You're upgrading it over my dead body

It is difficult for me to imagine being greeted by a more terrifying sign than this one at a tech convention:

(Courtesy of whotrades)

It is hard for me to put into words just how much I loathe Windows 8 and above. In operating system terms, it is the approximate equivalent of AIDS- except that AIDS can be managed with an appropriate blend of anti-retroviral drugs, good eating, clean living, and careful behaviour.

With Windows, however, the moment you get it, you are boned.

Or at least, your computer is. The amount of stupid, useless bloatware the damned OS will install on your PC is just not funny. It has been a common experience in my family for people to start out with lean, mean, data-crunching machines that turn into fat pigs in the space of, like, 6 months.

That is a lot like marrying Heidi Klum in her prime- and 6 months later she's turned into Lindy West.

(I thank the good Lord above that my search for "Lindy West" did not turn up any bikini shots. My stomach is pretty strong- it would have to be, to handle Indian food as prepared for Americans- but that would be way too much for it.)

Honestly, there are only three things for which you really need WinDOZE.

First is Microsoft Office- specifically, the embedded programming language known as Visual Basic for Applications. It is the accepted industry standard for writing spreadsheet-based and document-based applications in particular, with embedded macros that a decent programmer can use to make a document sing and dance- and that a bad programmer can use to destroy an entire company.

(I do not exaggerate when I call VBA one of the most dangerous toys ever created. It is a toy of a language compared to something more structurally sound and syntactically demanding, like JAVA or C++ or Python. And its lack of basic security features makes it an exceptionally effective way to blow up a database or wipe out a directory of important files.)

Second is CAD software or graphics design. Open-source alternatives for Linux and BSD just don't compare with the paid programs that you can use on Windows- not that I am aware of, anyway.

Third, of course, is computer games. But a lot of that has become platform-agnostic, and even the PC gamer "master race" has to admit that the console untermenschen (read: folks like me) aren't exactly hurting for choice in the console wars.

Beyond that, though... pretty much everything you need a personal computer for can be done on platforms that don't bloat, don't crash, don't blow their tops for no reason, don't do completely retarded shit with your files and settings at random, and don't take three hours to update every time a bug fix comes out for some new issue that Microsoft got totally blindsided by (again).

Which is why I, for instance, use Linux at home. The only reason I have a WinDOZE partition at all on my laptop is because my remote connection to my office PC ONLY works on a WinDOZE partition. And if I could be arsed, I could setup that connection on a virtual machine installation within Linux itself.


  1. There are a few niceties and reporting functions that I like in windows 8.1/10 (at least the 2012 R2 server version) and Win 10 is a lot easier for Win 7 and XP types to "get" compared to windows 8.

    Other than that..... Yeah. Win 7 was truly the high point, and refining a bunch of its bugs out, leaving the front end mostly the same , implementing certificate based features management (of, say, wifi) would have been awesome.

    But no - we had to have an OS intended - in a half assed manner - for a tablet. Thank god they dialed that back or it would be unusable.

    Frankly, MS does everything half assed or total overkill, on the workstation / OS side.

    The registry for one, was a reaction to developers leaving configuration options every damn where. So they create one (actually several acting as one, with some parts in the user profile) database that can easily break, and often did.

    Or icons. They re-dressed the icons for XP. But the user design was only skin deep, with a number of Control Panel > Admin icons being the same as they were in Win 2000 (and some older than that, effectively)

    You redesign and reflow the entire OS, redo all the main user facing iconography, but can't be bothered with a few stragglers? Really?

    I've had my issues with linux but the last few years have almost, almost gotten to the point that outside the use cases you mention and a few related Mac-OS or Win-only tools, I'd be able to go Linux only, and NOT spend far too many hours under the hood just getting crap to work. I say this as someone who had a household server that had, at various times, run Suse, Debian, Slack, Centos, and Fedora.

    Mostly, for me, it's syncing, contacts, and calendars. I have to use either iOS or Android. Only the latter works with Linux, and one still then gets stuck with.... Google. For all of Apple's sins and whatever you think of their design decisions (or their database object syncing) they were seriously on board with "We have your data, we don't look at it, and design our hardware so other people can't look at it either - see the San Bernandino phone.

    THAT said, While Jobs was a flaming liberal, he was focused on product, willingly cannibalizing his own markets instead of resting on laurels. And he considered corporate charity drives and the company officially standing behind causes, or ordering based on gender/whatever, to be a case of losing focus on what mattered.

    Tim Cook has begun the convergence, and I see many signs of Apple descending to mediocrity. That said, so many other companies, and various open source projects are either making the same descent (the OS projects that were excellent) - or descending to utterly crappy and buggy.

  2. So yeah - I keep an updated Ubuntu setup in VMWare that I use more and more...

  3. I have windows 7 and did not upgrade it. Thanks for the reminder to stick with my decision.

  4. Actually, windows has sucked since 2000, and sucked prior to 98.
    The reason? Because 2000 was based off of an NT core, which was almost an exact clone of VMS from Digital after Some DEC Upper Management Newbie thought he could 'cut corners' by firing the VMS developement team (a move which, in the long run, cost DEC Billions and their entire Computer market).

    Of course, Billy snatched them up, and built his entire Brand off of the NT architecture. But, as time has gone by, those coders have moved or retired, and windows 8 marked the last hint of NT architecture.
    It has been replaced by a 'hot new architecture' which, obviously, suffers from the fact that every coder Microshit is hiring today is a bargain-basement nutsniffer. When you pay coders minimum wage, you get minimum wage coders.

    Windows 10 marks the end of Micr0s$ft relevance. Now they are coasting solely on momentum, much like apple. I don't know what OS will rise to push them aside, (Linux cannot compete with a marketing giant and Apple's offering is worse than 10) but I am betting it will be something like 'android for PC'. At any rate, Micr$soft is on it's way down.

    1. I remember Win2K. It was the first version of Windows that I'd ever worked with which didn't crash the moment you so much as sneezed around it.

      I rather liked XP a lot. It combined the power and stability of Win2K and its NT roots with the flexibility and compatibility of Win98.

      But then Windows Vista came along, and... dear Lord, what a disaster that was.

      From a business perspective, Windows 7 appears to be the last desktop-focused business release that Microsoft will produce, at least for the foreseeable future. This strikes me as a very stupid strategy.



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