Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Ode to the Hatred of Windows 7 (stop me if you’ve heard this one before)

Hate is so out of fashion these days, what with the moral superiority of the amoral shouting down at us from the high horseback of the religion of Save The Victim. I, however, have never been afraid of swimming against the tide. Ask me if I have an ounce of give-a-crap on me. My hatred of the Windows operating system is self-justified anyway because Windows refreshes it anew at random maddening intervals. Which makes it worse.

Attempting to trust Windows 7 with one’s productivity is like tasking a psychopath with cooking breakfast: you never know what kind of results you might get. Here’s the application of my angst. I was innocently using Inkscape, an open source (free) vector based graphic design program that’s available not only for unlucky number seven Windows, but also for Mac, which I’d wager is more stable in the same way that building one’s house on concrete is more stable than building a skyscraper on the point of a sharpened pencil. Granted, I was asking Windows for the exceptional: “pretty please with sugar on top can you render an image for me at 300 dpi with the dimensions of 5.25 inches by 8.5 inches.” <ENTER>

Whereupon Windows thought (boy howdy do I use that term loosely) for two hours and then spat out an unusable file that no program installed on my machine could read. You know what? I wasn’t the least bit surprised.

I then tried again. This is a regular occurrence for the Windows user. Microsoft is apparently okay with its many millions of clients being required to shoot craps on top of the OS that Gates built. The problem is that this craps table is like an extra-coarse cheese grater and the dice fall through the holes quite often. Anyway, I re-asked Windows 7 for permission to please be productive. I set the Inkscape application (oops, Microsoft calls them “programs,” not applications—that would be a Mac thing) working and then stepped away for an hour, knowing Windows would need time to do its hair and nails and gossip to the girl in the adjacent chair about how ambivalent it really felt about the whole thing.

WINDOWS 7: I don’t know, girl, it’s like this User I have expects the world of me… he actually thinks I’ll obey when he clicks the trackpad in certain ways!

XP: Tell me about it! It’s like they think they can just pop in and bark orders any time and get what they want.

WINDOWS 7: Mmmmmm- hm. Girl, you know that’s right. I was like, “Oh no, you didn’t just walk up in here without so much as a ‘hello’ or a ‘damn girl you look fine’ or anything.

XP: Right?! Them fools be thinkin they can just have they way wit us. I’m like, “Oh HAY-ull naw.”

WINDOWS 7: You got that right, girl!

One can predict how this ends. I sat back down at my Windows machine to check on it—it’s the only OS on God’s green earth that needs a babysitter—and what, to my utter shock, awe and surprise did I discover? Why, only that Windows had refused to obey a direct order. I got the following message:

Inkscape has stopped responding… <DIAGNOSE>

Whereupon I engaged in the ritual every Windows user knows by heart: CTRL> ALT> DEL, which now, as opposed to the relative elegance of XP, launches a menu window that gives the user more choices that are actually not helpful at all but instead just add an unnecessary extra step before you get to the Task Manager you really want. I clicked on the Task Manager choice, and the all-too-familiar little window opened before me, showing me that yes, Inkscape had indeed stopped responding to my commands. Big surprise. I then force quit the app…er, program.

Then Windows 7 popped up another window, this one ostensibly helpful:

Windows is checking for a solution to the problem… <CANCEL>


I then engaged in another ritual Windows users find all too familiar: I started all over again. Sigh…

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