Darwin's Theories Blog

New Theories for a New Time

Microsoft Bites Me Again

I just created a Java application that is needed on several platforms, one of which, alas, is the ubituitous and ill-designed Microsoft Windows XP.  In the project there are some classes that are auxilliary to the main program. Naturally enough I created a package for these called "aux". In Java a package name is also used as a directory name when the files are stored outside of archives, as they are during development. Hmmm. "aux".  I know that Apple Computer long ago had a UNIX version called A/UX, but I didn't know anybody else had dibs on the name. But it seems Bill Gates was after Apple even back when MS-DOS was being cloned from CP/M-86. For it turns out that "aux" is a reserved filename, not just in MS-DOS, but even today in Windows XP (for all I know and don't care so please don't tell me, Vista too). It's because "aux:" is a device name, and the system is too scatterbrained to tell whether you mean that, or a file, if you just type "aux". The result is that WinZip was unable to restore all the files in this package; so I had to waste about half an hour adapting to this (including copying these files again, changing their package name, changing all the files that refer to them, making sure the changes made it back to my real OS (no extra points if you can guess which one it is) and get committed into my source repo so that I don't have to put up with this "hideous botch" ever again. Until next time we meet some screw loose in the M$ universe, that is.
Reply from Anonymous at 2009-10-06 19:00:56.81

A piece of trivia you might like to know:
If one searches for "bite me Microsoft" on Bing, this post is the third from the top!


Reply from Ian Darwin at 2009-12-03 11:20:43.391

Ahh, thanks for the good news!