© Copyright 1999, Jim Loy
I've been complaining about lots of things, poor products, poor service, rip offs, stupidity, Exxon and Conoco don't trust me. So I should complain about the really big problem in my life, Microsoft Windows. Computers seem to be a trap. They make you depend on them for more and more, and then crash, they take it all away. And Windows is involved in most of these crashes.
There are big crashes (lose all your files, have to reformat) and little crashes, lots of little crashes. Hardly a day goes by, on my computer without a little crash. I've got a 200 MHz Pentium, which seems to drag. What, do I have a virus? No, it may just be the virus protection program, which is busy searching. Well, that's not Bill Gates' fault, Peter Norton wrote that one. And some day, I will be happy that Peter wrote it. Anyway, a few minutes ago, I double clicked on "My Computer" and it took 17 seconds for the window to show up on my screen. I rebooted the computer, and then it took about a third of a second for that window to show up on the screen. Memory problem? I've got 64 Meg of memory. I was in heaven when my Apple ][+ had 64K of memory. Do I have to reboot 2 or 3 times a day, to get back my memory, and avoid crashes?
When I call up the Internet, Windows' dial up program has forgotten my password, and it has forgotten that I chose to disable call waiting. So, I have to type the password every time, and AT&T interrupts my connection, because they want to save me money.
Many (maybe about 1/10) of the game CDs that I buy will not install. I assume that they install on everyone else's computer, as their tech support wizards don't seem to have a clue about my problems. Everyone in the world (almost) has a Pentium with Windows. Why do some programs fail to install on some Pentiums with Windows? My checkers program wouldn't install. It turned out to be a dll file with an incorrect date stamp. I blame that one on Bill Gates, personally. Did he write that one?
Have you ever tried renaming the extension on a file name? Let's rename whatever.txt to whatever.bak. It becomes whatever.bak.txt. I have to go to DOS to rename it. When I double click on an htm file, I would like Netscape to open, not Internet Explorer. How do I change that?
When I go to DOS, it doesn't see my CD drive. What, no autoexec.bat file? Or is it the config.sys? I suppose I have to find my CD installation diskette, and run the DOS installation. Right? The people that I bought my computer from (I will complain about them some other day) said that I don't need an autoexec.bat or a config.sys. I bought a scanner with my computer, and it has never scanned once, ever.
And I cannot program in Access (Microsoft's "visual" database language for Windows). Everyone raves about how easy it is. And, I cannot do what I want, in Access. I thought I was a good programmer. But, I cannot figure out Access. I feel like an idiot, every time I program. I'm sure the people who hired me think I am an idiot, too. I've spent dozens of hours just trying to format a simple form for a generic printer.
I recently configured my Norton Utilities to show me how much physical memory I had available at any given time. I was shocked to find that it was often zero, with no programs running except Norton (which turned out to be using less than 5 meg of my 64 meg of memory). There were things constantly resident in memory (dll's and exe's) which took up almost all of memory. So, nearly every program that I ran was probably running in virtual memory. No wonder I had a slow computer. Windows probably has all those dll's in memory to speed things up! I recently got 64 more meg of memory, still frustratingly slow, but a noticeable improvement. But I imagine that now that I have more memory, Windows now puts more dll's into memory. Actually, Windows probably removes unneeded dll's to make room for whatever program you want to load.
I received email informing me that I can usually use quotes to rename whatever.txt to "whatever.bak". I gotta try that. It works!