Re: reluctant to read win95 directory (PR#231)

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Subject: Re: reluctant to read win95 directory (PR#231)
From: John Peters (
Date: Fri 23 Jul 1999 - 18:51:48 EST

Message-Id: <199907230851.SAA05406@dylan.tip.CSIRO.AU>

Prof Brian D Ripley writes:

> Why was this a bug report? It does not seem to me to meet the requirements
> of a bug given in the R FAQ.
> On 22 Jul 1999, Peter Dalgaard BSA wrote:
> > writes:
> >
> > > Using rw0642 under win95, on executing from a directory on the c: drive:
> > >
> > > system(" /c dir", intern=T)
> > >
> > > there is a whirring from drive a: (empty), then the message appears in a
> > > dos box:
> > >
> > > General failure reading device aLP!!?
> > > Abort, Retry, Fail?
> >
> > Not that I know anything about Windows, but is there a chance that the
> > machine goes looking for on the diskette? I.e. you want
> > c:\\windows\\ instead.
> Not on my machine: that command works for me.
> What do you (John) expect this command to do? In particular, what directory
> does you expect it to list? You have not told it, and Windows has quite
> complicated rules for finding the current working directory. My guess
> is that those rules are giving a: in your circumstances. Put a floppy
> in and find out.
> Tip: using shell() would be much simpler. Try ?shell (on Windows only).

Firstly a workaround (fix?):

Disable McAfee VirusScan 4.0.2/4.0.4032. If this means it could
be described as more an incompatibility than a bug I apologise.

Secondly to respond to the comments and suggestions (McAfee enabled):

What do I expect this command to do:
To read the names of the files in the current directory for assignment
to a vector. By current directory I mean the one named in the win95
shortcut "Start in:" box, which is also the one initially offered by the
Rgui pull down "File - Change dir". It succeeds in this, but not on the
first attempt.

Put a floppy in drive a:
Less whirring, but same result. Hitting "a" gives the behaviour I
described. Hitting "f" succeeds after a few tries, but next time again
needs a few tries before succeeding. So far it seems exactly four "f"s
or three "a"s are required.

Try shell():
Both the following cause the same behaviour as with "system()":
  shell("dir c:\\tmp\\9907","c:\\windows\\",intern=T)

Many thanks

John Peters
CSIRO National Measurement Laboratory
PO Box 218 Phone: +61 2 9413 7503
Lindfield NSW 2070 Fax: +61 2 9413 7202
Australia Internet: John.Peters@tip.CSIRO.AU
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