Friday, November 27, 2015

A Frightening Lesson in Futility

One of my very bright friends called me over the other day, because his computer was 'broken'. Broken is a very large word, meaning everything from it's slow to it's on fire. They say if you teach a man to fish, you'll teach a man to fish every day, and that's the case here. When I show him the problem and tell him how to make sure he doesn't cause it again, I watch his eyes glaze over. He is no longer hearing me. In fact, he's off somewhere in his Happy Place<tm>, perhaps on some island somewhere, sipping Dunkin Donuts coffee and reading a good pornographic medical tutorial for Continuing Education Credits.

I'm not positive, but I suspect this might be a clever defensive offensive mechanism... if he seems so seriously disconnected, people will get frustrated because it's faster to just fix it for him than to bring him back from wherever it is that he went.

The laptop is a really cute, thin jobbie. Unfortunately it's a Dell. Yesterday it was announced that certain new Dells shipped with malware already installed that will let a malicious entity (Dick Cheney) take over the computer (and presumably fly it into a building). As if this weren't enough, the interface was weird. And I'm talking weird for Microsoft, which is a stretch. It came to me in a blinding flash: this was WINDOWS 8. He bought a laptop with Windows 8. It hurts deep down inside that people shop for laptops without taking the operating system into account. What's worse, Windows 7 and 8 keep trying to turn into WINDOWS 10 [shudder].  I remember this idiotic screen system from the server version. You simply cannot find anything. It's that way on purpose. Microsoft got all their design people together in one room and distributed large quantities of mind-altering hallucinogenics. At this point someone had the brilliant idea to hide all of the familiar buttons and functions. START MENU? Who needs it? This idea met with raucous applause (and no small amount of reflexive vomiting and cheering).

So, after all the hangovers dissipated, the rework looked questionable but they went ahead and hid all the important functions and features in a way that no one would find them. Because it was good for us.
So there I was, attempting to find stuff. You know, to install helpful programs and tweak things. No start menu. It was like a flashback... PTSD... all the screaming about the server and the piece of crap alleged graphical interface. You can't get there from here. I also want to cause mental anguish to the guy who came up with the Ribbon, equal to the anguish the users feel.

I installed the Normal Windows Precaution Bundle (Firefox, Malwarebytes, CCleaner, Revo Uninstall) and did a cleanup (because you have to clean up the initial install of this alleged operating system). It was sluggish. It was ugly. It bothered me in a way an operating system shouldn't. I want to force Bill Gates to use his own operating system - that's a lot of punishment. Trying to make Internet Explorer open with a blank page was an exercise in futility, especially with the time (and patience) I had left. Mind you, it worked perfectly in Firefox.


Next month is Frank Sinatra's 100th birthday.  He will not be celebrating.
However, precisely at midnight, alcohol vendors the world over will ring a bell.


This is a really bad time of year for headlines about Turkey downing a fighter jet.

The staff, wives and pets of ThermoinicEmissions wish you a Happy Thanksgiving. We hope there's lots to be thankful for. I'm thankful that you stop by to read this.

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