The Joy of Windows XP

By on August 4, 2003

Mark recently reinstalled Windows XP on his laptop. He was kind enough to keep a running diary. My Apple bias not withstanding, I find this rather funny.

“34. Update driver.
35. ‘This driver is not digitally signed.’ OK.
36. ‘This driver may cause your computer to become unstable.’ OK.
37. ‘This driver may…’ OK.
38. cmd. ipconfig. We have internet access.
39. ‘Add your .NET Passport to Windows XP!’ No.
40. Fire up Internet Explorer. No. Download Mozilla.”



  1. While I thought this was funny too, I do have to give credit to Microsoft for Windows XP. I am utter hell on operating systems. I install every piece of software I can find, mess with every setting, run a half-dozen servers, mess with the registry, etc. Most OS installs on my machines have to be paved every six months because they just grind to a halt under my battery of abuse.

    Windows XP Home, however, has been running on my home machine for 18 months now, and it’s as solid as ever. I have no chronic issues with it, it hardly ever crashes, and it does everything I need it to.

    I’ve installed and uninstalled hundreds of programs. Right now, I have four Web servers running on it. Additionally, I have a wife and an eight-year-old son that log on and do stuff that I probably don’t want to know about.

    But XP just soldiers on. I ran out of hard-drive space the other day, and I figured it was time to pave it. Instead, however, I uninstalled a bunch of stuff, defragged, ran Windows Update, and freed up 3GB. XP picked itself up off the ground, dusted itself off, and was ready for action again

    I’m going to see how long I can abuse it before I absolutely HAVE to re-image the machine. I’m willing to bet it’s going to be a while. Hats off to Redmond for Windows XP. Bitch and moan about Microsoft all you want, but they did well with this one.

  2. Hey Deane: Did you ever have to pave that XP Home install, or is it still running? Or did you replace the machine with a Mac? (yeah, right!)

  3. Did you ever have to pave that XP Home install…

    I can’t remember which machine this was, to be honest. It was five years ago, so I think I got rid of it (it’s actually a Blend dev machine now). If it’s the machine I’m thinking of, it developed a hardware problem eventually, and we had to replace the motherboard.

    But, it’s worth saying that I have an XP Home install right now that’s going on four years. I ordered this computer from Dell the night the Red Sox went to the World Series in 2004. I have never paved it — it still has the default Dell Windows install.

    It’s running quite well. I have five users on this one — me, my wife, my son (13), and my two daughters (7 and 4). There’s a lot to be said for that.

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