Friday, January 29, 2010

Microsoft Windows 7: The Biblical-Christian Perspective.

Microsoft: if ever a corporation reflected the breadth of today’s Anglican Communion it’s Seattle’s most socially well-adjusted offspring since Robert Stroud.

Indeed; from the company's bureaucracy - clearly been modelled upon that of the Church of England - to their Customer Relations Division's mastery of Evangelical compassion and listening skills, Microsoft epitomizes the One True Church founded by St. Paul 2,000 years ago in Canterbury. Their Legal Department are as pernickety as a gaggle of Forward in Faith dearies at a conference on vestments. The Product Research and Development team have the intelligence of Charismatics, and Corporate Ethics are undoubtedly handled by a member of ACNA. All of which should explain why I was so pleased this week when my long-awaited liberation from Vista finally arrived, in the form of a Windows 7 upgrade disc.

The first exciting discovery (after an earlier revelation that “free” didn’t include a postage and handling charge large enough to ship several elephants and an SUV via express post to anywhere on the planet) was that prior to starting I first needed to back up everything - there’s something so satisfyingly productive it demanded about spending an entire afternoon burning one’s life onto a box of DVDs. Next the upgrade demanded I download a few additional files, which only comprised a meager two-thirds of a gigabyte - so naturally there was no point in providing these on an additional disc: undoubtedly the additional postage costs of that second piece of plastic would have been more than Microsoft could ever afford.

Once downloading started another discovery followed – during each file the process would randomly stop, spend ten minutes or so displaying a “Verifying Data” message, and then start again. And again. From the beginning. Since it quickly became obvious this would tie up the St. Onuphrius’ parish internet access for much longer was practicable I was obliged to tap into the neighbouring Baptist minister’s unsecured wireless network instead. However with all the restarts the paltry 660mb eventually exceeded 8 gigabytes, exceeding the monthly Baptist bandwidth, and choking their speed to a rate technically known as “stoned snail”. Thus forcing me to finally complete the process by once more connecting to our own account.

With this thrilling phase complete the real joy began. 62% of the way through to “the greatest Windows experience ever” things stopped. After enjoying the calming blue screen for some time I found myself with no alternative but to restart. Which solved the problem perfectly until we once again reached 62%. Bishop Quinine feared there may be a symbolic meaning to this number, and that we should interpret it as a sign commanding us to offer our Curate as a sacrifice to pacify the departing spirit of Vista. As plausible as this sounded, I first chose to instead pursue a more technical approach of crossing my fingers and chanting “Third time lucky”.

Which, surprisingly enough, worked. Providing you consider it “lucky” to watch one’s prized notebook display all the glorious colors of the Windows 7 boot screens before settling down into its new role as a unremittingly-black-screened paperweight.

After another few hours of therapeutic screaming I was, like Our Lord and Lazarus, able to restore life to my beloved servant, although I’m afraid it would in this case be an exaggeration to say the subject of the resurrection no longer stinketh. Strange messages demanding the reinstallation of “Power Saver Service 1.2.25” appear at random, a button that used to glow green in testimony of all the power my machine was saving no longer works (not that I could ever see the logic in consuming more power to show one is consuming less power, but it was a pleasant color), and someone who sounds like Stephen Hawkings keeps telling me “An active blue-tooth device is within range”.

On the bright side, however, my machine now takes a whole 3.72 seconds less to start, meaning that after booting up a mere 69,304.8 times to recover the lost days spent installing this wonderful upgrade there’ll be some significant benefits with regard to time-saving. Consequently on the basis of using the machine twice daily I’m anticipating a remarkable increase in my personal efficiency and productivity sometime around October 2106.

Incidentally, upon completion I took the parish hounds for a much needed constitutional, and chanced to meet the Baptist minister and his wife, who enquired if we’d also been having problems with our internet connection – apparently their ADSL has started running terribly slowly. Of course I explained ours was working fine, but out of pastoral consideration suggested their computer’s operating system could be at fault: my recommendation was that they immediately upgrade to Windows 7. There’s nothing so rewarding as the feeling that comes from providing counsel to sinners in time of need.

I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.


Anonymous said...

I am wondering, Father, if Micrsoft is entirely to blame. Often one's computer is invaded by malicious hackers. Words like "ACNA" and "Bob Duncan" are known by internet geeks as Trojans or "worms". For instance, I once typed the phrase "Dobby Ould" into my laptop which instantly exploded.

Doorman-Priest said...

You deal with all adversity with such humility.

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG said...

Father Troll, you are an inspiration to us all. I almost feel that I have vicariously accomplished all my Lenten disciplines in advance just by reading your account of this passage from one Microsoft "operating" "system" to the other. You are a brave soul. I am, I am shamed to say, merely using Vista as a kind of what the french call "cilice d'ordinateur" as an appropriate penitential. I am not ready to ascend the heights of austerity demanded by Windows 7 "upgrading." It is too steep a path.

BooCat said...

Yea, verily. This is the very reason that my little laptop is still running XP. Not that doing that is without difficulties. After downloading Service Pack 3, it completely crashed and had to be reformatted. That's what I love about Bill Gates.