Monday, September 29, 2008

Freaking Vista!

Ok, so for those of you who know me, I love my Mac. I am running a 5 year old Powerbook G4 on the most advanced OS available today, Mac OS X 10.5.5, and not only does it run, but it runs well. Try that with your windows machine... but now I'm getting ahead of myself.

It all started a few days ago, when we finally decided that enough people at my company were running Vista, that I should also be running it, in order to be able to more effecetively support them. The first debacle happened when I tried to decide *which* "edition" of Vista I needed. There are so many! Do I need home basic? Probably not, as I need multiple monitor support. How about Home Premium? That supports multiple monitors... but wait, it doesn't have remote desktop support... which I need for... supporting remote desktops. What about business edition? That should have everything I need. Afterall, this is for a business. From looking at the specs, I think this would have met my needs, but since I have already spent an hour (for those keeping track at home, don't forget to add the cost of my time to the overall cost of this project), I decided to say screw it, and just get ultimate. It's 20$ more, and I figured "Hey, this is Microsoft... Better to be safe than sorry". So I shell out 319+$ for a retail copy of Windows Vista Ultimate.

I won't bore you with the details of the 4+ hours I spent getting it installed, let me just say this: I am pretty sure the algorithm for windows update is a 5 line basic program that goes like this:

10 Run check for updates
20 New updates available
30 Install new updates
40 Reboot
50 goto 20

I crap you not, after getting the OS installed, the thing must have updated, rebooted, and updated again 15 times. What the heck? It seems entirely likely that it "updated" to patches that were already obsolete, and then proceeded to update them again. It makes me crazy! On my Mac, I install one patch cluster and I'm good to go. But again, I digress... so now, *finally*, I have my machine installed, updated, and "running".

So I open the control panel so that I can fiddle with the settings. The entire screen dims, and I am greeted with a warning that says "Are you sure you want to run 'controlpanel.exe'?". Of course I'm sure, thats why I clicked on "Control Panel"! So I click continue. The control panel opens. I go to "Programs" so that I can uninstall any crapware that got installed by default. The entire screen dims, and I am greeted with a warning that says "Are you sure you want to run 'uninstallprograms.exe'". Kwyjibo! Yes I want to run it, that is why I fraking clicked it! So I click 'continue'. "Windows Movie Maker... I don't need that" I think to myself. So I click it, and select "Uninstall". The entire screen dims, and I am greeted with a warning that says... you get the idea. At this point I'd had enough. First order of business, disable UAC. I had to click continue no less than 5 times in order to disable UAC. Then I had to go in and tell windows to stop telling me it was disabled. I know it is disabled. I disabled it, remember?

I could go on and on about how terrible this is, but I'll just leave it at this. Programs that used to work in XP no longer work. Hardware that worked in XP no longer works. I have 4GB of RAM... it saw it as 3.5 (as I am not running a 64 bit OS), but after installing SP1, it magically sees all 4GB. It can't use it, but it doesn't want to confuse me so it fibs to me, telling me how much I have installed instead of how much it can actually address. I can't help but feel like the coding hours that were spent "fixing" that "bug" in Sp1 wouldn't have been better spent, oh, I dunno, doing just about a bajillion other things that would actually make the experience better?! But that's not going to push hardware sales is it? Gotta make sure that Joe Consumer thinks that his shiney new Vista computer is using that 4GB of RAM he paid for, and that the tech from Dell didn't steal his extra 512 megs. But again... I digress.

So, moving along... after using Mac OSX 10.5.5 at home, coming into XP at work was already a bummer. But now that I've installed Vista, I'm pretty much on suicide watch my entire drive into work. Just the thought of having to boot up Vista when I get here makes me start looking at telephone poles and wondering "I wonder how fast I would need to slam into that to die instantly". Or heck, I'd even be OK with bleeding out slowly and painfully, so long as I died and didn't have to use Vista anymore. The instructions in my will actually say DNR now, even though I am only 30 years old, and have a one month old daughter. Microsoft's latest attempt at an operating system has all but driven me to suicide, and yet if I were to have them killed, I'd be the one to go to jail. Thats democracy for ya.

So do yourself a favor. Get a Mac. Macs save lives. Knowing that I have my beautiful Powerbook to come home to keeps me from veering into those telephone poles. You no longer have to suffer from OS induced depression! Free yourself from the shackles of oppression! We didn't land on Windows Rock, Windows Rock landed on us! To quote a popular Internet saying "
In a world without walls and fences - who needs Windows and Gates?" My Mac saved me, and it can save you.