Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Why Machines Should Not Be Smarter Than Their Owners

I have been outsmarted, yet again, by Windows 7.

I am a PC person. Macs and I just do not seem to get along and I have always had PCs. I have always had my qualms with Windows, but Linux, in my limited experience with it (a much older version), was far too complicated. Even though the Windows interface is unintuitive and cumbersome, I like the ability that if you play around with it for long enough, you can figure out how to troubleshoot problems. Windows 7 has changed this one feature that I actually like.

My Windows 7 changes features on its own whim, and no matter how much I explore the computer, I cannot seem to get them back. I had a problem with a program whose settings had mysteriously been truncated by my over-zealous operating system (I was provided some warning about compatibility issue only after I had been searching for a remedy for the better part of an hour), and I found that the only solution was to uninstall the program and reinstall from scratch. It was absurd.

When I was at the airport coming back from my Alma Mater the last time, I had the unlucky coincidence of being placed at the gate where the Windows 7 people were advertising the media capabilities of the operating systems by having people take a picture with a Santa-impersonator. Although little kids seemed excited, the young representatives were encouraging adults as well. I was getting sick and feeling fairly miserable. One young rep had the unfortunate gall to come and ask me what operating system I was using on my laptop and trying to get a picture. I tried to courteously decline at first, but when he started questioning me on the operating system, I let out a tirade about everything that bothered it about me in a cold tone. The man, trying to maintain his advertisers attitude sort of sheepishly invited me again and scooted off to bother someone else.

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