Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Bill Gates and His Dog

I am soooo mad at my computer right now, and it may sound a little crazy, but I blame all of my technology problems on Bill Gates and his dog. If I remember correctly, the mangy hound I'm talking about came with Windows 98 and whatever shiny new version of Microsoft Office came out around the same time. Whenever you hit the Help button, Bill Gates' dog would pop up in a corner of your screen and offer to help you. The blue screen of death was usually hot on his heels. Ever since, whether it is a temporary glitch like I'm having right now ("you do not appear to be connected to the Internet so we're not going to let you look at every third page you try to open") or permanent hard disc data destruction or the fact that half of the useful software in the world (including the Alexa toolbar) doesn't work with Windows Vista, I blame it on Bill Gates and that darn dog.

Based on a small sample of Roxiticus Desperate Housewives, Husbands and Friends, I have come to believe that there is a 100% technology product failure rate in all brands today. Or do I just have a personal magnetic field that messes with the inner workings of electronic devices? Here's a small sampling of Bill Gates' Doggy Treats, in which I have watched hardware and/or software, in most cases brand new stuff, crash before my very eyes:

  • one brand new SimpleTech 160GB External Hard Drive ($109);
  • one shiny new Archos AV420 Personal Video Recorder ($399);
  • one brand new IBM Thinkpad (probably $4999);
  • one 3-days-out-of-warranty IBM Thinkpad (probably another $5,000 down the toilet);
  • one very important older HP Server that notably crashed the same day as the brand new IBM Thinkpad;
  • multiple Dell notebooks, in various stages of use, launching the catch-phrase "never another Dell"
  • my beloved ACT database, because even the 2008 version of ACT software advertised to work with Windows Vista doesn't work with Windows Vista if you were foolish enough to buy the special 64-bit Ultimate version (yes, friends, ACT is contact management software, and Bill Gates and His Dog are the reason I haven't called or e-mailed in almost a year) -- a cost of $400 for two sets of software that didn't work and weren't refunded by Sage.

I feel certain this doesn't happen to Walter Mossberg at the Wall Street Journal. In fact, I bet Walter doesn't let Bill Gates' Dog on his lawn, never mind his computer.