Well, I guess my first journal entry wasn't my last, after all. I've actually been working on something about marketing lies by computer hardware companies and I had hoped it would be my next entry, but no such luck.
I really hate Windows.
I'll be honest: Windows XP is a significant improvement over previous versions. I seriously believe the only reason Microsoft stayed in business between about 1987 and 1995 is that Unix hardware was too expensive for the average person. There's certainly no way you're going to tell me DOS, or even 16-bit Windows was easier to use than Unix, at the time. Between the 640k barrier, the nearly useless COMMAND.COM, and the bugs, I don't know how people who used Windows stayed sane.
Even the 32-bit versions of Windows weren't that great. NT4 blue-screened on me at least once a week. Windows 2000 was a little better. I'm still using it on my desktop at work and, with all the latest patches, it's decent. I won't even mention the toy versions of Windows, they're so ridiculous.
XP, on the other hand, is actually fairly stable. I've had a Sony Vaio laptop for about 4 years, now, and I've only had about a dozen crashes in that time. I've had an HP zv5000 laptop for about a year and it has only crashed once, that I can remember.
So I'm running XP on my HP laptop, here, trying to play Unreal Tournament. Until a few weeks ago, I was having a problem where, every 15 minutes, my screen would freeze for about 30 seconds, then switch back to my desktop, with UT still running. I couldn't figure out what the problem was.
Once, when I wasn't running UT, I happened to notice what looked like a DOS window in my taskbar - only for an instant. Then it went away. Ah-ha, I thought. I waited around for another 15 minutes and it returned, again for an instant. This time, however, I was watching with task manager. It turns out it was "hptskmgr" and "hposm". I'm not sure what they do, but they were ruining my gaming experience. How stupid is that? I'm sorry, but if you're going to interrupt a full-screen application, you'd better have something pretty damn important to say.
I really, really hate Windows.
I renamed both programs so they don't get called anymore. (Of course, whatever starts them now is leaving error messages in the system log.) Did that fix the problem? Of course not. Now, the crashes are less frequent, but they also seem to be completely random, and they screw up the resolution, so I have to reboot my system. I'm sure most of you reading this can imagine how annoying it is to have a really good score, only to have it reset by a system crash.
Have I mentioned how much I hate Windows?
So I think I'm done playing UT on Windows. On Linux, the image quality isn't quite as good and there's a little bit of flicker, but that's nothing compared to the problems on XP. So much for Windows being a better gaming platform.