Friday, June 12, 2015

A Promotion Within The Family

Firstborn, age 9, has just been promoted to age 19.


Because Microsoft is being an massive bag full of dicks, and has apparently decided to make setting up a new Windows machine as much of a colossally intrusive pain the ass as humanly possible. Either that, or they've come up with a plan to make the whole thing much more user-friendly, only they turned the implementation phase of the plan over to a bunch of socially-challenged software engineers. But personally, I'm going to go with the "giant bag of dicks" explanation.

Firstborn got a new computer for his 9th birthday. It's both a laptop and a touchscreen, so it's Windows 8.1 -- and setting it up as his computer with his own user account turns out be even more horrible than setting up Windows 8. And Windows 8 was... No! I won't think of it! You cannot make me think of it!

I use Windows machines because that's what I'm used to, because I can generally get one that suits my preferences for less money than I would need for a Mac, and because there a few programs I like -- games, mostly -- that only run on Windows. But if Microsoft is going to insist on making it hugely difficult to install their software -- as they are -- and if their software is randomly going to deactivate itself -- as it apparently does -- then I'm perfectly prepared to abandon their platform completely. I use my computer mainly for 1) Writing stories, 2) music and movies, and 3) browsing the Internet -- and there is nothing that Microsoft produces that's essential for any of those functions.

Listen up, Microsoft. I should not need to have a "Microsoft ID" in order to install your software. I shouldn't need to have a Microsoft ID at all. But if that's too much to ask, then at the very least could you manage to not reject the account that I just created -- at your insistence -- for my son's computer, on the basis that he's too young to have an account?

Seriously, fuck you. Keep this up, and I will shell out the extra money for a Mac. Hell, if it comes down to it, I will learn NFBSKing Linux. You are not the only game in town. You are not even the best game in town. Stop acting like you are.


  1. But if Microsoft is going to insist on making it hugely difficult to install their software -- as they are

    Huh, really? That and wider video-game compatibility were the main things they had going for them over Linux, and Linux has been improving their software-installation methods. I don't normally recommend Linux to people who don't have a minimum of one (1) Linux nerd they can turn to for help (preferably someone living in the same house), but "sometimes hugely difficult to install software that should be easy" is the reason why I recommend that, so maybe you should get NFBSKing Linux.

    I've got a Windows 7/Ubuntu dual boot, using Windows only for watching Discovery Channel video streams (Flash stopped releasing new versions for Linux a couple years ago, and Discovery is the only place I've come across so far that won't accept the last Linux-friendly version) and playing Mass Effect and Age of Empires, and it's been working out well for me. If you hate not having a Start menu, though, the Lubuntu variant would be better for you than standard Ubuntu: I've never used Windows 8 so can't directly compare, but apparently the menu system in standard Ubuntu is inspired by 8. (I was surprised by it at first when I switched from Lubuntu, but I adjusted quickly.)

  2. I toyed with a couple of Linux-variations (I think one of them was called Zorin) to try to keep a couple of Windows XP-era laptops running when XP reached its end of life. I didn't actually get either of them to work, but the OS didn't seem to be the problem, and they both installed pretty easily. (On one of them, I got the thing up and running and the screen promptly died; on the other one, I could never quite manage to identify the WiFi adapter, and I'm not sure the hardware for that was working. They were both secondhand machines that my Dad had inherited, so no loss, really.) At least on the Linux versions would actually let you select which version of Windows you wanted the user interface to most resemble. And while I'm not a Linux nerd myself, I do have access to Google (and I'm old enough to remember using DOS, which the text interface for Linux seems to resemble pretty closely). So there are definitely options out there.


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