viernes, 22 de abril de 2011

I'm considering not to renew your contract, Windows

For this Easter (or Holy Week, as we call it in my country), I had planned to perform a task that requires some time: reinstalling Windows XP.

I dragged myself very close to starting. However, to be honest, when I saw the installing CD, I anticipated the fun that awaited me and became very lazy. After all, to complete the operation, I have to find the drivers, the programs, make back ups, customize the OS...

I, somehow, envisioned Windows XP as an employee working on a contract basis. Mr. XP's contract is becoming due, so he steps into my office to discuss contract renewal. From the filing cabinet, I take his performance record and analyze it.

Tasks accomplished in the last four months: None. I don't need Windows to browse the Web, to chat, to modify images, to work with videos... In my company, Windows XP is unnecessary to operate the scanner, use Skype, or to download pictures from my wife's camera. Its "excellent" MS Office suite has been replaced by Open Office and Libre Office completely (even to the point for me to wonder why I didn't use Open Office before). To make matters worse for him, I did give XP a significant task twice and it failed both times: to connect me to the internet. Last time, XP didn't even boot the computer!

Skills: According to this post, Windows XP has several skills that make him an essential employee. Let's see...
  1. Installing software in a simple way. Yes, that's true...provided that YOU already have the software. Otherwise, you have to browse the Web for a while and download a good many of trash looking for the program you need. Oh, and then, if you don't want to pay, you have to look some more to get a crack/code/loader with the imminent risk of getting your valuable employee infected by the computer equivalent of Ebola because that simplicity to install is exploited by malware.
  2. Speed. For crying out loud! Hasn't this person EVER used Windows? I suppose that if you never install anything, it will always be fast. But the truth is that point 1 contradicts point 2 and we all know it: the more programs you install, the more you mess up with Windows registry and the OS becomes slow...sometimes PAINFULLY so. And let's not forget that you have to wait until it loads the anti-virus, anti-zombie, anti-spyware, firewall and who knows what else...Yes, this employee doesn't work unless you cover him with a large workplace risk insurance policy.
  3. Excellent program portfolio. The ones that are ACTUALLY INCLUDED with the OS, that is? Give me a break. Now, if you are talking about the programs that you can get, then how excellent they are depends on two variables, identity and custom. The former variable determines whether or not you need Autocad or Photoshop, for instance. Simple users who enjoy retouching pictures don't need Photoshop; I've seen them do their work with MS Paint (poor them!). I wonder what they could do with a program like Paint, but that actually works, like Kolourpaint...Let's not talk about MS Moviemaker...it gets frustrating. On the other hand, the latter variable, custom, acts as a barrier preventing you to use other programs that can help you achieve the same objectives, but following a different process (Photoshop vs The GIMP). Such recalcitrance makes you call your usual tool "excellent" because you already know how to use it, not because it is actually the BEST there is (or that there will be).
I completely agree with the author in one point: Windows XP can be repaired quickly. However, that can be seen as a problem and not as an advantage. Windows XP is a worker that takes too many sick leaves, which, for any company, becomes EXPENSIVE. My two Linux employees (Mandriva and Pardus) have been working diligently since they came last December. No interruption whatsoever, except for a hardware problem last week. In the same period, XP has been on sick leave twice. And I seldom ask him anything!

In addition to his ability to get sick quickly, XP has another flaw: it tends to sleep on the job, especially when we need multitasking. Oh, but he is very good at playing games! In my case, the games I like to play (DOS-based ones) were discontinued thanks to XP. World of Warcraft means nothing to me. I admit that the Tomb Raider saga caught my eye, but...is playing that game a justification for all I have to do to get XP back on his feet?

An employee that I only need because he is good at playing?

Furthermore, there is a powerful antagonist that wants XP out. It's Microsoft, which has decided not to cover XP against certain diseases and marginalized him regarding the new browser they released. This company wants XP's reputation to taint as much as possible so that they can ask me to replace him with the brother of that Vista punk that came looking for a job four years ago. So, do I need an employee that is even betrayed by the firm he represents?

Mr. XP... I'm seriously considering not to renew your contract...

8 comentarios:

  1. XP and his brothers share another singular trait: they lie too much about the jobs to be done. They often say "this job cannot be done" but the job is possible for the other employees. Often, he needs help to complete such jobs if he can ever do them. A model employee indeed!

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  2. Soon come the trolls...get ready! :P

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  3. Not to troll about... just to say that I always enjoy reading what you guys write. Long live Linux!

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  4. @ Volnei,
    Actually, thanks to you for reading our posts and showing your appreciation with your comment!

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  5. Yes I'm glad I fired Mr XP and Mr Win7 a long time ago. Mr Win7 was lazy and quite a bit overweight, taking far too much space for what little work he did!

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  6. I wish there was something I could do about the gaming.

    Wine has never worked right for me, even with all the tweaking there is to it. XP has gotten old and useless but win7 won't run not that old games that worked fine in XP (like starcraft and diablo2). Desktop virtualization will take away all the resources required for smooth gaming.

    I yearn for the day that I can play with my penguin other than frozen bubbles xD

    For everything else Linux is the man.

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  7. @ Carl D,
    I never had the pleasure of firing Mr Win7. I never hired him; that's why, hahaha!

    @ Vanargand,

    I know what you mean. Besides playing Frozen Bubbles, I play Heretic, Rise of the Triad, SuperTux cart, and XMoto.
    You see, I'm a retro gamer ;-)

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