The truth is out there.

I winced. I’d just been asked what I knew about installing apps on Windows. Undeterred by my reply, my colleague continued, waving some printouts at me.

“Oh, I see,” I muttered, “So your MSIEXEC.EXE thingy is furballed. Is it cross-linked with… er… RUNDLL32 dot … something?”

“Yes!’ She exclaimed, excitedly, “That’s exactly what Dell support told me! I have to reinstall something…”

“Reinstall the install shield installer install?” I offered.

“That’s it! You know the problem!”

“No. I’m making this up. I’ve no idea what you’re talking about.”

She looked crushed. “But…” she began.

“This is exactly why I can’t be arsed with Windows. Sorry, but I’ve never managed to solve this sort of thing, and I gave up trying years ago. It sounds like they’re suggesting the right sort of approach, but since I’ve no idea what…” I consult the print-outs “…squibblefumblurg dot coffig does, nor where it should go, nor indeed where it might come from, I really don’t know what I can do to help.”

Sorry, Helen. I’m not trying to be smug, I just genuinely don’t know. I can cut video, build dynamic websites, do half-decent typography and composite photographs. I can rip and splice audio, collate hundreds of news feeds, publish my diary, and network with anything else. I can compile database servers, search a hundred thousand files for the word ‘crocodile,’ and burn DVDs. I can do all of that without knowing a damn thing about troubleshooting Windows.

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