Jukeboxparables

Reflections on the death of the Microsoft PC.

Posted in Random by jukeboxparables on December 19, 2009

So this is going to be a nerdier post than normal but bare with me it’ll only be short! Just last week I bought my first MAC. There’s nothing extraordinary about someone buying an Apple product of course except for the fact that I’ve long been the Microsoft/PC devotee. 21 years to be exact.

Here’s one of the first PCs I remember using It was a couple of years old at the time but it intrigued me never the less (I was only 5 though). The IBM 5150 released in 1981. I’m pretty sure it was running MS DOS 4.0 at the time.
IBM 5150

Between use of an Apple II at school and a hand full of other IBM’s along the way including an XT (8088) and then AT (80286) and onwards to a 386. All ran various versions of MS DOS up to 5.0 and then eventually 6.0 and the big leap to Windows 3.0 from various dos-based menu/manager apps like DOS’ XTree gold. Windows 3.0 was obviously a benchmark, later versions 3.1 and 3.11 building on it.
Windows 3.11

When Windows 95 came out I was on a 486 DX2 66 at the time. The whole while Apple had been doing their own thing arguably competing with Microsoft. Probably through selling their wares to Schools, but then again no one beats cramming a product down your throat like Microsoft. Between Windows 95, 95+, 98, 98se and probably up to Me if you were into gaming MACs just simply couldn’t keep up simply because the major gaming companies at the time were making their hits for the PC and that thing called the Internet and Online gaming had taken off.

By this time I’d owned a swathe of home-built Intel based PC’s. One thing you learned to do systematically just like waking up in the morning and going to the bathroom was to CLEAN-INSTALL Windows every few months and tweak every little thing to get it to run sweat. It was kind of like owning an old shitbox of a car that you loved because you knew all its creaks and faults and knew what had to be done to get her to get you home.

Sure I’d used other brands during this time, Apples OS and Unix/Linux ports but as a kid you go with the flow and don’t really think outside the box. So Windows stuck.

I remember having conversations with mates/gamers circa the early/mid 90’s about the future of PC’s and ‘how awesome’ it’ll be say… in the year 2000 when MS release their OS of the era and computers will take 5sec to boot and be stable and perfect and fast, at the time we literally had to wait 2-3min for bootups. What I didn’t realise is I kind of held onto this view post 2000. Windows Me came and went and then we got XP and Vista. I stuck by XP and built my last PC around it a few years back. Simply because Vista was a pile of crap.

It wasn’t all Microsoft’s fault, I’d also used an array of FUCKING TERRIBLE laptops over the years from major companies to smaller ones, most of these just weren’t put together that well. I’ve actually got a Toshiba laptop kicking around that’s about 5years old, I clean-installed XP on it (you’ll note that the specs of said laptop are 3+years advanced of XP being released so it should nail running XP right?) Boot time = 6minutes. I shit you not (and thats tweaked, nothing on startup!)

Fast forward to a few weeks back. It’s the year 2009, my PC is 3yrs old and was setup perfectly back when. No clean-install/formats this time round just various MS Service Pack updates. I’d been putting up with a bunch of strange errors for months, like the PS2 ports not recognising my mouse (you had to enter windows, reset and then they’d come online)

Boot time of my uberspec Windows PC in 2009? Well by the time you got rid of the waiting Icon it was bordering on 4minutes. I KNEW how to solve all this of course the patented clean-install that I’ve literally done 100’s of times over the last 2 decades (I’ve never been a fan of MS disk defrag)

And then it hit me, THIS IS NONSENSE. Instead of coding better, learning how to allocate memory properly to make a sleek world killing OS Microsoft have just gotten worse. Upgrades in hardware should have yielded speedier and more stable computers, instead they’ve yielded sloppy programming. Clean-install? FUCK THAT. I shouldn’t have to do it, NOT ANYMORE!

I of course was aware Apple made a stable OS, they’ve been the staple of design firms with photoshop/photo import employees (not to mention Video editing) for the last decade or more. I’d never liked the things but when Apple switched to an Intel based package awhile back I slowly started to take notice.

Purchasing an iPhone a few months back and being astounded at its native OS (running 1month without being switched off, no errors, no lag, not 1 error) really made me start to look at Apple differently.

Windows 7? I’m not falling for it Microsoft, not this time. It’s the same deal, you’ve had 20years to give me something solid and you’ve failed. According to a few sources Microsoft still has something like 85% of Market share. I suspect theres a lot of oldschool computer users out there exactly like me setting up their PC’s to run sweet and then dealing with ‘cute’ quirks you can iron out. But you shouldn’t have to, really. It’s basically 2010 damnit.

Sure my MACBOOK PRO still has it’s new computer feel, but after using friends MACs which are years old and still run like clockwork I’m sure this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

It’s a total class act of a machine. Brilliance.
Apple Store New York

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