Time for a change… aka I’ve hit my breaking point…

21 10 2008

I’ve been using computers or some sort or another since I was around 10 or so.  I’ve seen different operating systems and used all types of development environments as well as computer applications.

You would not have thought it would take so long…

I have finally hit my breaking point.  I just snapped at the sheer crappiness of windows.  I’ve had enough. 

It was trivial enough; I was trying to do the extraordinary task of creating a folder using file explorer and when I clicked on the create new folder command I waited… and waited… and waited….

It was only a 20 second or so wait… and it’s not like it’s the first time this has happened to me on a variety of PCs but this time it was enough.  I had just had it.  I just want to create a folder and get on with what I’m doing… why does it take so long to do this?  Why does the application seem to freeze when I want to do such a trival task?  It’s completely unacceptable and I just had enough.  I shut down my computer without finishing whatever it was I was working on and went and did something else as I was just that frustrated.  I am sick and tired of the most trivial tasks being stupidly slow and unreliable on the worlds most dominant desktop operating system.  It’s total rubbish and I’ve had enough.

I can think of numerous frustrating examples of using windows.  Ever opened excel or word and then try to traverse some folders to open a document only to find there is this odd long pause as soon as you go file->open and try to start looking around on your hard drive?  How long do you wait?  20-30 seconds sometimes and in the meantime the application is unresponsive?  Why is there always that waiting when you fire up a new application on your new $2000 PC?  The more applications you install the more messed up the registry gets and the more unreliable and flaky you computer becomes.  Why?  Poor design?  Didn’t think of that?  What’s the reason?  Is it unreasonable to install your favourite software on your computer?  I’m sure there are plenty of other examples people can come up with. 

This was all with XP.  I have not installed Vista personally but from using it on a few friends machines I am really not sold on it.  I don’t like being asked about every little thing I do.  It was irritating.

So, you ask, what’s the alternative?  Well for the number of applications, games and the like available for windows compared to other operating systems there does not really seem to be one.  Regardless I am thinking of buying a Mac notebook computer and giving that a go.  After all the garbage with using windows it must be an improvement right?  It’s alot more expensive but, if it works without all the garbage I have to put up with in the windows world, maybe it will just be worth it.

My die hard Mac friends will no doubt be all video-conferencing each other on their iPhones whilst making a recording to replay on their iPods at a later date as well as being moist with anticipation at the thought of another “convert”.  I’ve used macs a few times and they are not as “perfect” as the iTard community (of which I will be joining shortly) out there would have you believe.  The “it just works” slogan is a bit misleading but I am really ready to find an alternative to windows.  Something had to be done…  If that doesn’t work there is always linux…

Feel free to cast your vote on favourite OS in the poll below.  I did not make a distinction between the various linux distribution packages or versions of Mac OS, etc.

Any other converts out there?

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Technology & Pets

3 10 2007

Well this last weekend was an entertaining one.  I was trying to upgrade my computer for various reasons. 

Basically the scenario worked something like this:

 I have a computer setup in my living room hooked up to my stereo/TV that acts as a jukebox.  I have iTunes on it with all my music so I can pump that out through my stereo.  The computer is also hooked up to the TV so I can do things like browse the net, listen to internet radio, watch youtube videos, etc.  Basically a home media centre (that I set up years before Microsoft came out with the “Media Centre” edition of XP).  Unfortunately the hard drive in the computer is full of music now so I need to replace it with a larger one to facilitate more tunes as I’m flat out of disk space!  I also wanted to upgrade my regular desktop computer from XP-Home to XP-Pro (so I have IIS and I can do some work at home.  Some of the work I’m doing in my day job uses web services which XP-Home can’t cope with.  Am I a dedicated employee or what?).  So as my desktop computer has a hard drive twice the size as my entertainment computer it seemed to make sense to buy a new hard drive, put it in my desktop computer and install XP-Pro on it, take the old hard drive from there and pop it in my media/jukebox PC.

 First lesson, look inside your computer and see what you actually have before you make plans like this 🙂  I just picked up a run of the mill IDE 320gb hard drive at staples and thought nothing more of it but it turns out the one in my computer was actually a SATA hard drive (different connector).  Not a big deal but it won’t fit in my jukebox PC as it’s pretty old (apparantly you can get SATA/IDE adaptors so this may not be as big an issue).  My desktop PC has IDE slots in addition to the SATA capability (which is to be expected) so hooking up the new drive wasn’t an issue.  Nonetheless I installed my new hard drive, played the PC internal dust bunny game, played the shuffle the wires so nothing is touching anything that gets hot or spins game, popped in the XP disc, formatted and installed XP-Pro.  Went through an hour of installing windows, started to poke about seeing what I needed to install driver wise onto the computer to discover my hard disk drive was H: and not C:.  Turns out the USB card reader I have installed takes up the first 4 drive letters (starting at C: as A:,B: are reserved) and my DVD/CD drive took up the next one.  Very weird.  Aftering puzzling and experimenting with this for awhile I discovered I had to physically disconnect the USB card reader from the mother board and go through the formatting/installation procedure again and it worked.  Popped in the SATA drive and configured it as the secondary drive, reconnected the card reader and I’m off.  I can copy my data off my original drive and then just use it as a 2nd drive if I can’t find a way to put it into the other PC.  <sigh>.  Oh well, it’s not like hard drives are expensive.  I could also just use the orignal SATA drive for XP Pro once all the data I want is off it and put the new IDE drive in the jukebox PC but I’m too lazy to go through that again 🙂

 To top of the weekend my girlfriends guinea pig got ill on Sunday and we had to go to the emergency vets and, ultimately, put her down.  Ginger the guinea pig was (by our estimation) more than 6 years old so she was ancient in guinea pig terms so at least we know she had a longer than average life.  It was still pretty sad all said and done.  We now just have the one sugar glider so we’ll just have to spoil her extra (if that’s possible).