Now blogging at diego's weblog. See you over there!

back to windows (for now) part deux

It's now about 6 hours or so since I began the reinstall. Seeing the install/update/patch process all at once is quite an experience. I've spent now close to two hours downloading updates and patches (at 50 KBytes/sec!). First, there was a batch of about five "critical" updates (10 MB). Warning! Your PC may do bad things if you don't install it! and so on. Then Windows Update suggested Service Pack 4. 50 MB. Right after SP4 installed, another check (this time thinking that was it), and now there were twenty (TWENTY!) Critical-install-this-right-now-or-it's-the-end-of-the-world-as-you-know-it patches. Another 50 MB. Plus, I'm not even done with the "recommended" patches (rather than those that are "critical"), which also fix problems for various calamities that might visit you or your loved ones if you don't apply them.

Can anyone in their right mind think that this is normal? We have gotten used to this whole patching idea, but it's ludicruous. By now, every security warning, every patch, elicits a "oh, another one of those...". Mind you, lots of those patches are not just security problems, many are bugfixes that apparently have various disastrous consequences under different circumstances.

Windows is not going away. Would it be much to ask of Microsoft that instead of drooling all over XAML or whatever new thing they are planning to conquer the world with, they would put their considerable resources and smarts to find a solution? You know, I think that Longhorn would be fantastic if instead of all the thingamagic promiseware that it will supposedly have, it was simply Windows XP (or even 2000) and it just worked. Who cares about 3D icons if I'll probably need to find a new "3D Icon critical patch" every fifteen seconds?

Sorry, I know that this has been discussed to death, everyone knows this, Microsoft knows this... but the experience of seeing this whole process in the space of a couple of hours has activated my gripe-cells. We now return to our original programming.

Posted by diego on November 18 2003 at 4:13 PM

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