Sunday, 21 February 2010

being reassimilated by the borg

well, I finally got my new shiny dell laptop complete with windows 7, despite dell's mildly appalling order tracking site simultaneously telling me it was due for delivery while the progress tracker still claimed that it ws still in the assembly plant in Malaysia.

Never mind, it did turn up the next day, and certainly as a machine it's pretty nice. But after two years never touching a windows machine, windows was a bit of a shock, or more accurately, the crap, especially the scareware, packaged with it was.

  • No I do not want the tracking service in case it is stolen
  • No I do not want the remote storage option, laudable as it may be, I have other machines, and other ways of storing data
  • No I do not want an evaluation version of Office 2007. I can buy it if I need it
  • No I do not want to install remote access software to let a call centre take control for remote fault diagnosis
  • Yes I do really want to use open office, even if it is written by a gang of hippies
  • Yes I do prefer Firefox - really
etc, etc - three days on I'm still weeding out crap. And windows still has a slightly clunky feel to it after OS X and Linux. Things like it saw the wireless router but I wanted to plug it into a wired connection while I downloaded data and software seemed to really confuse it, and other things are just not intuitive.

On the other hand it does seem to let me access the internet, access the computer's resources, and given that I live in the google ecology most of the time I'm online I can just about ignore it - which is a test of any good operating system.

I'm happy that with windows 7 I can do everything I can do with other operating systems, and so far windows seems stable, in other words reassimilation hasn't yet been the slightly annoying experience I half expected. Or more accurately Microsoft can't be blamed for the annoying crap shipped with their operating system. I'm particularly annoyed about the scareware, and things like having an antivirus service installed, when I've already got a subscription to another one.

It would be better if you were presented with a list of options, and more crucially for things like the tracker service, or the online backup service, that said it's $9.95 a month or whatever - sorry, but the way they had these things presented reminded me irrestibly of Ryanair and their desire to part people from their money.

As for windows, the only annoyance is that when I leave the machine in hibernate mode overnight, it wakes up to check for updates at three in the morning and then doesn't go back to hibernate mode. Ths is doubly annoying as I've got an illuminated flashing usb mouse on it (it was the cheapest in the store - honest), which of course fallhes half the night and means that the cat inevitably comes to tell me that the machine is flashing - letting the furry bugger sleep in the study was not one of my better moves.

1 comment:

dgm said...

I'm obviously not the only person to have had weird experiences with Dell's order status website ...