Not too very long ago, my then current PC (I’m a PC) began to show signs of it’s old age. It no longer could keep up with some of the tasks that I was giving it. Rather than plod along with the slow machine, I decided that it was time to make the upgrade to a new PC. And no, buying a Mac never even crossed my mind.
Why? Because I find the cultish following that Macs have to be offputting. I mean, come on. We get that you love your Mac. You want to have it’s babies. And Steve Jobs’ babies too. I don’t get it. I really don’t have that much experience with the Apple line of computers, but it would have to make me some toast in the morning for me to think it’s all that you all say it is.
But I digress. This isn’t a post about how crazy you Mac cultists are. It’s about my new PC!
I don’t buy retail for things like this. At least very rarely. I came pretty close to it this time around, but my better senses kicked in and I went to the old standby. eBay. I like eBay. The PC that I bought could have very easily cost me nearly $2000 retail. I paid about $550. When I bought the previous PC (over 7 years ago), it was top of the line. The best and brightest of everything. I got over 7 years of use out of it and I only added a few minimal things along the way. The new PC, isn’t quite the best and brightest, but it has way more power than I could hope to use. Intel Quad Core. 3GB RAM. 720GB 7200 RPM HD. Nothing too fancy, but way more than what I had. It’s the equivalent of upgrading from a model T to a Corvette. Buckle up Dorothy, Kansas is going bye-bye. (5 completely meaningless points to the first geek that can name that movie)
The one thing that bothered me when looking for my new PC was that most of them seemed to be coming with Windows Vista installed. From the reviews I had read and a few personal references, I really wasn’t looking forward to using it. I’ve gotten quite comfortable with Windows XP and really didn’t want to trade in my rather steady OS for one that bombs all the time.
So, with some trepidation, I made the purchase. I set the machine up, powered it on, and began the journey into Vista. And I liked it. There are a few things that I really didn’t care for. User Account Control? That’s the program that prompts you every time you press a key to make sure that your really wanted to press that key. “Are you sure you wanted to press the T key? Because it looked a little like you wanted to press the Y key and I just wanted to make sure.” Supremely annoying. Not to mention somewhat insulting. I’ve been a Windows user for many years and I would even consider myself somewhat of a superuser. Please allow me to do most simple tasks without prompting.
A couple of quick searches later and that was disabled. And other than that, there have been very little things that I’ve either gotten over or fixed.
But, why do I like Vista? It’s intuitive. Once you learn the organization of the resources (which takes little time at all), you have all of the regularly used things at the tip of your little white arrow. Want to find your documents? Games? Music? All two clicks away. The start menu has drop down hierarchal program lists, not some silly drop down that only works if you have the mouse pointer positioned just so. And did I mention that it’s prettier? The desktop widgets are great. And yes, I know they stole that idea. I don’t care that they aren’t the innovator. There aren’t too many products in any value stream that are truly innovators unless their niche is relatively new.
And, all those problems with devices and programs not working with Vista? I’ve only had one problem. A program that I installed had an older version of the divX program packaged with it. I kept getting funny errors about the COM Surrogate service dying. Installed the new version of the divX program and it went away. No other problems.
Perhaps with time, I’ll learn to dislike Vista. But, I’m also reminded that I actually am one of a select few that didn’t think that Windows Me was all that bad. So what if you had to reinstall every year or so… 😉