Computers and Me: Microsoft Windows

Previously on Computer and Me:

It’s probably inevitable that I’d have to go over Windows, but for a while, thinking about what I’d write next, I was starting to think I should skip it. Even though the Twenty Sided post on the history of Windows is what got me started on this, honestly, what’s there to say? Windows. Yeah.

I grew up with an Amiga. Some friends had PCs and sometimes I’d go over to their house and watch them play games. It wasn’t until nearly the end of highschool where I started to think that maybe DOS-based games were getting better than my Amiga games, but gaming was never a huge priority for me. I wanted to make my computer do cool things.

I didn’t know anybody who was doing cool things with DOS or Windows.

Maybe I was just hanging around with the wrong people.

I was using Windows more and more during co-op terms through university. Even though I’d never owned a Windows machine, I didn’t have much of a problem doing Windows IT support. It just all seemed so… uninspiring.

Of course, I ended up running Windows as my primary operating system anyway. There wasn’t really anything else.

At work, right now, I’m using Microsoft’s .NET framework to build hooks into Microsoft’s developer tools on Microsoft Windows. I get plenty of Microsoft at work. I’ve been coming to the conclusion again that I don’t particularly need it at home.

Windows just doesn’t make me happy. It doesn’t make me particularly angry or offended, either. Not anymore, at least. It’s just kind of there. It’s the quintessential boring, consumer computing platform. It’ll do pretty much anything you need it to do, even if it doesn’t do any of it particularly well. You can use it to do things or make things, but don’t expect it to be easy or fun. And if you do put any effort into it, don’t expect to be thanked for it. Someone else has probably already half-assed something that’s good enough anyway.

I’m coming to the conclusion that I’m happy with the breadth of my computing experience, and if I want to challenge myself, I’m going to have to start looking deeper into a particular platform. Going deep into Windows doesn’t seem worthwhile to me. The rewards just aren’t there, either personally or even professionally. I don’t even think becoming a shit-hot Windows coder will even land me the sort of job I’d want. You’d think, given that it’s by far the most widespread desktop platform on the planet, I’d be committing professional suicide, but I don’t think it matters that much.

I have to keep using Windows at work, but I think I’m going to leave it there. I’m comfortable and proficient in it, but if I’m going to do things for fun in my spare time, I’d rather do them elsewhere.