Thursday, April 06, 2006

Random Computer Crap

A couple of months ago, my computer freaked out.  I turned it off one day, and the next day, it wouldn’t turn on.  It gave me a crazy warning screen and shut itself off.  I was totally confused.  I’ve had it for a little over three years, and I’ve never really had a problem with it before.  First, I talked to the IT guy at work, who basically told me that I was an idiot for buying a Gateway.  Whatever, people have their preferences.  He’s a big fan of Dell and has a friend who got a total lemon from Gateway.  Like I said, I’ve never really had a problem.  He didn’t really think there was much I could do without completely wiping my hard drive clean and starting over.  I didn’t want to do that since I never learned my lesson from my previous laptop cashing out and I hadn’t saved a lot of the information that was on the computer.  

So, I called Gateway.  Naturally, I never bought an extended warranty or anything, so I was essentially SOL.  I gave the tech a frustrated sigh and said that I expected as much and told him what IT Guy had said about Gateway Customer Service.  Thankfully, this worked.  Dude was awesome.  He stayed on the phone with me for about three hours and got my computer straightened out.  Basically, I had gotten some sort of virus – even though I have virus protection.  

This is all a long way of saying that, on the recommendation of IT Guy, I have started using a new internet browser, called Mozilla Firefox.  So far, I like it.  It’s different from Internet Explorer, but it is Netscape-based, and I used to use Netscape instead of IE.  I generally distrust Microsoft.  Mozilla is supposedly better protected that IE.  Unfortunately, MSN.com and some of their features, like video clips and stuff, don’t work on Mozilla.  This has actually worked to my benefit and helped me break my addiction to msn gamezone.  I could play Zuma for hours.  Plus, hotmail works fine.  I do like hotmail.  I used to use a yahoo account, but I hate the way yahoo is constructed.  You have to click on your new messages notification like three times to actually get to your inbox.  I hate that.  And something about the layout just blows.

Anywho.  Yesterday, while at work, I got a message saying that I had been selected to use the Windows Live Mail Beta.  While I generally distrust Microsoft and would like to break my addiction to them, I can’t resist being “the first” to test a new something.  I’m sure they’re offering this to anyone, but I was left out of the gmail loop.  Leave me some glory.

Windows Live Mail is essentially Outlook online.  Which is ok.  I used Outlook at my old job and I used to use it at home when I used my internet provider’s email address.  It’s certainly more user-friendly than the “classic” hotmail.  However, it doesn’t work on Mozilla.  This blows because it means I have to choose between the two and, quite frankly, I like my computer to be up and running.  So, I am technically still beta-testing it, but I can’t use the Outlook view, only the “classic” which sort of defeats the purpose.

I don’t really have a point here.  Except maybe that, I dislike Microsoft for their world-domination combined with a lazy attitude towards security.  You can’t really avoid using their stuff.  I want free internet-based email.  I don’t want Google to store every email I ever send or receive, no matter how much they claim they won’t pass that information on to the government.  I hate Yahoo’s whole deal.  They’re too cluttered.  I’m sure there are other options out there, but this is all I know.  Maybe someday, when I finally make the switch to a Mac (this is will be shortly after I win the lottery and have lots of money to spend on replacing stuff that isn’t broken), I’ll have the time to invest in finding replacements for every windows-based application that I’m currently hooked on.  In the meantime, I’ll just have to deal.

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