The Null Device

Charlie Brooker faintly praises Windows

Let it not be said that Microsoft and Windows don't have sincere supporters: Charlie Brooker is one, albeit in a backhanded sort of way:
I know Windows is awful. Everyone knows Windows is awful. Windows is like the faint smell of piss in a subway: it's there, and there's nothing you can do about it. OK, OK: I know other operating systems are available. But their advocates seem even creepier, snootier and more insistent than Mac owners. The harder they try to convince me, the more I'm repelled. To them, I'm a sheep. And they're right. I'm a helpless, stupid, lazy sheep. I'm also a masochist. And that's why I continue to use Windows – horrible Windows – even though I hate every second of it. It's grim, it's slow, everything's badly designed and nothing really works properly: using Windows is like living in a communist bloc nation circa 1981. And I wouldn't change it for the world, because I'm an abject bloody idiot and I hate myself, and this is what I deserve: to be sentenced to Windows for life.
That's why Windows works for me. But I'd never recommend it to anybody else, ever. This puts me in line with roughly everybody else in the world. No one has ever earnestly turned to a fellow human being and said, "Hey, have you considered Windows?" Not in the real world at any rate.
Of course, the reason he prefers Windows is because it doesn't have evangelists.

There are 8 comments on "Charlie Brooker faintly praises Windows":

Posted by: Peter Mon Sep 28 02:18:11 2009

I prefer Windows because I like its interface more than OSX or Linux (I've just installed Ubuntu again on a separate partition and there's a lot I LOVE about it - and a few things I hate. With OSX the things I hate, even generously excluding Mac fanboys from the equation, currently make it unusable for me), and I know it well (although I know Ubuntu *and* OSX pretty well these days), and most importantly it has foobar2000. Since I detest iTunes and there's simply nothing out there that does what foober2000 does, and since I dont' actually think there's anything *wrong* with Windows (no really!), I'm happy to stick with it.

Posted by: Peter Mon Sep 28 02:20:22 2009

Re Ubuntu, I would totally change to it exclusively except for a) foobar2000 (yeah it works in Wine but currently it can't directly access to the optical drive, so that's no use), and b) that various audio software I use. I will eventually see how well AudioMulch works in Wine.

Eventually, there will be ways of efficiently getting around the things I hate about OSX (keep meaning to ask you AGAIN about that Finder replacement!) and I'll probably swap to it... But it'll be a good while still.

Posted by: acb Mon Sep 28 02:27:57 2009

Ah yes, but then you'll become just another Mac fanboy hipster douchebag. Could you live with yourself?

Posted by: dcf Mon Sep 28 08:06:05 2009

There is a guy at my work who Ive come to know as a bit of an ebay collector of obscure portable hardware platforms. He just showed me his latest purchase today, a toshiba touchscreen device which he had managed to install windows 7 on.

Sure, he could have probably whacked a linux onto it, but I think Win 7 is a cooler "hack" for these "few year old" failed proto-netbooks...

Posted by: Greg Thu Oct 1 21:10:05 2009

You're right, it's really evangelists that he's attacking. I support that. I recently encountered cult disciples for a software product (not Apple) and, believe it or not, a number of different research methodologies. The self-and-other-bullshitting was weird and scary and rather like that Windows 7 launch party ad. Watching methodology-cultists hawk their wares reminded me of religion for various reasons, including that each one declares that only it is right, and therefore all but one or zero of them must be wrong. Why does product evangelism happen? Because we don't have 'real' religion anymore? Btw I have used a lot of OS's and believe Windows XP to be the best for desktop use. It's solid, fast, user-friendly, gimmick-free and gets the job done. I avoid MacOs because of its mouse-centrism and that weird bar along the bottom of the screen.

Posted by: unixdj Fri Oct 2 12:43:54 2009

Greg: Windows (95 and up) also has a weird bar along the bottom of the screen. So do most Unix desktops in our days.

Posted by: acb Fri Oct 2 23:06:22 2009

I used Linux as my main desktop OS for many years (for most of the 90s I avoided the desktoppy environments, though, sticking to a window manager with a root-window menu and a few xterms, though now use Ubuntu when I use Linux). I have moved to OSX as my main personal platform some years ago, though, after starting to use it for music and such. OSX can take a bit of getting into, but once you do, it's a rather nice OS. The fact that the internals are much nicer than Windows, and it has fewer problems, is a nice bonus. (Then again, not having a UNIX shell and environment is a bit of a deal-breaker for me. And the clunky add-ons for Windows (i.e., cygwin) don't cut it.)

Posted by: acb Fri Oct 2 23:15:11 2009

Btw, on a tangent: I went to the Future of Web Apps conference this week. (It's essentially a technical pep rally run by enthusiastic Californians.) They had a number of interesting talks about things like HTML5, mobile widgets, new AJAX toolkits and such. One of the main sponsors was Microsoft, who had a stall outside, and were giving away their development tools (which, needless to say, require both development and hosting to be conducted on Windows). I felt a little sorry for them, given all the barbs that were thrown at MS in talk after talk, and the stack of unclaimed DVDs left at the end. Though, I must say, the row of XBox 360s and the Surface table got a better reception.

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