Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Another pain point

Another thing that I find really, truly, persistently, and totally pissing me off is all the problems with performance and stability on my Windows XP laptop. I've gotten to the point that I never want to use anything labeled with the Lenovo or Microsoft brands ever again. Every time the system takes forever and a day to respond to a mouse click, or stops responding after "recommended updates" were applied, I have to fight the urge to toss the laptop keyboard over screen off the desk.

I have to admit that I personally stress the system a bit more than most, but probably not half as much as do many other developers. I don't know why but Windows is still unstable after all these years, and I trust Microsoft implicitly to get it wrong again with Windows 7. Check your Google and compare "OSX Crashing" vs "Windows 7 Crashing". Yeah, even OSX crashes, but not as routinely. My experience with UNIX style systems says that the crashes won't increase exponentially over time as they seem to have done on every new Windows system I've ever owned.

Why should anyone have to put up with defective software? Whether I'm working or recreating, my patience is too valuable a thing to waste on Windows.

A possible solution: a laptop OS that runs exclusively as a virtual machine, the way VMWare or XEN work. Nothing ever really gets installed on the base OS, but instead is inserted into its own virtualization compartment. Compartments could be federated under this method, so that I could chose how devices and apps are bundled to make a runnable session, and if one compartment causes a session to crash that compartment could be isolated.

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