For some time now in addition to the day job, I've been holding another position, a role that is not paid, that receives little thanks, and is painful in the extreme. Many of you will be familiar with it. I am talking, of course, about the role of "Miscellaneous Family Computer Support". Around six weeks ago our household was hit by something bad. Something very bad.

We got our first Windoze PC.

Screenshot of my wife's PC. Well, kind of…

Shudder. Yes, this house has always been a Mac shop, and as such, the study has always been a hive of productivity, calmness, and gentle language. Not any more. Oh no. You can find me swearing as Win98 crashes for the umpteenth time, plug 'n' pray goes tits up, or the machine refuses to see the network. I won't drag you through all the pain, suffice it to say that yes, at the moment Win98 is the only option, yes, we have re-installed, and after the latest security service pack for IE6 (you know, those things M$ insist you install if you're to be a good citizen), my wife's PC now looks like the image above. I don't know how tech. support people do it — this kind of stuff just drives me up the wall.

Bag o'shite. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Windows sucks.

Further reading:
Mark Pilgrim: How to install Windows XP in five hours or less
Russell Beattie: Family Technical Support
Eric Albert: Computer problems


  1. LOL

    tits up…

    oh my. i AM easily amused, but that is just freakin funny. jonvon#
  2. Well, at this time we all know that Windoze sux.
    No matter if is W98 or Win NT or Win2K.

    I personally use W2k because is more stable (uh?) than the other and it provides me more functionalities than 98.

    But I hav to instal W98 in one of my partitions, since my musical software has some problems with 2k and sometimes they don't work properly (and they do it well in 98) so my disk will be partitioned and I'll be happy with the devil providing me the stuf to work and have fun.

    Dominocode.NetAlex Hernandez#
  3. heh heh heh.. that'll learn you development guys! Show us admins some respect, huh :-)Gerco Wolfswinkel#
  4. LOL! I have nothing but respect for administrators believe me. (Especially when they give me designer access to sort out my stupid mistakes ;-)).Ben Poole#
  5. Ben,

    My wife Amanda has just started working part-time at our kid's Primary School and has occasionally had to use the "W" thing (we only have Macs at home). I have given her a few quick tours of windows on work laptop and invariably her comment is "URK!".

    On the other hand, that doesn't stop anything that doesn't work properly (Word) or is not easy to use (Word, again) or pauses wierdly sometimes (see the pattern) on her G4 machine at home from being completely MY fault.

    Justin Justin Knol#
  6. The most amazing thing happened today. My WinXP machine crashed last night (surprise, surprise ;-)). When I started it up this morning, it told me there was a serious system failure and asked me if I'd like to submit a crash report. For giggles, I did. Amazingly, it analyzed the crash and then told me I had a problem with some common library from Symantec Anti-Virus and pointed me to a patch file to fix it. I'd say Microsoft has come a long way since Windows 98.Nik Shenoy#
  7. Come on guys - it is 2003 !
    Windows XP is far better than Win98, NT, or Win2k - keep up with the times ! Please - I don't want to start another PC/Mac war - but how well would a new mac run on an OS that's 5 years old with new devices etc that were brought 5/6 years after the OS was built ?John Daniells#
  8. My Mac Classic (vintage 1990) was working just fine when I sold it last year. My iMac (1998) still works just fine, whether that's with OS 8, OS 8.6 or OS X…

    Agreed re WinXP though: much better effort. But then again, it has a half-life ;-) Ben Poole#
  9. i used to feel this way though i never was a mac person (haven't used apple's since apple][). Getting tired of random crashes, spyware cleanups, norton system doctor fixing some and breaking some)

    breaking free from windows can actually be done (for home use only in my situation).
    there are excellent java ide's available for linux, though it might take a while to get accustomed to the OS it's certainly worth it IMO.
    These day's most things that cannot easily be done without any knowledge is because they are best NOT DONE without knowledge. But if you know how to find an article on google and read it you can definitely get aroundTom#

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I’m a software architect / developer / general IT wrangler specialising in web, mobile web and middleware using things like node.js, Java, C#, PHP, HTML5 and more.

Best described as a simpleton, but kindly. You can read more here.