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scrottie (4167)

scrottie
  scott@slowass.net
http://slowass.net/

My email address is scott@slowass.net. Spam me harder! *moan*

Journal of scrottie (4167)

Sunday November 14, 2004
12:48 AM

My friends all use Microsoft Windows

[ #21842 ]
It happened again today. I ran into a friend I hadn't seen in a week or so and they (she, in this case) cheerfully told me, "I'm thinking of taking my [new] computer back to the store - it locked up again". Confused but sensing looming potential deeper confusion, I quickly point out that lockups are usually software, and not hardware, and she can do something about that. She continues, "Well, I had to unplug it again because the power button wouldn't work, so I used the CD that came with it, and it deleted all of my data, again". Head scratching time - why is that Microsoft Windows users will sacrifice all of their data at the alter like Abraham when Christian-God asked him to kill his son?

Error - Microsoft wants to delete all of your data - click "OK" to procede. ... "OK!"

I know what my new years resolution is - to get everyone hooked on Knoppix in some capacity - as an emergency Internet access device when Windows is having trouble, or for a collection of free software, or an alternative, or whatever... Microsoft Windows users want back on the 'net. They want to IM their buddies, upload their pictures, and do these other social things, and having persistant data is seen as a sort of luxury - at least among non-advanced users.

After I pointed out to this particular friend that "it's probably Microsoft's software screwing up, not the hardware, if I can take a look at it, I can tell you and probably fix it" retorted, "but I didn't have any Microsoft software open when it happened - I didn't have Word open, only IE!". Of course, she completely ignored that Microsoft wrote the operating system which I quickly pointed out, to which she instantly read a challenge and pre-emptively retorted "but I like Windows! It's so easy to use!". I did not continue and point out that she spends more time reinstalling software than using it. Like an old '57 Chevy truck, it runs like crap, but users know how to fix it and they don't depend on any fancy mechanics or tools to fix it so they sure as hell aint gunna switch. Windows empowers users (gag) to help themselves - this friend doesn't need Linux toting dorks like me to help her out - all she has to do is blow away all of her data and reinstall all of her software... monthly. That's a small price to pay for independence - I suppose. Though, is accepting help from computer geeks really that bad? A lot of us are very nice about it... non-condescending, and only pointing out things about Windows matter-of-factly without any expectation that our friends will give it up (we got over those expectations years ago).

Knoppix lacking persistant secondary storage (when booted out-of-the-box by a non-technical user who won't mount a filesystem read-write) doesn't really suffer a handicap. Windows already essentially lacks persistant storage - except through use of the CD burner. Without a harddrive at all, Knoppix is still preferable in many cases where a user doesn't want to sit around re-installing software all the time. And I'm aware most CD restore disks will refrain from reformatting the drive first... I'm not exactly sure what's going on in this case, but I've seen this feature fail to be realized numerous times for numerous reasons when it was present.

Yes, I know, this is really a topic for hates-software.com....

-scott
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