Yes folks, it's Yet Another Computer rant. Don't worry, I do have more in my life than just computers. There's only so much I can restrain myself from rambling about, however...

I've been without my favorite operating system (BeOS) for about half a month now, and it's been feeling more like half an eternity plus a day. Irony of ironies: I'd just finished more or less getting my BeOS configuration to what you might call a 'sweet' setup (no, sweetness has nothing to do with how much porn you can get streaming to your desktop, thaaank you...) and it felt as though I'd been able to use that for only a few days before Murphy, the goddess of Unluck, decided that I hadn't paid my dues in a while. Long story short, a) I'm poorer than Kato Kaitlin without a patron and b) my computer's fan burned out, which I discovered when my momma-board overheated and did the Nestea Plunge. So I'm using the laptop that I had to go deeeeep into debt to purchase (for school, a program which I've just completed, which leaves me with some quickly aging skills and an out-of-date laptop... give cheers for the technology curve!) for all of my Internet purposes... which, unfortunately, means that I'm stuck using Windows 98 (non SE) until I can get a replacement.

I complained about this fairly bitterly at a party recently; one of my habits is to blow off steam by bitching a bit which ultimately makes me feel so much better and lets me deal with the situation more philosophically. There's nothing that a good bitch can't cure, except perhaps for acne, cancer, Richard Simmons and Kato Kaitlin. One of the people at this party, a fellow computer-maven, noted to me that 'after you use Windows for a while, you won't even notice its flaws'. Or something to that effect; I'm fairly convinced he was plastered at the time to say something so... so...

So true. I used Winders for a good year and a half after my beloved Macintosh died and was able to deal with it smilingly. And now after only half a month of returning to full-time Winders usage, I'm realising that Windows isn't half as bad as I remember it being. The flip side to that is that it's at least half as bad as I recall it being as well.

Windows isn't a terrible OS. If it was a terrible OS, it simply couldn't be sold, no doubt about it; what the public demands isn't crapulence with a happy, shiny ad campaign but a certain level of Tolerable Meritocracy. Windows is essentially designed for one user... and everyone else who uses this OS must somehow learn to fit into that user's shoes or else suffer discontent with their Popular OS. When I moved from Macintosh to Windows I did it as an emergency measure... I knew that I had to make the move because my old system was dying by inches and if I didn't find a (low cost) alternative to my wonderful Quadra 605 then I'd soon be connecting to the Internet by vocalizing a series of buzzes and clicks over a telephone line. So I ignored the fairly uncustomizable setup... the fairly unintuitive directory/ storage system... the easy-to-destroy registry... and focused on all of the good things that my new computer could do. You know what I realise now, looking back? I was enamored with Windows in spite of itself, because the computer that I'd purchased was new and could do all of the things that my Quadra could not. Prism (my new computer at the time) was powerful enough to play MP3s, stream audio, receive channel content, use a Javascript-enabled browser and generally usher me to a whole new world of games which didn't have a prayer on my non-PPC Quadra. The operating system was notwithstanding -- it was simply what I'd put onto the box to make it more than a $1500 paperweight.(for those of you wondering why I hadn't put Linux onto Prism and saved myself a lot of grief, a stroke of bad luck coupled with some ill-done research led me to purchase the one bloody processor that would cause Linux to segfault when used with more than 32 megs of RAM. I was originally going to make Prism a linux-only box; things didn't work out quite the way I'd wanted).

So when I finally discovered BeOS and installed it onto Prism, I suddenly had very few reasons to go back to Windows, save for using my laptop (as my schoolwork was more often than not required to be in Word format; and of course, I couldn't do my Java assignments with Be...), playing games and occasionally listening to Doctor Demento on RealPlayer. Naturally, I vilified Windows to the extreme, as absence does make the heart go wander. Now that I'm back onto Windows... what do I have to say about it?

It isn't aggressively bad. It is, however, aggressively annoying and that's almost worse. Using Windows is a lot like trying to wear someone else's shoes after they've broken in the pair for years: you know the fit's terrible and made for another foot, but darn it, you can ignore the blisters because they're protecting your feet. I've largely given up on trying to customize Windows to work the way that I want it to simply because... Windows isn't built to do that. It's built for a single user and whoever that user is, I'm sure that he or she is extremely happy with his or her box. As for me... I'm learning to tolerate it, but I don't want my computing sessions to be a practice of Tolerance. They should be fun, the OS almost transparent, and I should be able to make it dance to my tune.

Instead, I'm living in a Cathedral and I can't even pad the pews, so my hinder is getting very sore.

Peace and love.

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