Success, at last!

For only the second time (out of many tries) I managed to smoke some salmon and trout so that it was not overcooked and dry as a bone. Conclusion? I think my smoker thermometer is about 50 deg F off of the true "on grill" temperature, probably because it's about 3/4 of a foot above the grill level. So I just let the smoker sit at a lower measured temperature and voila, tasty fish!

I also got a full Windows dev environment working, from scratch, for Python. I took advantage of the Snakebite MSDN account to grab Windows XP and Visual Studio 2008, and then used Parallels to create a VM and install everything.

A few comments:

Parallels (a Mac OS X app) makes Windows much more bearable. On first blush, they've really got a good setup for people who only occasionally need to use Windows and generally hate every minute of it. It's kind of funny, really; even the Windows emulator is better on the Mac than Windows is itself!

It took about 24 hrs of futzing to get everything installed and updated. I ran into several situations where I had to turn off the Parallels disk sharing setup (which shares disks between the Mac host and the Windows VM) in order to install packages. This included the Python 2.6.2 MSI installer, the Service Pack 2 upgrade, and (I think) MySQL 5.1.

The purpose of this Windows futzing is to get a build client system going for Windows XP; for that, I needed git and svn. I'm happy to report that both git and svn have clients that are pretty much trivial to install on Windows, and seem to Just Work: I used msysgit and the download.

I ran into an infuriatingly opaque error compiling MySQLdb, and had to figure it out myself; I didn't run across this response until too late. Briefly, if you have MySQL 5.1 installed, _winreg returns an error, "the system cannot find the file specified"; you need to update MySQLdb's site.cfg to look for MySQL 5.1 instead of 5.0. This seems like something that should be in MySQLdb...

Speaking of MySQLdb, it'd be nice to have binary packages of some version or another for Python 2.6. Binary builds for Windows of packages with C extensions are really important for users. Hopefully I can help provide a better solution for this down the road.

Anyway, now I have a full blown dev environment: I can compile and test pygr, I can compile and test CPython itself, and I'm happy.

I can even sit back and eat some yummy smoked fish. How is that not a win?


p.s. Now I have to repeat all of this for another Mac by which time I will be an expert, I'm sure! Bleah.

Legacy Comments

Posted by matt harrison on 2009-09-06 at 18:18.

We want the smoked fish recipe....

Posted by Titus Brown on 2009-09-06 at 19:43.

Brine medium-to-large trout and/or salmon filets in sealed bag for
24-48 hrs; I covered them with equal parts water and soy sauce, and
threw in a cup or so of brown sugar.    Dry for 3-12 hrs by placing on
paper towels near moving air (a ceiling fan, for example).    Start
smoker with hickory and/or maple and/or alder.  Bring to a temperature
of ~200 F.    Once the temperature has stabilized, put fish in smoker.
Let smoke for 12-16 hours.  Check the temperature -- it should be
~140-160 F.    --titus

Posted by Winfried Maus on 2009-09-07 at 10:19.

> even the Windows emulator is better on the Mac than Windows is
itself!    Only that Parallels is not a Windows emulator, but a
virtualization software which is used to run a real - and not an
emulated - Windows. But you are right that the Parallels virtual
machine provides an excellent Windows experience - at least for
Windows XP.    However, in my experience, VMWare Fusion is the
superior product both in terms of flexibility and robustness.
Especially when you need to run a 64-Bit flavor of Windows or any
other operating system.    Unfortunately, Apple's Snow Leopard release
is almost as much a disaster as the Leopard release was. Leopard
became usable with the 10.5.2 update but still was a no-go on PowerPC
machines with less than 2 GB RAM.    It's also sad that I have less
stability and compatibility issues and better performance when I run
64-Bit Vista SP2 on my Mac Pro instead of Snow Leopard.    All in all,
I no longer believe that Apple offers a superior user experience than
Microsoft. Except for a missing QuickLook-like feature, Windows 7
looks more promising and mature to me than Snow Leopard.

Posted by Titus Brown on 2009-09-08 at 22:32.

Winfried, I'm surprised to hear that - I haven't heard of too much
instability on SL, and in any case SL looks like a really nice
incremental step.  I have yet to see a Windows release that simplifies

Posted by Rosangela Canino-Koning on 2009-09-09 at 16:46.

Regarding gui SVN clients on Windows, I LOVE LOVE LOVE TortoiseSVN,
which integrates with Windows Explorer and the context menu. Really
clean and easy to use.

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