I’ve tried not to post this post, God knows but I’ve tried. However, some things I guess are inevitable and this event certainly seems to be.
I’ve upgraded to a new notebook, the Lenovo T61. It seems perfectly competent, but I was inordinately fond of my old T43 and really wanted the same but faster. The T61 is undoubtedly more powerful, but is actually bigger. I didn’t really want bigger. I should have waited for the incredibly sexy X300, I know.
But it’s not the Lenovo ruining my life. It’s Microsoft Bloody Windows Bloody Vista.
It’s hard to imagine anyone purposefully creating a more pointless, dumb and fundamentally irritating piece of software. Windows Vista is like having a constant visual conversation with Barney. Every time you try to achieve or accomplish anything, there’s a cuddly-purple-dinosaur-like dialogue box asking you if you really want to do that or telling you, for some irritating and unfathomable reason, that you can’t do it. Sometimes it offers you help and when you finally wade through a dense jungle of awful dialogue boxes to link to the Microsoft Loves You™ website, it smugly tells you that it can’t help you at all, really. It was just, one presumes, kidding. I’m already sick of waiting anything up to a minute for Windows Explorer to open. And I’m heartily sick of watching a damn blue circle coruscate calmingly as I wait for something, anything, to happen in response to my inputs. I haven’t spent so much time waiting for stuff to happen on a computer for a long time. But then it was complex stuff like drawing a fractal. Now I’m waiting for a basic dialogue box to appear.
I have upgraded to a significantly more powerful computer in order to wait longer for basic system events to take place. Explain that to me. It’s like wading in digital molasses. I’m slowly drowning in a sea of slo-mo, pricked to incandescence by stupid dialogue boxes telling me that the keyboard is the tappy thing in front of me, that I am a bipedal carbon-based lifeform and any number of blindingly obvious infodings that I simply do not want. I feel like a bull being goaded into blind fury before the toreador finally brings me to my knees with a cry of ‘Vistaaaa’.
I’m getting used to some new joys, too. For instance, the joy of finding my DNS settings or my browser homepage arbitrarily reset. The joy of hardware that refuses to work (Vista has convinced itself that the rather excellent Lenovo biometrics system is not connected to the computer).
Every time you try to achieve or accomplish anything, it’s like having a mad mid-Western voice suddenly explode in your head: “Hey! You’re trying to change those settings! That’s under the bonnet stuff, li’l buddy! Are you real sure you wanna go lookin’ under the bonnet?”
“Heyyyy! You’re sending an email! That could be real insecure! Press OK to send the email or just go on ahead an’ press Help to shoot yourself!”
I might sound angry beyond the point of reason. I am. I want XP back. Actually, I want Windows 98 back. Actually, scratch that. I want DOS back. I’ve been forced to the realisation that I’m using 2GB of RAM, 160GB of hard disk and a dual pipelined multiprocessing 64 bit microprocessor clocked at over 2 GHz to type and send letters 90% of the time. I used to use a 64 Kbyte, 1 MHz machine to do that and it was just fine. The only difference is that I used to print and send those letters and now I email them. How can it be possible to do so little with so much computing power and resource? Because there’s a fat, stupid bloated wodge of software between me and productivity and it’s called Windows Bloody Vista.
And yes, thank you. I do feel better now.