Thursday, February 14, 2002
The Long, Slow Tale of an XP Upgrade
So, as mentioned in a previous post... I decided to upgrade to Windows XP. Yeah, some of you are laughing at me right now, I know it. Pipe down, you. Here's why...
I rarely upgrade anything unless I'm forced to... unless there's an obvious, in-my-face reason to do so. Like a game I can't play, some web content that I can't take advantage of properly, or a bug that I can't solve without new software. I was doing just fine with Windows 98SE and IE5.5 until a couple months ago... a defect in IE5.5 reared it's bug-ugly head and bit me often. You see, Internet Explorer would not shut down. Sure, the window would close... but if you checked in the Task Manager, there it would sit... IExplore.exe. It'd hang there for awhile until it crashed, popping up an error message telling you so. So you click, and it closes. Not a huge deal, really, but it wouldn't let me shut down my machine right away... I'd have to sit there staring at the screen until it errored out, or I forced the process dead with five clicks. Try a few months of that. Slightly annoying.
I tried upgrading to IE6... no luck. I tried uninstalling IE5.5 and reinstalling. Nope. I tried removing all sorts of extra programs thinking one had caused the problem. Nada. I searched the web and found many other people with this problem... but none with answers. Well, there was one answer... wipe your hard drive and start from scratch. You see, I don't mind doing that every once in awhile. I like starting clean, getting rid of the junk, a new hard drive and a stripped down system. But it takes time.
Last Saturday, I had that time... and I figured... hey, if I'm starting from scratch, let's go all the way. Why not XP? (ok, don't answer that). I was initally opposed to XP because of MS's gestapo piracy tactics (you can't buy one and put it on two or three of your home machines... you have to buy one for every machine because it 'activates' itself over the internet, and associates the install with the MAC address of your network card. Weak.) I understand why they did this, but it pissed me off that I couldn't throw it on Amie's machine. I like her to have what I have, y'know? But I buckled down, figuring if it was as great as certain people said it was, maybe we'd buy her a copy, too. Do our part to help the economy and all that.
So, I installed it. And I'll say one thing... it's beautiful to look at. When I bought it, I also dropped down a chunk of change for a new flat screen LCD monitor, so I'm sure that's not hurting the visual goodness that's coming at me from my desk. The more Windows looks like a Mac OS, the prettier it gets. Irony, how I love thee.
Yeah, WinXP looks great. And so far, it's smooth as silk. IE6 is treating me nicely (except for the little BlogThis! hiccup... see link below), and the operating system as a whole seems very, very stable... and pretty damn fast. I easily found drivers for my hardware (network card, soundblaster live, scanner, camera, etc), and only ran into one real software glitch. The (sarcasm) fine folks (/sarcasm) at Roxio decided that they were not going to make Easy CD Creator compatible with WinXP. Yup. They were using this new operating system as a means to make any of their current users buy a whole new copy of Easy CD Creator 5. You see... when I bought my Toshiba CD Burner, it included Easy CD 4. That's what I use. I paid for it as part of the price, folks. And now, since I've upgraded, they want me to buy it again? Well, politely, screw you guys.
Fortunately, the wonderful Musicmatch Jukebox, which I have a license for, allows me to burn audio CDs. It's not a job I've ever used MMJB for... I pretty much just used it to convert cds and other files to mp3, but now that I've tried it, I can live with it. And WinXP has a handy 'drag and drop' feature for burning data cds... so no need for Easy CD Creator Freakin' 5. No more money for you guys!
So that's it... the only snag. It's been over a week and WinXP is still going strong. Some minor trouble with some Soundblaster drivers (easily fixed with a WinXP patch) not withstanding, I can't complain... yet. I'm sure that by writing this fascinating little story I have completely jinxed myself. If I get home and Medal of Honor doesn't work, I'll do you all a favor and punch myself in the head.
live in cambridge, ma
on november 14th, 2008
previously: joy formidable - boston 2011
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