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Why I (almost) never delete program installers

   June 29th, 2009

Some people may think keeping a 55gb archive folder with program installers dating back nearly 10 years is a bit excessive.  But when you have the disk space, why not?

Today, it just saved me a TON of head ache and trouble.
Since 2005 I have ran a USB Power Commander 3 on my motorcycle.  It connects to my 2004 Kawasaki ZX6R’s onboard computer and basically allows me to remap air/fuel ratios.  This is necessary because I have an aftermarket exhaust system on my bike, and if I didn’t remap my air/fuel to add more fuel the bike would run lean, which is VERY bad for any motor.

And since 2005 I have not messed with it.  I loaded a custom air-fuel map, made some tweaks, and have left it alone ever since, which is exactly what I should have done.  Except that my buddy Jon was FINALLY putting one on his 2004 Suzuki GSXR 600 after just getting his exhaust on, so it was time I play with it again.  Since 2005 I have gone to a new laptop then the one I originally used to program the unit on my bike, so I needed to reinstall the software.  I headed off to the Power Commander site to download the latest version.  I got it all installed and off I went to test.  It seemed to work except I noticed something odd… the throttle position values for Closed and Open were way off and the software wasn’t displaying my TP value.  On top of this, the map was showing all 0’s where it should be showing percentages…  I didn’t mess with it any more after that.  I went over to Jon’s, we got his all set up, got the map loaded, and the TP values worked exactly like they should have on his bike.  That puzzled me a bit, but I figured it was due to his Power Commander having a much much newer version of the firmware on it then mine did (which is the cause…)

Here is a screen shot showing my missing throttle values that I couldn’t set, and the blank throttle sensor reading from my PC3:

pc3trouble2

This morning I was getting ready to leave for work and I noticed the LED meter on my Power Commander was no longer indicating the correct position.  This was particularly worrysome because this meant it was no longer adjusting my air/fuel curve like it should be.

After work I screwed around with it for a good half hour before giving in and calling DynoJet about the issue.  After a 25 minute phone call, I was basically told I would either need to find a center around here where I could upgrade my firmware, or I would have to remove the PC3 from my bike and send it in to them to be upgraded.

Neither option sat particularly well with me, so I decided to make one last desperate try.  I searched my file archives and found the original software installed I had used back in 2005.  I loaded it on to my laptop and prayed it would play nice with Vista.  It opened up and started pulling data from the bike, SCORE!  I immediately jumped over to my TP settings and was FINALLY able to set them!!!  So the problem I was having was due to their newer software not playing nice with my older firmware!!!  My old 3.13 software was able to do soemthing the newer 3.2.1 software was not.

And THIS is why I keep around old installers.  You NEVER know when something really bizarre will come up that can only be fixed, or accomplished with an older piece of software!

Also, DynoJet can suck my balls.

1) You should offer old versions of the software on your site

2) If you’re not going to do that, you should make sure your new software WORKS with all of the hardware YOU have sold people!

One Response to “Why I (almost) never delete program installers”

  1. Brandon  Says:

    I couldn’t agree more! I was struggling to find a BDE (Borland Database Engine) installer at work today, but that (and a lot of other Borland software) has been bought/sold/traded for livestock so many times that’s been lost to the bit bucket. Luckily we still had the old stuff from 1999 on one of our shared drives.

    Hit me up if you need a 16-bit version of Netscape from 1994 🙂

    – B

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