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Re: The 'Microsoft Knows Best' Approach

In comp.os.linux.advocacy, Roy Schestowitz
on Tue, 23 May 2006 15:29:38 +0100
> __/ [ thad01@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx ] on Tuesday 23 May 2006 15:19 \__
>> This morning my girlfriend was attempting to play a video on the
>> Windows/Gaming computer.  I could hear her sputter in frustration.
>> It seems a software update had caused her default file/application
>> bindings to be overwritten; clicking on a video file was bringing
>> up Windows Media Player instead of adding it to her RealPlayer
>> playlist like it used to.  Attempts to fix the problem were not
>> going well.  Finally, she just got up from the Windows box, moved
>> to the Linux workstation, and played it from there.
> Patches break settings?? That simply cannot be.

Routinely, in Gentoo, if one's not paying attention.
It's not that much of a bug, more of a feature or tree
synchronization issue.

> Some folks in this group
> claim it's an imaginary side-effect.

Hardly imaginary.  Definitely a side-effect.  I've lost count of the
times I've had to reenable X11Forwarding in sshd_config.

It's something I can live with, since I can still ssh into the box.

> But when one's network connection is
> borked after an update (seen this, handled that), there must be something
> else which was the culprit. A re-installation of the O/S is sometimes
> required, but it's just the user's fault, of course. Microsoft Knows Best.
> User always takes blame.

In Gentoo, at least, it's clear who has the responsibility. :-)
And they do give fair warning, though the Wintroolies will
complain that "it's not a pretty GUI, just a text app".

But does etc-update really need to be more?  I'd say not.

>> I've had similar frustrations with MS Word.  It is not so much
>> outright bugs that give me grief, its the way Microsoft software
>> acts like it knows better than I what I want to do.  Autocorrect,
>> jumping margins, bullet points that appear out of nowhere... it
>> drives me up the wall until I've hunted down those settings and
>> turned them off.
> There are actual support requests which are made solely due to this
> behaviour, which is hard to disable.

Hmm...I was wondering if I had a good reason to avoid Word.  :-)  Not
that I use Word all that much anyway; I prefer oowrite2 but prefer even
more just plain old vi and a webbrowser.

> It sometimes leaves the user wrestling
> with Word for a long time until professional support is needed. As you said,
> margins and bulleting are a notoriety. Seen that, handled that, but at times
> it makes me sweat in anger. A bit more of that and I will start throwing
> chairs and blaming the developers. Developers! Developers! Developers!

Or the Marketers marketers marketers.  Now With Automatic Corrections
(Clippy), Automatic Suggestions (Clippy), Automatic Numbering (probably
Clippy), Automatic Annoyance (yep, Clippy), Automatic Save (probably
*not* Clippy), and Automatic Restore (hopefully not Clippy).


>> It may have taken a bit of work to configure my Linux desktop with
>> the apps and layout I like, but its behavior is much more reliable
>> and consistent than the Windows system.  On Windows, every time we
>> update a commercial closed source application or OS component, it
>> seems like something breaks.  Each vendor makes system changes to
>> push their own marketing agenda.  They release new codecs that
>> force you to update your media player and then bork other apps when
>> you install it.  I'm done with it, and now so is my girlfriend.
>> Mplayer with the full codec bundle plays every file type I've
>> thrown at it, including WMP and MOV files.  OpenOffice works fine
>> as an MS Office replacement.  If we can get Wine to play our
>> favorite video games, the last real Windows box in the house might
>> just suffer a FORMAT C: and be replaced by Yet Another Linux
>> Install (that would be number 4 in our house).
>> Just had to share the anecdote.
>> Thad
> FORMAT C:? Why? Let the Penguin take this pleasure, X-Peeing in the snow.

Such a misnomer, that FORMAT.EXE.  All it really does is play "write and
read" -- except on floppies, where it does the equivalent of fdformat.

> Best wishes,
> Roy

#191, ewill3@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Windows Vista.  Because it's time to refresh your hardware.  Trust us.

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