Software Upgrade Day


Long, long time since anything gets posted. A mix of summer and delivery rush left me without much to say and even less time to say it.

Anyway, yesterday I had planned upgrading my company laptop to the latest versions of the tools I regularly use and so I did. I still do feel some sort of urge on having my machines reasonably updated. Software not too new, but "fresh" enough to experiment some pains before they come for real.

I am not a beta guy anymore. Not that I was not on the bleeding edge for a long time. Just once in a while I installed something to check how things went coming along, but... I simply do not have time. It's already an impossible task to keep up with all that Microsoft has thrown at us, less trying to keep up with what they will throw at us. CTPs, alphas, pre-betas, betas, RCs... Not for me. Not at least in a working machine. But I might do one or two in Virtual Machines when no one is looking ;-p

I remember my college days where installing the new distro of Linux involved lots of diet soda, blind configuration file editing (having no clue what all those numbers meant) and a bit of voodoo. Boy, those were days! Fortunately enough this time around was completely uneventful.

I started installing Resharper 4.1 with the hope that it will improve my two major complaints with it: performance and breakage of Live Templates. I haven't had the chance to work extensively with it, above all in areas where it used to crawl (ASP. Net pages) so I still haven't got an opinion. Installation went smooth and fast and they did fix Live Templates. Yippee!

The it was the time of my personal source control favorite: Subversion. The perfect storm of source control caught me with my swimming trunks on. I updated my software, but did not pay any attention on what I was doing or what changes new versions brought in. Now I realized that new versions for my "big-three" (Visual SVN, Tortoise SVN and Ankh SVN) were released, so although maybe not "perfect" is was pretty nice timing.

I started with Visual SVN Server 1.5.2. Do not get me wrong. I like Subversion, but my first experiences with its installation weren't as happy as they should be: "what? creating a a Windows service with a command line tool? editing non-xml configuration files by hand? Installing Apache on windows on top of that? Is it version 2.0, 2.2 and what the heck a module is and how on earth do I compile it?".

It all went better when I switched to Visual SVN Server. What a sweet work those guys have made. Everything is still there: every command-line tool, every configuration file,... but a couple of clicks and you have everything running smoothly.

So the first thing I did was backing up my repositories (command-line love), uninstall the previous version, check that not a lot of trash was left behind, reinstall, a couple of Next, Next buttons, point to where my repositories live and voilá! Not a single problem. Did I already say what a great work those guys have done? And Windows authentication running if I was in a connected scenario, but being away from my domain controller was something it did not like. I haven't looked at it deeply, but I am fine with yet-another account.

Next in line was Tortoise Svn It never gave a headache (not from installation point of view at least). And this time was no different: About, Check for updates, click, click... reboot? Nay thanks, maybe later. And off you go. I was getting warm by then.

Ankh Svn 2.0.4757? Sure. I liked this tool even when it was an "ugly" add-in that wasn't as well integrated in Visual Studio as one would want and I had to go to the registry to make it work. It had its quirks (renaming files anyone?), maybe it wasn't fast as lightning but it worked for me. Now that it turned into a full-blown source control plug-in it's even better. I had my reluctance at first, but every "fear" went way when I saw everything worked. And better than before. Awesome job, guys.

Last but not least was Sql Server 2008 Express. I had already taken my leap of faith one week ago with .Net Framework 3.5 SP1 and Visual Studio 2008 SP1, despite of some of the bugs and breaking scenarios it is too good to leave behind, so I thought I had my pre-requisites fulfilled. Well, almost... I needed Windows Installer 4.5 . Reboot and on my way to update my 2005 Express instance.

The installation experience has changed notably. Sql Server 2005 was already pretty different experience from other Microsoft products, but Sql Server 2008 uses conventions and patterns that I had not found before. Not that they are bad, but they are different. It is more than a bland wizard, but it caught me a bit off-guard. Despite the outrageous size of the downloads (I am including 3.5 framework bulk here as well) it went reasonably well. It did not uninstall Sql Server 2005, although I was not able to access my instance as I instructed the installer to upgrade it, and did not install Manager Studio (although it was one of the options that I had in 2005). Not a major problem.

I am not database hardcore, but I like having latest versions :-P Let's hope it plays well with what I have in mind: Linq to Sql and NHibernate mostly, with a bit of Ado .Net services.

It all went pretty well, but whenever I find a pain, I'll be ready to say it out loud. Stay tuned.

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