OK, so this is a cheap shot, but I’m not above cheap shots. The fact is that Linux virtually never falls prey to hackers and viruses and trojan horses, mostly because it’s too inconsequential to choose as a target. That said, its vast superiority in security of this type cannot be discounted; it makes me rest better at night to feel comparatively invisible to worms of any sort. Let the bastards over at Windows headquarters deal with ’em while I take the night off.
2. Random Crashes and Frozen Screens
For no reason at all, every once in a while my Windows machine will freeze up and decide to stay that way. The only way out is to the famed Ctl-Alt-Delete sequence to force it into reboot. I just don’t have knees sturdy enough to deal with this particular bug, since once the screen goes dead, I promptly fall to my knees and pray to any deity of whom I’ve heard tell that my research/writing/hard drive will come back intact. After all, if it doesn’t, we get to proceed to number 3:
3. Interminable Calls to Bangalor
Ah, customer support. God bless it. Sometimes it actually supports the customer. Mostly, though, it just seems like a way for the company pandering to Windows lovers to lure in customers: “We offer 24 hour customer support.” It certainly sounds good, until you realize that 24 hours is how long you’re going to wait on hold to hear someone say, “Oh, you need technical support. This is the account department. Hold, please,” before throwing you back into easy-listening limbo. Of course, if you’re a Hootie and the Blowfish or Journey fan, this may be a plus for you. For the rest of us, however, it’s a quick way to the nervous hospital: “I swear, officer, the knife just slipped into the phone. Those threats they heard must have just been gas.”
4. That F*cking Paperclip
If you’re blessed enough not to have the screen freeze up, you may make it into one of Windows’ applications, including Office, where you will promptly be treated like a 2 year old by all the “helpful” icons helping you learn the three R’s. Try to write a word like “fish” and the paperclip will pop up: “Would you like this underlined? Would you like to change font? Didn’t you mean to write ‘dumptruck’?” Worse yet, if you try to act like an actual grown-up by taking a more active role in hard drive maintenance (like, say, trying to search for a file after one of the aforementioned freezes), there will appear a sweet little puppy onscreen. Assuming you are neither 9 years old nor a girl, it can feel a wee bit condescending to be trying to recover data you might have lost and, instead of the files, encountering a sweet little puppy running in circles. “Aww, did baby waby wose her sweet widdle data cause of widdle ol’ me? Baby waby can’t be mad at a puppy, can she?” At this point, my recollection of file-finding in Windows gets a little hazy. I recall fur flying and yelps of both canine and human natures, but it’s unclear whether I thought this or acted on it.
5. Update! Update! Update!
While it is a good idea to keep yourself abreast of new advances in technology, the Windows version of “suggesting” updates is about as subtle as Carrot Top’s cries for attention. Rather than sending out notices of updates, Windows machines opt instead to inundate you with pop-ups. If these are ignored, you may find that your basic applications no longer work: Excel will no longer read in your old financial data, Word will no longer read in your dissertation, and your internet connection may decide it’s just too old to function. Paris fell because of tactics like this.
6. Sharing is Decidedly Not Caring
I was taught tolerance as a lass, that discrimination is borne of ignorance, that ignorance can breed fear, and that fear results in hatred. Apparently, the Gates-stapo is not of the same mind. In their quest to be the almighty Oz, they have made it virtually impossible to compose any sort of document, presentation, or graphic from any other platform and have it recognized by Windows. God forbid you should write a document composed of words in any other format than in Microsoft Word; when you read it back in, Greek letter may begin to abound. Worse yet, try writing a presentation in any other version of Power Point than the officially licensed Microsoft version, and you may find yourself standing in front of a Nobel Laureate with a screen full of gibberish: “This right here is where the symbol for ‘alpha’ would be. And this would be a picture of a particle tracing out a spiral shape.” Amazingly, this sort of intolerance of other platforms has done just what my mother always said it would: I am now afraid to give another presentation written on my trusty Linux machine, and, as such, I vehemently hate Power Point. Given Mom’s prophetic gifts, I may have to stop making funny faces, lest they stick that way.
7. The Evil Empire Complex
I could forgive all of Microsoft’s foibles, were it not for their arrogance rivaling that of tobacco companies. Sure, every platform is going to have its problems. Sure, every programmer is going to bitch about them. It is Microsoft’s staunch refusal to either address these complaints or even acknowledge them is what I find truly aggravating. As an example, check out this quote, taken from www.ihatemicrosoft.com:
Our customers do not want us to sell them products with over 63,000 potential defects. They want those defects corrected. How many of you would spend $500 on a piece of software with over 63,000 potential known defects?
–Windows development leader Marc Lucovsky.
So our hero, Mr. Lucovsky, has come to our rescue, in the form of good old-fashioned circular logic. There are not 63,000 potential defects in Windows. If there were, people wouldn’t buy it. Since people buy it, then, there cannot be 63,000 know defects. Quot erat demonstratum. Period. Next question. This is almost as good as Bush’s logic on how there is not torture going on in Guantanamo, since the U.S. doesn’t engage in torturous behavior. I’m so glad there are people like Dubya and Lucovsky out there to put my mind at ease. This kind of reasoning comes in handy: by their logic, my bills are all paid on time, since I’ve always asserted that I pay them in a timely fashion. Thanks, guys, for helping me to rescind all those pesky late charges!
Written by Megan Mcewen