Animal Crackers Are Secretly Evil

April 17th, 2007 by Potato

At first, I vigorously opposed Windows XP as an operating system. It just moved so many things around, buried settings in the control panels behind a number of extra layers of opacity that one simply didn’t have to bother with in 98/ME. It wasn’t just something else to get used to — it was a pain providing long-distance support for relatives, and even to this day I still sometimes wonder why it is that after finding my way down to the network connections page (and not internet options), then clicking properties on the connection whose IP I want to change, I still need to go through another level of clicking “properties” when having to change IP settings is a pretty common task…

However, over time, it really grew on me. In particular, its stability. I always used to have to plan on when I would have to shut everything down and reset the system; could I safely leave it until morning? If I pushed it, then I might lose a bunch of open work, or at least suffer through a lot of slowdowns until I did… with XP, a lot of those concerns went away. I can pretty reliably leave it going for weeks at a time now (though sometimes I’m limited by the automatic updates that install themselves and then want to reset the computer right then, user input to the contrary or not). In fact, I’ve gotten a little too cocky sometimes in terms of forgetting to save my work frequently.

Tonight, though, all that good will went down the toilet as I faced several old school Blue Screens of Death. I wasn’t even doing anything to get them. I was running BrainVoyager, and with the program idle, walked away for something, and when I turned back there it was.

BSOD.

Of course Brain Voyager is likely to blame since it is limited-production scientific software, but nonetheless, XP generally handles errors better than completely seizing up and crashing. Ordinarily, I might have just thanked whatever minor office deities were around at the time that I had saved my work just before getting up, but tonight I got really mad at the computer. What right did it have to force me to hard boot it and start from scratch? Even saved, it takes time to load all the brain images back into memory, and time just for the system to come back to life. Time to click on the annoying “your system recovered from a serious error, tell MS about it!” message. What’s with that message, anyway? I wish there was a way to turn it off, because I never send my error reports to MS. It’s not like they’re going to up and try to fix XP now, or try to make 3rd party software cooperate better. It’s just more time before I can recover from the error and get back about my business. I am, of course, lamenting all this lost time because I’m still at work and it’s closing in on 3 am.

A lot of the bitterness, though, I suspect comes from the Animal Crackers. It has been my experience that Animal Crackers are an angry food (though this is a realization I’ve only come to tonight). Almost every time I eat them, I find I get excessively annoyed at almost everything. It’s strange, because they sort of start out as comfort food, and they’re just so cute. They’re also somewhat bland and easy to just keep popping in your mouth in an unthinking way. But before long you’ve got this whole cookie menangerie in your insides, seething with hate and rage.

(Part of that, I suspect, may come from the fact that I really only ever eat them when I’ve got all-nighters… but nonetheless, I’m not impressed with the BSOD tonight.)

2 Responses to “Animal Crackers Are Secretly Evil”

  1. Netbug Says:

    http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/windows/xp/all/proddocs/en-us/sysdm_advancd_exception_reporting.mspx?mfr=true

  2. Potato Says:

    On several occasions I’ve searched for that, and always came up empty. I got to thinking it just wasn’t possible… thank you.