Category Archives: Commentary

Beware XAMPP meddling with your Environment Variables!

I decided to grab a copy of the official release of PHP 5.3.0 for XAMPP and try it out (replacing my hacked version in an effort to resolve some database compatibility issues).

Unfortunately, this proved to be a BIG MISTAKE!

Moments after installing the software, all my new shell windows reported that mkdir, doskey, ipconfig and even HELP are ‘unrecognized’ – so began my hour-long search for a resolution to the amnesia that had suddenly afflicted the command-line.

The problem turned out to be two-fold:

  1. It would seem the installation script (setup_xampp.bat) or shell script (xampp_shell.bat) had a misunderstanding with some of my custom command-line settings. In fact, it decided my PATH environment variable wasn’t up to scratch… so it erased it! This meant that the command-line had no idea where to look for system apps. and as result shut-down a large portion of my system utilities.
  2. In addition to the above, the script added to my default shell script (HKEY_USERS…SoftwareMicrosoftCommand ProcessorAutoRun) a small ‘set PATH=’ command that each time it was run added the XAMPP directory to PATH and then deformed it with an increasingly long string of semi-colons.

Needless to say, I’m somewhat annoyed that there is no visible warning during installation that it could potentially FUBAR your environment variables. I hope this provides some insight for people who might be experiencing a similar problem.

REVEALED: A next metal gear is …

EDIT: Damn you iPhone! 🙂

A next metal gear is ...

I’m experiencing an ‘outside the box’ moment. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if Kojima intends this image to be shuffled around a bit.

Another possibility: interpret this equation literally

i + ! = (!)
i (as in ‘I, Hideo Kojima’) + NOT (! is a logic symbol) = In Power

Perhaps this is a sign that Hideo is handing over the reigns to someone else? (boo hiss!) In any case, I’m looking forward to seeing the outcome of this interesting teaser!

ADD: Try putting the ‘power sign’ on the top and use the cross as the body. Looks a tiny bit like the cyborg ninja, no?