Drawing the curtain on Windows

Recently I sat in a downtown coffee shop and flipped open my Windows 10 tablet, thinking I’d start a blog post on a photo topic.  Instead, I spent the next 20 minutes futilely trying to connect to the wifi, thrashing in a leghold trap of arcane settings and options nested like Russian dolls.

That experience changed my life: after 25 years of Windows, I now have a Chromebook.  Flip up the screen and BLIP, there’s Chrome, ready for me to enter a URL without any keyboard lag. The battery lasts for days.

Of course, ChromeOS isn’t a full blown operating system like Windows. Here are some things the Chromebook doesn’t give me:

  • Massive updates scheduled to occur any time I really, really need to use the system.
  • A swarm of faceless background processes sucking the life from my CPU.
  • Bootups that stall out into an endlessly spinning cursor.
  • “Office Updater” running in the background – even though I don’t have Office.
  • Relentless attempts to sell me Office.
  • Generous and repeated offers to make Edge my default browser.
  • A 30 day trial of McAfee Antivirus that’s harder to uninstall than an intestinal parasite.
  • Malware in a thousand varieties.
  • Driver updates like the one I probably needed to get on the wifi in the coffee shop.
  • “Dell Assistant” popping up to offer no useful assistance.
  • “Activations”

I used to be a software engineer and I’ve used every version of Windows since 3.0 . I came to realize that internally, Windows is like the geology of the Grand Canyon: countless fossilized layers going back a billion years.

I did my time, and now I’m free.

Well not totally; I still need a powerful Windows system to run Capture One. But maybe its days are numbered. I’ll bet PhaseOne is already working on an online version. And I know that hotel in South Dakota will be upgrading their cr@ppy wifi… any day now…

Update: A writer for FStoppers praises the Chromebook as an alternative for the traveling photographer. It still needs a serious raw file editor; but maybe someday, if 5G ever really pans out, we’ll be able to do it all online. Even in South Dakota.

One Reply to “Drawing the curtain on Windows”

  1. A lot of this reads like user error; fstoppers is a joke from a technical standpoint (look at their profoto b10 vs godox ad400 pro article, they don’t understand beam spread at all and all of their scientific stuff fails miserably) so I’m surprised you’d cite them.

    Chromeos is an operating system (it’s based on gentoo). Not a particularly good one but yeah.

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