A good friend of mine does a lot of free lance computer graphics. Several years ago I helped her build a system she had always dreamed of having. This week she asked me to help her replace a couple of case fans that quit. As part of my assistance I took home her Win7 netbook, because it hasn’t updated in a couple of years. It was choked with malware and it took a mixture of tools to get it clean. And being a low-spec machine, we agreed she could do without a lot manufacturer bloatware. Mostly it meant turning off the switches that autoload this crap when the machine starts. But the system updates took two days, as is typical with Win7 and later.
I read a rather detailed report about that. Up through WinXP, it was just a matter of replacing files and it didn’t take too long. Starting with Vista, MS decided to keep the old versions of the files and do tons of cross-checking with every update because too many users were tinkering with the process. Can you imagine? People refusing updates that weren’t working too well, or did something they didn’t like? So now updates take forever to make sure you didn’t skip anything they want to force down your throat. When people complain of the delays and having their system hijacked with “Do not turn off your computer” running for half a day, MS basically said they don’t care if you don’t like it.
So while I was working over this poor little netbook, her main system died — right as she was finishing a big project. Panic ensued. Okay, that’s an exaggeration, but she had been thinking about replacing it. I was helping her research the possibility of a refurbished high-end CAD computer, but now she may just have to settle for what’s on the shelf locally. She was hoping to find a gap in her projects because there is an awful lot of specialized software she has to install, some of it just to run the wide selection of machinery to cut and print stuff. That takes a couple of days by itself because most of it has to be tested, and some calibrated.
It’s nice to be working again, but because of my empathy for her situation, it shows up in my dreams. Welcome to the real world.