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Why I Have Come to Hate the PC World and Microsoft

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Bloviating Zeppelin: Why I Have Come to Hate the PC World and Microsoft

Bloviating Zeppelin

(in-ep-toc'-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Why I Have Come to Hate the PC World and Microsoft

Things have been somewhat acceptable for a number of years; until this year, until now.

Perhaps your adventures have been more maddening earlier than mine; I only know what I know and when I know it. What I mean by that is this:

My first foray into computers took place in the 80's. My former girlfriend's brother, Tom, was a engineering geek of the First Degree, a whiz who had a huge house in the Santa Cruz mountains of Fornicalia -- a house that he built himself and a house that completely survived the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989 because he had the miraculous foresight to build a house on JACKS that were not unlike the springs in your car. Yes, he lost his swimming pool; the house took the hit mostly undamaged whilst others around him were damaged horribly and beyond repair.

At that time, in the mid-80s, he had one of the first MacIntosh computers -- the kind with the computer and small screen built into one unit -- called the 128k if I remember properly. It had the screen, drive and floppy built into one vertical unit with, zounds, this new thing called a MOUSE. I found it an absolutely amazing device!

After seeing his computer, I bought MY first computer, an Apple Macintosh IIcx. I had to drive to Cupertino, Fornicalia, in order to buy this computer (in 1989). The thing cost me OVER $5,500 and I had to prove to the seller that I was good for the check I wrote. I can recall having to CALL my credit union to verify I could cover my check. But I walked out with a IIcx, a monitor, a full keyboard and an Apple Imagewriter printer. For Christ's sake, I had to take a LOAN out to cover the purchase.

For $5,000, here's what the Mac IIcx had: it ran at 16 mhz (but even then, Mac had a 32-bit data path!), and came configured with 1 meg of RAM and a 40 meg hard drive. The Imagewriter printer had to make TWO to THREE PASSES to complete ONE LINE OF TEXT. One line of text, therefore, took at least 15 to 30 seconds to finish, depending upon its motivation at the time.

From there, however, because of my work, I was dragged kicking and screaming into the PC world. I had just promoted to detectives and was the recipient of a crazy, boxy kind of thing called a PC which ran at 32 mhz and had a green screen. But I could type into it and produced prodigious amounts of reports. And from there came my first PC, a Dell laptop running at 75 mhz ($4,200), two Dell desktops, then my current custom PC desktop (4 gigs RAM) and my current HP Pavilion zd8000 laptop (where I have been making my posts for 2 years now), with its flawless 17" screen.

But boys and girls, I am so verily TIRED of screens that are becoming more prevalent day by day:

Was this information helpful to me? How about fuck no, Microsoft, and fuck you.

Already VISTA is having nasty problems that Microsoft knew about for months.

And, after all this, after having my PC work just fine for quite some time, I am wondering (am I really a tinfoil-wearing Conspiracy Theorist for thinking this way??) if Microsoft has built into its OS certain cues that FORCE the user to either upgrade or become so incredibly irate with his or her system that they, in disillusion, throw up their hands and acquiesce to all the ridiculous Service Packs that seem not to work or begin to consider slamming down hundreds more for the NEWEST Microsoft OS -- this time entitled VISTA?

Am I a loon for even thinking this??

All I hear about, all I read about (I subscribe to PC World) are the doom and gloom dangers of any PC coming into any contact whatsoever with the internet or various other nets. I hear and read of dozens and hundreds and thousands of viruses and corrupted codes written for no other reason than to fuck with or kill the hard drive of your PC. It's an entire sub-culture, for Christ's sake.

I already lost one entire PC hard drive to a virus.

I think I have HAD IT with the PC world. I think my NEXT computer is going to finally get me BACK to my roots. I think my next computer is going to be some form of an Apple laptop. Because, you know what? I just want shit to be simple; and I couldn't care one wanton fuck less HOW it works -- I just want it to WORK.

Because, when I actually start to don my tinfoil Conspiracy Theorist Hat -- well, maybe it's time for me to change my entire computer mindset.



Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Gee; with all the f-bombs, d'ya think I dislike the PC world? But I ain't changin' SHIT.


Wed Jul 04, 05:03:00 PM PDT  
Blogger TexasFred said...

Is there a possibiity it might be that POS dialup connection you're on??

Just askin', don't kill the asker... LMAO...

Wed Jul 04, 05:28:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Bushwack said...

BZ, I would suggest a move back to MAC... I believe the OSX operating system is the best thing on the market and with all the money Apple is throwing at it, for a small percentage of the market it is going to get better....

Vista as well as every other microsoft system or program is designed with more focus on Money in Gates pocket than users happiness.

I own 3 generations of macs, the G-4, the G-5 and the intel core iMac. and I have nothing but praise for them. I also have a Dell thats a POS.

Wed Jul 04, 06:40:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Oh c'mon Fred, SOMEBODY's making money on my dial-up, dude. . .

Rob: I'm pretty much thinking that the next money I plunk down on a piece of hardware will have APPLE written on it. How much spool-up is there to transition, for an OLD DUDE LIKE ME, from PC to Mac?


Wed Jul 04, 07:18:00 PM PDT  
Blogger A Jacksonian said...

Right now the amount of Open Source software and freeware that I use outweighs by usefulness the actual operating system. For my needs and knowledgebase about the only thing I can't do is become a *NIX guru... And the 'value added' forms of LINUX were not all that user friendly last I checked as the value to the customer, me, is in ease of daily use *not* in geeky techness.

Much of the software I have is multiplatform, but there are small and vital pieces to me that are not, so switching from the Win platform is moot for my main computer. I am, however, looking for something that is small, can handle a good sized spreadsheet, some word processing, has interfaces for networking and a couple of USB devices. That machine is currently my now ancient desknote, and after 6 years of abuse it is about ready to give up the ghost and has started to choke on latest revs of OpenOffice. With USB I can put a minikeyboard to it as my liking for a touchscreen is minimal. I can *live* without my favorite pointing device, but no eraser-sticks or mushpads are acceptable. If I was well I would *make one*, but my energies no longer allow for such projects and I still have not gotten my old machine running so as to have a backup and spare in the house.

When I was at work I did complain about the POS they put on my desk and pointed out that as someone working with scientists, and being one myself, I needed more capability than the poor thing the IT dept handed out. That got me my very own requisition that I then repeated for the entire office as *that* could get through Advanced R&D budgeting and the IT folks loved it, to boot.

At home I lock my systems down for my lady's machine and my desknote: my free for home use Anti-Virus from Alwil (avast!) has stopped more net viruses than I care to think about and it is backed up, when able, by either Suncoast's anti-malware or the free version from Microsoft (Windows Defender). Those *work* and work well... MS hired the kid who made it from Romania if memory serves. WinDef no longer supports Win2K, so I went back to Ad-Aware for now for those machines. Yes, decent anti-virus and anti-malware for *free*. I then learned the necessary stuff to put in Proxomitron because I have well, and truly,had it with ads and other junk, and use Neil Vandyke's filters which he makes available as a free text file, ready to go. Also used are Firefox from Mozilla, for doing fun things with websites so that I can get rid of more *junk* or with the anti-ad/pop-up capability of Avant browser. I also use Opera browser, it remains very, very good. On my oldest machines ZoneAlarm basic (the free version they put in small type at the bottom of their download page) still gets used and it still catches the junk.

For daily use I do not touch those apps. They all have automated update capability and get same. I put off upgrades on the operating system for 3 weeks, as MS has had problems before with such, so a bit of waiting time is usually done save for some of the minor tweaks. Service Packs *wait* 3 weeks.

Set it and forget it. In 15 years of paranoid computing, and downloading more *junk* to play with than I can talk about, there was only one virus that got through initial screening and that got caught by my AV when it attempted to install itself. That was 8 years ago.

What is not addressed by the software side is the damned poor workmanship done on most production machines. I did DIY for years because I wanted something with reliable parts that *worked*. I have fried exactly *one* motherboard and had to send two back DOA. I have had two bad memory sticks and those I got a *refund* on for a lifetime warranty. Getting a nice, safe computing environment means zero if the hard drive was a POS that the manufacturer bought on specs,not on reliability. Yes, that is *you* Dell. If you want a reliable computer, you only use barebones from manufacturers and even those you usually end up stripping out their power supplies because they are junk. After that I went for pure parts, bottom to top.

That is one reason I did not buy Apple products - too locked down and if you had one thing that they didn't think about ahead of time, you were SOL. I have seen more Apples fail than Dells at work, and more of either by percent, than my homebuilt rigs and those I helped others build.

I shudder to think about what will happen when I next need to upgrade when my current machine is no longer able to cope with what I want it to do. No company took the care I did to use the little things like Stabilant and *good* wires and *guaranteed* memory and *reliable* power supplies. I have de-virused and de-malwared a few computers and even after that the things were not reliable... and I could tell folks *why*: their wires were junk or their power supply was barely able to supply their needs or their memory was cheap and causing problems or their hard drives were bought in 10,000 lots from a supplier that didn't care about quality. I will only pop the case open if I know, for sure, that it is not sofware related. I haven't done that with a working, main machine for 3 years now.

To get a quality and reliable system get it with quality parts. Lock the OS down and upgrade only after verifiable results from others. And defend the hell out of it with anti-everything and then some. A nice little router to masquerade behind on a direct connect network does wonders. Those should be done no matter *what* the platform is: *NIX, Win or Mac OS. I have news for those that think a given platform is the best: they *all* have different sorts of problems. None covers *everything* well. And the quality must go in to the hardware before you get a reliable system out of it. That *includes* cables...

I will now stop my ranting, because this is a pet subject of mine to rant upon. From what I understand there is a whole thing about buying suits 'off the rack' that is similar... can't beat tailor made. You do pay *more* but the thing lasts longer and looks good... not my area of expertise, but I understand it *is* related to this.

Thu Jul 05, 08:15:00 AM PDT  
Blogger shoprat said...

My first computer was something called a "Rainbow" with less than 10K ram. I thought it was incredible.

What I find annoying is old software that I loved in older versions of windows no longer works on advanced versions. Really annoying.

Thu Jul 05, 02:27:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Wow AJ, you just wrote about 13 or 14 levels above Human Ken. Or at least MY Ken. I think the most important thing is: I just want stuff to work when I want it to work and, as Tejas Fred points out, fer Chrissake I'm just on some little pissy dialup. It's not like I'm trying to run the world, if I could only find the parts. I just wanna get into my own little hard drive and peek occasionally at a portion of the internet and look at train porn.


Thu Jul 05, 06:16:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Bushwack said...

The transition BZ is nil, I mean you will have to purchase some key software like microsoft office. or DL free versions built for the OSX system, you will pay a little more for Mac, but it is well worth it IMO for the lack of aggravation.

Besides that you've got built in tech support. (ME)

Thu Jul 05, 06:33:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Gayle said...

I'm surprised to find out that you are on dial-up! I was on dial-up for over two years and couldn't even load websites that had videos on them, let alone watch a video. You must have a faster connection than I did.

Fri Jul 06, 04:27:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Gayle: it is true, I AM on dial-up, my connection is 54 mbps, just about the capacity of my modem. But viewing videos, any sort of video, is mostly out. It takes me too long to look at videos so I inhabit primarily a video-less world.


Fri Jul 06, 05:48:00 PM PDT  

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