Flash technology has become seemingly ubiquitous over the past several years. It has truly become a platform that extends beyond animation, movie players and interactive games. This became very apparent to me yesterday when I finally broke down and spent an hour troubleshooting why I could not install the Flash 10 player upgrade. Every time I tried, I got “error opening file for writing npswf32.dll”. This was terribly puzzling as I had closed all browser windows, exited TweetDeck (runs on Adobe Air) and went through my system notification tray and closed down everything that could imaginably use Flash.
What I did not close was Google Talk – which evidently relies on the Flash Platform to interact with Gmail, Gtalk, Google Calendar, etc. I realized this after I forcibly uninstalled Flash and rebooted my machine (instructions and un-install package can be found here). Upon restarting my machine to complete the uninstall, I got an error from the Google Talk client. Fortunately, all is now well with the world and I am enjoying sites that employ features found in Flash 10.
At this point, I’m wondering if Adobe is a victim of their own success. If you Google this problem, you will find countless forums where people are complaining about not being able to install due to the npswf32.dll file being locked or in use. The ability to upgrade your software easily in the field is definitely something to think about early in the design process if you are designing something that has to be installed on client machines in the wild.