windows is beyond a joke (or, why we’ll all be using macs soon)

Mom has been limping along on a 7 year old computer that tries to run XP. Unfortunately, Dad loaded MS One LiveCare on it and didn’t realize that they could do the internetz w/o the MSN software from the ISP. This comp is a dog, so miserably slow I would literally throw it in the garbage if it was mine. We finally talked Bill into getting a new computer, but it has Vista on it, with a coupon to jump to Windows 7 when available. So I have her old slow comp with XP, her new fast comp with Vista, and the self-imposed task of installing software and moving files over.

I got my start on Linux, used Windows along the way for personal desktop / multimedia / etc. All along the way, for almost 20 years now, i’ve despised Windows for being poorly written, given minimal QA and generally being about the most un-intuitive operating system out there. Compared to my recent Mac Air purchase and experience, I can’t see how people tolerate Windows any more.

Today, these are the stupid problems I ran into that remind me yet again, why our industry needs to move away from Windows (any version):

– Windows LiveCare. Microsoft’s (failed) move into security. Supposedly protects a PC by managing a firewall, having a subscription to some signatures etc. In reality, it is the most invasive and annoying software you can get. The amount of times it pops up with vague warnings of not being protected are absurd. Not to mention the ‘Windows Live’ suite shows up over a dozen times in the installed software (less than the 23 pieces of software that show up after installing Canon’s tools for her camera), embeds itself into everything it can (yet another ‘toolbar’ for IE). I uninstall it to try to make the rest of my task easier, only to have it force IE to load, dump me on a Microsoft page to take a survey about my experience with it, and promptly tell me the survey is closed.

– XP computer shares out the entire D drive. Vista mounts that drive, and can copy some files but not others, citing ‘permission problems’. All of the files/directories on the XP machines were created at the same time, by the same method, by the same person. Why do some magically have permissions that restrict this operation?

– Vista, their idea of security through ‘UAC’ is so pitiful you can’t even laugh at it. Every single thing you do, click a warning dialog 2 – 4 times. Copy a file, install software, load some programs, anything. It makes you click these warnings so often, any user will become numb to them in 18 seconds and start blindly clicking them. What’s the point? Is that really how Microsoft envisions good security working, to nag the user like that? Rename a local folder on Vista, click twice to confirm/allow.

– Manage to share a drive out on Vista, mount via XP and try to copy files. Apparently, even with XP, Microsoft never figured out file-by-file copying. The 6 gigs I try to move bomb out after a few minutes and gives me “not enough server storage is available to process this command”. Err ok, so the copy is aborted, just try to open the shared drive and same error. Yes, I have to reboot just to access the share again. After reboot, can’t mount the share anyway with the ever descriptive “The specified server cannot perform the requested operation” message. After renaming the folder, resharing it AND rebooting Vista, XP can mount it. (over 10 gigs to move, XP comp only has USB1, that wasn’t an option)

– After three reboots (security patches, windows patches Norton), Vista runs fine. Fourth reboot it wants me to install driver software for my PCI Simple Communications Controller. WTF? The HP Advisor software I disabled is back. WTF? Trying to reinstall the modem software that I removed because it said it was taking 18.2 GIGS of space.


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