Monday, March 17, 2008

My Hate/Not Hate As Much Relationship with Microsoft

The image to the left pretty much sums it up. I had a dreaded Blue Screen of Death on my work computer last Friday, but I restarted and did everything I was supposed to to fix the problem and come this morning when I came into work, most of my Control Panel was missing, along with my ability to use Microsoft Office.
Now I've backed my computer up in a number of different places (external hard drive and the internet) for just such an occasion, but that doesn't stop me from wanting to beat them down. Granted, I think this is an issue with the hard drive, as it appears some critical sectors have gone down for the count, but I'm still going to blame Microsoft.
The task of setting up a computer just how you like it is so annoying that I will do almost anything to avoid it. One of my former colleagues liked to do a fresh format on his computer every 6 months to a year because of how often they bog down under the weight of being a computer. I think he wasted his time. I would rather get a root canal instead of transfer my files to a backup hard drive, then restore those files to a new computer, reinstall the drivers, and so on. I'll even tolerate a startup time that takes just a shade less than an hour (okay, that's a bit much - but if I restarted my computer, I'd have to wait about 15 minutes to start using it again after all the stuff that started on install finished loading. After several BSODs and attempts to prevent the utter destruction of my install, I finally caved when faced with the prospect of not being able to do anything. Even then, I tried to repair the clearly severely damaged XP using somewhat drastic measures. At the end of the day nothing worked and here I am using my laptop while I perform brain transplant surgery on my desktop. Fortunately (or perhaps unfortunately, as my other one always seemed to be a little less than advertised) I had another 400 GB Seagate Barricuda hard drive lying around that I put in there and now my new install is proceeding as usual. There are a few changes I will make - putting Spyware Doctor on my desktop was a major mistake, as it seemed to slow it down far more than it benefitted me. Also, I've installed and uninstalled enough programs that it will be nice to start with what I've got now - Office 2007, Adobe CS3, Nero 7, and all the other stuff that I put on there - instead of suffer through bits and pieces of old programs clogging up my startup procedure. Nevertheless, it's just awful. Even though it could have been any number of people's faults - mine, Dell's, Seagate's, or even some random guy half a world away, I tend to blame it on Microsoft. Do they deserve all that? Probably not. At the same time, have I had this kind of problem with a Mac? Well, kind of. Not this bad, but old Steve Jobs designs his computers to never be opened. I've pretty much stripped out everything except for the motherboard on my current computer (that includes the processor, hard drive, power supply, graphics card, sound card, RAM, and DVD drive - so yeah, that's everything but the motherboard over the past year and a half - and I'd replace that if I wasn't planning on upgrading to a Nehalem system in 6-12 months). Therefore I guess I could blame myself, but since it's so fashionable to blame Microsoft, who will stop me?

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