Windows: where user-friendly = inflexible, condescending, and geared to the brain-dead

I know I’m supposed to talk about the law in action today.  But, heck, I haven’t been outside or opened my mail yet, so I haven’t yet interfaced with the mind-numbing bureaucracy.  I have, however, spent a lovely six hours on the computer, in which time I’ve accomplished about two hours worth of work.

Years ago.  Windows came out with version 3.1  I loved windows 3.1!    It had all that a GUI could offer, with none of the bloat of “multimedia”.   I became very organized.  I spent a week and developed an elaborate filing system that was tailored just for the way I liked to organize my files.  I was brilliant.  In my entire life, I have never been as organized as I was at that moment.

But then something awful happened.  Along came Windows95, then Windows98, then ME, then Vista.  Each and every time a new OS came out, I had to try to somehow bend my perfect filing system into something the stupid OS would recognize.  I tried to over-ride the default folders, only to be told that a major meltdown would occur if I so much as THREATENED the default files again!  Just to make its point, Windows would then give me the Blue Screen of Death!English: Blue Screen of Death in Microsoft Win...

OK, I thought to myself, I can just go on with my system and leave the default files empty.  But no!  Windows knows better.  “I’m sorry, Dave*, but I must put your files in my folders!”   No, HAL*, I want them in MY folders!  I’m going to move them out of your folders into mine.  “I’m sorry, Dave, I can’t let you do that!”  What?  access denied?  Why do you even have the *#%@%#%*%$#**** folders if you won’t let me touch them?

Windows has me.  It knows that I, like most other users, am lazy, tired, over-stressed, too willing to let it run the computer.  How many times has it come out of my mouth, “I’ll refile this stuff later.  For now, I’ll just let Windows handle it.”  The only problem is that, not only does windows file it somewhere that I can’t find, but Windows also shows me several of the file trees in several different places.  There’s the “My folders” file, the “User” file, the “Desktop” file, the “Share folders” file, etc., etc.  OK, eventually I figured this all out and everything was fine.  Until I tried to take on the Vista search mode.    AAAAAARRRGHGGH!

I wish that the Windows effect were only confined to the time I spend in file search mode.  Then my life would only be upside down once in awhile.  But the Windows mode reaches out and touches me everywhere I go.  The most annoying of these is when I go the store and try to use my debit card.  First of all, I look at the little screen, and it says “Swipe card.”  So I swipe the card.  Then it says to me, “Did not recognize card, please try again,” or something to that effect.  So I figure I must have had the card backwards.  I try again, and still no good.  The checker tells me that I swiped too early.  So I wait till I’m told, then swipe the card again.  This time everything just stares at me.  Now the checker has to try it a few times before she grabs the card and manually types in the numbers.  Then it’s time to put in the PIN number.  I type it in, but mistype.  No problem, we just go back to the beginning and try again.  Ok, finally the PIN is in.  I hit OK and wait.  And wait…

“It wants to know if you want cash back,” the checker tells me.  Oh, OK.  Yes.  How much? $60.  Sorry, that is not a correct option.  Please slide card again.    OK, we do it all again and get it all done correctly.  I hit enter and wait.  And wait…

“You’re not finished yet, you have to hit another button,” says the checker.  Oh, now what?  “Are you sure you want to complete this transaction?”  Oh, I forgot.  Windows doesn’t trust me to know what I’m doing.   YES, ALREADY!   Wait, wait.  “I’m sorry, transaction not approved.…………….”   I look nervously over my shoulder, fully expecting the police to show up and cart me off for interrogation.  I have learned a valuable lesson, today.  Use CASH!

People tell me I’m unorganized.  I tell them I’m extremely organized, but that I have a Windows impediment (is that PC?  Should I say “Windows challenged” or I have a “Learning Windows Disability”?).  Windows just wasn’t created for right-brained individuals such as myself.  Others tell me I should just switch to an Apple product.  Really?  Go the system that perfected conformity?  I fail to see how that is going to help a non-conformist like me.   But, hey, it’s a lot more money, so at least I’ll be in a higher class of frustrated users.

Well, at least one good thing has come out of my frustration.  Today’s blog.  Now all I have to do is hit the “Publish Post” button on WordPress and, viola!   But then I’ll have to edit it slightly.  In which case, it will ask me all kinds of Windows-style questions.  “Are you sure you want to save?”  Yes.  “Spell check has detected some errors or improvements that should be made.  Are you still sure you want to save?”   Cancel.  Ok, let’s fix some things.  OK, when I mouse over this spot it suggests that I do such and so.  Well, let’s type in the correction.  “Error, you did not let me fix it Dave, and you tried to do it yourself.  I’m sorry, Dave, I can’t let you do that.  Freezing up, now.  Your post has been horribly disfigured and cannot be modified again.  Have a nice day.  Did you want to leave, now?”  No, I’ll just start over.   The sun is already starting to set, so there’s no use trying to have a life today.  Thank you, HAL.

If you are too young to know Dave and HAL, check out the movie, 2001:  A Space Odyssey.

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2 Comments

Filed under Open Mind

2 responses to “Windows: where user-friendly = inflexible, condescending, and geared to the brain-dead

  1. I really like Windows 7 for the most part… however what annoys me so much is how W7 completely fails at search indexing, especially with external harddrives. Sometimes it takes FOREVER to load a simple folder. Tried to tweak it, but ended up worse than before.

    Microsoft should make different modes for their OS. Pro Mode, Novice Mode, Grandma Mode, etc. So people can be treated by their machines properly!

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