Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Have I mentioned I hate Windows XP Service Pack 3?  

No? Ok. So mentioned: I hate Windows XP Service Pack 3, and the Automatic Update it rode in on.

In more detail, I just upgraded the hard drive on my wife's computer. It took quite a bit of doing - the original two methods I used to copy the old HD to the new HD failed, even my beloved PartitionMagic, because Windows XP would not learn to boot from the new hard drive. It's not that I haven't done this trick a half dozen times before with laptops, including my most recent Windows XP laptop, and after immense effort I could never find out what was wrong or fix it. However, eventually I found a cheap but effective program called Disk Copy and Clean by Avanquest that did the trick, and got the drive copied last night, Windows XP booting, took the old drive out, and closed up the case.

Then like an idiot I installed all the software updates that were pending.

One of those was apparently Windows XP Service Pack 3, whose main feature is locking the computer in an endless cycle of reboots. You can boot to safe mode, which means this problem is just enough different from the other similar problems I've been able to find online that I doubt any of those fixes will work. I'll try, of course, but in the end ... isn't it nice I have yesterday's hard drive, pre-Windows-XP-SP3?

I've said it before, I'll say it again: I wuv my Mac and its crappy user interface(1), because it just works.

-the Centaur
(1) No, that isn't sarcasm ... Windows has a better user interface, nyahh nyahh nyahh, all you Mac lovers --- and I switched anyway, because (a) I love the Unix command line and (b) my computer has to work. Shockingly, the Mac actually functioning reliably most of the time beats the many ways in which common user interface operations are faster and easier to use on Windows. You may feel like snarking that the Mac UI would be easier if I'd used it longer, and I'll just snark back that I've been using Macs since roughly 1990, and I've had no problems moving between the various editions of UNIX, Linux and Windows over the same time frame while the Mac has always felt like the odd man out. Ultimately, the gloss, great graphic design, and sheer reliability of the Mac OS X family outweighed any number of minor interface quirks.



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