Fuck Windows 8
I threw down forty bucks to buy what I thought was a functional operating system and installed it. What I found was the worst beta operating system that Microsoft has released to date. Let me tell you my story.
After my initial clean install of Windows 8, I was driven into an interface-frustration rage within minutes. The Start menu makes no god damn sense and is utterly useless for a normal desktop PC. Where is the Control Panel? Why can’t I multitask any more? Isn’t this operating system called “Windows”? How can I not have two applications open simultaneously?
Accidentally hit the upper-left corner. Oh, a desktop! With a taskbar! And no Start Menu. What the fuck? So I can have a desktop and run multiple applications in different windows and switch between them, but only if I create a shortcut on the Desktop? And that shortcut uses the old icon metaphor instead of the new tile, or some sort of hybrid-tile crossover to compromise between the benefits of tiles and icons.
At least I can install Google Chrome. This magical new IE feels just like the old IE – sloppy and fast scrolling, painful resizing as incomplete pages are rendered, but now with a zero-functionality menu bar! I wonder if Ninite has figured out Windows 8 yet.
Thank fuck! A real Start menu that I can customize and configure! A link to the real Control Panel – although now I’ll have to navigate to one of two different Control Panels depending on which settings I want to adjust. But at least it works and now I can use it just like Windows 7. Except that if I accidentally go near the corner of the screen, incredibly annoying touch screen interface abortions will bleed all over my nice, functional windowed interface and get me lost. When the new Start Menu opens, I’m stuck as a fuck because Alt-F4 doesn’t do anything and I have to meticulously Alt-Tab through different “traditional windows” and “tile windows” and hope I don’t end up in the unusable tile interface.
At least everything is working. It runs fine for about a month. Then I make the terrible mistake of … well, I don’t know. I’m pretty sure I just installed an application, but there might have been a driver update in there too. And I can no longer boot. Just, dead. And I’m all out of blank DVDs. And my BIOS freaks out when I try to boot from USB or SD. Let’s do this.
I have about five blank CDs. Download pirated XP, burn, reboot, install. Everything’s good again. Download Windows 8 installer. Put in my valid key. “Sorry go fuck yourself we can’t do it”. What? Google around – no answers. Fine, let’s go download a legitimate Windows 8 ISO and reinstall from scratch.
Wait… there’s no link. Anywhere. Nowhere in Microsoft allows an ISO download. Hmm. Well, I’m out of DVDs anyway, that’s not gonna work. Google around about the ISO. Oh… the upgrade I purchased is not valid for a clean install? It won’t even let you boot if you try to install from an ISO with your upgrade key? What the fuck?
That explains it. Windows 8 won’t approve the XP. Oh, and now XP has stopped booting. Something is up with the MBR.
No problem. I’ll install Ubuntu, custom partition, and leave unallocated space for NTFS on my SSD. Boot a Minimum CD and install standard Desktop. Well, this is slow. Unity is running like a slow fuck even though I’m running the ATI drivers. Plus, I really want Ubuntu Studio for the low-latency kernel. Upgrade to Ubuntu Studio, everything is cool. Let’s go install Windows 7.
Windows 7 install says “No. I can’t possibly fix the MBR. I can’t format a drive. I can’t do anything.” I have no idea why. Can’t go back to pirated XP or I’ll be stuck there. I want at least Windows 7 (which I bought legally in the past) if not Windows 8 (which I just purchased) but there is literally no way for me to get it working without downloading a pirated copy of Windows 7, find my old valid 7 key, activate correctly, and then web install Windows 8.
So I’m running Ubuntu Studio. XFCE is light and fast and beautiful. Chrome synced all my bookmarks. I moved all my data into the new ext4 filesystem. It wasn’t easy – I wanted to put swap, /home, /usr, /var and /tmp on a secondary drive but it totally borked the install. I Googled around enough to figure out that with my 3 gigs of RAM it wouldn’t matter if swap was there, and I needed to put /home on the SSD to get real performance benefits, so I I finally did a full drive install on the SSD using lubuntu-minimal and upgraded the kernel and packages to full ubuntu-studio. I downloaded something like 16 different games from my Humble Bundle purchases and installed Steam and TF2.
I’ll still need to get Wine running for Excel, and I’ll probably need a dual boot into Win7 if there are specific PC games I want to play, but I’ve fucking had it, man. I’m tired of fighting to prove that I paid for a license that’s included with the sale of almost every PC on the planet. I’m tired of paying money to beta test mediocre software when I could simply beta test bleeding-edge community software for fun. If I’m gonna be unstable, I want to be fucking sweet.
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