King of Excellent (according to Scaryduck)

Monday, January 14

Technical Tomfoolery

This weekend I had a simple job to do. The customer, a friend's mum, had outlook express crashing every time she wanted to delete an email. The PC was running Windows 98, and I could see the only realistic way to fix it would be to upgrade to XP. Now the problem was simple enough, in that she only had 128Mb of RAM and a 900MHz Celeron CPU. A quick check with that invaluable tool, Everest Home Edition, and I knew what RAM she needed, so we ordered it there and then. 512Mb of the finest Kingston PC133 SDRAM arrives and Saturday night sees me setting up the PC to put XP in. I plug in the RAM, boot into 98, start the upgrade, realise it's taking *forever*, look at the system spec, and it's still at 128Mb. A quick check online, and I find that the motherboard doesn't support anything more then 128Mb DIMMs. I just happen to have an identical 128Mb DIMM in my stash (from the local tip), and put that in instead. Successfully I get everything running hunky dory, and I notice the language toolbar down in the task bar. I open it, and find that the US keyboard is defined. So I add the UK one, and Windows apologises and says it can't add it(!) with the delightful message
"Windows could not properly load the English (United Kingdom) keyboard layout".
For the next 3 hours I try to get it installed. I check one website after another, I do registry fixes, I do keyboard shortcuts, I even go onto the Microsoft website and toy with using IME (the keyboard code generator thingy), but I cannot get any keyboard except the US. Finally, I trick XP, and rename the kbdus.dll file in the windows\system32 folder kbduk.dll instead, and finally it works. XP still thinks it's the US keyboard, but the @ and " are the right way round.
Microsoft Errors? Pah, I piss'em.