Thursday, July 28, 2005

I don't understand it

As everybody who knows me can attest to, I am not very good at using Microsoft Windows. The main reason is not because I think Windows is a bad product (really!), and also not because I do not like the non-free aspect of it. The most important reason is just that I do not understand the OS. Whenever I look for certain things, I always get lost in the forest of menu's, right-clicks, Advanced tabs and so on.

Anyway, I decided to give it a go again and installed Microsoft Windows XP in a VMWare virtual machine on my Debian GNU/Linux laptop (yes, I do have licenses for both VMWare as well as for Windows XP). The installation was completely painless and everything went fine the first time I tried. After I installed XP (and took a snapshot of the installation), I decided to run Windows Update a few times (and a few times more). A number of reboots later (yay VM!) I think that I am completely up-to-date (no pun intended), and I am ready to start.

The main reason why I am so confused is, that even if I am not doing anything, I see the CPU load spike to 100%, while apparently nothing is going on. Ctrl-alt-del brought up the task manager, and the only thing I see there is "System idle processes" at the top. Maybe it is my Unix background, but shouldn't an idle system be, well, idle?

Oh yes, I forgot. The reason that I am going to give Windows another try is that I have always had the gnawing feeling that I should understand more about the system. It will be hard to stop thinking in terms of piped command-line tools (awk, grep, sed, cut, tr, etc.) and instead think in terms of GUI-driven programming. But, I will try to keep an open mind, and report back on my experiences.

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