Have you every ordered something to eat that you knew you didn’t want? On more than one occasion, I’ve ordered a third chilidog. I love those things, but I should never eat more than two. Imagine how much worse that would be if after I ordered three chilidogs, the guy said: “that’s going to take a while, we’re just finishing a new batch of chili.” How much worse would that be if, when I finally got the chilidogs, the buns were torn, I didn’t get any napkins and the chili had beans. I don’t like chili with beans.
This isn’t a post about chilidogs.
This is about Windows 10, but I figured if I put that in the title, you would have skipped it. I’m sorry for the subterfuge.
I had a near-death experience with Windows 10 last week. After endless months of badgering, I caved to Microsoft’s incessant whining and agreed to upgrade my laptop to Windows 10 from Windows 7. I waited as long as I could. The free offer was ending. I like Windows 7. However, I use Windows 10 at work, and it’s OK, so I figured it would be a good idea to stay up-to-date.
Windows 10 is OK in the way a chilidog on a non-toasted bun with turkey-chili and tofu-cheese-like-stuff is OK. It’s not what you want, but…
Just in case you don’t know, I do this stuff (Windows, not chili dogs) for a living. I’ve used every Microsoft product since the first version of DOS that came with my IBM PC. I’ve been around this block before. This time, the experience felt wrong from the get-go.
I clicked on that pesky “Get Windows 10” icon that has been wedged into my taskbar and I agreed to begin downloading. Nothing. Oh, the screen changed and a disproportional circle of dots started whirring around, but nothing happened. I closed the download screen after 15 minutes and saw:
“0 KB total – 0% complete.”
I tried again.
It failed again.
I Googled. The folks at Google must have a screen somewhere that shows how many millions of people are Googling “Windows 10 fails to download” or “why won’t Windows 10 download” or “What the f… Microsoft?” Google started me on a different route – Windows Update from the Start Menu.
Different screen. Same result. 0 KB total – 0% complete.
Lather, rinse and Google again. I found a link from Microsoft. “Having trouble? Blah blah blah. Try this…” Different website – 0 KB total – 0% complete.
“Hey Google, it’s me again. How can I say this in a way that will get me some different choices…? I know – ‘download Windows 10’…oh yeah, that worked.”
FREE – Get authentic Windows 10 from Joe’s Software,
Spam and Malware Outlet – FREE!
A little farther down, I spied an article from CNET. I trust those guys. Their link brought me to a fourth Microsoft website, but this one worked. I was able to download a bit of starter software. I ran that and a progress indicator started ticking off: 0%, 1%, 2%… it wasn’t happening quickly, but it was better than 2,800 diskettes.
The process got to 96% before my bedtime, so I just let it run.
In the morning, I found my PC responsive and ready to roll. I walked through the configuration screens. No, I don’t want to use Cortina. No, I don’t want to use the Edge browser. No, No, No, I don’t want to use anything made by Microsoft especially for Windows 10.
Reboot. Things kinda sorta looked OK, but I had to go to work. When I got home, I kicked off the CNET download on my wife’s laptop and turned my laptop on so I could print a building permit application and some plans I had been working on.
I knew I was doomed when Cortina offered to help me figure out what I wanted to do.
“Just let me get my stuff.” You know, the stuff you said would be “right where I left it.”
“Yes, Dorothy, your stuff is right where you left it. Your brush is on the dresser. Your clothes are in the closet. The milk is in the fridge. But, your house isn’t in Kansas anymore. Your house is in C:\old.kansas, and… it landed on Glinda.”
“Firefox is not your preferred browser. Do you want to make it your preferred browser? What’s that? You tried that six times… Sorry, maybe if you try again.”
“Chrome? The superior browser from Google? Chrome isn’t installed. Would you like Cortina to help? Here, try the Edge browser.”
“Welcome to Word 2013. Would you like to take a tour? Oh, you want to open a recent document…sorry, they’re over the rainbow in old.kansas.”
“I see you double-clicked on a .docx file in old.kansas. I’m assuming you want to open that in WordPad, that’s what the Munchkins use.”
Sensing danger, I immediately cancelled the download on my wife’s laptop. Then, I force fed my documents into Word, and TurboCAD and I printed my application. Then, I clicked on the option to “Restore Windows 7”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, I am sure!”
There’s no place like home.