Installing the Sharp GX15 Software
The plainly labelled CD was just begging to be thrown into the drive and have all it’s windows clicked though. Tempting though that was (and that should work, after all) I decided to do things by the book.
Started documenting them, then found it didn’t come with the non-standard USB lead it requires. Inexplicable and somewhat annoying on both counts, so I stopped writing notes.
On 10th April 2009, I ordered a cable for it off eBay. Total charge was about £2. Might take a while as this is Easter Weekend. (It arrived on 15th April 2009.)
Start at the Beginning
The CD did not start automatically. So I double-clicked the drive in My Computer and this start page greeted me.
Odd that the mnemonic is a number rather than a letter. Especially since I would expect the final item to say Exit so Alt+X) would close the window. Like File > Exit in an application menu.
“You start me up!”
The installer takes so long to prepare itself that it needs a progress bar. Not only that, it fills and empties the progress bar 3 times! Why isn’t it a single progress bar cycle which takes 3 times as long?
Could this step wait until the user actually tries to install the product? Could it work faster? Is this really necessary?
“Hello, is it me you’re looking for?”
What is the purpose of this screen? I already know what it will do. I started the installer myself and I already clicked a button saying to do this.
What does Ver2.0.0 mean? Perhaps it means Version 2.0.0, in which case there’s no need to say “Version”. Does this version number mean anything or do anything for users? Probably not, in which case it shouldn’t be in the UI.
The 2nd paragraph merely repeats the previous paragraph. If the window had a sensible title then these paragraphs would be unnecessary. For example, Install USB Driver would match the button I clicked to get this window. Indeed, a sensible title would make this whole page unnecessary.
Why is the product name almost entirely in uppercase?
“We’re on the road to nowhere.”
Want to know the default path it tries to install to?
C:\Program Files\SHARP GSM GPRS USB Driver\SHARP GSM GPRS USB Driver 2\
Obvious, compact and attractive. These are ways I would not describe that path. They are ways I would describe the path I chose:
C:\Program Files\Sharp Mobile\USB Driver\
From past experience I know certain applications gain subtle gremlins when a custom path is used. But I have faith in my humble Sharp. Hopefully it is well-placed. Incidentally, my TV is made by Sharp and my VCR is made by Nokia.
“Ticking away, the moments that make up a dull day.”
Why does it say […] performing the requested operations? Installing… would be more coherent.
“Notice: You must not ignore this notice.”
The button which says STOP Installation is the default choice. The Continue Anyway button is what the previous box told me to press. But this new one comes direct from Microsoft and is using bold text. Who should I trust?
Either the Windows Logo testing scheme is bogus or Sharp are too stingey to get proper certification. If it works fine without a certificate, that makes me think the scheme is bogus and Microsoft shouldn’t complain about this.
Notice how the top edge of the exclamation icon is distinctly above the first line of text in the first paragraph. Also notice how each gap around text, icons, buttons and borders is a different size. That’s quite an achievement!
This message box is telling users how to use Windows XP. It seems Sharp have no confidence in the Windows XP UI for installing drivers. Maybe they probably got tired of receiving support calls from users who couldn’t understand what XP was doing?
No Cable, No Deal
So…erm…did the wizard complete or not? I had to Cancel the message box since I didn’t have the cable.
Once More, With Cable
Whoa! So does this mean the driver got installed last time? Even though it said the installation was not completely? Have I completely smegged up my PC? What do I do now?
I clicked Cancel. This returned me to the main menu.
Since the process made a big point of saying the USB driver should be installed before I do anything else, it seems I need to reinstall it and this time go all the way to completion. So I click 1. Install USB Driver again, this time clicking OK.
Started the installer again and went through the steps, just like the first time.
The message box with a 4-item list appeared again, as shown. I attached the phone like it says.
The instructions told me to click Next but that button is disabled. It seems I must select one of the radio buttons first. But which one? Why isn’t a sensible default selected? So many message boxes have told me it’s so very, very important to do this one particular way but I don’t know what to do here!
I guessed that since the CD for my phone is already in the drive, I need not connect to Windows Update. So I select No, not this time and then click Next.
“Hello me, it’s me again!”
Wait, didn’t I already click Continue Anyway on this exact message box a while ago? Oh well, guess I have to do the same again.
(The window behind this is the installer starting to copy files.)
“…it is now!”
After clicking Next on the 4-item message box, I got this. So I guess now I’ve installed the USB driver?
1 Down, 2 & 3 to Go
The button called 1 Install USB Driver on the main installer window is now disabled. That’s a nice touch.
I considered pressing 2 Install Modem Driver but the paper manual says this is for using mobile phone as though it were a portable modem for a laptop. So I skip straight to 3 Install Handset Manager.
GX15 Handset Manager
Wow! This certainly got my attention.
The OK button was disabled (and isn’t inheriting XP themes, either). The Select Interface box is initially empty, so I figure I must select something in that for the OK button to become available. I drop it down and selected Data Cable manually. Can’t it detect the data cable is already plugged in?
Then I click OK.
Click Yet Another Button
Why didn’t it start installing when I clicked OK on the previous screen? Why must I press another button? Oh well, I click Install Handset Manager.
Not Another Installer?!
Oh yeah, it’s another installer. I was using Firefox to preview this page as I was authoring it but this message says:
It is strongly recommended that you exit all Windows programs before running this Setup program.
Choose Destination Location
It wants to use this install path:
C:\Program Files\GX15 USB-Handset Manager
“I don’t think so, Tim.” Click Browse and it starts in My Documents? There isn’t even box where I can paste
C:\Program Files\. Say what?!
A whole lotta clickin’ later, I get the folder I want:
C:\Program Files\Sharp Mobile\Manager
I click Select but the folder in the Destination Folder box now says:
C:\Program Files\Sharp Mobile\GX15 USB-Handset Manager
Urgh! I click Browse try see if I selected it wrong, somehow. But it starts me at My Documents again! “WHAT IS YOUR MAJOR MALFUNCTION?!” (Expletives deleted.)
This time I actually open the Manager folder I created, then click Select. It seems that if you merely select the folder you want, then click Select it ignores which folder you selected and takes the folder whose contents you were current viewing. Idiot.
Anyway, now the Destination Folder box says:
C:\Program Files\Sharp Mobile\Manager\GX15 USB-Handset Manager
At this point, I can’t be bothered fighting with it any more.
“Lady in Red”
It seems making a progress bar red doesn’t make it go faster. Indeed, this one stalled at 0% for about 20 seconds, then immediately went to the completion screen. (Below.)
The completion screen, with a generic businesswoman in a suit on the phone. Probably calling Sharp to complain about how this rag-tag band of half-arsed installers just wasted half her day.
Speaking of which, I smell the food I was cooking is now starting to burn! So I leave the PC running and the phone plugged in while I serve and eat it.
End of an Era
I return from eating and nothing has exploded. So I click Finish and 2 things happen:
- The folder the manager was installed to is opened, as pictured. How does this help me? I close it after taking a screenshot.
- The help file for the the manager is opened at the Contacts List, as pictured. This is a really good idea!
Disconcertingly, the main installer window has not disabled the 3. Install Handset Manager button. Does that mean it didn’t work?
Or Is It?
I assume all has gone well and start reading the help documents.
50% of the width is taken by a 7-item table of contents. The window is at such a narrow width I can only see a quarter of each full-size screenshot, judging by the horizontal scrollbar.
I consider re-opening Firefox but decide against it. I’m not sure whether the installation is over yet.
The Saga Continues…
What happens next is documented in Using the Sharp GX15 Manager.