No, no. After you. • 25 March 2008 • The SnowBlog

No, no. After you.



My MacBook is the first Mac I've ever owned. I like it very much. Although every now and then it stops responding, or responds very very slowly, because it's doing something more important. My Windows machines do this too, and at least in their case I'm better equipped to figure out why they're ignoring me. For instance, with my Windows laptop, every time I wake it up, I have to fight a duel with Symantec's anti-virus speed-bump software - a duel which I always lose. I want to browse a web page, the anti-virus software wants to check for online updates - and it's always me who has to wait. This means there's little point in my laptop waking up in 30 seconds, because it might well be a couple more minutes before I'm allowed to do anything. Which is why I'm planning to build a very special computer. It's going to be fast and have Windows XP on it (Vista is nothing but a cunning Microsoft trick. One which I don't intend to fall for). I'm going to keep it away from the Internet, so it's not doing to have any anti-virus software on it - so that should double its speed. Neither will it have all the dozens of programs which love to while away their time fetching themselves updates and indexing their data and getting ready in case you decide later you might want to use them. It will run only whatever I've explicitly decided to run. And given that every component of this machine will be ten times faster than the PC I owned in 1995, I hope that by employing these drastic measures, it will actually be slightly quicker in use. I'll let you know how that goes.
Symantec are particularly appalling when it comes to slowing down machines because they do all sorts of other numskulled or borderline crooked things too. For instance, they make software that won't uninstall correctly, so you're stuck with it. And when your subscription is up, you are taken to a website to renew that subscription, but unless you pay very close attention and read the small print, what you actually end up doing is buying a whole new suite of software (this catches my dad out every single time). And the Symantec software on my laptop keeps interrupting me to pop up a little dialogue telling me that there's a new version of its software I can download for free. The only way Symantec would give something away for free is if there's something seriously wrong with its current software and it's covering its behind, so I've tried to do as it says. But when you click on the link it offers, the next thing you see is a Symantec web-page telling you that you typed the URL wrong. Smooth.


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