The Path to Digital Liberation

It’s been over two months since my desktop computer was functional.  It’s been six months since it was stable and not fighting me every step of the way.  The problem is Windows 10 and its mandatory Creators Updates.

I’ve blogged about this already, so I won’t go into too many further details.  I will simply say that Microsoft, like Apple, has created a Frankenstein’s monster of its own.  The two monsters are very different in appearance and attitude.  Both are still monsters that I don’t want to deal with anymore.  I look to the creator as the problem, and I’ve decided I’m done.  I spent the weekend discussing my situation with a friend of mine who is a network administrator.  I’ve weighed the pros and cons, and I’ve decided that as the situation will not improve so long as Microsoft insists on this trajectory of stupid.  I got a new computer system capable of handling Windows 10 when the old one proved to be unworthy of the task originally.  The new system handled it admirably, and then the Fall Creators Update crippled it.  There’s a memory mismanagement in play that Microsoft is unwilling or unable to fix.  The proposed fix was to come in January, it got announced for March, then finally released in April.  It did nothing.  I’ve reinstalled, which itself was a pain in the butt to get a stable install, and once I did, the updates came rolling in and crippled it all over again.  The result is I have an expensive paperweight and a cheap laptop I didn’t want in the first place so I could still do what I need to do in an online world.

I learned to despise Apple and its “culture” back in college when I was using both PC and Mac platforms for the same tasks in digital media design.  I don’t care about how stylish something is.  I just want it to work in such a way as to serve my specific needs, and I want to learn how to fix it when it doesn’t.  Apple defies all of this.  When I pulled the plug on that, I’ve never looked back, and I’ve never regretted it.  The time has come to do the same for Microsoft.  But I can’t do that without a replacement, it’s not going to be quite the clean break I hoped.  Not yet, anyway.

Among all the other things I’m juggling in life right now, my newest high level priority is to learn Linux Ubuntu.  Based on my new understanding, I can learn the graphical desktop interface, which is pretty similar to Windows in many regards, without learning the command lines.  That gets me up and running.  Where I find I still need to rely on Windows until I find fully acceptable replacements, I can run the far superior and stable Windows 7 as a virtual desktop where I have to and kill it when I don’t need it.  It’s quite literally the best of both worlds, the solution I’ve been looking for.  Then as my understanding and confidence increases, I can start learning the command lines and maybe develop some serious computer skills in the process.  Over time, I should be able to find all of the means to overcome my reliance on Windows.  Better still, Linux, I’m told, will absolutely sing and dance on the system I have in ways Windows never could.

In short, this becomes an open source, long term solution.  More than that, if I find I enjoy it, I might even pursue the idea of certifications and a career move.  I’m a long way from that, but the fact is that I learn better when I’m passionate about something.  Well, I am very passionate about liberating myself from Microsoft’s cycle of consumer exploitation.  As much as I’ve dealt with boatloads of stupid from Amazon’s customer service, I’ve seen people with similar situations to mine dealing with Microsoft’s customer service, and it’s worse by exponential levels.  I’d personally call it criminal in that they now charge to maybe temporarily fix a problem, and it took years for anyone on their end to even admit the problem exists, and they refuse to fix it.  That kind of crap is part of why I bailed on Apple 20 years ago, and it’s going to cost Microsoft now.  The big companies that are “too big to fail” have never understood this, but you lose customers one at a time, and word of mouth is still the most effective advertising, positive or negative.  People talk.  People like me with these problems go online to seek solutions and can read for themselves the cycle of stupid in play.  Saying the problem doesn’t exist doesn’t make it true.  We live in a digital world now.  People who can’t afford the high prices for substandard solutions are going to find alternatives they can afford.  For me, it’s Linux.

I’ve made some discoveries that sweeten the pot, such as the Android platform being a Linux creation.  This appeals to me because it’ll help me to understand that better too.  There’s nothing I hate more than being reliant on something I don’t understand.  As in the days before Windows became the operating system, it’s all about figuring out why the system works as it does and becoming comfortable with it.  I remember my first PC with the nuclear amber screen.  You know, back when dinosaurs ruled the earth, you had to dig for water, and music was played from cassette tapes?  Good times.  I don’t miss the hassles, but back then the idea of learning technology was exciting.  I learned DOS and BASIC before Windows was a thing.  Once it did arrive on the scene, I remember the non-Windows applications I used running a lot faster than anything Windows offered, even when they were loaded from a 5 1/4″ floppy drive.  I miss that experience of simplicity and efficiency.  I’m not a programmer because I don’t learn languages well at all, but there’s something to be said for necessity and the feeling that it’s possible to take control of your own destiny.

Of course, the timing couldn’t possibly be worse.  I swear, everything happens all at once.  But this gives me a positive direction, an immediate goal, and possibilities for the future.  It does mean a lot of project blogs here will continue to languish while I dedicate myself to learning Linux, but I’ll figure out some kind of balance as I go.  The Sherlock Holmes stories, for example, are easy and mostly bite-sized, so that project is going to be revving back up because all work and no play only feeds into frustration and depression.  Everything else will come back a little at a time, that I promise.  Bear with me.

Incidentally, I’ve noticed that since I’ve been on hiatus, I’ve gotten more followers.  I can’t imagine why.  But if you’re new here, welcome.

I keep saying it, but to all who follow here, thank you for your patience while I sort out my world.

 

5 thoughts on “The Path to Digital Liberation

  1. “Better still, Linux, I’m told, will absolutely sing and dance on the system I have in ways Windows never could.” The skills you’ll pick along the way will be invaluable in the long run my friend. Mark my words.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, amber text. My first computer had that. The first I used, even longer ago, had green. The amber was easier on the eyes.

    Mind you, the first computer I ever *saw* was back in the mid-70s – an IBM mainframe, which had its own room and acolytes. (Class trip to a bank in elementary school.)

    I have no doubt that you will learn the Linux!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: April 2018 Overview and Assessments | Knight of Angels

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