Microsoft Disappoints
again ...

installed Windows XP a couple weeks ago. It was a fine looking thing, very elegant, and went through the install without a hitch. Lucky for me it went through the uninstall equally as well (well, almost). I had to re-install the equally "sucky" Windows ME. Actually, ME is undoubtedly worse than XP but I had no choice.

The problem is peripherals. If you have them ... you must lose them in order to advance to XP.

    After the install the following would not work ...
  • printer
  • scanner
  • external hard drive
  • logitech quickcam
  • smart media reader
  • internal cd burner
  • I didn't check my Zip drive but assume it wouldn't work either
    What did work ...
  • speakers
  • mouse
  • keyboard
  • probably the microphone would have worked

Obviously this is unacceptable

As some people have told me, "You can deal with all these issues".
True. I could probably get all of them to work ... eventually. EVENTUALLY ... is the issue.

There are hidden costs involved in everything computer related. I was willing to accept $99 for the upgrade ... as a Christmas present. But I would not want it at, say, $400. Get it?

To upgrade my cd burner from ver. 4 to ver. 5 was $69.95 according to Roxio's web site. Then the real problem comes into play ... MY TIME. Everyone places a certain dollar value on their time. And, I am in the midst of finishing off my book. I need my computer and my time ... NOW. I can't go off for two weeks fixing problems caused by an upgrade. I place my total cost, including hidden variables, ar around $400. This is just way too much given the results. XP is nicer than ME but it's not $400 nicer. No way.

So I uninstalled. And ... lost $99 to boot because I foolishly registered the product right away. If I recall correctly I could have opened and used XP for thirty days or something like that without registering it. I should have done this. Now, because the registering process takes a "snapshot" of your system, I can't install it on another computer ... ever ... because ... it can't be registered again to another computer. Basically, my copy is trash.

Other Ill Effects

After the re-install of ME (XP install keeps a copy of ME and its registry on your hard drive for backup purposes), I am now stuck with a password pop-up that can't be gotten rid of. Fortunately my grandson (the 8 year old) showed me how to get by this ... just hit the "cancel" button and ME starts right up. I don't need to type in my password and neither does anybody else.

My cd burner stopped working yesterday. It worked flawlessly after the re-install so I can't blame XP for sure but I have my suspicions. Also, my X-Box stopped reading game discs shortly after the re-install. It isn't connected to my computer and is in the living room. I must suspect that they communicate by secret, encrypted radio waves ;o) My stepson showed me how to delete memory from the X-Box (he deleted Spiderman and some other game which doesn't work) and now it works again ... at least for today. My grandsons will be relieved to know that they can resume their assault on the "Ring World".

I also bought MS Works 2003 for $99 so that I could get MS Word on the cheap. Unfortunately, I installed it into XP and afterwards I was unable to install all the programs into ME because it left some "digital crumbs" in the registry disabling it somehow. With great difficulty and after repeated trials I was able to get MS Word up and running but the other programs in Works 2003 cannot be installed ... ever. Also, the copy of MS Encarta works but only off a dvd-cd reader. It too cannot be installed completely on my vast desert of a hard drive. So if I want to use it I have to find the cd every time ... (shades of Win95' I guess).

Recommendations ...

If you have ME don't go to XP ... wait ... till you need another computer. They only last about two-three years anyway. By then more bugs will be ironed out of XP as well ... and save up money for new peripherals.

If you do upgrade ... DO NOT ... register the product. Use it for awhile. Give yourself a chance to decide if you can afford the $$$.

Do not install anything new on your computer untill you've decided to keep XP. If you do and change your mind your new stuff can be F.U.B.A.R.D. ... permanently. Do not register any Microsoft product until you've used it up to the point where it won't work anymore unless you register (usually a month or so) because it won't work on any other computer.

Lastly, if you ar new to computers ... don't buy a PC. Get a Mac. They may have their problems but Bill Gates is NOT TO BE TRUSTED ANYMORE with anything related to computers. He is not interested in computer problems. His sole interest is the accumulation of wealth and the development of expensive "toys" that few can afford.

Once again - to Billy G

Get out of the business
You're in the way

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