Windows 8. What a mess.

That’s it. I’ve had it. It has to go.

After for the first time ever being happy with a Microsoft product, the wonderfully stable and useable Windows 7, I chanced it and played early adopter, installing Windows 8. Why do I have PC at all in my house, I can hear you ask? Well, good question, but I do like a spot of gaming, and the prospect of being able to put together a powerful gaming rig with some choice hardware always tickled my fancy. While each of us here in the household have a Mac for the more serious work, the gaming rig in my ‘man’s lair’ was a welcome distraction from the world’s worries, and the regular tinkering with the hardware was pure fun.

So, when Windows 8 came out, I had a go at it in a Microsoft shop in Houston and quite liked the new Metro surface. I installed it without any problems and was even quite surprised by the ease of the whole process, but as soon as was installed the problems began. The first surprise was the fact that the Metro GUI actually did not stay permanently on the desktop: In a multi-monitor setup I envisaged for the start screen to continuously stay on one Monitor, but no such luck. Every time a tile was clicked, the screen would disappear, revealing a bog standard Windows desktop. Apps and tiles would spontaneously disappear and reappear (I still don’t know what happened to the calendar tile), Windows 7’s Aero design was gone, but worse of all where the driver problems. Even on a machine with the latest drivers, the latest Microsoft patches, a normal core temperature and no over clocking in sight, the bloody thing would throw spontaneous blue screens of death (something that never happened on the same hardware with Windows 7). Also half of my peripherals don’t seem to be supported. It has now wrecked my current installation, so I will have to sit again for a day in front of the computer, reinstalling applications, downloading drivers, rescuing data and games from Steam and do all the things that one really shouldn’t spend a weekend on (at least according to the best girlfriend ever).

Sod you, Steve Ballmer. Sod you for luring me into believing that Microsoft products were finally out of beta when released and letting me spend another day of misery with one of your machinations.

It’s only Windows, but what can you do

I have what you would call a heterogenous network at home: there are two Apple laptops, an AppleTV, one Windows gaming rig, a few Linux based Wifi-radios, a RaspberryPi, an OpenBSD server, a Wii and an Apple Yimecapsule. All are living in perfect harmony, just like ebony and ivory, on my keyboard. Nothing ever breaks, stops suddenly working or behaves weirdly. Everything but the Windows machine. Now I don’t want to say that I am not happy with Windows 7. Compared to XP 7 is a wonderful OS, where everything always works and the GUI is (almost) fun. The games available via Steam are brillant, and AMD’s hardware makes the whole thing a delight to use.

But.

Every so often (every 6 months?) Windows decides to stop playing ball. A boot might not be successful, the registry starts making funny noises, the control panel might not respond, etc. ‘Virus’ you might suggest. My idea exactly, but Mr Kaspersky is keeping a pretty good watch, the machine is being scanned, and I don’t venture on ‘those’ websites. Nope, it’s just Windows that decides to break down after a certain number of months. How many timesĀ  I had to reinstall the bloody thing I don’t know, but it’s certainly nothing I have ever had to do with OsX. So today I am sitting again in fron of the bloody screens, armed with numerous DVDs and have to wait until all the drivers, utilities andĀ  games have downloaded. And all that on a rural broadband connection.

Time to play the bass and listen to some music.