OK, Fine, I Hate Bill Gates

I used to figure, Bill Gates is a jerk with a lot of money, but it's not really my problem. Microsoft doesn't play by the rules of civilized behavior; they lie, they cheat, they break other people's standards, but I didn't take it personally. Then I started actually using Microsoft products for something other than games. Now, after avoiding the controversy for several years, I've finally taken a position:

Microsoft sucks and it should be destroyed.

There are really three things that finally tipped me over the edge. First was Notepad. I make these files using Notepad, it works well enough. It gives me plain text, it doesn't produce 19k files for a four word document, it's good enough for me. Of course, if you have a document LARGER than a certain size, Notepad will break it in strange ways and not tell you until after you save. This is to make sure that people need MS-Word for their real documents. Good thing I had a backup. (Public Service Message: Go back up everything you care about. ) So I made an excuse for that. It's just hardball to keep the little stupid word processors from taking market share away from the ones you charge money for. Malicious but explainable.

The second thing that really bothered me is that Windows 95 does not keep correct time. This is a known effect and the solution, according to Bill, is to shut down and restart your computer every once in a while. The hardware keeps correct time, but Windows can't count. The magnitude of the effect varies; I've seen systems that gain 15 minutes a week. Keeping correct time, really, is NOT HARD. Given that the hardware had the correct time available, you would think the fix on this is pretty easy. Well, it was an easy fix; make the user shut the computer off regularly. I work on computers that have been up for six months or longer. There's no reason, hardware wise, that a PC can't do the same. Ask a Linux bigot.

But the thing that really tore it for me was the telnet application that came with Win '95. For the slightly nontechnical, this is the application that allows people to use an internet connection to do work on other machines. For example, I can sit in New Jersey and do work on machines in Texas. Or I can sit at home and log in to the machines at work. VT100 emulation is extremely simple and basic; Commodore 64's could do it just fine. The one that comes with Win '95 is buggy as hell. Sometimes the screen stops scrolling, for instance. This is not new technology, and it's not hard. Microsloth just didn't bother to make it work right.

I can only conclude that Microsoft really, truly, doesn't give a shit. And they don't have to. Nobody's gonna run anything else because they have a monopoly. I was reasonable about, nay apologetic for, Microsoft for a long time when I should have known better.

I don't just want a wrist slap. I don't just want the government to disband Microsoft. I don't just want Bill Gates to lose all his money. I want his head on a spear with a dancing mob of programmers parading it around Seattle. It's true what they say: there's nothing worse than a convert.

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