25 May 2010

Windows 7. Microsoft. Bastards.


Three days since my old PC, that used Microsoft XP, died and I replaced it with a new PC that uses Windows 7. Microsoft, when they imposed Windows 7 on unsuspecting customers, are bastards.

They even managed to fuck-up solitaire: it wasn't broken, but they went ahead and "fixed" it, "improved" it, anyway. They made a clear simple fun game so bizarrely over-busy so that I don't enjoy playing W7 solitaire - because it hurts my eyes just to look at it. Its over-busy design elements (cursor-on halos round cards; stupid outlines around cards and permanent outlines around even the empty spaces where you know very well cards can and do go - outlines which DO NOT APPEAR on your table top when you use a real deck of cards; horribly busy, needless-sheened-&-shaded, fuzzy-resolution suit symbol, card face and back designs that hurt to look at) and the overall excessively busy visual design hurt my eyes just to look upon the screen. It is now visually painful just to play this game whose earlier design made it fun to play. Not only that, but instead of getting DEAL AGAIN? at game's end, I now see pop-up Third Degree screens that give me a no less than two-step Third Degree just so I can , you know, DEAL AGAIN. Microsoft. Bastards.

It seems that, unlike XP, with this W7 I can't even set another e-mail program as my default e-mail. When I tried to learn how to do this in W7 the Microsoft in-computer and online "support" (Ha!) Full Of Empty Useless Crap screens just sent me round in circles without affording a means to replace - what else! - Microsoft's crappy e-mail program as my default e-mail.

Tabs: Can't make my browser open new sites in tabs - the browser insists on opening them in whole new windows. Microsoft. Bastards.

Taskbar: now, instead of instantly reading the XP-style app-icons in the taskbar, Microsoft removed the text on the app-icons which are now, in W7, nothing but dumb fucking symbols...onto which I now must place my cursor to make a mini-thumbnail of the app pop up: so Microsoft took a no-step function and turned it into a 1) move-cursor, 2) wait for thumbnail pop-up, 3) read thumbnail pop-up, 4) move cursor back where I need it to be four step pain in my ass. Nothing like one giant leap backward for mankind there, back to Bronze Age pictographs. Microsoft. Bastards.

Games: they took away pinball which, aside from solitaire (which, as we learned above, Microsoft has now ruined, turned into an implement of torture), was the only other pre-installed computer game I enjoyed playing.

My Pictures folders: in XP My Pictures folder icons showed wee thumbnails of their contents - so that you could ID the contents by the wee thumbnails or by reading the folder icon text. But W7 "improves" - screws this up - Big Time by giving us folder icons that are half-fanned open so that you can't tell what the now in-perspective half-hidden and now distorted icon thumbnails are - it forces you to read the icon text, deprives you of ID-ing the folder by the useful old style wee thumbnails. Microsoft. Bastards.

I have lots more serious complaints against Microsoft, but this is a blog entry, not a book in several volumes.

Atop all those serious flaws, W7 has so-called "HELP" screens and links to Microsoft "support" web pages - both of which, as was also true of Windows, Windows 2000, and Windows XP, send you round in neverending circles while never answering your simplest fucking questions. Microsoft. Bastards.

And I'm still waiting for a simple, thoughtful, kind, eminently humane app, or feature, that lets me disable, or reassign, keyboard keys - just so I can disable the endless pain-in-my-ass CAPSLOCK and INSERT keys that daily waste more of my time than I'd waste waiting everyday in the line at the Division Of Motor Vehicles.

Guess what, Microsoft? When in the usual three - at most four- years this new desktop Windows 7 PC dies, I'M BUYING A MAC!

Microsoft, you just insulted and lost a customer, turned her into a Cassandra who will tell everyone she knows how shitty Microsoft products and services are, how worthless and insulting Microsoft "customer service" and "support" are, and how Microsoft holds its customers in utter contempt: I can't even get to talk to anyone at Microsoft, because Microsoft has the gall to let me know (only after I navigated through dozens of their defensive fortifications' screen pages of automated Growing Frustration & Customer Insult & Defeat steps) that for this brand-new Microsoft product I would have to PAY THEM TO TALK TO ONE of their minor "support" employees.

Buy another PC with Microsoft in it? NOT FUCKING AGAIN. Not even with someone else's money.

14 May 2010

The Doormat Medal


Now circulating for approval round the US command in Kabul, Afghanistan is a proposal for a medal to be awarded to members of the US armed forces who show "courageous restraint" in execution of the COIN tactics mischosen and misapplied by General Petraeus and his ilk. This decoration deserves to be called what it is: the Doormat Medal. (Other suggestions: the Dhimmi Cross; the Dhimmi Disc; the Yellow Stain [apologies to Herman Wouk]; the I Have Not Yet Begun To Have Been Allowed To Fight medal; the Allahu Akbar Award; the Afghanistan Highway Safety & Transportation Certificate of Demerit; the "Kick Me" medal; the "By All Means, Do Tread On Me" medal; the WAOU [pronounced "Wow."] - Walk All Over Us - award; the Anti-Campaign medal; the Punching Bag Star; the Eat Shit And Die medal; the Why We Don't Fight medal; and the Loser's Badge.)

If this "honor" is indeed instituted, then I will want a custom rug woven in the color pattern of its ribbon, so that each time I enter or exit my home I'll walk all over it and think hard on the lives of our boys and girls surrendered gratis to the enemy - the lives handed, by our spineless "leaders", unnecessarily, avoidably, and unconscionably to the enemy under the horrifyingly misconceived, appallingly inapt, utterly stupid kid gloves COIN "strategy." Nothing like sending the right message to our enemies, is there?