Sunday, October 21, 2007

Computer, computer, computer

Found this article on cnet, which pretty much sums up my fears about Vista.  Or, more precisely, gives me a real live actual expert opinion for the gut feeling I've been having all along.

Then, today, my computer started giving me behavior that suggested it wants to be replaced.  I used my computer in the morning, then, when I ran out for lunch, I put it to sleep, rather than shutting it off.  Came home and moved the mouse -- which should wake it up.  It woke.  Sort of.  My wallpaper showed up.  No icons on top of it.  Just wallpaper.  I could move the mouse around, but there wasn't anything to click on.

Tried ctrl-alt-del.  Nada.  Pushed the power button the tower.  Zip.

This has happened before.  Actually, it's been surprisingly common with this computer.  The solution is to crawl under my desk and turn off the power via the line-splitter.  Power off.  Power on.  Computer turns on.  Icons appear.

I need to check an email on AOL.  Double-click on AOL.  Opens.  I sign in.  AOL gets in, then freezes before showing me the Welcome screen.  I ctrl-alt-del out of it.  Windows task manager takes a few minutes but then agrees that "this application has failed to respond."  Duh. 

I reopen AOL.  The process repeats.  I ctrl-alt-del out of that, too.

Give up and check the email via the internet.  Turn off computer.  It takes some time to shut down, deciding that an AOL piece of software is frozen.  (Duh again.)  I tell it to end the application and it finally shuts down.  Go out for the evening.

Come home.  Turn on computer.  Open Firefox (life is better since I ditched IE).  Very slow to open.  Open PCTVtoGo (my "not slingbox") so I can watch TV in the background.  PCTVtoGo tries to connect, but fails.  AOL is freezing up on me now, too.  Shut everything down but don't reboot.  Eventually, all programs decide to run, and I manage to have Firefox, PCTVtoGo, and AOL all working simultaneously the way G-d intended.

I spend time trying to seek out a new PC.  With the leads from the cnet article, I find which computer manufacturers will still sell an XP system.  Dell is the only one that has an XP option left for "home" computers, but their two XP home models don't have all the options I want.  Which means, basically, that I have to pretend to be a small business -- small businesses can still get XP systems from several different manufacturers.  (Rather amusingly, you can still get XP Home on a "small business" computer; you don't even have to buy XP Professional.)

The prices are comparable to home computers, so this seems a good option, until I'm over on the HP website, and I see that one its small business desktop advertises "up to 18 months lifecycle" and another has a lifecycle of "up to 9 months."  Nine months?  Are business PCs meant to crap out on you in less than a year?  Honestly, that doesn't seem like a really good plan.

1 comment:

helmswondermom said...

Thanks for passing this along.  My son is trying to convince me to put Vista on our computers, or at least on his, and I was just not ready to trust it yet.  If he wants it on his own he'll have to pay for it and for any problems or aggravations it causes, and not expect to use my computer or the family computer if his goes down.