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

GX15 CD-ROM. 1. Install USB Driver. 2. Install Modem Driver. 3. Install Handset Manager. 4. Exit.

The CD did not start automatically. So I double-clicked the drive in My Computer and this start page greeted me.

Reminds me of DMA Design splash screens from the early 1990’s. (See also: DMA History on Flickr.) But those massive buttons are surely a win for Fitt’s Law!

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.

Danger! Danger!

Message box says don’t plug your phone in, yet.

Why wasn’t this on a normal installer page?

“You start me up!”

Preparing to install, please wait. A progress bar advances across the middle of the window.

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?”

Welcome to the InstallShield for SHARP GSM GPRS USB DRIVER Ver2.0.0.

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.”

Choose destination location.

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.”

Setup Status. Registering product: 35%.

Why does it say […] performing the requested operations? Installing… would be more coherent.

“Notice: Please ignore the next notice.”

Please note that during the USB driver installation the Software Installation screen (in Windows XP) may be displayed. If this occurs, please click Continue Anyway to continue the installation.

Erm…if you say so.

“Notice: You must not ignore this notice.”

The software you are installing has not passed Windows Logo testing to verify its compatibility with Windows XP. […] Continuing your installing of this software may impair or destabilize the correct operation of your system either immediately or in the future. Microsoft strongly recommends that you stop this installation now and contact the software vendor for software that has passed Windows Logo testing.

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!

“Say what?”

Message box shows a list of 4 items with instructions. Item 3 contains 3 entire paragraphs.

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

InstallShield Wizard Completed. THe wizard was interrupted before SHARP GSM GPRS USB DRIVER Ver2.0.0. could be completely installed. […] Click Finish to exit the wizard.

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

Confirm Uninstall: Do you want to completely remove the selected application and all of its features?

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.

It’s Almost Over Now

Setup Status: Unpublishing Qualified Components.

Yeah, because that will mean something to a typical Windows user. (Not!)

Bye-Bye Baby, Baby Goodbye

Maintenance Complete: InstallShield Wizard has finished performing maintenance operations on SHAPRT GSM GPRS USB Driver Ver2.0.0.

Maintenance? I thought I uninstalled it? I assume this is what it meant.

Twice Shy

Message box shows a list of 4 items with instructions. Item 3 contains 3 entire paragraphs.

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.

Think Fast!

Can Windows connect to Windows Update to search for software? Option 1: Yes, this time only. Option 2: Yes, now and every time I connect a device. Option 3: No, not this time.

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.

“Let me get that for you.”

What do you want the wizard to do? Option 1: Install the software automatically (recommended). Option 2: Install from a list or specific location (advanced).

Oh. Finally. It’s offering to do something for me.

“Hello me, it’s me again!”

The software you are installing has not passed Windows Logo testing to verify its compatibility with Windows XP. […] Continuing your installing of this software may impair or destabilize the correct operation of your system either immediately or in the future. Microsoft strongly recommends that you stop this installation now and contact the software vendor for software that has passed Windows Logo testing.

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.)

Bells & Whistles

Please wait while the wizard installs the software…

A clearer view of the installer copying files.

“They think it’s all over…”

Completing the Found New Hardware Wizard. The wizard has finished installing the driver for: SHARP GSM GPRS USB Driver 2.0.0.

Finally, I’ve installed the USB driver.

“…it is now!”

Installshield Wizard Complete. Setup has finished installing SHARP GSM GPRS USB DRIVER Ver2.0.0 on your computer.

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

GX15 CD-ROM front page.

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

640×500 pixel window with upper half in bright red with a big, grey, isometric icon depicting a rather outdated mobile phone. The 3 dropdowns and a button have not inherited XP themes.

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

Previous controls are replaced by a single button, saying “Install Handset Manager”.

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?!

20th-century text-heavy installer. Opening sentence repeats the window title and the next one states what that title obviously means. Then follow 4 similarly useless paragraphs.

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.

License Agreement

Please read the following License Agreement.


Choose Destination Location

Choose Folder

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”

Setup Progress… Progress: 0%.

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.)

Stock Photography!

You can click Finish to complete the installation. Please read the User’s Guide to know how to use the software.

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

Windows Explorer shows 76 objects in C:\Program Files\Sharp Mobile\GX15 USB-Handset Manager.

I return from eating and nothing has exploded. So I click Finish and 2 things happen:

Disconcertingly, the main installer window has not disabled the 3. Install Handset Manager button. Does that mean it didn’t work?

Or Is It?

Topic is SMS Message.

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.