Is Microsoft even madder and more autocratic than the EU?

So there I was, posting away merrily, when my sentence disappeared, Word disappeared and on came Windows to tell me it was reconfiguring stuff to download stuff, none of which I wanted.

“This could take several minutes,” it announced. It took twenty. Then my netbook wouldn’t start.  So I chose Repair startup. It told me that some f**king clown had loaded some software inappropriate for my netbook, and this had now damaged the startup settings. It said they would now atempt to repair their own torpedo hole.
“This could take over an hour,” another panel said. But instead, it took five minutes to say it couldn’t repair the problem and I should get in touch with my hardware manufacturer.

So that’s it. Until I get back to my laptop, the Slog will be dormant. But Microsoft, maker of universlly sh*t software, can pull this kind of stunt because it is beyond the reach of the law or the will of politicians to stop them. This post comes courtesy of a chum’s laptop; and so while I’m here analysing the nature of f**kwits, we might as well talk about the EU.

Manuelo Barroso, I’m told, is gaining power in Brussels. The reason? “He rarely makes mistakes and never says anything radical”. So there you have it: how to become Holy Brussels Emperor without really trying.

In Greece meanwhile, the property tax is about to be doubled, and the can of worms Coalition at the top is doing the Troika’s bidding without courage or fairness, this being the opposite of without fear or favour. But Evangelo Venizelos says the horizontal cutting is now over, and that the economic programme of 2012 will proceed as planned, “with the highest degree of social sensibility, and special payrolls [judges, state hospital doctors, military personnel and others] won’t be affected.” But in 2013, the Fat One promises, “there will be no horizontal cuts.”

I’m thrilled about this in a baffled sort of way, but confused about the social sensibility bollocks. The addition of the emergency property tax to electricity bills in 2011 and the inability of many people to pay either the Greek Public Power Company (DEH) bills or the emergency tax. Greek  citizen debt has skyrocketed to 1.1 billion euro in unpaid bills.

However, the management of DEH granted themselves a family allowance of 3,500 euro per month. That should allow their families to avoid penury while evading tax.

In Spain, full bailout is about to happen (if Berlin is still up for it) and Sicily looks as if it might up anchor and declare independence from Italy, possibly to form the People’s Congress of Cosa Nostras. The worse the ClubMed economic data gets, and the more surging export figures emerge from Merkelania, the more money flows to the safe North and makes a ClubMed collapse inevitable.

Christine Lagarde’s reaction (under orders from the White House) is to stop lending at all to the eurozone. David Cameron’s is to demand some sock pulling and sleeve up-rolling. But Mario Draghi has come out fighting, saying that the euro is “irreversible”. If he means by this that it has no reverse gear, and thus cannot be stopped from ploughing into an ocean of smelly-doo-doo big jobbies, he is correct.

More on Olympic disorganisation later if I can get access.


31 thoughts on “Is Microsoft even madder and more autocratic than the EU?

  1. @ JW

    You should turn off the Updates when the machine is restored. Only click it every month or so and only if it begins to hang up in the middle of a document or job. Otherwise it’s the FIST.

    On the other stuff, there is no Law. It’s all corporate policy now and they always fiddle when they get stuck, everywhere. Check out this clip when you get the laptop up and running again.

    It’s gets madder by the minute ;-(


  2. You could try either Ubuntu or Linux Mint – both free and generally easy to use even for the less technical person these days. You can download and try out running off a USB pen drive.

    I run the former but the latter has a growing following of fans, especially among those who have switched from windows…


  3. every sympathy. Just returned an IPad because I couldn’t switch it on and spent a day trying to activate its “Touch” successor by typing in the wrong password. But then I always had trouble with fountain pens and I have made a lot of new friends among Amazon Inidians who were superb and didn,t once swear at me. Which I would have done if I had been giving advice to a senile old fool


  4. I’ve found a way of avoiding Microsoft’s technical issues. I use a Mac. Worth every extra penny. Simples!
    Not sure who I hate more; Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, Bill Gates or Jamie Dimon.


  5. Microsoft is a stunningly complex piece of software, sadly it does not make use of the Unix base that Macs and Linux do. This is still open to misuse, but is certainly more secure. Perhaps BT will add to this, he knows more than I.

    Another thought that crossed my mind was “was this a malware attack”? You could have clicked on some inoffensive email a few weeks ago that led to this followup. The two would seem quite unconnected with the distance of time. I am sure that many commenters would advise a rigorous check of your system on a weekly basis at the very least. Internet hackers are devious creatures, and persistent. The better ones are also extremely clever. It is a pity that many cannot find proper work to do online – and China has a lot to answer for in this respect.

    I hope that things sort themselves out re the laptop.


  6. In the Apple universe you get an alert from the Software Updater when new versions are available with a list and details of the changes. Then you choose what to install and what to ignore.

    In general one should get the security updates and ignore the rest until there is clear evidence that you need it.


  7. I was doing an important presentation last week when various microsoft pop-ups appeared on top of my slides. All stuff like, do you want to re-configure file KXZ63; Yes…. No. So my concentration was lost; everybody else started laughing and asking why I hadn’t got a Mac. Why do Microsoft do this to their customers?


  8. I’m intolerant to people who whinge about Windows. It’s their own fault.

    Now install Ubuntu, free for life, superior in every way….Free applications. Run Windows on Ubuntu in a far superior way.

    Get on with it today.

    Can’t believe it? Then it’s your problem. You’ve been conditioned by Microsoft and so many other Corporations…..


  9. I see in the current on-line edition of the New Statesman there is a fine interview by this week’s guest editor, banana man David Milliband of Jose Manuel Barroso. Amongst the comments left by the surprisingly unappreciative readership was a terse. “Two self regarding twats”.
    The piece ran to several thousand words and it is worth reading just to see how delusional Barroso is but if you are pushed for time, that four word comment says it all.


  10. Wretched MS reminder pop-ups are a real PITA and often appear at some crucial moment to annoy you, like when you’re logging into a secure site and you’ve temporarily memorised the password ready to enter it. Up pops some irritating Windows reminder to check for updates: Check Now/Remind Me Later.

    But nowadays they’re not the only loons doing this…Google and McAfee and many others do it too. Did I mention all those darned toolbars?

    MS lost its way a few years ago, and in time I feel sure that XP will be seen as the high-point of MS op/sys, it’s been downhill all the way since then. But Google are at least as bad. As a sidebar…I see they’ve now changed the user-interface to Gmail which has made it virtually unusable and Gmail filtering has never worked…written by schoolkids methinks.

    I design & build my own desktop systems and don’t have many of these problems (I wouldn’t let most of the junk software anywhere near my systems ), but it’s far worse on laptops because the Windows implementation on them is highly dubious (hidden disk partitions, huge assumptions made by the vendors etc) and they arrive pre-loaded with 10 tons of rubbish software whether you want it or not but rarely any documentation which explains what it is or what use it might be to anybody other than a dork.

    The various incarnations of *nix are the way for many people to go but there remains a lot of expensive payware that will not run under *nix, and I have some of it, so it’s not for everybody.


  11. Umm.. It’s obvious Microsoft was issued an order to silence the Slogger! Updates? Right! More like “kill the Slogger’s computer order!”


  12. Got home last night after working away for a few days and had exactly the same initial problem. I was kindly offered the opportunity to restore to an earlier dates settings and that worked ok. It was certainly a pain in the arse, that and bloody Apple trying to muscle in iphone updates all the time. Will have to seriously look at Ubuntu or Linux but I don’t know anyone who uses these systems. Can anyone recommend a good website to kick off with?


  13. I too have suffered from Microsoft updates on a number of occasions . One update deleted all of my favourites plus another important files ! The solution is to tell the computer to go back to the settings prior to the update . Windows have been nothing but trouble to me for years . I now use an ipad and almost never switch on my laptop . I have never had trouble with updates and I find that the ipad gives instant startup (as against my laptop startup time of more than 7 minutes ! ) and is about 5 times faster than the laptop switching between pages . Also it does not appear to store temporary internet files which eventually slow down a computer .As far as I am concerned I will NEVER buy anything again with Microsoft’s name on it


  14. Buy a new laptop and spend the first 6 hours trying to work out how to uninstall all of the free shovelware and trialware crap half of which don’t appear in the add/remove programs part of the control panel. You need to buy the full version to get the uninstaller LOL


  15. @Mark: Spot on. Been there and done it. Well…..tried to at least. Yet when I ask vendors to supply me with a clean laptop for me to install my own op/sys of choice, all I get is “sorry, we don’t supply them”.


  16. I use Windows 7 on my desktop and it works great with rarely any problem. I do the monthly updates as well. However, Vista was crap. If there weren’t shit heads making viruses all the time we wouldn’t need updates. My solution is hit squads to kill them off, then we can surf in peace.


  17. Been running Mepis Linux for 5 yrs without ANY problems. it is an easy transition from MS, the easiest of all Linux distro’s to move to ……You can buy the disk from Mepis. costs less than 20 quid and has EVERY imaginable programme pre-installed…and if you buy new versions once a year, you can have the latest version without haveing to do any fancy upgrades.

    Ultra fast, totally stable and very secure, for a fraction of what Apple charge.


  18. PS it will run off any disc drive, so you can test it before installing, also if you use a mates computer and store stuff on a cloud you can use another computer without touching it’s hard dive.


  19. Yeahbut…wot about all the drivers you need? People spend a lifetime searching for drivers to support various pieces of hardware they have.


  20. I have used Ubuntu Linux for several years, it pretty much runs out of the box now (expecially if you use Dell or Toshiba hardware) my wife uses a Dell netbook and does not have a single problem.

    You can get a free download (currently on version 12.04 32 bit and 64 bit versions which is supported until 2017).

    You can even run specialist Windows software via its emulator (Wine)

    I’ve never looked back I have used Windows once in about 6 months


  21. Not sure about Mepis but Ubuntu (built on the same kernel) pretty much runs every piece of hardware I have on my desktop.

    You should give it a go, updating is fantastic all comes in a one’er no re-boots unless the core kernel needs changing.

    Booting and re-booting is a breeze up and running in a minute or two at most (netbook off an SSD is measured in seconds)


  22. It’ll run most pieces of hardware….I did change my video card to NVidia to get the correct screen settings…but as I said you can test run it off the DVD drive and see if you have problems…..I bought a new laptop recently and it ran perfectly, as it did on a friends 5 yr old Dell laptop


  23. I worked with Microsoft since the very beginning. Probably wasted a whole year out of 20 waiting for Windows to install!

    Last year I converted to a Macbook, then an Ipad, and finally an Iphone, they all work together and are a joy to use. Money well spent, and Apple support has been jaw droppingly amazing. I thought my Macbook fan was running a bit fast – not quiet like it used to be – so I called them up, and the guy spent 20 minutes going through my recent activity, and nailed the problem over the phone. I was speechless!

    The main thing to remember about the Mac vs Windows argument is that Apple control both the hardware and software, Microsoft doesn’t, so Windows ends up patched and bloated. All the Linux comments and suggestions ….. equally as valid, and a fantastic community. At least we now have a choice.


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