Last week I finally installed the .NET framework on my Windows machine at work, because apparently nobody can write an RSS reader any more that doesn’t use it (insert eye-roll here). Then I upgraded it to SP1. Then “Add/Remove Programs” stopped working; shell32.dll gets an exception trying to load appwiz.cpl (another eyeroll for the less-than-informative diagnostic information). I’ve tried all of the standard solutions suggested on the web, such as checking for viruses and running System File Protection, but still no dice. I guess I’ll just have to do what appwiz.dll does by hand from now on, or at least until I can find the crippled OEM install disk that came with this PC and start all over again.

No, don’t tell me I wouldn’t have this problem on Linux. I know better. I’ve also had similar problems with Java-based software, so don’t tout that as a panacea either (and BTW don’t ever expect to use the “invocation API” to run a JVM within a native process unless you happen to like occasional and impossible-to-debug heap corruption). This problem is not OS- or language-specific, and it’s not proprietary vs. open source. There are just too many idiots writing bad code, everywhere.