You may or may not have gathered that I am in no way an Apple “fanboy”. I have owned iPods in the past, I currently have an iPad, but my phones have always been Android, and my laptop is Windows. I have used Macs in the past, but that was in high school, and back then they were known by their full name of Macintosh—that one like you see in Café 80s in “Back to the Future 2”. It was that boxy looking thing that had a 3.5-inch floppy drive immediately under the tiny black and white monitor. In junior high (now called middle or intermediate)—7th and 8th grades—we used the really archaic Apple IIe’s. The students had green monochrome monitors; the teacher was the only one who had the fancy color screen. Yeah, I’m dating myself big time.

I write all my blog posts on my laptop—an HP laptop running Windows 10. It’s what I’m familiar with, and I really can’t see spending $1500 on a MacBook. Along with Windows comes the frustrations Microsoft is known for. It used to be that, in Windows 7 and before, if you didn’t want to update your computer, it was easy to ignore them or turn it off. In Windows 10, however, you have no choice. You can delay it a little, but you can’t avoid the inevitable. Windows says, “Update now?” To which you reply no. Back and forth until finally Windows goes, “I update anyway”. And every time there’s even the smallest update, a total system restart is required, for some godforsaken reason. Sometimes those restarts are quick. When there’s a feature update, though, dear god, prepare to be without your computer for a while. It’s like when your phone has an OS update (iOS 13 to 14, or Android 9 to 10), only much more drawn out. The absolute worst one had to be when Microsoft forced the Windows 10 update. Some people were about 24 hours waiting for that damned update to finish. One time, I had an update that went all night long.

Thankfully, I don’t see this much anymore, but Windows (especially the fiasco known as Windows 8) used to be plagued with the “blue screen of death” (BSOD). Everything would dead stop, the screen would go black turn blue and a sad face emoticon—not emoji; the old colon-open parenthesis emoticon—would appear with some kind of error message, then Windows would restart. Generally, this happened in the middle of something extremely important or while you were working on something that hadn’t saved yet. Either way, it was particularly frustrating, especially when it would just suddenly, randomly appear. Imagine a college student working on a really important research paper. They’re typing away furiously, and they don’t think about saving their work occasionally. They’re almost done, then the computer freezes. Everything is stuck, the screen goes blank, then the BSOD shows up. The student’s heart sinks and panic/desperation take over. All that work blown up in cyberspace. More than once when I saw these errors, it was all I could do to keep myself from sending my fist through the fucking LCD panel.

I now leave you the quote of the day:

“A computer is a general-purpose machine with which we engage to do some of our deepest thinking and analyzing. This tool brings with it assumptions about structuredness, about defined interfaces being better. Computers abhor error.”

Ellen Ullman

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