Sunny Day in Düsseldorf’s Grafenberger Wald

It’s officially summer now, though you could not tell by the weather. Luckily, we’ve already had a few beautifully sunny days this year, which is when the pictures below were taken in Düsseldorf’s Grafenberger Wald.

Bäume und Blauer Himmel

Peeking through the trees one can look across Düsseldorf with the Rheinturm in the distance.

Schöne Aussicht


The Case of Installing Delphi 2006 on Windows 10

tl;dr I did not get Delphi 2006 to install on Windows 10. Delphi 2007 with the right patches seems to work fine, though.

Getting started

The first thing the Delphi 2006 installer checks is the presence of the .NET Framework 1.1, as parts of the IDE are implemented in .NET (J# I believe).

Unfortunately, according to MSDN Windows 7 is the latest version of Windows that the .NET Framework 1.1 is supported on.

Note that it says, Windows 8.1 isn’t supported either. However, I found several people claiming they got .NET 1.1 to install on Windows 8.1. Figuring that Windows 10 was internally close to Windows 8.1 I set out to install .NET 1.1 on Windows 10.

The installation seemed to be going fine for a while, until eventually the installer ran into an error and everything was rolled back. I checked the application event log and saw a large number of warnings with Source “MsiInstaller” such as this one:

Product: Microsoft .NET Framework 1.1. The application tried to modify a protected Windows registry key \Software\Classes\CLSID\…

Trying to figure it out

Interestingly, the error came pretty late in the installation process, at which point the .NET Framework installation directory C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v1.1.4322\ already contained many or most of the framework’s files.

I figured this might be just enough for Delphi to install and run. So I just killed the installer process as soon as it had hit the error but before it got a chance to begin the rollback. It seems, though, that Windows Installer was prepared for this, as the rollback was executed automatically even after the installer process had been killed.

I imagine Windows Installer has a process in background waiting on the installer process handle to undo its work in case of a crash.

So I thought what if I just suspended the installer? This seemed to do the trick, as no rollback was taking place. Of course, this would not be a permanent solution, but at this point I just wanted to figure out how this thing was operating. With the installer suspended and the rollback staved off, I wanted to compile a Hello World program.

And lo and behold using the command line compiler csc.exe from the aforementioned framework directory worked. Executing the resulting program, however, did not, as it crashed immediately. I guess there is more to the .NET framework than was contained in that directory. Too bad.

At this point, I gave up on running Delphi 2006 on Windows 10. Using the .NET Framework cleanup tool I found recommended in one post seemed to risky to me, given all the caveats regarding the impact on newer .NET frameworks in this MSDN blog post.

Delphi 2007 instead

But lucky for me, I also own a copy of Delphi 2007 which no longer needs .NET 1.1. So until .NET 2.0 isn’t supported anymore, I have an alternative.

And Delphi 2006 and 2007 are binary compatible, hopefully making the switch relatively painless.

Since there had been a number of updates since I bought Delphi 2007, I installed with the CodeGear RAD Studio 2007 ISO (Dec 2007) instead of the original install disk.

That ISO is 4.2GB, but alas I don’t have Delphi 2007 R2, which would entitle me to use this smaller web installer instead.

I also got the Help Update 4 and the unofficial debugger patch based on this helpful response on Stack Overflow.

Not mentioned there is Andreas Hausladen’s IdeFixPack 4.4 for Delphi 2007 on Windows 10 which came highly recommended, so I installed that one, too.

Why do this?

So why did I go through all this trouble of installing a ten year old IDE?

I had been interested in distributed version control for a while, but only read about it and never actually used it. So when I came across a Delphi 2006 project that I had begun in school and improved upon while in college, I wanted to take it as an opportunity to try out GitHub and keep the project there.

With Delphi 2007 installed now, I can hopefully get started on making this project ready to be shared. So far, though, I’ve only registered the personalnexus username on GitHub. Stay tuned.

Hiking in Haltern am See

After Oberhausen and Gelsenkirchen, the final destination in my trip through the Ruhr was Haltern am See.

My first stop there was at the Roman museum, educating me on Haltern’s role as a Roman military base. It seems to me this is an important chapter in the history of the city, judging by the number of streets I saw named after people involved with researching and excavating Haltern’s Roman past.

I also went to the town square to see the two other sights mentioned on Haltern’s Wikipedia page: its old town hall and church. Not much to see, but I wanted to check them off my list.

Haltern Altes Rathaus Haltern Kirche

The town’s main attraction for me, though, was the lake and the roughly 10km hiking path around it. I have been told that the “correct” way to walk around the lake is clockwise, so I did just that.

There are benches every few hundred meters, so when you tire, you can sit down and take in the beautiful lake panorama. Very relaxing.

Haltern See Panorama

Haltern See mit Booten und Enten

Before taking the train back home, I concluded the day with a glass of delicious grape juice at WuGaT, the premier destination for wine lovers in Haltern according to what I had been told.


Nordsternpark in Gelsenkirchen

On my way from Oberhausen to Haltern am See, I made a quick stop at the Nordsternpark in Gelsenkirchen.

The last time I was here was when around the time that this had been the site of the Bundesgartenschau 1997. So it was interesting to see what had become of the area since then. Not a lot had changed and as I walked the park it immediately felt very familiar.

Gelsenkirchen Nordstern Schriftzug

Gelsenkirchen Nordstern Türme

Even though the weather was warm, the park was mostly empty.

Gelsenkirchen Blick von der Pyramide

Gelsenkirchen Gärten der Stadt

Red tubes as a recurring design element in bridges and walk-ways.

Gelsenkirchen Steg

Gelsenkirchen Emscher-Brücke

Gelsenkirchen Straßen-Brücke

Gelsenkirchen Rhein-Herne-Kanal-Brücke

Pictures from Oberhausen

The Ruhr region is so close to home, I normally don’t see it as a travel destination. So when I was in Oberhausen for the Wonders of Nature exhibition, I took the opportunity to see more of this region, travelling from Oberhausen to Gelsenkirchen and on to Haltern am See.

Looking from the Gasometer towards Essen, showing what little has remained of the formerly heavily industrialized region.

Oberhausen Industrie

The area around the Gasometer is crisscrossed by paths for every means of transportation: canals, highways, train tracks and bicycle paths.

Oberhausen Boot, Bahn, Fahrrad

Train-tracks surrounded by lush greens. From up high, they look almost like a model train set.

Oberhausen Schienen

Courthouse in down-town Oberhausen.

Oberhausen Amtsgericht

Wonders of Nature Exhibition at Gasometer Oberhausen

The Gasometer Oberhausen is a very unique exhibition space, extremely well suited for the current Wonders of Nature exhibition which features beautiful photographs of animals, plants and landscapes. It’s main attraction though, is a 20 meter sphere onto which images of Earth are projected from all sides.

It makes a lasting impression whether you see it suspended in the air or when you view it from the observation deck some 100m above it.

Gasometer Erde von unten Klein

Gasometer Erde von oben Klein

But aside from the exhibits, the exhibition space is in itself noteworthy. Its simultaneously massive and intricate black steel structure is extremely fascinating. But it doesn’t get in the way of the artwork. It fades into the background letting the photographs shine instead.

Still, I couldn’t resist taking a few pictures of the space, trying to capture it’s feel.

Gasometer Innen

A picture suspended in the air seen from the side.

Gasometer Bild von der Seite

Gasometer Rotes Dreieck (3)