My employer-mandated Vista machine has gone almost unused for months because of an infuriating quirk in Vista's command-prompt operation. I've come as close to completely forgetting how to use Windows as I've ever been. Giles Thomas (of Resolver Systems) saved me.
The problem: Vista runs programs like easy_install in a new cmd window, separate from the one they were invoked in. The instant the program terminates, the new window is closed, and any messages it returned - like error messages - are lost. No, redirecting the messages with > and 2> does not work. "Why would you want to see error messages, anyway? They're so geeky and depressing!" *gum snap*
Thus, I was unable to install cx_Oracle, and had to turn to my trusty Ubuntu machine for absolutely every pyOraGeekish task.
Giles blogged a lifesaver workaround. If you can run the cmd window as Administrator in the first place, you are entrusted with the awesome power and responsibility of being allowed to view your own error messages.
So, now I can blow the dust off my Vista machine. Wow, controlling the font size of a cmd window is absolutely as primitive as it was in Windows 3.1. Giles, got a workaround for this, too?