Am I back on dial-up?

Many years ago, before I got broadband, I remember sometimes having to leave my computer turned on overnight to complete some huge (back then: anything over a few MBs) download, only to oftentimes find in the morning that my modem had hung up shortly after I went to bed.

Last night, I felt like I was back in that age again. I started downloading the Visual Studio 2005 Team Suite Beta 2 from MSDN (which weighs in at a whopping 3.75GB) and was told it would take more than eight hours to complete. Then in the middle of the night (when one of my kids woke up and got me out of bed) I checked it, only to find that the download had stopped and the File Transfer Manager was just sitting idly waiting for me to press the "Resume" button (hopefully VS.NET itself will be smarter than the download manager you need to get it). So anyway, I continued the download and when I woke up this morning I found it had still only downloaded 24% :-(

I've had it running all day today and have gotten up to 63% right now, with a time remaining that fluctuates between 3 and 10 hours. If everything works out I guess it should complete by tomorrow, after which there's no doubt a multi-hour install procedure coming up...

What the F is in this thing for it to be so freaking huge? A top-notch Java IDE can fit in 40MB; is VS.NET really 100 times better / have 100 times more features? Guess I'll find out tomorrow...

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The Express editions are quite small. Even if you add all the Express editions together I believe you're a long way from 3.7Gig.

Posted by RichB at April 20, 2005 1:50 AM

That reminds me of great time when it was normal to look in suspense at the download indicator, and feel happy when it showed something like 1.73 kb/sec. :)

Posted by Ruslan Popov at April 20, 2005 3:38 AM

Bring on the torrents! I'm sure I read somewhere that MS were considering using peer-to-peer for big downloads like this, and that was back when VS.NET 2003 was in beta!

Posted by Graeme Foster at April 20, 2005 5:18 AM

RichB: Not sure I'd call 480Mb "quite small", even if it is about a tenth the size of VS.NET. It's still over 10 times as big as IntelliJ IDEA, and feature-wise I'd expect those two to be fairly comparable...

btw: I'm at 74% now...

Posted by Luke Hutteman at April 20, 2005 7:59 AM

Perhaps the large size incorporates MSDN files? Any commentary on the usefulness of Microsoft Visual Studio documentation aside, they do provide a lot of it. And I agree on the annoyances of non-resuming downloads. It gets even worse with some of the propietary download systems. Sure, downloading their installer theoretically means that you only have to download files you absolutely don't have, but it also means waiting for the installer to download followed by a further wait for the actual files. Not to mention, of course, the added inconvenience of these downloaders often lacking features like auto-resuming downloads or distributing the download load among multiple servers.

Posted by Sean Duggan at April 20, 2005 8:15 AM

I have a fast connection, but not a DVD drive.
I could only find the DVD ISO for VS2005-B2 :-(

Not exactly as fast as your download,
(Although it might be) ... You can order a free
copy of VS2005-B2 from M$. You can't beat the
price. (Shipping is free too.)

Posted by Mike at April 20, 2005 8:42 AM

Well, this is Team Suite - isn't there more than just an IDE in there? The framework, the team system server, all the stuff they included for testers and architects and whatnot, and code that probably hasn't been optimized much yet. I can see that weighing in at a log. 6.3 GB, though, does seem like an enormous number.

Posted by John Christensen at April 20, 2005 9:00 AM

Mike: I don't have a DVD-Writer either, but you can mount the ISO as a virtual DVD-Drive using Daemon Tools.

John: I'm aware there's (much) more to VS.NET Team Suite than just the IDE, but 3.75GB still seems rather excessive. Also, as I commented above, VC# Express (which is just the IDE) is still 10 times the size of a comparable (?) Java IDE.

Posted by Luke Hutteman at April 20, 2005 9:28 AM

I'm glad it's not just me. I had the downloader pause twice on me. One overnight, and the second time when I went out to lunch. All in all, it took close to 30 hour to get it. (And I promptly put it on a share so other people in my department wouldn't have to go through the trouble I did.)

Posted by Mike Swaim at April 20, 2005 10:41 AM

I thought the same thing. Here's the kicker. Visual Studio is only ~800 MB. The bulk is the MSDN Library.

Posted by Mark Wagner at April 20, 2005 10:44 AM

It's mostly the MSDN documentation. In fact, if you install all of VS without the documentation, it is only a bit more than 1GB. You also have to remember this just isn't one IDE. It's C#, VB.NET, J#, C++, Team System, VSS, redistributable packages, animations, icons, installers, and much more. Yeah, it sucks. I had my connection freeze a few times as well. Luckily, I have 7Mb downstream, so it didn't take more than one day.

Posted by Brian Vallelunga at April 20, 2005 1:09 PM

Luke, I wrote a pretty helpful app that solved this problem (needing to press resume), I wrote about it on my blog:

Nothing amazing or exciting, but man it helped!

Posted by Jason Bunting at April 20, 2005 2:44 PM

Jason: nice trick! I'll have to use that when they release beta 3 :-)

Posted by Luke Hutteman at April 20, 2005 4:20 PM

how do you have a kid *and* program too? hehe

Posted by alex at May 16, 2005 3:31 PM

I just ordered my copy at "get the betas", and after like 2 or 3 week (I don't really remember) it came in the mail. Beats the hastle of waiting for the download (I also don't have an MSDN subscription, otherwise I would have downloaded.)

Posted by Christopher Pietschmann MCSD, MCAD at May 17, 2005 12:14 AM

I ordered a copy to be delivered by mail about two weeks ago but is hasn't arrived yet. Will it be one DVD or several CDs?

Posted by Andy Barbacki at May 17, 2005 4:28 PM

Just order the CDs. It took less than a week to receive mine.

Posted by Larry at June 14, 2005 7:49 AM
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