Windows, users, guns and stupidity

Opinion: Our earlier story on how fast or slow Windows 7 boots and shuts down has attracted some critical acclaim and some critical unacclaim from people who obviously didn’t bother to read the story before posting a comment on it.

It occurred to us that we hadn’t told the full story and had omitted to include what happened on a Mitac 1.66GHz Core 2 Duo laptop with 4 GB of RAM running 64 bit Win7 build 7600. What we do on this one is get it to hibernate when we shut the lid. Although it’s clearly not a high-end machine, it somehow manages to save an image of its 4GB of RAM to disk in 20 seconds. Waking it up takes 22.

We repeat our earlier point. If 20 seconds puts too big a dent in your crowded schedule, there’s probably no help for you. If you genuinely lose sleep at night because one OS loads ten seconds faster than another, ask your mom for a pacifier.

And to address some of the other comments received: any machine, regardless of the OS it runs, that needs rebooting even once a day has been set up by an idiot. Windows – of any flavor – does not blue screen every five minutes unless you are an imbecile. I have run every version of Windows since 3.0 in beta (and often alpha) versions and I have never lost any data due to a machine crash.

Even under Windows ME or Vista.

Now, that obviously makes me either very clever indeed, or amazingly-lucky, or – as seems more likely – the people who have genuinely lost data are morons who have no clue what they’re doing.

The truth is, as ever, more mundane. The readers posting replies involving Windows crashing every 30 seconds know a guy in a bar whose brother once met someone who’d heard that a chick at work’s PC had blue screened. This then becomes an urban myth/fact that Windows crashes more often than a blind NASCAR driver on acid.

When someone says they’ve lost data because their machine crashed, this is usually because they’ve either accidentally deleted it or turned it off without saving the document – although Word will autosave stuff every couple of minutes by default unless some klutz turns it off. What they’re actually doing is blaming the computer for eating their homework and that’s just as believable as the dog doing it. Nine times out of nine, any loss of data is a PEBCAK issue – Problem Exists Between Chair And Keyboard.

Windows does NOT crash any more often than any other OS that’s been set up by a dyslexic amoeba. It’s like guns – they don’t kill people, people kill people. Anyone who fools around with guns is crazy and anyone setting up a PC without knowing what they’re doing is just as stupid.

Even worse are the idiots who think they know what they’re doing and install every goddamned utility they get on every cover disk from every PC mag they’ve bought in the last 10 years, then moan that Windows loads slowly. The same idiots who buy a new laptop packed with pre-loaded crapware and trial versions of things no one needs and don’t uninstall it all as soon as they take it out of the box.

I’ve worked in any number of large multinationals whose tech support departments couldn’t be trusted to order pizza, let alone run a network of 10,000 PCs. I worked at one place that ran Windows XP as standard. I found a screenshot of OS/2 on the web, downloaded it and set it as my wallpaper, then phoned tech support to say my desktop had ‘gone funny’.

Two tech support guys finally arrived, said “WTF?” and it – honestly – took them a couple of minutes to work out what I’d done.

Try it yourself if you don’t believe me. You could also try swapping the wireless mice from adjacent cubicles and see how long it takes them to work that sucker out.

See Also
Windows 7 boots fast enough for normal people