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Life in a Nutshell

Week of July 21, 2002
There is always hope, no?

If you haven't eXPerienced XP, do yourself a favour: Don't even attempt it, especially without a helmet.

I got a copy from a Georgia Tech Fellow who got it with a new box. He of course was smart enough to dump the virus OS before a really nasty thing got hold of his documents etc.

It is worse than the pictures show. And someone at MS was definitely smoking some leaf or herb, not tobacco. To begin with, there is the 'new easy installation' process, where it does things to your computer while you watch (and you hope it isn't doing something nasty - it is, but there is always hope, no?).

To begin the process, be certain you have brewed about a gallon of double caffeine latte, and add lots of sugar. You are going to need all this energy to fight for control of your computer.

As the very first thing, before you even have a desktop, it wants to call the mothership. This is not a good sign. You are told by a list on the left of your screen that the install will take 'about' 57 minutes ('about' here is an understatement).

On a PIII it didn't do anything for the first 57 minutes except show me 'Gatesisms' - adverts for the product which apparently are supposed to make you believe it's a good thing that nothing appears to be happening aside from this.

'We at Microsoft have created the finest operating system in the world with our new Windows XP Professional.'

(Can't you just hear the little weasel doing a keynote speech while his software does nothing?)

What is worse, the bloody stuff repeats, over and over. Eventually it says it will now inspect your hardware, and the counter moves to 45 minutes.

When I started I had just loaded a Bawls (a super caffeine drink which tastes a bit like a Shirley Temple, 16 ounces over about 16 ounces of crushed ice). It's a monstrous drink, and I normally need 45 minutes to finish one, but now I got to drink three before XP got to the 45 minute marker, so the first twelve minutes actually took two and a half hours.

As this pig iron son of a steel dog kludge finally began having some movement on the install screen that wasn't advertising (but alarmingly, no lights on the actual computer, say the hard disk lights), I finally began to see what _might_ be a movement toward an actual install mode - but no, false alarm: a message appears at the bottom of the screen:

'XP has now gathered enough information to install Windows. It will now copy installation files to your computer.'

The counter moves to 30 minutes. An ugly little bar opens on the left of the screen, under some of the alleged installation information, and as something might be actually happening, it turns slooooooowly green...


More later.


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