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Stable like a two-legged chair

We got a new laptop at work with Windows XP. Our company like so many others wouldn't touch Vista with a 12-foot pole. Not sure how much good that policy is doing us; I got three BSoD's in 15 minutes. Thanks, Microsoft!

Yesterday one of my coworkers asked me to look at her laptop. Power was on, but there was a nice black screen and no response from mouse or keyboard. I put it out of its misery and rebooted. Thanks, Microsoft!

Couple days ago, I turned on yet another laptop and was greeted with some kind of "RESUME FROM HIBERNATION FAILED" message as the laptop froze. Took it out back and shot it and rebooted. Thanks, Microsoft!

I came in to work this morning and my desktop machine gave me a screen on which my desktop wallpaper showed, my mouse cursor was present and responsive, but there was no login window. Wouldn't respond to keyboard commands, CTRL+ALT+DEL, ALT+F4, nothing. I ended its life and rebooted. Thanks, Microsoft!

I ended up teaching everyone at work the "If your computer is completely unresponsive, hold the power button down for 10 seconds" lesson. How sad that this should be necessary. All of our machines at work run XP and are kept quite up-to-date on patches. Some are old, some are new, and they span a wide variety of brand names and hardware configurations. Our IT guys seem very competent and on top of things. And yet, the computers are fickle and crash-prone and I often hear complaints about how unresponsive and unreliable they are.

February 13, 2008 @ 4:41 AM PST
Cateogory: Rants
Tags: Windows, Rant

10 Comments

Keith
Quoth Keith on February 13, 2008 @ 4:48 AM PST

Dude, I like your writing, but would you please consider a theme not gray on black?

Brian
Quoth Brian on February 13, 2008 @ 4:50 AM PST

I am thinking about a new site layout, yeah.

Aniruddha
Quoth Aniruddha on February 13, 2008 @ 5:30 AM PST

Hi Brian,

This sounds like a great opportunity to put Gentoo Linux on those computers ^^. I have helped a lot of companies that way ;)

Regards,

Aniruddha

Michael
Quoth Michael on February 13, 2008 @ 6:37 AM PST

I'm as anti-Microsoft as the next guy, but I have to say, we have a large software shop based on Linux and WinXP machines, and we rarely see crashes on either side. And by rarely, I mean I can count the number of occasions on one hand.

The root cause of all crashes I've come across recently were due simply to third party applications. We have exactly one machine that experiences chronic failures, and it's due to a third party CD burning robot with the worst software stack imaginable. The only time my XP box has ever gone down was due to a failure in NVidia's video driver.

We run minimal, clean installations void of OEM garbage, and our machines are rock solid. If anything, our number one problem app is anti-virus (pick a vendor, any vendor...), which I swear is the worst virus of them all.

In any case, I'm pro-Linux on all fronts, but when it comes to blue screens, Microsoft isn't the sole problem. It's more the freedoms current Microsoft platforms have given Windows app and, more so, driver developers (which, admittedly, is still on MS's shoulders to a degree).

Eh... just saying.

Brian
Quoth Brian on February 13, 2008 @ 7:52 AM PST

I'm pretty sure our bluescreens were caused by a patch from Windows Update. But yeah MS isn't the only problem when it comes to hardware and drivers. Though it could reasonably be blamed for the whole OS dying a horrible death just because of a bad driver.

OEM garbage is also a problem where I work. I'm sure it isn't helping the situation.

I'd love to use Linux but we're very much chained to Windows and I'm but a lowly code monkey here.

I wanna spend all your money...
Quoth I wanna spend all your money... on February 13, 2008 @ 7:53 AM PST

I feel dirty...

Brian has it right, Windows, even XP, is really annoying. Today I helped someone to rid his PC of Windows Vista and holy cow was I annoyed.

But actually this is not just another random Windows bashing (there's already enough of those and when I do ...

Yams
Quoth Yams on February 13, 2008 @ 9:20 AM PST

I've been using XP almost exclusively since October when I got my new laptop. I still have a Xubuntu setup running on an old PIII as a file server, but my main machine is XP-only at the moment. I really haven't had time to install and configure a Linux system which truthfully does take longer to tweak to the point I enjoy. Aside from my graphics card overheating and crashing to my desktop, I haven't had any BSOD or other funny business.

OEM Vista on the other hand was terrible and after using it for the first few days after receiving my laptop, I scrapped it and installed XP. I have to agree about the third-party app stuff. A lot of it causes problems outside Microsoft's control. Of course I'm not discounting Microsofts horrible ActiveX implementation and the way the OS manages memory, but sometimes it's more than just that and other parties are to blame.

Oh and the Ubuntu 8.04 release will be a good excuse to get back into Linux full-time, so don't worry. :)

Brian
Quoth Brian on February 13, 2008 @ 9:35 AM PST

I am worried. Linux is your friend. Linux misses you. Don't make Linux cry.

Sergio
Quoth Sergio on February 18, 2008 @ 1:59 AM PST

One of these days I was walking out of my building and I heard some girls conversation. It went something like this:

  • Alright, good-bye. Can we talk to later on the internet?
  • Nah, my internet is out. I think I need to format it.

Thanks Microsoft for making it possible to relate internet problems with formatting the hard drive.

Chui Tey
Quoth Chui Tey on March 02, 2008 @ 5:49 PM PST

My dell laptop with XP bsod a few times before I got the graphics card changed out on warranty. Didn't have a problem since. There are BSOD logs which point to the offending driver. Start your investigation there.