I decided to download a beta of Windows 7, so many people shared their positive impressions of. I am not quite sure I will have time to actually evaluate it, but for the case I would feel like, it is always nice to have the .ISO image ready for a try.
There was nothing worth a word until I reached the download screen which opened an extremely awful Java applet that pretended to be a download manager. It seemed to be a new spin of technology and sort of I don’t need a nice download manager anymore because direct HTTP links are out of fashion. It started pumping bytes (actually thanks for that) and I my attempt to copy/paste a direct link into my DownThemAll FireFox plugin was vain.
At some 20% the download froze without a notice. The download did not even ungray the resume buttons before I restarted FireFox process and then any attempt to resume led to weird message boxes. Frankly at this point I almost lost the desire to actually complete the download. But left a last chance to have it completed by IE. Internet Explorer (expectedly!) preferred ActiveX control to Java applet. It’s GUI was a bit less scary and it took over incomplete download and…
An attached debugger showed a call stack (oops, I did not save exact call stack) in Manager.exe process in C runtime module, in a CString class method… It went no further than this crashing at exactly the same point until I manually deleted the incomplete download, when it again repeated a weird message box and then finally restart the download from the start. That was enough for me and found a .torrent with the exactly the same file on thepiratebay.org, which I am quite sure will download without a problem.
Isn’t it incredibly stupid that significant amount of work was invested into unnecessary task, ugly user interface, buggy implementation (freeze, incapable download manager, weird messages, crash) with a solid residual of inability to conveniently download the thing, while the file could be just put onto regular MS download service?