reluctant to read win95 directory (PR#231)

John Peters
Fri, 23 Jul 1999 18:51:48 +1000 (EST)

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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