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operating system

Fucking Microsoft

I hate it when software interrupts my day to tell me that I should download the latest and greatest version. I hate it even more when I must reboot to finish the installation or — when I have 37 million tabs open — Firefox tells me it must be restarted.

So whenever Windows tells me that updates are ready to be installed (I don’t allow anything to be installed without my reviewing the details first), I ignore that until I am ready to reboot. Why? (The full reasoning will become crystal clear in a moment.) Because despite the laughable assertion in the description of every Microsoft security update that the machine “may” need to be rebooted, the fact is that Microsoft is entirely incapable of updating any part of its operating system without requiring that the machine be rebooted.

But today there was one out-of-band security update that, based on its description, I figured shouldn’t require a reboot. So I let the update go ahead. Sure enough, a reboot was required. However, as is usually the case, I was busy and had a lot of stuff open and on the go, so I selected the option to reboot later.

And this is why I never do that: Because every few minutes you get this annoying, in-your-face pop-up that “helpfully” reminds you that you need to reboot. Combine that with the fact that I have my mouse pointer configured to “snap to” the default button in a dialogue box, and the fact that Microsoft “helpfully” makes the “reboot now” button the default button, and you have a recipe for disaster. Somehow I managed to avoid clicking the “reboot now” button for several hours, but eventually it popped up just at the instant I was clicking somewhere else on the screen.

Result: Machine reboots, and all of my work disappears in a puff of smoke.

Now, fortunately I didn’t lose much — I’m an obsessive ctrl-esser — but I did lose some text I was entering into a textarea on a web page. It could have been worse.

One thing I have noticed about the OpenOffice.org office suite is that, when a dialogue box pops up, the mouse pointer snaps to the middle of the dialogue, not the default button, and this is even for ones that you’re expecting. So I have to move the pointer a few pixels rather than just clicking on the default button; not a big deal, it’s close enough. On the other hand, it’s a big deal when your machine suddenly reboots as you helplessly watch all of your work swirl around the drain.

Bill? Are you listening?