Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Counterproductivity

Counterproductivity

The screenshot above shows the first step in the installation of Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0. Having taken the screen shot, I then aborted the installation process. After that, I deleted this software package from my hard drive, and I will not be including it in future archival backups.

My reason for saying goodbye to this experiment is that my working hypothesis was that the NET framework was responsible for the counterproductivity experience I have just been through.

I am one of the many who have had the world's worst operating system, Windows XP Professional, inflicted upon them. If you are in this position then your role, Justine, is to suffer, and there are very few ways to escape this, unless you go to extremes and go buy yourself a Mac.

I have seriously considered buying a Mac, but I am wedded to my ThinkPad, and don't want to migrate to another machine. I have made experiments with Free BSD and with Fedora Core, but these have been unsatisfactory, and I am now starting to think about possibly perhaps going and buying Red Hat Enterprise Linux, when I am under less time pressure and am able to do the research.

Meantime, I endure XP as best I can.

Up until recently, my installation of XP had been limping along bravely, even though three and a half of its nine legs were badly damaged, when I went and installed Microsoft's NET framework.

I did that because it seemed like a good idea at the time. The little old lady who swallowed a fly probably thought that, too, was a good idea.

The reason I installed the framework was because it was a prerequisite for using the open source Paint replacement Paint.NET, which I had downloaded because my own copy of Microsoft Paint had turned delinquent on me.

In a working session shortly after installing the framework, I had two browsers go defective on me, one being Mozilla and the other being Internet Explorer.

I did not make a cause-and-effect connection for the simple reason that using XP trains you not to look for cause and effect. The software does what it does without rhyme or reason, damaging your productivity in capricious ways which are impossible to anticipate.

I recently found out why Microsoft's software is as bad as it is. This revelation came when I was reading an article about Vista, which made it clear that Microsoft's software is designed by a claque of committees.

We all know the traditional definition of a horse: a horse is a camel designed by a committee. It is the design-by-committee procedure which, apparently, is responsible for the fact that the new Vista operating system from the House of Hades has an inordinate number of options for switching it off.

I think the number of OFF options is fewer than 475, but it is a lot more than considerations of commonsense would require.

In the face of the crippling of my two browsers, I deduced simply that XP had been doing what XP does, by nature, which is to fail in small but significant increments.

In the case of my system, the answer to that is to back up your data then restore the computer to factory conditions, which I did.

My new installation, lean and mean, was up and running and working fine, and then, as what was intended to be a final step, I again installed the NET framework.

Almost immediately, disastrous consequences followed. My entire system became waterlogged, and I ended up spending an unpardonable amount of my precious productivity time looking at an hourglass.

This was intolerable so, suspecting that the NET framework was the cause, I sought to delete it. But I couldn't find where it had gone and hidden itself. It wasn't on the list of my programs and I couldn't see it when I scouted around the hard drive, either.

So I went and did yet another factory restore.

In preparing for this, I simplified my existing file system even more, paring my backup files down to a productive minimum, so in this sense I can be said to have benefited from the procedure.

That's all I have to say on the International Counterproductivity Corporation for the time being, though no doubt I will have more to say on this subject in due course.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You might find that the One-Laptop-Per-Child OS is useful for you.

It is a flavour of linux, but with a rather different interface philosophy.

http://www.laptop.org/

http://www.engadget.com/2007/04/10/olpcs-linux-based-operating-system-available-for-download/

9:56 AM  
Anonymous Henri Yandell said...

Just in case you do try another Linux - Red Hat Enterprise wouldn't be the one to go for. It's intended for servers rather than desktops/laptops.

The current Linux of choice is Ubuntu.

6:26 AM  

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