybe it's even hard-coded?

Also, a professional setup builder comes with localized resources for many languages. So you'll be unlikely to go and change the default messages. If you did, you'd have to have them localized from scratch, so why bother.

But you know what - more and more installers now are stubs that download components from their home websites. Then the message is relevant and true again. We've come a full circle.

(* InstallShield? are they still in action? I mostly see InnoSetup-based installers these days.)
« Last Edit: September 30, 2009, 06:35:59 PM by tranglos »

MilesAhead

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Re: Installers: "This may take several minutes."
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2009, 06:43:12 PM »
IIRC Inno Setup just uses a progress bar.  A better approach I think. You tell people a 300KB program is going to take minutes to install and they think "Why?  Does it take you that long to figure out how to hose my system?"  :)

40hz

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Re: Installers: "This may take several minutes."
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2009, 08:16:26 PM »
Of course, there's always the option of capitalizing on how long the general population thinks such things will take...

Check this out. It could come in handy:

update.gif

Quote
Fake Progress Bar

A fully configurable spoof progress bar for your desktop. Make it look like your PC is doing something - while you do something else!

    * As featured in the Wall Street Journal!
    * Features include fully cutomizable titles, icons, buttons, speed and progress messages.
    * Disable the screensaver

Link: www.digitalvolcano.co.uk/content/fake-progress-bar

Just a thought. ;) ;D 8)

tranglos

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Re: Installers: "This may take several minutes."
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2009, 08:31:06 PM »
Of course, there's always the option of capitalizing on how long the general population thinks such things will take...

Okay, I don't have a link for this, it was a looong time ago. But. I read once about a shareware developer who was selling a program to crack passwords in Excel and Word files (or was it WordPerfect? I really have to find that piece!). Encryption in those days was so weak, the results were delivered practically instantly.

Users didn't like it! They thought there was cheating involved, since they expected password cracking to take some serious computing. If it was so easy, why were they paying for it in the first place? So the developer put in an artificial delay loop, to make it appear as if the program was doing a lot of important, wizardry work. Users were happy, and sales went up.

I swear I did not make it up.

tranglos

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Re: Installers: "This may take several minutes."
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2009, 08:36:26 PM »
Quote
Fake Progress Bar

This reminds me of...

sign01.jpgInstallers: "This may take several minutes."

sign02.jpgInstallers: "This may take several minutes."

#2 is almost certainly a fake, but I really hope #1 is a real sign somewhere!

superboyac

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Re: Installers: "This may take several minutes."
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2009, 10:36:12 PM »
Of course, there's always the option of capitalizing on how long the general population thinks such things will take...

Okay, I don't have a link for this, it was a looong time ago. But. I read once about a shareware developer who was selling a program to crack passwords in Excel and Word files (or was it WordPerfect? I really have to find that piece!). Encryption in those days was so weak, the results were delivered practically instantly.

Users didn't like it! They thought there was cheating involved, since they expected password cracking to take some serious computing. If it was so easy, why were they paying for it in the first place? So the developer put in an artificial delay loop, to make it appear as if the program was doing a lot of important, wizardry work. Users were happy, and sales went up.

I swear I did not make it up.
Yup.  That sounds about right.

Curt

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Re: Installers: "This may take several minutes."
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2009, 07:10:49 AM »
Quote
Fake Progress Bar
This reminds me of...

sign01.jpgInstallers: "This may take several minutes."




----

>>This may take a few seconds, but if you are a fast reader, you may manage to read this text. If on the other hand you are not a very fast reader, and have had time to read all this, then there is something seriously wrong with your computer!<<

Lashiec

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Re: Installers: "This may take several minutes."
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2009, 10:15:57 AM »
(* InstallShield? are they still in action? I mostly see InnoSetup-based installers these days.)

Unfortunately, yes, they are. The "This may take several minutes" message was invented for them. Software packed with their latest installation routines (mostly games and hefty apps) take a LOT to install anything. And much of that time is simply preparing God knows what, leaving the system mostly unusable during that time. I don't know what the heck they're doing to the system, but oh how I hate them.

MilesAhead

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Re: Installers: "This may take several minutes."
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2009, 05:45:08 PM »
Quote
Fake Progress Bar

This reminds me of...
 (see attachment in previous post) (see attachment in previous post)
#2 is almost certainly a fake, but I really hope #1 is a real sign somewhere!


My favorite is the sign shaped like a traffic stop sign that says "Do Not Read This Sign"  .. probably saw it in Mad Magazine or something.

MilesAhead

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Re: Installers: "This may take several minutes."
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2009, 05:52:20 PM »
Quote
I swear I did not make it up.

Kind of like the weight lifter.  If he just picks that barbell right up over his head like nothin', well, big deal!!  Has to grunt 'n groan like he's bustin' his splean, make his face turn a bit red, then, Bingo!! He majestically hoists it!!!  Like the old gimmick where the circus strongman bends a bar, then his dumb blond assistant bends it back the way it should be before storing it in the container!!

f0dder

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Re: Installers: "This may take several minutes."
« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2009, 06:07:20 PM »
I've had "a few minutes" a few times - like installing paint.NET on my laptop (2gig ram, core2 at... uh... 2GHz or so). Basically anything that does dotNET pre-JIT'ing at install time is going to take a while to complete after the files have been installed.
- carpe noctem

40hz

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Re: Installers: "This may take several minutes."
« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2009, 01:08:15 PM »
I've had "a few minutes" a few times - like installing paint.NET on my laptop (2gig ram, core2 at... uh... 2GHz or so). Basically anything that does dotNET pre-JIT'ing at install time is going to take a while to complete after the files have been installed.

@f0dder - Thanks for explaining that. I've always wondered why some .NET apps seemed to take forever to install.

Now I know! :Thmbsup: