I had a really, really nice morning. Just lovely. Then I came back here and I was going to download some pictures I took yesterday hoping a few of them would be worth sharing.
Before going out for breakfast, I got a prompt on my laptop to download Windows 8.1, a prompt I’ve been dismissing and ignoring for about a year now. So, I thought, this might be a good time to finally do it. I backed up all the stuff on my hard drive a couple of days ago and haven’t really used the computer since. I tried doing this about a year ago and it all fucked up and it wound up reverting to Windows 8. So, I downloaded Windows 8.1 before setting out for breakfast.
Came back, tried to click to install it.
Well, that didn’t seem to go well. I tried doing a custom install because I don’t want to share all my information with Microsoft. I don’t want to be a part of a corporate eco-system. I don’t like this new concept of renting rather than owning. I don’t like any of it.
The custom install was taking so long, and now I can’t remember what the fucking trigger was, the thing that set off my anger. I tried to click the “do it later” button regarding the networking because I’m traveling and I’m not using my own home network or even a work network. Anyway, this was a lot more involved than I expected. If you get a prompt saying that you need to download an update and “you can finish working” while it downloads, don’t be fooled by the implication that this is going to be an easy, quick and seamless experience. I started getting frustrated, started crying, literally, banged on my computer thinking, “I’m on fucking vacation. I want to do something else today.” Anyway, I was having visions of a computer that doesn’t work, of having to spend money that I’d like to spend on my vacation buying an Apple computer, which is no better because then I’ll be part of the Apple corporate eco-system. Really, is it that crazy to feel like one doesn’t want to become part of the Borg.
Then I get other crazy thoughts. It’s really been getting more and more difficult for me to avoid Twitter, and Facebook, but I feel like if my life is going to be an open book, then everyone else’s will be, too. Because, it’s either stop writing my memories or stop using pseudonyms.
Anyway, when I banged on my computer, the screen said something to the effect of “Windows has encountered a problem and is going to shut down.” Which it did.
Then, I started it up again, hoping that it would have reverted to the old Windows 8 like it did last time, not that I loved Windows 8, but I had made all the adjustments so I could use that dysfunctional piece of crap they think is an operating system interface.
Blech, so where the fuck am I, now. Honestly, I understand why non-tech people get frustrated with technology. The people who make technology see it as an end in and of itself. Non-tech people see it as a means to an end. The interface should not draw attention to itself. That doesn’t mean that it has to be slick and pretty the way Apple thinks it should be. It can be boring, like the old school gui menu bars. I like playing with technology when I want to play with technology. This morning, I wanted to download some pictures and put up a post – a happy post saying what a good time I’m having in Paris, which I am, and then get outside and do something.
Instead, I wouldn’t up playing with my fucking computer. I don’t know why I thought it would be a few minutes, that I could putz around and make myself a cup of coffee while hitting “next”, “next.”
Yes, I know. These are spoiled brat problems. I’m even thinking to myself, “Ooh, you poor baby. You might lose a morning in Paris because you’re updating the laptop you only use when you travel. It’s hard to be so spoiled” Still, it’s not like the damn thing was free, and no one likes not getting their money’s worth. Right now, the Windows operating system is garbage, mainly due to the interface. It hasn’t been crashing or anything. If you’re still using Windows 7 or XP, keep on going. I don’t know what to tell you about what to do when you have no choice but to upgrade it. If you need to install a new operating system on a desktop and you can get your hands on Windows 7, use that. I still use it on my desktop and it works great.
I’ve always preferred Windows to Apple, but now that Windows has changed, I’m not sure what the fuck to do.
Anyway, I turned the computer back on, and just hit the button to use the default settings. I can’t decide whether or not to download the photos from my camera right now, because I’m toying with the idea of just replacing the operating system with an easy to use flavor of Linux like Ubuntu. I’m not sure.
Or maybe I should see if I can make the adjustments like I did on Windows 8 so that it’s usable.
Then again, the weather’s beautiful, maybe I should just get out and enjoy Paris. Ah, the Ativan must be kicking in. I hadn’t taken one for a couple of months. Thanks, Microsoft.
(Oh, yeah. If anyone has tried using any Linux distros on a laptop with a capacitive screen and you have an opinion about them, let me know.)
Apparently Windows 10 (dunno where 9 went) will be “going back” to a more familiar interface, with a start button and so forth. I’m still on Vista myself, which is customised to be as much like 2000/XP as I could manage. I’m dreading updating to a later version, especially as that’ll likely involve buying a computer that’s fast enough to cope with it, with a pre-installed Windows and no “format and re-install” option. (Not that even that always went smoothly, mind.)
Well, the last desktop I built myself. I actually built the “dream computer” I’d been wanting for twenty years, so I don’t feel to bad for having indulged myself with a superfast chip, nice graphics card, etc. At first I installed Windows 8 and it entirely didn’t work and I couldn’t figure out how to make it work despite having a very knowledgable programmer friend help me. Finally, I bit the bullet and bought a copy of Windows 7. Installed it and it went very smoothly. (At one point, just to make sure it wasn’t a hardware problem, I installed Ubuntu and that worked well “out of the box”, too. So it was just Windows 8 that was fucking up – ie. totally crashing five minutes or fewer after booting. It didn’t run long enough to even figure out what was wrong. My programmer friend was disappointed when I gave up because he was starting to enjoy the “let’s solve a puzzle” mode. However, that’s where you get the difference between technology as an end in itself versus technology as a means to an end. I probably would have loved to solve the puzzle with him if I had another computer and the puzzle was just taking up space on the dining room table waiting till he and I had a few hours to play with it. This was not the case, so after three days of trying to solve the problem, I just said to myself, “Fuck it.” Of course, that I had to give Microsoft another hundred or so dollars after having just spent that amount on Windows 8 made me really sour on the company.
You know, I actually bought this laptop the day Windows 8 was released, so I get really mad when people tell me that I don’t like Windows 8 because I don’t like change. However, I once saw a list of better and worse Windows versions and it seems by some good fortune I’ve often been running the versions most people like, so I never really understood most of the complaints about Windows. Trust me, I was very eager to start using my bright shiny new toy and I wanted, really wanted, to love it. And it does have some good points, just the bad points out weigh the good ones. My main worry is that Microsoft might not have gotten the message about why people don’t like it.
Yeah, I’ve generally been really, really irritated by the decisions the company has been making for the past few years. Ballmar was a total disaster, especially the last few years. I guess I should give this new guy a chance, but he’s coming from the cloud computing division, so we’ll see.
I just read that old post you linked to. You’d probably would really hate Windows 8 because I get the feeling that you’re far fussier than I am about customizing stuff. I just wanted to not have updates automatically installed and wanted some of the settings regarding Microsoft sharing my information to be off as well. I really, really don’t like this tendency to try to lock you into an eco-system where you are encouraged to over share so your information can be sold like a product. It’s not exactly privacy paranoia that drives my dislike. It’s the fact that I want to use a tool, my computer, to do something, meanwhile the manufacturer of that tool is trying to get me to do other things, things that are their goals, not mine, that are good for them.
Actually, most operating system installs have gone smoothly for me. However, when there is a problem, then nothing works right, if at all.
Sometimes, I wish I could find a group of like minded programmers and we could make alternative to some of these things that have become harder and harder, rather than easier and easier, to use.
To my mind, they’re trying to offer me an entertainment suite, which I would use to access content others have made. I want a tool to create content.