I think it's a great idea, as I write here (reproduced below for your convenience)
Sure, stick with MS - Vista certainly runs as if it has Multiple Sclerosis.
In people affected by MS, patches of damage called plaques or lesions appear in seemingly random areas of the CNS white matter.
We've all heard about the notorious MS patches screwing up things
No two people get MS in exactly the same way and the expression of each individual's disease is as unique as their fingerprints. However, the different courses of the disease, both within an individual and within the whole population, principally differ in their timing, location and severity. Underneath similar processes (including demyelination and sometimes other forms of nerve degeneration) are going on.
True - Some get MS pre-installed with their computers, some get it via an upgrade, a friend, bittorrent, but the damage ends up being the same no matter how you got MS.
In general, people with MS can experience partial or complete loss of any function that is controlled by, or passes through, the brain or spinal cord.
Wow - MS Blue-Screens YOU!
"That's sounds terrible - doesn't almost everything go through the brain?"
Well yes, MS can be and often is a very serious disease but almost nobody loses function in all possible areas and some people are affected much worse than others. People with MS can experience any of the following problems either fully or partially - numbness, tingling, pins and needles, muscle weakness, muscle spasms, spasticity, cramps, pain, blindness, blurred or double vision, incontinence, urinary urgency or hesitancy, constipation, slurred speech, loss of sexual function, loss of balance, nausea, disabling fatigue, depression, short term memory problems, other forms of cognitive dysfunction, inability to swallow, inability to control breathing
... you name it.
MS makes Open Sores software look positively benign
"Crikey, it sounds devastating"
Yes, but don't forget that it is usually a slowly progressing disease and few people, if any, experience all the possible symptoms. Three quarters of people with MS don't need to use a wheelchair and those that do find that it gives them greater freedom to do the things they want. Many people will require a cane after a number of years of disease activity. Other people will have only very mild and occasional symptoms. Still others have been found to have had MS as a result of an autopsy even though they never presented with any clinical symptoms during their lives. A minority of people with MS die as an indirect result of the disease in its later stages. The majority of PwMS will lie somewhere between these extremes. Adjustments have to be made, but most people with MS can live fulfilled and active lives.
Fuck that shit!
"Can you catch MS from someone with it?"
Absolutely not. Studies have been done on children adopted into families where one of the parents has MS and they have been found to have the same incidence of the disease as the background population [Sadovnick, Ebers et al, 1999]. Other studies show that the number of husband-wife copresentations is almost exactly what you would expect for a non-contagious disease [Ebers, Sadovnick et al, 2000]. This is worth emphasising - you cannot catch MS from a person with the disease. MS is not contagious nor infectious.
So it's okay to hook your linux or mac to a network with MS present and you won't be affected by the disease. Cool - I'm safe.
"Are their different types of MS?"
Yes, there are four main varieties as defined in an international survey of neurologists [Lubin and Reingold, 1996]. (All the graphs show level of disability over time - where two lines appear in the graph it denotes two possible courses of that form of MS.)
The article is a bit out of date - the new version of Windows will have 6 different types of MS.
1. Relapsing/Remitting (RRMS):
This is characterised by relapses (also known as exacerbations) during which time new symptoms can appear and old ones resurface or worsen. The relapses are followed by periods of remission, during which time the person fully or partially recovers from the deficits acquired during the relapse. Relapses can last for days, weeks or months and recovery can be slow and gradual or almost instantaneous. The vast majority of people presenting with MS are first diagnosed with relapsing/remitting. This is typically when they are in their twenties or thirties, though diagnoses much earlier or later are known. Around twice as many women as men present with this variety.
So just because you've been MS-free for a time doesn't mean you can't relapse.
2. Secondary Progressive MS (SPMS):
After a number of years many people who have had relapsing/remitting MS will pass into a secondary progressive phase of the disease. This is characterised by a gradual worsening of the disease between relapses. In the early phases of Secondary Progressive, the person may still experience a few relapses but after a while these merge into a general progression. People with secondary progressive may experience good and bad days or weeks, but, apart from some remission following relapsing episodes, no real recovery. After 10 years, 50% of people with relapsing/remitting MS will have developed secondary progressive [Weinshenker et al, 1989, Runmarker and Andersen, 1993, Minderhoud et al, 1988]. By 25 to 30 years, that figure will have risen to 90% [Ref].
So, the longer you have MS, the worse it gets. Switch to linux, bsd, or a OSX asap, or 90% of the time it will just get worse. BAAAD user experience!
3. Progressive Relapsing MS (PRMS):
This form of MS follows a progressive course from onset, punctuated by relapses. There is significant recovery immediately following a relapse but between relapses there is a gradual worsening of symptoms.
4. Primary Progressive MS (PPMS):
This type of MS is characterised by a gradual progression of the disease from its onset with no remissions at all. There may be periods of a leveling off of disease activity and, as with secondary progressive, there may be good and bad days or weeks. PPMS differs from Relapsing/Remitting and Secondary Progressive in that onset is typically in the late thirties or early forties, men are as likely women to develop it and initial disease activity is in the spinal cord and not in the brain. Primary Progressive MS often migrates into the brain, but is less likely to damage brain areas than relapsing/remitting or secondary progressive - for example, people with Primary Progressive are less likely to develop cognitive problems.
So you'll need to use a wheelchair, but you'll still be able to think
Other terms often used to describe forms of MS are:
Never seen in the wild - usually associated with outbreaks of astroturf or get-the-facts.
Malignant MS: Also known as Marburg's Variant and Acute MS. This is a label given to forms of MS where the disease progresses very rapidly from onset leading to severe disability within a relatively short period of time. Fortunately, this form of MS is extremely rare.
Chronic Progressive MS: Primary Progressive and Secondary Progressive used to be lumped together as Chronic Progressive (CPMS) but this term is no longer officially recognised although you will still see it referred to now and then.
CPMS is also known inside Microsoft as XP.
Transitional/Progressive MS: Another form of the disease which is sometimes referred to but not widely used, is Transitional/Progressive (TPMS). This is characterised by a progressive course beginning many years after an isolated bout.
Mostly people on Windows 2000 who are being forced to upgrade (often accompanied by bouts of "keyboard-from-my-cold-dead-hands-itis")
Devic's Disease: Also known as Neuromyelitis Optica, Devic's disease is a related condition to MS that is characterised by an attack of Optic Neuritis in both eyes followed by severe inflammation of the spinal cord (Transverse Myelopathy).
That's what you get for surfing pr0n sites on an unpatched Windows box
MS is a scary disease, for sure. We should do everything we can to stop the spread of MS. Support alternatives.