Sadly, on this occasion I’ve come not to thank Microsoft, but to express my annoyance at being deprived of my work computer for one week – not by accident, but by design. Their design.
This time eight days ago I was up to my eyes with work and surfing through it enthusiastically. Then came the Microsoft Update. Little did I know when I clicked the “Turn off after installing Microsoft updates button” last Wednesday night, after automatically downloading Vista Service Pack 2, that a week later I’d still be hours away from having a working computer.
You see, what happened when I reopened my ArchiCAD computer to start work Thursday morning was that I couldn’t. It wouldn’t open. I couldn’t start work. What the message on the computer required of me, before allowing me to do anything else, was for me to reinstall the entire Windows Vista operating system – with all the data loss that implied, and without which the computer would resolutely remain a hunk of useless metal.
Like I say, this wasn’t some accident. This was by design. Microsoft’s design. This is what the Microsoft Update required before unlocking my computer.
Now that I’m only minutes away from finally getting back up to speed (after a week of trial and error and ghosting and workarounds to conquer the problem) I have to say a big thank you to the good folk at Eden Computers, from whom I’ve bought my last four work computers, and who went above and beyond to get my weapon of choice back into action in at least as good condition as it was before Microsoft stuck their oar in. (They come with my highest recommendation.)
And I have to give a giant raspberry to Microsoft, whose security bloody update system has, by design not by accident, taken a whole working week away from me. Bastards.
UPDATE: Good news: Computer’s back and ready to rumble (thanks Eden Computers).
Bad news: Every Microsoft programme now wants its disk reinserted before it will open any damn thing e.g., click a Word document, and a dialogue box demands that I “Insert the Microsoft Office XP Small Business disk,” whereupon I’m informed “The feature you are trying to use is on a CD-Rom or other removable disk that is not available.” Bastards.
Thank goodness for OpenOffice, eh.