Sunday, May 25, 2014

Windows 8.1

Just when I had my XP box perfectly clean and functional, the motherboard blew.

So now I have a new laptop. I tried to convince Sara to switch to Apple months ago, but failed. As her partner it is my duty to follow her even unto darkness. Hence I have endured the maelstrom which is Windows 8.1

I don't get all the hate. I mean, sure, Win 8.1 is a gratuitously insulting piece of software that reduces people to incandescent rage whenever they try to do the simplest tasks; but that describes every version of Windows. As far as I can tell, same as it ever was.

The laptop came with 8; updating to 8.1 was free, if you don't count the nine hours of my life it consumed. The next day I was treated to the new, improved blue screen of death; after my laptop booted to the the desktop, a huge blue banner overtook the screen with the message "Please wait."

Chump that I am, I did wait for 45 minutes before going online on a different computer to see what nefarious update had effectively bricked my computer. After a few hours, I managed to boot to safe mode (so that virus protection was disabled) and then perform a restore point (the first restore attempt having failed due to the aforementioned virus protection. I would point out it was Microsoft's own virus protection, but that hardly needs to be said).

I cannot imagine what went through a professional engineer's mind when they were designing that "Please wait" screen; did the concept of a timeout (hey, we've spent half an hour at this and it's still not working, maybe we should let the user have his computer back) never occur to them? Is this a technology that Microsoft is unaware of? On the other hand, I can imagine a psychotic sadist designing it. Mind you, it's not simple greed or laziness; the lazy thing to do would to let the computer boot despite whatever perceived problem, and leave the user to the winds of fate. But no; Microsoft chose to exercise considerable effort in ensuring that your otherwise perfectly functional computer would be rendered useless, and they spent a lot of time making sure you couldn't sneak your way around it.

I have my limits, however; I shall not follow the wife into the screeching hell which is OneDrive. Manually backing my files up to the cloud every day is a right royal pain in the ass, but it doesn't leave me weeping with hatred on a weekly basis.

I do, however, envy GRRM. Not for his fame, which is a fickle favor bestowed by the gods; but for his wisdom in writing on a DOS box in the first place. If only my editor would accept Word Perfect files...

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