I’m taking a break from helping a friend finalize a book proposal to proclaim my age-old animus for Bill Gates and everything he has ever produced in his whole life.
We all know that Microsoft has a monopoly over personal computers not produced by Apple. (Funny note: if you click on the above link, you’ll laugh, because surrounding this news about the federal case that determined Microsoft was a monopoly might be…ads for Microsoft’s Office!!! Shameless.) That is, since I started using personal computers–which is the year they hit the market in the early ’80s–I have been trapped in a shotgun wedding, hostiley mated to Microsoft’s operating system.
I started with DOS, which wasn’t bad.
Then Gates invented Windows. Which. Just. Stinks. And. Has. Always. Stunk.
If you too use a computer not called Mac, you know that whenever you get a new one, your tech guy will usually advise you not to accept the latest Windows but to load an older version because it has fewer problems.
Your tech guy might even explain the reason Windows is so lousy: Microsoft keeps “upgrading” the program and rushing the newest version (“hot” “hot”!) into the market, i.e., $$$$$$$$$$$, without taking the time to make sure the thing works smoothly. Only after zillions of Windows users have so much smoke coming out of their ears the accumulated dark cloud can be seen in Seattle does Microsoft supply patches and “improvements” to the program they should have cleaned up before shoving it down our throats. (Gag, gag, grk!)
Now, what do I mean by “smoothly”? Easy: I don’t want even to think the word “Windows” when I’m writing. I don’t want to know I’m using an operating system. In other words, a good operating system should be invisible and mute. Don’t push little boxes in my face handing me inaccurate information and do not the fuck talk to me! The only words I want to reckon with are mine–the ones I’m writing. Like right now.
Whenever I read that Gates through his $zillion$ foundation is seeking ways to improve our educational system, I yell, “You can’t produce a decent operating system so get the hell out of our schools!” Or “If you’re such a genius, get yourself back to your company and create a good operating system!” And !!!!!
He gets me so mad.
OK, but the reason I’m taking a break here today is not Windows, per se. It is all the other junk Gates has forced people to buy and use, specifically Word.
I don’t use Word. I use a far superior word processing program, WordPerfect. How do I know it’s superior? Because I have occasionally used Word and wound up cursing Bill Gates.
And my blistering anger at Bill Gates and his inferior programs has come to a head today, because the friend whom I’m helping uses Word. And, invented by the notorious Microsoft monopoly, Word–very much unlike WordPerfect, which offers automatic conversions to all sorts of other word processing programs–does not convert adequately to any other program.
Which means: whenever I’ve done some work on my friend’s book, I have to convert what I’ve done to Word to send it to her, because her Word refuses to open WordPerfect.
And then if she’s done some work and gets it back to me in Word, I convert it back to WordPerfect and discover that Word has taken all my neat formatting and MADE A TOTAL FUCKING MESS.
I am looking at over 100 pages every one of which I will have to re-format again, line by line by line.
I’d use Linux in a flash except I have so many years worth of data operated by Windows, I wouldn’t be able to convert it all safely. (My brother uses Linux and loves it. I am so jealous.)
So what’s left to me and other personal computer victims of Bill Gates?
Screaming. Like this. OK, I’m done. For today, anyway.