What's worse than a command line?

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. If you think using a command line is a scary way to fix problems, how about Dimdows Registry edits. Look at the number of different problems, just from Microsoft's official knowledge base alone, that require running REGEDIT to fix---over 4600 hits: <http://www.google.com/search?q="type+regedit"+site%3Asupport.microsoft.com>.
     
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Jan 2, 2009
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    Richard Guest

    Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
    > If you think using a command line is a scary way to fix problems, how about Dimdows Registry edits. Look at the number of different problems, just from Microsoft's official knowledge base alone, that require running REGEDIT to fix---over 4600 hits: <http://www.google.com/search?q="type+regedit"+site%3Asupport.microsoft.com>.


    Opening regedit is no different to editing a conf file, and how many
    linux how-tos tell you to do that?
     
    Richard, Jan 2, 2009
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    Rhino Guest

    On Fri, 02 Jan 2009 22:42:59 +1300, Richard <> wrote:

    >Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
    >> If you think using a command line is a scary way to fix problems, how about Dimdows Registry edits. Look at the number of different problems, just from Microsoft's official knowledge base alone, that require running REGEDIT to fix---over 4600 hits: <http://www.google.com/search?q="type+regedit"+site%3Asupport.microsoft.com>.

    >
    >Opening regedit is no different to editing a conf file, and how many
    >linux how-tos tell you to do that?

    Steady on Richard,

    Don't give Lawrence a straight answer, he will get confused and may
    not reply.
     
    Rhino, Jan 2, 2009
    #3
  4. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    greg Guest

    Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
    > If you think using a command line is a scary way to fix problems, how about Dimdows Registry edits. Look at the number of different problems, just from Microsoft's official knowledge base alone, that require running REGEDIT to fix---over 4600 hits: <http://www.google.com/search?q="type+regedit"+site%3Asupport.microsoft.com>.



    what is worse is a boring sad phrat who gets his jollies doing this
    windows vs linux bullshit.

    ...........oh thats you!!


    go get a life
     
    greg, Jan 2, 2009
    #4
  5. In message <gjknh0$n3o$>, Richard wrote:

    > Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
    >
    >> If you think using a command line is a scary way to fix problems, how
    >> about Dimdows Registry edits. Look at the number of different problems,
    >> just from Microsoft's official knowledge base alone, that require running
    >> REGEDIT to fix---over 4600 hits:
    >>

    <http://www.google.com/search?q="type+regedit"+site%3Asupport.microsoft.com>.
    >
    > Opening regedit is no different to editing a conf file ...


    Except editing a conf file can't screw up your entire system to the point
    where you have to reformat and reinstall
    <http://www.google.co.nz/search?q=registry+editing+dangerous>.
     
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Jan 2, 2009
    #5
  6. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    peterwn Guest

    On Jan 2, 10:42 pm, Richard <> wrote:
    > Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
    > > If you think using a command line is a scary way to fix problems, how about Dimdows Registry edits. Look at the number of different problems, just from Microsoft's official knowledge base alone, that require running REGEDIT to fix---over 4600 hits: <http://www.google.com/search?q="type+regedit"+site%3Asupport.microsoft.com>.

    >
    > Opening regedit is no different to editing a conf file, and how many
    > linux how-tos tell you to do that?


    Extremely different. The registry hives are large, complex and have
    no facilities for embedded documentation. Much of it consists of
    arcane codings for which there is no published documentation. There
    is no explicit 'save' function - it 'saves' as it goes.

    A conf file is small 'flat' and simple. It is possible to include
    comment lines. The 'sample' ones for Samba and Grub for example are
    extensively commented so they virtually are built-in 'howto's'. There
    is generally extensive applications documentation explaining the
    operation of the conf files associated with applications - eg Apache
    which has a very extensive conf system with multiple configuration
    files.

    Open source software ported to Windows generally retains their own
    configuration files and do not rely on the registry.
     
    peterwn, Jan 2, 2009
    #6
  7. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    Enkidu Guest

    peterwn wrote:
    >>
    >> Opening regedit is no different to editing a conf file, and how many
    >> linux how-tos tell you to do that?

    >
    > Extremely different. The registry hives are large, complex and have
    > no facilities for embedded documentation. Much of it consists of
    > arcane codings for which there is no published documentation. There
    > is no explicit 'save' function - it 'saves' as it goes.
    >

    The registry hives are databases, and use a simple key/value structure.
    What's arcane about that? However, registry hives are not designed for
    direct access - what database is? If fixes are required (eg to remove an
    Antivirus program such as Norton AV) this is because the program does
    not maintain the database properly, and in general instructions are
    given in detail. The end user should not fiddle with the registry.
    >
    > A conf file is small 'flat' and simple. It is possible to include
    > comment lines. The 'sample' ones for Samba and Grub for example are
    > extensively commented so they virtually are built-in 'howto's'. There
    > is generally extensive applications documentation explaining the
    > operation of the conf files associated with applications - eg Apache
    > which has a very extensive conf system with multiple configuration
    > files.
    >

    Yes and they are all different in format. Apache doesn't use '=' to
    separate the variable from the value. Samba doesn't (I believe). Grub
    has a syntax which is truly arcane (eg hd(0,0) for a hard disk). In file
    comments are fine, but they don't show all the options. You have to
    search elsewhere for that. Conf files could reside almost anywhere - on
    Debian the exim conf files lives in /var/lib/exim of all places.

    The end user should not fiddle with the conf files, but often has to. To
    do so he has to a) find it, b) figure out the often bizarre syntax (eg
    the BNR format used in sudoers), c) figure out what the parameter values
    are available and appropriate, d) debug the weird and cryptic error
    messages if something goes wrong.

    They are about the same. I've used both.

    Cheers,

    Cliff

    --

    Tax is not theft.
     
    Enkidu, Jan 2, 2009
    #7
  8. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    Enkidu Guest

    Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
    > In message <gjknh0$n3o$>, Richard wrote:
    >
    >> Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
    >>
    >>> If you think using a command line is a scary way to fix problems, how
    >>> about Dimdows Registry edits. Look at the number of different problems,
    >>> just from Microsoft's official knowledge base alone, that require running
    >>> REGEDIT to fix---over 4600 hits:
    >>>

    > <http://www.google.com/search?q="type+regedit"+site%3Asupport.microsoft.com>.
    >> Opening regedit is no different to editing a conf file ...

    >
    > Except editing a conf file can't screw up your entire system to the point
    > where you have to reformat and reinstall
    > <http://www.google.co.nz/search?q=registry+editing+dangerous>.
    >

    Heh! It can come pretty close. But linux has a 'rescue mode' called
    'single user mode' that an *experienced* user can use to get out an
    unwise change to, say, a /etc/pam.d file or fstab that stops a system
    from booting.

    Windows has a rescue mode too, but many people have never learnt to use
    it properly.

    I looked at the link by the way. It is an advert for an automated
    registry cleaner. Registry cleaners are not required! No wonder it makes
    such a song and dance about editing the registry.

    Cheers,

    Cliff

    --

    Tax is not theft.
     
    Enkidu, Jan 2, 2009
    #8
  9. In message
    <>,
    peterwn wrote:

    > The registry hives are large, complex and have no facilities for embedded
    > documentation.


    Or the equivalents of simple file-manipulation tools. E.g. backing up a
    single config file before messing with it is as simple as

    cp -p /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf-save

    There are admins who even put their entire config directory into version
    control. How's that for keeping track of all your changes?

    Another telling thing is that Microsoft's PowerShell lets you treat the
    Registry as a filesystem--within the limitations of PowerShell, of course.
    Talk about coming full circle...
     
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Jan 2, 2009
    #9
  10. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    Gib Bogle Guest

    Enkidu wrote:
    > peterwn wrote:
    > >>
    >>> Opening regedit is no different to editing a conf file, and how many
    >>> linux how-tos tell you to do that?

    >>
    >> Extremely different. The registry hives are large, complex and have
    >> no facilities for embedded documentation. Much of it consists of
    >> arcane codings for which there is no published documentation. There
    >> is no explicit 'save' function - it 'saves' as it goes.
    >>

    > The registry hives are databases, and use a simple key/value structure.
    > What's arcane about that? However, registry hives are not designed for
    > direct access - what database is? If fixes are required (eg to remove an
    > Antivirus program such as Norton AV) this is because the program does
    > not maintain the database properly, and in general instructions are
    > given in detail. The end user should not fiddle with the registry.


    In the perfect world, nobody should ever need to look at the registry.
    Woe to the user who needs to. What I find daunting is the number of
    different places in the registry where information about a program is
    stored.
     
    Gib Bogle, Jan 2, 2009
    #10
  11. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    Enkidu Guest

    Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
    >
    > Another telling thing is that Microsoft's PowerShell lets you treat
    > the Registry as a filesystem--within the limitations of PowerShell,
    > of course. Talk about coming full circle...
    >

    Within PowerShell there is a really useful tool. If you type 'man'
    followed by a command name you get a breakdown of the command and all
    its possible parameters. When is Linux going to get something useful
    like that? It also has a 'ls' command which shows you the contents of
    directories. That would be useful in Linux.

    Cheers,

    Cliff

    --

    Tax is not theft.
     
    Enkidu, Jan 2, 2009
    #11
  12. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    Peter M Guest

    Re: What's worse than a command line? = Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    On Fri, 02 Jan 2009 22:23:47 +1300, Lawrence D'Oliveiro
    <_zealand> wrote:

    >If you think using a command line is a scary way to fix problems, how about Dimdows Registry edits. Look at the number of different problems, just from Microsoft's official knowledge base alone, that require running REGEDIT to fix---over 4600 hits: <http://www.google.com/search?q="type+regedit"+site%3Asupport.microsoft.com>.
     
    Peter M, Jan 2, 2009
    #12
  13. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    Enkidu Guest

    Gib Bogle wrote:
    > Enkidu wrote:
    >> peterwn wrote:
    >> >>
    >>>> Opening regedit is no different to editing a conf file, and how many
    >>>> linux how-tos tell you to do that?
    >>>
    >>> Extremely different. The registry hives are large, complex and have
    >>> no facilities for embedded documentation. Much of it consists of
    >>> arcane codings for which there is no published documentation. There
    >>> is no explicit 'save' function - it 'saves' as it goes.
    >>>

    >> The registry hives are databases, and use a simple key/value
    >> structure. What's arcane about that? However, registry hives are not
    >> designed for direct access - what database is? If fixes are required
    >> (eg to remove an Antivirus program such as Norton AV) this is because
    >> the program does not maintain the database properly, and in general
    >> instructions are given in detail. The end user should not fiddle with
    >> the registry.

    >
    > In the perfect world, nobody should ever need to look at the registry.
    > Woe to the user who needs to. What I find daunting is the number of
    > different places in the registry where information about a program is
    > stored.
    >

    In a running system it could be kept in several logical places (unless
    the programmer is an idiot). When the system starts up it copies the
    information from "Local Machine" to "Current Configuration" for the
    machine related stuff and from "Local User" to "Current User" for the
    user related stuff. This is so that the current user can modify the
    configuration and if the system crashes there is a fall back. Some
    things are relevant to both machine and user and they would therefore be
    in up to 4 places. When the system is shut down the current information
    is copied back to the other hives so it *should* be OK to just change
    the Current configs and reboot. The reboot is necessary to reload the
    machine. However it is safest to remove or change all references.

    There are reasons why the information is in multiple places.

    Cheers,

    Cliff

    --

    Tax is not theft.
     
    Enkidu, Jan 3, 2009
    #13
  14. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    Richard Guest

    Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:

    > Except editing a conf file can't screw up your entire system to the point
    > where you have to reformat and reinstall
    > <http://www.google.co.nz/search?q=registry+editing+dangerous>.


    Can if you edit the wrong one which is about all you can do wrong in the
    registry.
     
    Richard, Jan 3, 2009
    #14
  15. In message <gjmgsq$7ld$>, Richard wrote:

    > Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
    >
    >> Except editing a conf file can't screw up your entire system to the point
    >> where you have to reformat and reinstall
    >> <http://www.google.co.nz/search?q=registry+editing+dangerous>.

    >
    > Can if you edit the wrong one which is about all you can do wrong in the
    > registry.


    Even if you manage to edit the wrong config file in Linux, many editors
    default to creating a backup when you save, anyway.
     
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Jan 3, 2009
    #15
  16. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    Enkidu Guest

    Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
    > In message <gjmgsq$7ld$>, Richard wrote:
    >
    >> Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
    >>
    >>> Except editing a conf file can't screw up your entire system to the point
    >>> where you have to reformat and reinstall
    >>> <http://www.google.co.nz/search?q=registry+editing+dangerous>.

    >> Can if you edit the wrong one which is about all you can do wrong in the
    >> registry.

    >
    > Even if you manage to edit the wrong config file in Linux, many editors
    > default to creating a backup when you save, anyway.
    >

    So what? If you make your system unbootable by some means or other, how
    is having a backup going to help? Sure you can boot into single user
    mode or use a 'live' CD.

    Same in Windows. You can backup the registry hive before you do anything
    and if it goes wrong you can restore using the recovery console in safe
    mode.

    Cheers,

    Cliff

    --

    Tax is not theft.
     
    Enkidu, Jan 3, 2009
    #16
  17. In message <495ef14f$>, Bobs wrote:

    > peterwn wrote:
    >
    >> On Jan 2, 10:42 pm, Richard <> wrote:
    >>
    >>> Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
    >>>>
    >>>> If you think using a command line is a scary way to fix problems, how
    >>>> about Dimdows Registry edits. Look at the number of different problems,
    >>>> just from Microsoft's official knowledge base alone, that require
    >>>> running REGEDIT to fix---over 4600 hits:
    >>>>

    <http://www.google.com/search?q="type+regedit"+site%3Asupport.microsoft.com>.
    >>> Opening regedit is no different to editing a conf file, and how many
    >>> linux how-tos tell you to do that?

    >>
    >> Extremely different. The registry hives are large, complex and have
    >> no facilities for embedded documentation. Much of it consists of
    >> arcane codings for which there is no published documentation. There
    >> is no explicit 'save' function - it 'saves' as it goes.

    >
    > Just export the part of the registry you plan to work on before editing
    > it. Hardly rocket science.


    And how would you restore it if you're unable to boot? Dimdows doesn't
    exactly support the Live CD concept.
     
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Jan 3, 2009
    #17
  18. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    Richard Guest

    Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:

    > And how would you restore it if you're unable to boot? Dimdows doesn't
    > exactly support the Live CD concept.


    recovery console on the install cd has done on the odd occasions I have
    needed it.
     
    Richard, Jan 3, 2009
    #18
  19. In message <gjmvs5$nqa$>, Richard wrote:

    > Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
    >
    >> And how would you restore it if you're unable to boot? Dimdows doesn't
    >> exactly support the Live CD concept.

    >
    > recovery console on the install cd has done on the odd occasions I have
    > needed it.


    What? Just a toy OS, with pathetically limited capabilities. Doesn't even
    offer a proper GUI.

    A Linux Live CD gives you access to a full OS, with all the regular
    file-manipulation capabilities, even network access and a choice of
    scripting languages if you want it.
     
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Jan 3, 2009
    #19
  20. On Sat, 03 Jan 2009 19:17:44 +1300, Richard <> wrote:

    >Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
    >
    >> And how would you restore it if you're unable to boot? Dimdows doesn't
    >> exactly support the Live CD concept.

    >
    >recovery console on the install cd has done on the odd occasions I have
    >needed it.


    My experience with the recovery console has usually ended with a
    message along the lines of "can't do that from the recovery console"
    or "you do not have permission to do that". I have had to boot a
    Linux live CD with NTFS drivers to fix things. But Linux does not
    have a registry editor that I know of. So I have on occasion been
    forced to install an new drive, install Windows on it, and then edit
    things from there. Now it is my policy if at all possible to have a
    small secondary installation of the OS on another partition, so I can
    boot that and do fixes.

    The registry is an abomination. There is no need at all for programs
    to store data in it, except maybe a pointer to where they are
    installed and have stored their configuration. Program configurations
    should *never* be stored in the registry. They should be stored in
    the program's directory structure somewhere, so that they can be
    backed up along with all the other data for that program. I believe
    that was the original intention of the Windows designers, but when
    they made the registry API, the programmers detailed to do that job
    did not make any easy way to create a per program registry in the
    program's directory structure. You can do it, but it is not easy. So
    programmers just took the easy way and put all the config into the
    main registry, instead of using other methods to store the config in
    the correct place. If you want to be able to back up a program
    completely, you have to back up the entire registry along with it,
    because there is no standard for where a program puts things. There
    are some obvious places, but almost all programs I have met manage to
    have some registry entry somewhere else.

    On top of all this, the registry API up until XP is *slow*. I have
    not heard if they fixed that in Vista, but last I heard, registry
    updates take way longer than opening a file, writing something and
    closing it again.

    I once installed and uninstalled Visio while monitoring the registry.
    There were more than a thousand new registry entries! That is crazy!

    At least now registry corruption seems to have become much more rare
    (unless you get a virus). But for a long time, registries used to
    just collapse after a certain amount of use, causing you to have to
    reinstall the OS.
     
    Stephen Worthington, Jan 3, 2009
    #20
    1. Advertising

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

It takes just 2 minutes to sign up (and it's free!). Just click the sign up button to choose a username and then you can ask your own questions on the forum.
Similar Threads
  1. NoNewz_Iz_GoodNewz

    Spyware is worse than filesharing IMHO

    NoNewz_Iz_GoodNewz, May 29, 2004, in forum: Computer Support
    Replies:
    1
    Views:
    479
    Brian O'blivion
    May 30, 2004
  2. thing2

    Sony's day just gets worse and worse

    thing2, Nov 23, 2005, in forum: NZ Computing
    Replies:
    27
    Views:
    1,139
    Murray Symon
    Dec 1, 2005
  3. chuckcar
    Replies:
    11
    Views:
    9,540
    §ñühw¤£f
    Apr 21, 2009
  4. Evan Platt
    Replies:
    1
    Views:
    891
    John Holmes
    Apr 18, 2009
  5. §ñühw¤£f
    Replies:
    2
    Views:
    1,529
    §ñühw¤£f
    Apr 19, 2009
Loading...

Share This Page