So I have no responsibilities in the world now, other than finding a job and packing to go home. So what is a nerd to do? Well I spent the first day playing space shooters like Gradius III and Raiden. Of course I started work on redesigning my entire website. And I also did a bit of other scripting and programming various tidbits. But inevitably a new video game was in order. I considered a few Gamecube Games, but a lot of them required more people, like four swords. So that wouldn’t work out well right now. I also considered Half-Life 2 since my Internet connection would soon vanish I wouldn’t be able to buy it later if I wanted. To make a long story short I caved and bought it on-line because I’m lazy. Oh, Half-Life 2 is freaking awesome. Like holy crap awesome.
And it’s a good thing that its so awesome. Because if it wasn’t so awesome I might have stabbed something. You see in order to play HL2 I either had to buy Cedega (cold day in hell) or reboot to my tiny, barely used, perfectly clean Windows XP partition. As a result of my experience my hatred for Microsoft Windows has been renewed. The fiery passion of disgust within me is equal to that of a gazillion white hot supernova suns.
Since I downloaded the game I had to wait awhile before I could play. So I went about web browsing, messaging and text editing while I waited. Even with Firefox and gaim this was incredibly unnecessarily painful. How come when I click the Firefox icon I have to wait for the window to show up? In fact, how come when I enter any command I have to wait a noticeable amount of time for anything to happen at all? This is the same exact computer and hardware that I use every day with Linux. I have instant response times on anything. If I click the Firefox icon in Linux, it opens immediately. Yet on a perfectly clean untarnished fully updated Windows XP it does not. No wonder you people are still using IE! But even IE did not open rapidly enough. I guess you must not realize how inherently slow and shitty it is if you have nothing to compare it to.
But wait, there’s more. Sound cards, I have two of them. They both work in Linux and Windows. But Half-Life 2 has some weird bug where if sound card drivers are weird then you can’t have 4.1, 5.1 or greater sound. Only stereo sound will work. Oh, and merely having two sound cards and two sound card drivers in the system, regardless of configuration, causes intolerable skipping and stuttering in the game audio. Now much of this blame goes to the developers at Valve for having such a serious and unnecessary bug in their game that is yet unfixed so late after release. However, this type of thing wouldn’t even be a remote possibility in a modern Linux system with alsa. You just couldn’t possibly have bugs like this, the architecture of the system itself prevents you from having this problem. The same is true for many other aspects of Linux. Just to note, I have issues with the way sound cards are handled in Linux/alsa also, so it is not perfect by any means. I think only Macintoshes, Apples and Commodores handle sound properly. Oh, and old DOS boxes with Sound Blaster 16s.
And of course, everyone’s favorite. Programs which stop responding. During absolutely normal use of various programs they stopped responding. Just like that. Sometimes I would use a program, go to close it and bam! it wont close. Gotta do the old ctrl-alt-del. At least that end process now button actually worked. I remember in the 3.1 days when you would get the GPF blue screen. You’ve come a long way MS, too bad no software on my Linux install crashes ever. At the very worst I will write some software and accidentally fork wrong and have to kill off a zombie. Actually XMMS is sometimes poopy too, but I can xkill it away. This is obviously a problem with the OS since programs that I know run just fine on Linux like Firefox, gaim and gvim were suspect. And the fact that it occurred in multiple programs not just one shows that the OS is at fault for instability. How can people work like this?
So to conclude the story. Windows still sucks. It sucks the dog dick of Anubis. It’s a good thing that Half-Life 2 is so god damn fucking amazing or it would have not been worth it to suffer the pain of using windows to play it. Judging by the number of years between Half-Life 1 and 2, which is 6 years by the way, we’ll see HL3 in late 2010. Hopefully by then the world of computing will be completely different and Windows will no longer have some stranglehold of low quality over the entire marketplace. There is no reason that we should be made to suffer this tyranny of shitty operating system any longer. Seriously, it just hurts a lot to use, like stabbing myself almost. If you’re still using Windows you have a choice. But I don’t think you can really understand just how bad your situation is until you learn what alternative OSes have to offer. I used to use Windows, I know. Free your hardware.