Dear Microsoft

Hello, Microsoft.  I hope you’re well.  I want to tell you about something really, really cool.  Back in about 1978, I was working on a DEC PDP-11/35, and (check this out) it had software that could detect when I typed something.  Is that cool, or what?

Oh, wait.  I just realized something. You have that too. And you have screensavers that don’t kick in unless there is no activity for some period of time. And, ohmygod, you can even select how much time that is!

Well, I guess my news isn’t all that exciting to you after all.  But, if you don’t mind, could you explain why, if you have that technology, YOU ARE STILL REBOOTING MY COMPUTER WITHOUT WARNING WHEN I’M IN THE MIDDLE OF TYPING SOMETHING?

Just curious.

Sincerely Yours,

Guy Who Does All His Serious Work On Linux

P.S.: To all of you Mac users who are about to make you-should-be-using-a-Mac comments: Blow me.


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I play the drum.

16 thoughts on “Dear Microsoft”

  1. I remember the days when my computer did exactly what I told it to, and NOTHING ELSE. I miss those days.

  2. Oooohhh, the nostalgia! Computers that only did what you told them to! Phones that only CALLED people! (While working at a plant that had lots of target-able stuff, I was told I could not have a cellphone that had a camera in it. I went to the cellphone store and ASKED for a phone without a camera….and the manager blinked at me and said “We don’t have anything like that.”)

    I recently inherited a 1952 Sylvania Console Stereo.

    It has a phonograph player.

    It has a radio.

    It doesn’t do anything else.

    It has TUBES.

    It takes up significant space in my bedroom.

    I love that thing. Sometimes I caress it and think sexual thoughts.

  3. Weird, that hasn’t happened to me on a Windows computer in…I don’t think that has ever happened to me.

    Though I don’t doubt it does or has, of course.

  4. Turn off the automatic updates…I learned after losing a huge amount of work.

  5. Stevie: Nope. Hawk is all on the Linux box. What was lost was, alas, a blog comment in which I utterly destroyed all of your arguments and made a profoundly moving case for my position which would have convinced you completely. Alas, now you must simply take my word for it. :P

  6. Somebody posted about Emacs… if you write your books in Emacs, you will make me the happiest of computer science students.

  7. Then be happy. :-) I do, in fact, write my books in emacs, using a minor mode (I think it’s a minor mode) designed and written by my friend David Dyer-Bennet to provide a few shortcuts and such. When the book is ready to be printed, I turn it into an rtf file using a macro my friend Anne Gay wrote.

  8. Just yesterday, I had an app on my tablet (Polaris Office) lose all my work on a document. It isn’t Android’s fault–like all tablet OS’s, it automatically closes apps if they aren’t touched for a while. Unlike all well-written Android apps, Polaris Office doesn’t save your work until you explicitly say “Save now”. So I typed for an hour, checked my email … and my work was gone.

    I do not use Polaris any more.

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