Gearing up for Vista

Microsoft Vista is soon to be released Tuesday, January 30th but at much reduced fanfare for me. Every Windows upgrade since 3.1 has added extra caution to any enthusiasm I once had for the developing OS. I believe my first bitter taste of how fickle and unruly an upgrade could be was when I transitioned from 3.1 to 95. I remember the level of hype that was unheard of at that time for boxed software. This was no video game, but an evolution in the way you interact with your computer.. or so they would make you believe.

No one at that time could have predicted the havoc that would soon entangle early adopters, including me. Waiting in line at Fry’s Electronics with all the rest of the geeks as the piped-in propaganda music in the background rippled in one’s eardrum, “Start it up!”. Little did I know that the song also had a lyrical line that included, “You make a grown man cry”. A true foreshadowing for what was to become a long night of despair and anguish.

With paltry upgrade instructions and little warnings to guide the foolhardy, I set out head first into the great unknown of 32-bit Windows 95. I failed rule #1 of any OS upgrade, always back up your data first! But why all this effort? This is Windows on top of Windows! The people of MS must have tested this upgrade process a million times. Forget that, I’m going all the way in.

After inserting the last floppy disk, #13 to be exact, the melancholy sounds of hard drive churning finally started to take over. At last, the black screen required me to reboot the machine. Obliging, I hit the requisite CTRL-ALT-DEL launch sequence and was ready for liftoff. The horror soon engulfed my nerves and upper chest.. I couldn’t breathe.

Houston, we have a problem!

A horrible looking blue screen reared its ugly head with some cryptic error codes and even worthless techno-gibberish explanation. It didn’t matter what digital Bill was trying say. I already knew… game over man! No extra lives, no credits, no nothing. I was out stone cold waiting for resuscitation by tech support.

Trying not to panic, as the severity of the situation soon dawned upon me: that all my work may already be in a binary pile of rubbish destined to the recycle bin of no return, I had a moment of clarity. Why don’t I give it a second chance? Just forget all of this ever happened and meet Mr. Windows 95 again for the first time. Some may say, insanity is taking the same action and expecting different results. But I was desperate and had nothing to lose, except my mind.

I quickly restarted the entire rigmarole process of ‘insert disk’, ‘remove disk’, ‘insert disk’ to ad nauseam until the critical moment. The reboot of the year for me. A last hope, if ending in failure would ever convince me more to join the MS competitor represented by a fruit symbol. I didn’t want to go back there, at least not yet.

And there it was, a sad if not looking Windows 95 logo with a crude loading bar moving jerkily back and forth. The desktop greeting was a loud opening mix of eerily familiar Rolling Stones music and 16-bit colors. The mouse pointer moved, and I could click on things called shortcuts. In my Windows induced euphoria, I almost missed the fact that all my documents was sitting in a folder called but what else, My Documents. How ingenious!

Was Bill watching over me that night? Who knows, but I’m not taking any chances for its next of kin, Vista Ultimate.

This time, its war!

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2 Responses

  1. Plus -the commercials really suck. =)

  2. They had commercials for it? I didn’t even notice it!

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