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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 14, 2008 10:42 PM. The previous post in this blog was Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your earmarks. The next post in this blog is Love those insurance companies. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Got a life? Microsoft doesn't care

It's quitting time at the office, and as usual I'm more than ready to start booking toward home. And so it's time to turn off the laptop computer that's sitting in its wonderful docking station on my desk. A great invention. Since it's running on Windows XP, of course, to turn off the computer you click on "Start."

Well, gosh, the wonder that is Microsoft must have been working in the background, because rather than ask me if I want to "shut down," now it's offering "Install updates and shut down." Hmmmm. Is that installing one update for 10 seconds? Ten updates for an hour? No clue is offered. And what is the nature of these updates? Are they crucial, or can they wait? Again, not a hint. And why didn't they get installed over the two straight hours that the computer sat idle earlier in the evening? Life is mysterious.

Hesitantly, I click "OK" -- who wants an out-of-date version of Windows running? -- and up pops a stern warning not to turn off the computer until the updates are complete.

Only then comes the punchline: "Installing update 1 of 9."

Five minutes later, we're on "Installing update 5 of 9," and still the warning, don't you dare stop this in midstream. Another two minutes, and we're still on update 5 of 9. No clue as to how long no. 5 is going to take. Or nos. 6 through 9, either. No progress bar. No time estimate.

I cuss out Bill Gates, put on my coat, turn off the lights, and leave the stupid thing behind. Update this.

Comments (29)

Turn off automatic updates ;)

Get a Mac.

I've been married to the same man since I started using computers, "Mac." I've never know any other but Mac. Then my secretary quit and I had to learn the "Windows" billing program. What's this? "The program MUST shut down now." Not even an apology! Do you want to report it it asks? Yeah, like someone is REALLY going to take note and fix it! If that is not traumatic enough, it has the nerve to tell me it is installing updates. My MAC always asks me first. What a rude program. I am indignant. It just goes to show ya--the grass is never greener on the other side. Now that I have some relativity, I see how wonderful MAC is! No divorce for me!

It's this constant nagging that finally sent me over the wall three years ago -- I disassembled my HP desktop and took the parts to the recycler, and replaced it with a Mac Powerbook. A year later I upgraded to a Macbook Pro, that I've now had for almost two years. Is it perfect? No. But it is so much better than any Windows machine I have ever used (before or since) that specific comparisons are superfluous. You quickly get the impression that the Apple software designers are brilliant, and the ones up in Redmond are morons.

One thing I've always liked about my Macs is how the update screen pops up to ask if you'd like to install the updates, as soon as they're available. There's a list with the items, their size, and an option to selectively install one update, some, or all.

One thing I've always liked about my Macs is how the update screen pops up to ask if you'd like to install the updates, as soon as they're available. There's a list with the items, their size, and an option to selectively install one update, some, or all.

My Windows PC does that too...its all in the settings.


i've used a Mac and Windows ever since there was a Mac and Windows. Apple designers generally get it. Microsoft designers don't.

join us, Jack?

My Windows PC does that too...its all in the settings.

My Mac does it without asking, and without me having to tell it to do so. that is the essential, critical difference between the two systems.

"My Mac does it without asking, and without me having to tell it to do so. that is the essential, critical difference between the two systems."


Yeah. Mac runs you and you have no control. Micro$loth can be controlled if you take the time to learn how.

Mac runs you and you have no control.

Trust me. On this, you haven't a clue.

The last decent operating system was MS DOS 6.22.

Give me a command prompt anyday.

Last year I bought, a few months apart, a Windows PC and a MacBook. I wanted to connect them both to my home network, a wireless system that goes through a router from the phone company. I unpacked the Mac, plugged it in, turned it on, and had it on the network within 3 minutes of getting it out of the box. The PC took an hour to set up before I could get to the network and the connection failed three times in five days, each time sending me in search of the password.

Give me a command prompt anyday.

Then try "terminal" mode in OS X. OS X is built on Unix, and a full version of Unix including its extensive manual is available through the "terminal" command, which allows command-line control of all aspects of the operating system for geeks and others who like it that way.

Actually OS X is based on the NeXTstep OS which was based on the BSD variant of Unix.

We do a lot of file manipulation on customers' systems via dial up modem connections. Takes forever to drag and drop folders and refresh the GUI interface after each action. I bail out to the command prompt, issue a few DOS commands and bam... all done.

And yes, I am a dinosaur.

Actually OS X is based on the NeXTstep OS which was based on the BSD variant of Unix.

in other words, as Allan said, Unix.

This Mac user seems to be having problems bad enough to ask Steve Jobs for help.

Linux. It's free, and you can build it anyway you want to. I use both Windoze and Linux, and have found open-source to be at least as functional as M$ products.

What I'm using at any particular time simply depends upon which system I happen to be using on the network.

Linux.

Done.

Don't be stupid on purpose; it gives the tragic condition a bad image.

Linux. It's free, and you can build it anyway you want to.

Who the hell wants to build it? I just want to use it.

Who the hell wants to build it? I just want to use it.

Stupid is as stupid does. Me, I enjoy building stuff. You may run to Best Buy; I build my own systems. And I get a lot more bang for the buck.

I bought my first Mac a year ago after having bought and been an expert user on every damn MS iteration since MS-DOS (circa 1984).

Finally wised up (Ok, I'm slow) and realized that the time spent (wasted) learning to defend myself and overcome MS stupidity all those years was simply a hidden charge that I had been conditioned not to recognize. My last night with a Windows box ended at 4 a.m. with STILL no internet connectivity via Qwest's DSL and MSNetwork.

As the story about Mac so often goes, I got the thing in the mail, put it on my desk, plugged in the network cable and have never looked back and have never had a moment's trouble.

I wouldn't take a new MS box as a gift -- except to the return counter so I could apply the cost to the higher upfront cost of a Mac.

Just the setup time and screwing around trying to fix all the idiocies of Windoze equalizes the difference in out-of-pocket cost. A friend at work has one of the new hyperthin Macs -- awesome.

The funny thing is that, although there are cheaper PC boxes, if you compare hardware features, performance and included software, the Mac prices really aren't higher.

"...if you compare hardware features, performance and included software, the Mac prices really aren't higher."
---

Yeah, right. And if you divide the total price by the number of hours in a year, it appears to be very cheap indeed.

The future is open source, ala linux. Did you know Linus was living in Portland for a while? Portland is a haven for FOSS (Free & Open Source SW).

You don't have to build a kernal to enjoy open source sw. But you get to be free from the M$ tax, or the Apple tax. FOSS has been driving down expensive app sw for a while now, and it will only accelerate.

Thank you Linus.

The saying used to be that Macs cost more but you get more than what you pay for. But you're right, Allan; these days the difference in quality remains while the difference in price has shrunk to nominal.
Beyond the more obvious Mac selling points—trouble-free set-up, ease of use, aesthetics, the relative absence of viruses, worms and trojan horses, etc., etc.,—there is this more ephemeral character to the Mac: it feels graceful to use. It's a very difficult property to describe, but it essentially accomplishes the ideal of industrial design: it is unnecessarily gratifying. And this reads as luxury to most people. Excessive. Gratuitous and egotistical waste. Pointless showboating where mere honest utility will suffice.
But it's not. It's merely the cumulative result of intergenerational care and investment, exceptionally good design with a broad, developed infrastructure; something that everybody can reasonably envision as being a part of their lives. You know, like the iPod. Or health care.

Did you know Linus was living in Portland for a while?

Wow, that changes everything. And all this time I thought Torvalds had been in Beaverton. If I'd only known . . . .

MacBook Pro, all the way. Before that it was a Powerbook, which lasted for 5 years before I decided it was too slow and it was time for an upgrade.

Before that, Linux. Too much work for me, but some people are into that, and I respect that.

Friend of mine who prefers Microsoft for some weird reason finally got XP Pro working great, right where he likes it, after a lot of work. Then he decided on a new Windoze laptop, and had to spend hours upon hours upon hours getting rid of every trace of Vista, which he has nothing but unprintable words for.

One thing that did annoy me with the changeover to the Intel-based MacBooks from the PPC ones was that a lot of my old software is incompatible with the new hardware, stuff like Photoshop and these free VST musical instruments I'd found over the years. But, people are porting more and more universal binary freebies all the time as more folks change over, so it's all good. That, and Macs generally come with a killer software package, anyway.

Like others have said, it's been a mostly plug-in and go experience for me.

Jack, Jack, Jack.......

Don't you know better than to start religious debates like this?

;)

I'm a PC guy 'cause I have no clue how to use one of those MAC things.....to me, MACK is a truck......


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