[achrist at easystreet.com]
If I'm on a Windows system, and I am, I am very suspicious of any
claims that it is possible to install and uninstall anything easily
and come out exactly where I was before.
If you feel that way often <wink>, search google for GoBack. That's a
commercial product (i.e, you pay for it), which performs deep magic to track
all changes to your hard drive, storing recovery information to a
permanently reserved part of your hard drive. It doesn't care (or know) why
anything on disk is changing, it simply captures *all* changes. It's very
effective at restoring the disk to a previous state. For example,
defragment your hard drive, and (provided you reserved enough disk space to
store all the change info), it can restore your disk to its fragmented state
again (! not useful, but an impressive demo; maybe more impressive is
deleting your Windows system directory -- the box won't be able to boot then
until you tell GoBack to revert the drive to a time before the deletion).
About a month ago I noticed that my jaz drive was working not too
well, so I upgraded Iomega's tools. That broke NT, it wouldn't
uninstall, and I spent 3.5 days trying to fix NT.
With the tool above, you would simply tell it to restore your disk to its
state at a time preceding your Iomega upgrade. End of problem! It doesn't
matter whether an upgrade fiddled with the registry, replaced device
drivers, deleted files completely, whatever -- in the end, they're all just
bits on your hard drive, and your drive will get changed back to exactly
what it was before you installed the upgrade (or before you even downloaded
the updgrade installer, if you choose a restoration time before you did the
If you work with Windows much, you learn the downside of promiscuous
installing. There's always a risk. Better to ask twice and install
Python installs are pretty benign, and on Windows 2.2.x and 2.3.y even name
the base DLL differently (python22.dll vs python23.dll). For a minimally
intrusive 2.3 test drive:
+ Install to the suggested \Python23 directory. It won't touch anything
in your 2.2.x installation then.
+ Leave the "Yes, make backups" default selected.
+ In the "Select Components" dialog, click on "Advanced Options ...".
In the "Advanced Options" dialog that pops up,
- Select "Non-Admin install". Then all files (even the base Python
DLL) will be unpacked under \Python23 (by default, we try to unpack
the base DLL into a Windows system directory).
- Uncheck "Register file extensions". Then .py (etc) files will
continue to be associated with whatever Python you had before
the 2.3 test drive.
Because I build the PLabs Windows installer, I install broken pre-release
Pythons all the time. The steps above are the ones I use then to ensure
that they don't interfere with any of the released Pythons on my box. The
Wise uninstaller does a thorough job of removing all traces of a Python
installed in this way, and because we avoid changing file associations,
can't be fooled by an unfortunate sequence of installs and uninstalls.