There was a time -- just a couple of years or so -- that I was beginning to think Windows was becoming an actual, real-world, stable operating system.
Something you might actually start to rely on.
It had been a long time since I’d had to troubleshoot one of my Windows computers back then. Having cut my teeth as a PC repair tech I was used to the Windows grind from 95 to ME to XP.
After that… not so much. Even the rightfully maligned Vista was a treat compared to the horrors of Windows ME. In fact… the boogieman under my bed isn’t a scaly furry thing with teeth.
It’s Windows ME and it still scares the hell of me. And, I swear to God, it had teeth.
A lot of computer-based problems took the hair from my head and years off my life. At least that’s my story because, as any longtime Windows user will tell you, we’ve earned our battle stripes.
Time and time again.
I didn’t dislike Apple because it was Apple. I disliked Apple because everything seemed so friggin’ stable in Apple-World. At least, it did looking from the outside in.
Now here are… with this Windows as a Service aka Windows Might Blow Up Your Computer as a Service thing that has people in the know concerned about ever allowing another upgrade… security fixes be damned.
Windows 10 Updates have eaten data, broke a longtime media player that some of us never realized was breakable and the long-dreaded, once hoped to be eradicated, BSOD (Blue Screen of Death) reared its ugly head again and again.
Never thought I’d say this but… an out-of-date computer is better for some of us than an up-to-date doorstop.
Besides… we have plenty of doorstops where I live.
We call them rocks.
Microsoft really doesn’t need to go to all that trouble, beta testing and revisions to help users create a fancier rock.
My HP Omen Doorstop... Courtesy of Windows Update
I think it was last year's fall update that ate my father's new laptop. The locked in a loop repair problem or the spinning dots of death as I have come to know them.
If you’ve never had a problem, then you might even think they are cute. BUT if you have ever spent too much time staring at those damn dots waiting for something to happen… like, say… boot up… then you know they are anything but cute.
I still think Windows, in general, is a Bill Gates-driven conspiracy to enslave us. I don’t want to think about how good his diabolical scheme is working.
So why the diatribe now? Why all the bitching and whining?
Because it happened again.
Not to my Dad’s laptop but my main work computer!
My beautiful, year-old HP Omen is my latest victim of the Spinning Dots of Death.
The irony is… I wondered when I allowed it to update and shut down if that would be the last time it rebooted.
No amount of rebooting, cajoling, pleading or praying has helped to this point. Being a redneck, I even considered pointing things at it that go boom and that still crosses my mind from time to time.
In fairness, problems were cropping up. It had to self-repair just to restart from the previous update.
The upside… my data… my work… what’s really important… is safe and sound on a different drive as I finally learned to never put data on an OS drive.
Just don’t. It’s easier to backup and restoration is a matter of moving the drive from one computer to another, which can be done directly or via toaster drive. I also backup online continuously.
Data loss is not a problem.
It’s installing all those friggin’ programs! Some will be easy… and some will require clearing some major hoops and as I get older those hoops seem to get higher.
So… the Omen will get a new hard drive and fresh Windows 10 installation, but it won’t be going back into animation production.
The Omen will become a dedicated gaming, testing and review platform as it is set up for VR with fast memory and all the gaming goodies. My older platform was getting too far removed from modern gaming hardware so repurposing the Omen will give it a few more years of life while keeping reviews relevant to a wider audience.
That is… until the Spinning Dots of Death make their next appearance.
I don’t even want to THINK ABOUT the next Windows 10 update. If it’s like the last one, that’s a service I can do without.
As it stands right now, the Omen does make an attractive doorstop.
M.D. McCallum, aka WarLord is an international award-winning commercial graphics artist, 3D animator, published author, project director and webmaster with a freelance career that spans over 20 years. Now retired, M.D. is currently working part time on writing and select character development projects. You can learn more about MD at his website.