Friday, March 21, 2003

Conspiracy Theory

A few posts ago, I tried to include a picture of a scary octopus I found in a children's book my daughter had checked out from the library.

It pulled up here, there, and everywhere in Mozilla (my browser of choice these days - it's a solid piece of work, and I support the open source girls and boys when I can, plus it works as good as and often better than MS IE). But, alas and of course, Microsoft's Internet Explorer wouldn't load the picture. It wouldn't open a new browser window if I merely linked directly to the graphic. No, I had to create a whole new frickin' page over at geocities/yahoo and link to that for IE to deign to show it. Why is that? It might be something geocities/yahoo does, but if that were entirely the case, why did it work in Mozilla?

I sometimes wonder if Bill and the boys and girls meet in dark, secure rooms lined with Jolt Cola cans and brainstorm how they can fark with the customers this time. (Popup hell, anyone?) It's funny how they behave initially and offer the coolest stuff until they perceive they've got a captive audience. Then bam! out come the ropes and the sand-infused jar of Vaseline. (They did get caught sending alternate style sheets from their sites out to non-MS browsers so they'd look messed up.)

The day edges nearer when I will switch completely from Microsoft products, I think. My last Microsoft love is Word, but with enough abuse, love fades. There is also the ongoing sin of Powerpoint to consider. (Teachers are using it in classes now, heaven forbid. Just one more thing to add to the list of questions to the new teacher: "No green party stuff, no DARE stuff, no NOW stuff, no NEA "self-esteem" stuff, no Creationist stuff, no GLAAD stuff, and no Powerpoint, right?") I've read in the tech mags that the next version of Windows and Office won't be backwards compatible, won't store Word documents in a transportable format, and everyone's work will be stored out on the web in Microsoft servers. (Was that a Microsoft logo I saw on Neo's pod?) The day that happens, pull any and all stock out of Microsoft, because they will be, like, so over.

I don't even load the Netscape browser on PCs anymore - it's just a waste of space. I mean, it commits all the sins of IE, but offers none of the niceties.

I used the Opera browser for a while, but the interface is so user-vicious it just screams "developer designed." As super scary smart as most programmers/developers are, they suck at interface design. It must be a savant thing where they can drop awesome data-crunching code like Raymond/Dustin can count a box of toothpicks before it hits the floor, but if you try to suggest a svelte, uncluttered screen that does what it looks like it should do, they start screaming about buying their undies only at K-mart. Just look at most Linux GUIs (Graphical User Interface) for proof. My favorite is the modem software that will "load" the modem and turn it on but not dial; you have to specifically ask it to dial. After you ask it to dial, it won't handshake with the other system it encounters; no, you have to ask it to do that, too. Once you ask, teeth clenched, to handshake, it sits there waiting for you to OK the actual transfer of data! By then, only the uber-geeks haven't booted over into Windows to get their damn email.

But, at least those wonky interfaces are honest and as guileless as inbred petstore puppies. It gives me the creeps when Microsoft stuff refuses to work like it should. What is it doing behind my back, anyway? I just know it's ratting me out to THE MAN, even though there's nothing to rat me out for. If it could, it would probably try to come on to my wife behind my back.


Excuse me, I need to go talk to my wife...

Update: It seems Microsoft does keep offering my wife unsolicited "downloads." Those bastards.

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