Thursday, January 06, 2005

MS is Always Good for a Laugh

I was reading this article on Bill Gates' presentation at CES this year and, amazingly enough, his computer crashed while demoing something. Hasn't this happened to him like a billion times?

During a demonstration of digital photography with a soon-to-be-released Nikon camera, a Windows Media Center PC froze and wouldn't respond to Gates' pushing of the remote control.

Later in the 90-minute presentation, a product manager demonstrated the ostensible user-friendliness of a video game expected to hit retail stores in April, Forza Motor Sport. But instead of configuring a custom-designed race car, the computer monitor displayed the dreaded "blue screen of death" and warned, "out of system memory."
Do the people who go through and prepare everything he's going to be using for his presentation not actually check over some of the functions that Bill will be using? I mean if I was in charge of putting together the equipment and software that Bill would be demoing at one of the biggest electronic shows in the world, I'd make damn well sure that everything he was going to do would work.

When demoing the Forza Motor Sport game, a "blue screen of death" came up? What operating system were they using? Windows 98? In the extensive use of Windows XP both here at work and on the 5 PCs that my family has at home, I've never once gotten a blue screen of death from software. I've only gotten a blue screen when I've tried to add in faulty hardware. In those cases the blue screen would come up as the computer was booting before Windows XP was loaded.

I asked a couple of co-workers if they've ever ran into the blue screen of death on their WinXP systems while using them, and they never have. I wonder... maybe they were doing the demo on the next iteration of the Windows operating system and because of consumer demand the developers decided to add back in the much missed blue screen.

Frankly, I really miss the blue screen of death. Whenever it came up, you knew your computer session was hosed and you needed to restart. Now with WinXP your system just slowly degrades over time, getting odd errors here and there, seemingly getting slower, and then you just restart it because a program you need to run won't start up. You never know when your computer has reached the point of needing to be restarted to undo all of goofing up XP has done to your system. With the old versions of Windows when that point was reached, you'd see that blue screen and then hit that restart button. It was simple. You knew what to do.

We need error screens like the blue screen of death to make a comeback so all of the people suffering from "I'm too freakin' stupid to use a computer"-itis know when to stop goofing around and just reboot the damn thing.

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