Windows 8 Versus pip

Let me start off by saying that 2014 was a bad year for my electronics. I dropped my Nexus 4 off a cliff, my laptop mysteriously stopped working after Doc put it in his backpack (??), my iPad’s screen got disconnected somehow (but the backlight still works, I just can’t interact with it in any meaningful way), and I upgraded to Ubuntu 14 on my desktop at work with Ubuntu / Windows 7 dual boot, and it turns out… that was a bad idea.

One by one, my electronics have been restored: I got a Nexus 5, Doc gave me his old iPad 1, I installed Ubuntu 12 back to desktop and it works again (with all my ARB files in tact, woo), but the one holdout has been the laptop. By-the-way, don’t ask me what I’m going to do when they drop support for Precise Pangolin. Drop the desktop off that old cliff, maybe?

So apparently there’s this new thing called “Windows 8” and all the laptops come pre-loaded with it. Also, apparently all laptops are touch-screen now whether you want that or not. It’s been maybe 4 years since I last went laptop shopping. So it goes. I finally got a pretty good deal on a laptop, and while I managed to avoid getting a touch screen, I did not avoid the Windows 8 (new things are bad, yarr!). It is taking some… getting used to. And one major obstacle I keep coming across is pip.

I got pip working on Ubuntu pretty much instantaneously. I got pip working on Doc’s Mac pretty quick, and that was the first time I’ve ever worked on a Mac. I even got pip working on Windows 7 with only the most minimal of tiny struggles. But Windows 8 has thus far thwarted my every attempt at using pip. I… think I got installed? But it literally doesn’t do anything. I’ve tried it in Powershell as admin, I’ve tried it in command prompt as admin, I’ve tried it in Python command line… I’ve even changed and unchanged Path like a kabillion times, and I’ve almost all but given up on it. Powershell, at least, has recently gone from telling me that there’s no such thing as pip to telling me that there is no such library as anything anywhere so don’t waste my time with the whole downloading libraries crap.

So I feel like… at least Powershell is learning. Something. Bit by bit. I think either it is an annoying proxy thing, or a wizard did it. But the weird thing is, after all that, I’ve somehow gotten easy install sort of working. Which is something, I suppose, but now it is even more baffling why pip won’t work. I say sort-of-working, because half the time it leaves everything as EGGs and the other half it gives the libraries weird long crazy names that I have to rename manually to be of any use. If this is how easy install always is, then I guess I have it totally working. I’m just more used to… less half-assed installs with pip on any machine that runs anything but Windows 8.

Maybe this all just has to do with how unfamiliar Windows 8 is to me, or maybe it is a continuation of the 2014 curse of electronics – I don’t know. But I’ve been able to get all the libraries I need onto this wretched laptop, and hey – there’s always manual installs.

The lesson is: don’t ever upgrade anything, ever. Just don’t.