Wednesday, 16 September 2009

If My Car Were Windows Vista

If my car were Windows Vista, it wouldn’t unlock without asking me if I’m really sure I want to unlock it. The door would only open once I had confirmed that yes, I do want to open the door and no, I don’t want to play with the little purple dinosaur. Once I confirmed I wanted to open the door, it would then make the sound of a door opening but not actually unlock the door until I had confirmed that opening the door is what I really, really want to do.

It would take 60 seconds to actually unlock. At least.

I would then have to go through the same routine to start it. Every time I select a gear, it would ask if I’m sure that’s the gear I wanted. If I put it into automatic, it would play calming music and its windscreen would display a lovely blue/green iridescence. It would then ask me what gear I wanted. The tiptronic gears would have a delay of between one and ten seconds, while a display would flash a moving gear symbol at me along with the text, ‘Changing gear’.

For no apparent reason and without notice, my car would not move beyond second gear for long periods of time, forcing me to crawl along the hard shoulder. Then it would announce it had finished updating itself and fixing its file system and suddenly take off at great speed.

It would occasionally switch off the engine and, when I had coasted to a halt, ask me if I wanted help to fix the problem I had with the engine. I would have to answer yes, then it would restart and tell me how much it had enjoyed helping me to find a fix. Occasionally it would break down completely and parts would fall off. It would then ask if I wanted to find a solution. When I answered in the affirmative, it would tell me which parts had fallen off. When major parts fall off, it would ask me if I wanted to tell Microsoft about the problem I had caused.

If my car were Windows Vista, it wouldn’t start on cold mornings, hot mornings or mornings when I was in a rush. It would sit in my driveway flashing ‘Not Responding’ on its windscreen. If I took out the battery and reconnected it, then it would start first time every time. Occasionally, calling someone called Task Manager would help, but by no means always and it would take a huge amount of time for him to answer the phone. It would be safer just to disconnect the battery first thing.

When I tried to sound the horn, it would go online to find the right Codec for my horn and then fail to find it. Three hours later, it would go 'parp' for no apparent reason. Refilling it with petrol would be a challenge because there isn't a petrol cap release lever. I would have to sit at the petrol pump until, finally, it would ask me if I wanted to open the petrol cap. It would then play me a 30-minute video in Malay of why petrol is dangerous and only open the cap if I had clicked YES to agree that I understood the risks of using petrol. The fuel meter and reality would be completely disassociated.

Every time I took it for a service, the service manager would tut a lot and talk about critical updates, then keep it in the shop for two weeks for what he calls a ‘service pack’. When it came back, random bits would stop working. I would get messages telling me that the indicator wasn’t working, would I like to have the window opened so I could put my hand out to indicate my direction? If I said no, it would report me to the police for unsafe driving. If I said yes, it would tell me that it had fixed my Optimum Advanced Traffic Directional Warning System and ask if I would like to fix it again next time automatically? If I said yes, next time I tried to use the indicator, it would ask if I wanted to have the window opened so I could put my hand out to indicate my direction.

If my car were Windows Vista, it would have SatNav. Every time I programmed a route, the system would tell Microsoft where I was going and why. It would only work in Xhosa and a little known dialect of deepest Mongolia unless I agreed to have a Windows Live account, in which case it would work in the language of my choice for precisely fifteen minutes or four roundabouts, after which it would default to Xhosa until I accessed my Hotmail account and agreed to play with the purple dinosaur and accept MS into my life.

If my car were Windows Vista, I’d be highly likely to upgrade to Car 7.0 out of sheer desperation. But I sure as hell am thoroughly road testing the new car this time around. Because if I’d truly appreciated how bad this car was going to be, I’d have stayed with Car XP at any cost...


Media Junkie said...

hehe. i giggled throughout this post. it made my day. or rather night.

the real nick said...

How I always laugh at "early adapters"!
I haven't "upgraded" any software since 2004 and I am perfectly happy with XP home, Photoshop version 5.0 and AutoCAD Release 2002.
Although I might try the Google Chrome OS if and when it comes next year.

eric blair said...

if your car was snow leopard it would work fine while simultaneously making you more attractive to the opposite sex.

alexander... said...

Oi! This wasn't an invitation to the Mac brigade to kick a man when he's down!

Phillipa said...

Sorry for laughing. It's the nervous laugh of someone who narrowly avoided the dark pit of Vista. When looking for a new laptop recently I couldn't find one that was not infected with said software. My co shopper made the sign of the cross and dragged meout of the shop.

Mita said...

LOL - being a fellow sufferer I thoroughly empathise and thank God my car is NOT Windows Vista - it would've driven me insane.

Love Philippa's comments.

Mr Hobnob said...

Tehehe. I've always had a penchant for a Panther or a Leopard but I'm too old and simply not that cool. And Vista was way too 'nouveau' with lots of flash and no substance. Call me a Luddite if you like but there's nowt wrong with keeping the status quo and shunning the ring of change (see what I did there?). I'm more than happy with driving my Ford Mondeo XP.

measurdPR said...

Oh the frustration! I feel your pain. It truly is a case of "don't know what you got till you lose it" (XP vs. Vista). And, despite me being a Mac user, I wouldn't dare suggest that you try to become attractive to the opposite sex (or any sex for that matter) :)

We have kept all our machines to XP and continue to buy machines with XP only. Macs are welcome in our office, but my Vista partition on my Mac won't even connect to our network (it does at home, so it's just really picky about our router or dhcp server or something..) Go figure!

Oussama said...

I enjoyed it thoroughly and drew a few chuckles. Seriously, you are soooo right.

nzm said...

I haven't had a single problem with Vista - honestly! But then I'm running an Enterprise version, so that could make a difference.

J is now on Windows 7 (running on a Mac!) and she and her IT developer partner are raving about it.

Snow Leopard is causing applications to crash - as is the norm for any new platform, it seems.

samuraisam said...

eric blair: Yeah right. I'm writing a (negative) piece for one of my blogs about Macs.
Mac OS X is the only operating system on earth that will half download an update yet still try to update. I had a Mac sitting trying to update for 72 hours which obviously wasn't going to happen because the files never finished downloading!

Brn said...

I have to second nzm. I have had a great experience with Vista too. My kids had killed our XP machines with viruses three times (requiring complete rebuilds), but the newer security features and parently controls (like the "do you really want to do this" UAC control) has helped prevent any that on the Vista. We just upgraded to Win7 (from XP) at work last week. I only wish that we could have done it sooner.

Anonymous said...

nice - inspired by the old geek joke


1. For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash twice a day.
2. Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have to buy a new car.
3. Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason. You would have to pull over to the side of the road, close all of the windows, shut off the car, restart it, and reopen the windows before you could continue. For some reason you would simply accept this.
4. Occasionally, executing a maneuver such as a left turn would cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you would have to reinstall the engine.
5. Only one person at a time could use the car unless you bought "CarNT," but then you would have to buy more seats.
6. Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, was reliable, five times as fast and twice as easy to drive - but it would only run on five percent of the roads.
7. The oil, water temperature and alternator warning lights would all be replaced by a single "general protection fault" warning light.
8. New seats would force everyone to have the same sized butt.
9. The airbag system would ask "are you sure?" before deploying.
10. Occasionally, for no reason whatsoever, you car would lock you out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key and grabbed hold of the antenna.
11. GM would require all car buyers to also purchase a deluxe set of Rand McNally Road maps (now a GM subsidiary), even though they neither need nor want them. Attempting to delete this option would immediately cause the car's performance to diminish by 50 percent or more. Moreover, GM would become a target for investigation by the Justice Department.
12. Every time GM introduced a new car, car buyers would have to learn to drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as the old car.
13. You'd have to press the "start" button to turn the engine off.

Rujokiwa said...

Actually, I've never had any trouble with Vista.

I managed to crash all the earlier versions of Windows, but not Vista.

I always manage to crash the mac however ... everytime I touch it. And everyone tells me it is impossible to crash the Mac

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