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Who Develops This Shit?

RescuePROToday I received two 8 GB SanDisk Extreme IV CompactFlash cards. As has become custom lately, they came with a CD that has some file recovery software on it should you, I dunno, format your card before you import your images or something. I've never had a need for them, but since the apps tend to be small, I install them. I think Lexar gives you ImageRescue - that's the only other one of these types of apps I have installed.

Turns out I really, really shouldn't have bothered with this one, "RescuePRO."

The front of the CD has a big Windows logo, but says "Macintosh OS X v10.1+," so I put the disc in.

The root level of the disk contains three autorun files (.inf, .exe, and .apm), a readme, and a few folders. The "DATA" folder has nothing useful, and "INSTALL" and "RescuePRO" have .exe files in them. The last is named "MAC," so I open it.

The MAC folder contains another readme1 and a .bin file named "RPMAC-Deluxe-Installer.bin".

I double-click RPMAC-Deluxe-Installer.bin and am told it's unable to be un-archived. StuffIt Expander unpacks it before complaining that "RPMAC-v40SN Installer" doesn't appear to be compressed. But at least I have what appears to be an installer.

The installer asks me for my language (English), displays a splash screen (hey, it's in English!), shows me another screen with the word "Welcome" in black text in a large red rectangle (isn't that kind of the opposite of "welcome"?) which tells me that it's going to install RescuePRO Delux onto my computer. I click "Continue."

The ReadMe file appears in the next window. The menacing red rectangle displays the black text "Read Me." I click "Continue." Repeat for the License Agreement and menacing red rectangle (MRR). I click "Continue." Then I click "Agree" on the sheet that slides down.

The next screen shows "Select Destination" in the MRR. All six of my disks - including my iDisk - appear in a view that shows only three of them plus a scrollbar. I select my main drive as it's first in the list and fail to notice "Select a folder" buried at the bottom. It's well below the fold, as they say, and I assume SanDisk knows to put things inside /Applications. I click "Continue." The MRR re-appears and says "Easy Install." The instructions tell me "Click onto the install button to commence the installation." I click onto "Install," but not before noticing that the "Custom" and button is disabled.

I was wrong about /Applications. A window "Powered by MacInstallerBuilder" displays a progress bar as it installs nearly 400 files, most of which seem to be GIFs and .htm files. The MRR returns to say "Finished." I click "Close."

I open my main disk to find that, inside /, I have a RescuePRO folder2. Inside of that, an installer log and RescuePRO, an application. I peruse the installer log text file and am relieved to discover that the 400 or so items were all installed inside the RescuePRO app bundle. I move RescuePRO to /Applications and delete the folder and installer log file.

I launch the app. I'm prompted for my language. I choose the default - English - and enter my registration code from the back of the CD envelope. The app launches and presents six buttons to me. Being a capricious fool, I click the one labeled "Wipe Media" with a trash can on it. You get this:

RescuePRO Wipe

There are no menus, and no way to go "back" to the main screen. The only menu item is the application menu "RescuePRO." My capricious foolery has limits, so I don't click "Start." I quit, pleasantly surprised cmd-q works.

Some time later, I open a new Finder window only to discover that RescuePRO - the "Deluxe" part is still up for debate - put a file in my home directory named rpdeluxe.properties, the contents of which are:

#Thu Jan 29 12:14:54 EST 2009
SerialNumber=RPRID-0400-xxxxx-yyyyy-zzzzz
LocaleCountry=US
LocaleLanguage=en

Moving this file to any other location, predictably, breaks the registration and forces the application to re-create the file the next time you launch the application. (Hint: if you want to keep it around, SetFile -a V rpdeluxe.properties will at least hide it from your sight.)

Who develops this shit?

Footnotes

  1. It's the same as the one at the root level, and it just tells you where recovered images will be saved: C:\Documents and Settings\ <your user name> \RescuePRO or, on a Mac, /Users/ <your user name> /RescuePRO. Wonder if it'll put those spaces in there. 😛
  2. Hey, I thought I was getting RescuePRO Deluxe! Where's my Deluxe?

4 Responses to "Who Develops This Shit?"

  1. I've got two copies of the same software, but since SanDisk in their ongoing infinite ineptitude saw fit to supply the software on "Mini CDs" - I can't even try it in a slotload MBP.

    Thanks for letting me know I can throw those disks away! 😀

  2. It's amazing how many hardware companies think that the software part is to be treated like a five-minute afterthought handed off to the lowest bidder.

  3. I should write to SanDisk and offer to re-write this application for the Mac in exchange for up to four memory cards per year for as long as they use it (or five years, whichever comes first). 🙂

  4. Even then it would be too expensive. This is a growing problem in the industry.. Making nice hardware and crapping out on the quality of the software - using the cheapest bidder and the highest-level language possible.


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