I can’t believe I actually used Windows without question for years. I just got my dad a brand new HP desktop (he wanted a really small computer and this was the smallest name brand I could find) and I am setting it up for him this weekend. I am taking all his old data and copying it over to the new machine and then setting up all his applications for him. In theory this is not a big deal, but in practice it has been a huge pain. How can a multi billion dollar company like HP build a consumer device like a PC that simply doesn’t work well out of the box? They include a bunch of stuff to try and make it easy for a normal person to get up and running but in practice it has sucked.

My first issue is the fact that HP (not to pick on them since Dell and other do the same thing) put every free game or trial software they could think of on this computer. I had at least 20 programs I had to remove from the computer that would just take up space and memory. My dad doesn’t do his finances on the computer so why would he need both Quicken 2006 and Microsoft Money? The crap pre-installed on the machine is not a huge issue. I have had this problem for years with almost any computer maker.

What I truly don’t understand is the lack of testing of the software build put on these computers designed for the mass market. When I buy a computer and take it home and turn it on, everything pre-installed on it should work flawlessly. it was pre-installed for heavens sake. Why then does a brand new computer freeze up when trying to reboot it, but after 5 minutes it actually does reboot? Why would the built in AOL setup not complete the initial login and crash the machine? Same thing goes for the auto update for Java. I turned the computer on and it asked to be updated so I said ok, then the thing freezes and wont go away from the screen until I rebooted. Does anyone know how to test software builds anymore?

I can go on and on about the problems I am having with a brand new (supposedly clean) windows install but will just say I am baffled. I guess I have passed the point of no return with using my Mac, since I get frustrated every time I try to use a windows workstation. Granted I deal with Windows server allot in my job, it has its issues, but those are totally different from sitting at a windows desktop and working on it. I truly cannot see myself using a windows desktop again if I continue to have these stupid problems every time I try to use one. I am not being a nit pick, and I know what I am doing. It is simply just frustrating to use.

OK, my venting is over. I got AOL to finally work after a reboot (what a shocker). I will continue to setup the machine later. Hopefully the Palm setup doesn’t drive me to the bottle!

As a side note I will say that the HP Pavilion Slimline PC itself is sweet. it is super small for a windows box, packs a decent processor, 1gig of ram, a 200 gig SATA hard drive and dual layer DVD burner. Not bad for under $600. The software is just killing me.

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