Before we get started, let me lay down some ground rules for comments. First, you can say whatever you want: I don't censor people who disagree with me. However: if you leave a comment that plainly shows that you did NOT READ everything I said here AND every single comment that precedes yours, I'm going to delete your comment no matter what it says. Got that? I'm sick up to my ears with people who read a headline and jump to the comments section with their reaction.
I'm writing this as a follow up to my recent "I hate Windows" post. That post attracted some attention from The Linux Hater's Blog and brought a few of their readers here. Of course lovers of that blog wouldn't find much to like here.. nevertheless I'm going to explain exactly why I hate Windows.
Heck, I don't consider myself an expert at anything. I'm a generalist: I've been kicking around computers since 1967 so I know a bit about this and that, but I'm no expert at any part of the field. I did obtain a Microsoft MCSE a long, long time ago (NT 4 days) but I have not kept up with that at all. I do read a bit about Microsoft internals (I liked Russinovitch's "Windows Internals", for example) but I don't live it daily and I'd bet against me passing a current MCSE test without a few months of catch-up first.
Not that I'm helpless at a Windows console. Unfortunately, I regularly run into so-called Windows support people who are a lot closer to helpless than I am, so yeah, sometimes I do some Windows troubleshooting. Only when I have to in some other context and only when the folks who should have been doing it are getting nowhere.. nobody should call me for a stand-alone Windows problem.
Well, except my neighbors - loosely defined as the 800 or so families who live in the same retirement community as I do. I WILL help those folks out with Windows problems - as a first responder. I don't charge them anything. I try to help them if I can. If I can't, I refer them on to someone who can (and who will charge them). Of course most Windows problems are fairly easy, so I do help more than I refer off, but that doesn't make me an "expert". Mostly it means I know how to use Google.
I'm not a Mac fanboy either. I am a Unix fanboy, and honestly that's the major reason I hate Windows: it's not Unix. Yeah, I know: I can put Services For Unix on and yeah, if I really HAD to put up with Windows, that really would take away a lot of the sting. Fortunately, I can run Linux and Mac OS X instead.
Microsoft really is the anti-unix. Their programming philosophy is just completely opposite to Unix and I just hate that. They are anti-unix in more direct ways too: through ignorance or design, they have mucked up long standing protocols and practices. Whether it's ignorance or deliberate doesn't really matter: I still hate it.
Many Windows people forget or just don't know that Unix was here first. It's very annoying to have someone come along and muck things up. It's even more annoying when they get so popular that a lot of bleeping morons think that things SHOULD be done their way!
Yeah, yeah, yeah: it's just business. No, it's not: it's cut-throat, take no prisoners, morals be damned business and I think it is disgusting. I hate to see greed succeed.
There's no point in telling me that Gates is no worse than X, Y or Z. I know that. But I still don't like him or his company. For me, they are the Evil Empire. That other Evil Empires exist is unimportant. That Apple or Red Hat or anyone else could be just as evil doesn't matter either: I don't like Microsoft, Inc.
I do buy their stock though. I can't lose with that: if they go out of business, I'll be happy personally and if they put everyone else out I ought to make money.
I'm hoping to lose everything I put in.
My wife uses an XP machine. I hate it - it's slow to boot and even after Windows starts and teases you with a desktop, you can't do anything for minutes because it's doing other stuff. That's a design flaw in its process manager coupled with the need for virus software and a lot of other apparently poorly written background programs and overall it just adds to my dislike. The constant security updates are also annoying - yes, it's because Windows is so popular that it gets attacked so much, but that doesn't change the fact that it does get attacked.. constantly. And until Vista, the basic security model sucked: a user really has to be an Administrator or things get VERY annoying, but of course that leads to easier attack vectors. Vista is better.. but it doesn't begin to match my Mac!
I'm trying to get my wife off that XP and on to Mac. She's stubborn but we can't ignore that XP patches will stop sooner or later.. she isn't going to like learning Vista or Win 7, so maybe I can switch her then.. if not, I'll buy a new Vista or Win 7 box. Sigh..
And frankly, a lot of Windows folks are ignorant. I see that constantly: if all you've ever done is Windows, you don't know very much. That doesn't make you stupid and it isn't meant to be insulting - it's just fact. I've worked on CP/M, Pick, OS/360, TRS-80 Basic and TRS-80 Assembly, MSDOS, TRS-DOS, Tandy Xenix, Microsoft Xenix, SCO Unix, BSD, Solaris, AIX, Linux, old Macs and new.. I know a LOT of stuff those Windows only folks never will know. I also know a bit about programming: Assembly, Cobol, C, Basic, Perl.. no "expert" at any of them, but there's a lot of road that has passed under my shoes. This is a weak reason to dislike Windows as an operating system, but it does play a small part in my dislike: a lot of Wiindows folks just don't know much. I frankly get insulted when one of them casts aspersions at my qualifications and knowledge because it really is the case that I've probably forgotten more than some of 'em ever have known.
Of course how to send a report out of an ancient Pick's system serial port isn't exactly knowledge any of us need any more. At least I hope I never need that again..
Still, when somebody has worked on all those different systems over all those years, their opinion of an OS deserves some respect. My opinion is that Windows sucks. OK? If all you've ever done is run Windows for the past five or ten years, I'm sorry but your opinion doesn't mean squat to me. No offense. Oh, heck, yes I do mean offense.
So there it is. Tear me apart if you wish, but remember my warning about comments: if your comments shows you skipped or scanned, it's deleted. OK?
See also Why I love Unix.
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More Articles by Anthony Lawrence © 2012-09-15 Anthony Lawrence