April 21st, 2007


Vista is WindowsME part II.

With two overlappig events, Microsoft admitted what we have been saying all along: Vista, aka Windows Me Two (Me II), is a joke that no one wants. It did two unprecedented things this week that frankly stunned us.

Dell announced that it would be offering XP again on home PCs. This means that Me II sales are at least as bad as we think, the software and driver situation is just as miserable, and Dell had no choice but to buck the trend. If anyone thinks this is an act of atonement for foisting such a steaming pile on us, think again, it doesn't care about the consumer.

What happened is the OEMs revolted in the background and forced Microsoft's hand. This is a big neon sign above Me II saying 'FAILURE'. Blink blink blink. OK, Me II won't fail, Microsoft has OEMs whipped and threatened into a corner, it will sell, but you can almost hear the defectors marching toward Linux. This is a watershed.


The Vista/ME parallels really are striking. Both were a new OS from MicroSoft that was uglier, slower and buggier than the better version it was supposed to replace. The major difference is that at least ME didn't break driver compatability, or intentionally destroy media playback functionality!

Selling Vista as an "upgrade" is like selling someone an "upgrade" for their car engine that makes the fuel injection system shut down once a month, unless the person comes in and pays $20 to the shop to have the little "magic" switch flipped. How dumb do you have to be to fall for that?
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The king of all dumb responses to the VT massacre.

In the wake of Monday’s massacre at Virginia Tech in which a student killed 32 people, Dean of Student Affairs Betty Trachtenberg has limited the use of stage weapons in theatrical productions.

According to students involved in the production, Trachtenberg has banned the use of some stage weapons in all of the University’s theatrical productions. While shows will be permitted to use obviously fake plastic weapons, students said, those that hoped to stage more realistic scenes of stage violence have had to make changes to their props.


There have been a lot of utterly illogical, dumb, knee-jerk responses to the VT shooting. But for my money, this one takes the cake. (And plate. And tablecloth.) I can't even imagine the tortured logic involved here. "The VT shooter wrote some really bad plays... therefore, if we ban playwriting... er, no wait... if we ban violent plays... no, um... if we make actors in plays use plastic toy swords... YES, THAT'S IT! If we ban stage swords, violence will never happen, ever again!!"

If you ban intentionally blunt-edged stage swords, then the next logical thing is to ban rebar too. Functionally, the only differences between a stage sword and a piece of rebar is that the former won't give you tetanus, and the latter is probably made from of a better grade of steel.

Better get busy digging up every single bit of reinforced concrete on campus there, guys! There's millions of tons of rebar in there, just waiting to kill your children!!
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