Thursday, March 23, 2006

Comfort Zone

Microsoft is coming out with a new version of Windows. There's bruhaha because the launch date has been pushed back and there was just breaking news about a massive restructure of the Windows group as a result. Who cares? The longer it takes for that new software to come out the happier I'll be.

I spend hours at day at the computer, live and die by my high speed connection and can't remember life before the Internet (thanks again, Al). But I'm also something of a Luddite. Or at least, I hate when The Spouse feels compelled to upgrade our software. I get used to things looking a certain way, knowing which icons mean what and how to get my computer to do the limited number of things I require of it. I'm not geek enough to get excited about Microsoft messing with my comfort zone.

From what I can tell, there have been no significant changes to Windows in the last 10 years. If ever. All they do is move stuff around, rename it, change the colors and maybe, just to justify the purchase price, add an animated paper clip or puppy dog as a "help" feature. (I type, "Dear John" and Annoying McAnnoyerson pops up and says, "It looks like you're writing a letter! What would you like to do?" Write the flippin' letter without your perky little dog butt in my face, that's what!) And I, so deeply embedded in my ways, get frustrated and inordinantly angry because I have to change my way of doing things, even if ever so slightly. (I hate when there's a new version of Quicken, too. Man, I hate that).

I don't like learning curves, however gently they slope. Left to my own devices, I'd still be using DOS commands. I appreciate certain technical advances, like that computer screens no longer glow orange and that laptops get sleeker and sleeker. I admit to having been the driving force behind the purchase of a very expensive set of Bang Olufsen phones for no other reason than they were sexy. I am a sucker for good design and pretty packaging. But that works best for toiletries and kitchenware. Microsoft could put their new Windows software in a Chinese rice paper wrapper, hand emboss it with a fleur de lis, wrap it with a grass green cloth ribbon and seal it with lavendar scented wax and I still wouldn't be excited about the fact that I have to relearn to use something that was working just fine before they decided to move everything around.

Omigosh. I am nettled by software upgrades. The Spouse sighs and rolls his eyes when I rearrange the house. The reason is pretty much the same: someone messed with what was familiar and comfortable. Right then. I will steel myself to embrace change. I will not be a stodgy puss when Windows Vista finally launches. 'Cause, honey, I'm sure as heck not going to stop redecorating.


Blogger charlie opined...

Was there really life before the internet? Before blogs? Did people spend ALL their time arranging and rearranging the house, and decorating? Those were hard days. No wonder eyes rolled.

March 23, 2006 2:53 PM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

And all the little children had to walk 3 miles to school, uphill both ways, in the snow. And everyone's house smelled of fish.

March 23, 2006 3:28 PM  
Blogger Display Name opined...

"I'm not geek enough to get excited about Microsoft messing with my comfort zone."
lolling my face off! (and then silently weeping for terrifying changes to come)

March 23, 2006 4:16 PM  
Blogger Viola opined...

And they all lived in a small shoebox in the middle of the road.

The MS Office Assistant does my head in so much that when I install it I select custom install and untick the Office Assistant. That way it doesn't even install onto my system. I can access all the help files if I want to, but without having to be bothered by the irratating Office Assistant. If it's really doing your head in, you can hide it or turn it off:

Hide the Assistant -- On the Help menu, click "Hide the Office Assistant".

Turn off the Assistant -- Click the Assistant, and then click Options. On the Options tab, clear the "Use the Office Assistant" check box.

If, like me, you really can't stand it perhaps you can uninstall MS Office and reinstall it minus the Assistant.

March 23, 2006 4:17 PM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

Angela, Comforting words from a geekette.

Viola, I deactivated the stupid assistants a long time ago...but the horror lingers. Thanks for the shoebox the Python.

March 23, 2006 5:39 PM  
Blogger charlie opined...

Had to take the dogfish for walk this morning.

March 24, 2006 2:25 AM  
Blogger Grish opined...

There was a life before the Internet. I remember bits-and-pieces now and then. -:) Grish

March 24, 2006 3:05 AM  
Blogger gina opined...

I have been a computer geek for almost 30 years (think keypunch cards). I'm also an early adopter. But I have to tell you, when Windows first came out, I hated it. I hated mice. I'd go to a client's office who was using WordPerfect 4.2 (DOS version) with a mouse and I'd push the thing away. Then Windows 3.1 came out and I became a fan. Ever since, I've been one of those people who wants the newest, latest, greatest technology NOW. And I too can barely remember life before the internet, though I do remember vividly how hard it was when you needed a driver for a piece of hardware and had to go on some horrible BBS to try to download it over a 14.4k dialup connection, or worse, you had to SEND for it via mail on a floppy! Ugh. So, I'm looking forward to Vista, but for ME, not for my library. Not until it's been out for a while. Sounds like I'm kind of a mix of you and your husband. :)

Oh...hate the stupid Office Assistant. I don't like Microsoft trying to think for me.

March 24, 2006 6:53 AM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

Charlie, The catfish is curled up and purring on the hearth.

March 24, 2006 6:59 AM  
Anonymous The Spouse opined...

I had the opportunity to do some early coding against Vista when it was known as Longhorn for the 2003 PDC.
It was a bloated ugly pig with usless features that do nothing to improve on XP Professional which is by far the most stable OS that the Borg have produced since Dos 5.0

March 24, 2006 8:41 AM  

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