More Windows Update WTF



  • Been getting keytop-shaped dents in my face from this issue for a while now:@ars technica said:

    Windows patches are mostly cumulative. On a fresh install of Windows XP, you don't need to install all of the dozens of Internet Explorer 6 patches sequentially; you can generally just install the latest patch, and it will include all the historic fixes because it supersedes the historic patches that introduced those fixes.

    Unfortunately, the Windows Update client components used an algorithm with exponential scaling when processing these lists. Each additional superseded patch would double the time taken to process the list. With the operating system now very old, those lists have grown long, sometimes to 40 or more items. On a new machine, that processing appeared to be almost instantaneous. It is now very slow.

    They ain't kidding, and the result is that older XP boxes just sit there with svchost.exe consuming 100% CPU, apparently indefinitely. Huge neowin.net discussion thread on this starts getting useful around page 8.

    In case any of the rest of you have been similarly bitten, the fix that's worked for me is to NET STOP WUAUSERV to turn off the CPU burnage, then manually download and install the latest cumulative security update for whichever version of IE you have on the box, then reboot. I suspect that this works by removing the update with the longest supersede list from the set Automatic Updates is trying to work through.

    But really, WTF possessed Microsoft to employ Schlemiel the Painter to manage their updates?



  • Microsoft likely don't care about optimizing the update process of an Operation System they stop supporting in 4 months, after extending said support far too many times now. And I can't say blame them. Name me another consumer operating system as old as windows xp still patched by its host company.

     XP is antique. Get on with it.



  • @fire2k said:

    Microsoft likely don't care
    That's not what they're saying.



  • @fire2k said:

    the update process of an Operation System they stop supporting in 4 months
    The Windows Update Agent is the same on all currently supported Windows versions as far as I know, so if they don't fix it, the same thing will likely bite them again once Windows 7 gets as old as XP is now.



  • One of the nice things about a decent dual-core processor :) My work PC (Core 2 Duo) is doing this now, but if it weren't for leaving Process Explorer running all the time (with the CPU graph in the tray), I wouldn't be remotely aware of it. The perceived impact on my PC is zero.

    The only other XP PC in the office, a Celeron, was almost crippled by it.

    I don't how apple Microsoft Update is to apt-get's orange, because the difference in time required to update a computer is somewhat marked … (as in, the latter is orders of magnitude faster)



  • Are you saying we have finally found the true reason PCs get slower over time even though there no reason, since it is software and does not degrade over time like phsyical machines?



  • @dhromed said:

    Are you saying we have finally found the true reason PCs get slower over time even though there no reason, since it is software and does not degrade over time like phsyical machines?

    Automatic Update specifically chews up a whole core of CPU in a perfectly measurable and understandable way, i.e. when svchost.exe is using up a lot of CPU, you can use Process Explorer to isolate the thread in question and determine that it's the Automatic Update thread causing the problem. Even though it hides inside svchost, it's pretty easy to recognise the symptoms.

    There are all manner of both continuous (computer is perpetually mind-numbingly slow even though both CPU and I/O activity levels are consistently zero and RAM usage is acceptable) and sporadic performance problems, such as timeouts caused by inaccessible printers and network shares, including where you've moved server, you have Application Data redirected, and Word is trying to access its hard-coded UNC path to its font preview cache on the old server, causing a hang every time you go to change font.

    Some problems go away after a reinstall, but if your PC is an old Celeron and you're expecting to run Internet Explorer (or any browser, really), a reformat will not help you there. The only value that computer has left its its scrap value.

    I've been running XP at work for four years, and the performance degradation is very sporadic and not visibly traceable. The PC is not consistently slow and generally works perfectly, but it sulks and cries sometimes, and the increase in complexity in the Web is showing more and more as it always does, especially Googles's abuse of JavaScript. Process Explorer never has any insights to offer into the mystery problems; it's possible Process Monitor might have some clues, though.



  • @Daniel Beardsmore said:

    I don't how apple Microsoft Update is ...
    Freudian slip?

     



  • @TGV said:

    @Daniel Beardsmore said:

    I don't how apple Microsoft Update is ...
    Freudian slip?

     

    Apple as in orange


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Daniel Beardsmore said:

    I've been running XP at work for four years, and the performance degradation is very sporadic and not visibly traceable. The PC is not consistently slow and generally works perfectly, but it sulks and cries sometimes, and the increase in complexity in the Web is showing more and more as it always does, especially Googles's abuse of JavaScript. Process Explorer never has any insights to offer into the mystery problems; it's possible Process Monitor might have some clues, though.
    This is one of the few areas where Win8 is much better than XP or Win7. It's not worth putting up with the crapping on the UI elsewhere for, of course, but the default tools give more info than they used to, and in easier to understand ways.



  • @TGV said:

    @Daniel Beardsmore said:

    I don't how apple Microsoft Update is ...
    Freudian slip?

     

    No, read the whole sentence:

    I don't know how apple Microsoft Update is to apt-get's orange

    He's asking if comparing Windows Update to apt-get is an apples to oranges comparison.

     



  • @fire2k said:

    Name me another consumer operating system as old as windows xp still patched by its host company.
    There aren't any, but that is irrelevant. @fire2k said:
     XP is antique. Get on with it.
    XP is still the same. Software does not deteriorate or break like physical objetcs do.

    I switched from XP to Vista in 2007 and then to Windows 7 in 2009. I switched away from XP mainly because I needed a 64 bit OS for access to more RAM and the x64 version of XP sucks. I do think Windows 7 is better than XP, but if I was the typical user doing nothing but watching Grumpy Cat videos on YouTube and sending an oacassional e-mail, I would probably still be using XP.



  • @flabdablet said:

    But really, WTF possessed Microsoft to employ Schlemiel the Painter to manage their updates?

    A deadline and the extremely correct opinion that nobody should be using XP so far in the future for it to matter.

    Here's a better question, what possesses you to put this dinosaur of an OS on any computer made after 2008?



  • @dkf said:

    @Daniel Beardsmore said:
    I've been running XP at work for four years, and the performance degradation is very sporadic and not visibly traceable. The PC is not consistently slow and generally works perfectly, but it sulks and cries sometimes, and the increase in complexity in the Web is showing more and more as it always does, especially Googles's abuse of JavaScript. Process Explorer never has any insights to offer into the mystery problems; it's possible Process Monitor might have some clues, though.
    This is one of the few areas where Win8 is much better than XP or Win7. It's not worth putting up with the crapping on the UI elsewhere for, of course, but the default tools give more info than they used to, and in easier to understand ways.

    That issue (degrading performance over time, requiring yearly-or-so reinstalls) was solved in Vista, which I remind you came out in fucking 2007.



  • @El_Heffe said:

    XP is still the same. Software does not deteriorate or break like physical objetcs do.

    Demonstrably it does.

    Well, ok, the bits of the CD won't deteriorate, but once it's installed into an ecosystem of other software and network connections, oh look, suddenly those bits on the disk are wholly inadequate: tons of security holes, a auto-update that doesn't work with the amount of updates available now, etc.

    What bothers me most is when we're talking about X, and someone gets in the thread and types, "X doesn't exist." Well if it doesn't exist, why the fuck does this thread exist? Degradation of XP's performance is exactly what we're talking about.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @El_Heffe said:
    XP is still the same. Software does not deteriorate or break like physical objetcs do.

    Demonstrably it does.

    Well, ok, the bits of the CD won't deteriorate, but once it's installed into an ecosystem of other software and network connections, oh look, suddenly those bits on the disk are wholly inadequate: tons of security holes, a auto-update that doesn't work with the amount of updates available now, etc.

    What bothers me most is when we're talking about X, and someone gets in the thread and types, "X doesn't exist." Well if it doesn't exist, why the fuck does this thread exist? Degradation of XP's performance is exactly what we're talking about.

    Blakey.

    Let's say I write the word "poop" in a Microsoft Word document because I'm very clever.

    I come back in 10 years and re-open the document. Has the formatting or contents changed? Is the background color off-white with age?

    Sure, there could be some kind of radiation that flipped exactly the right bits to change my document without corrupting it, but it's more likely that someone went on my computer and changed them as a prank.



  • @Ben L. said:

    Blakey.

    Let's say I write the word "poop" in a Microsoft Word document because I'm very clever.

    "Poop!" Hahahahaha! Hahahaha hahahahahhaahaha that's great! "Poop!" Guys he wrote "poop" in his Word document, look, it says "poop" right there on the screen! HAHAHAHAHHA!

    @Ben L. said:

    I come back in 10 years and re-open the document. Has the formatting or contents changed? Is the background color off-white with age?

    Your Word document is:

    1) Not an operating system

    2) A contrived example

    Try a Word document with macros that worked fine 10 years ago but won't run now, for exa--- hahahahah! "Poop!" Oh my God I'm dying! "Poop"! In a Word document!



  • @flabdablet said:

    But really, WTF possessed Microsoft to employ Schlemiel the Painter to manage their updates?

    Schlemiel was only quadratic, this is a Traveling Salesman.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @El_Heffe said:
    XP is still the same. Software does not deteriorate or break like physical objetcs do.
    Degradation of XP's performance is exactly what we're talking about.
     

     So, if

    • I choose a linear scan to manage a list in a performance-critical section
    • That list (unexpectedly) grows to quadrillions of items years later
    • My software becomes slow as shit because it's spending all its time scanning that list... I should have used a dictionary or something
    this is software deterioriation in the same way that a fan belt wears out?

     



  • @blakeyrat said:

    what possesses you to put this dinosaur of an OS on any computer made after 2008?
    Which shoulder alien is telling you that all my customers have computers made after 2008?


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @blakeyrat said:

    That issue (degrading performance over time, requiring yearly-or-so reinstalls) was solved in Vista, which I remind you came out in fucking 2007.
    [i]I[/i] was talking about the improved Process Explorer. You can talk about anything you want…



  • @dkf said:

    I was talking about the improved Process Explorer. You can talk about anything you want…

    The version of Process Explorer shipped with Windows improved with Vista? That whole misperception is new to me.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Daniel Beardsmore said:

    improved with Vista
    Wash your mouth out with soap! It improved with Win8. (I've got Win7 on another system, so I know what the differences between them are.)



  • Surely you mean Task Manager?

    One of the most useful changes was the ability to see the path and command line of the program belonging to a process, and that was added to Task Manager in either Vista or 7.



  • @El_Heffe said:

    I don't know how apple Microsoft Update is to apt-get's orange

    He's asking if comparing Windows Update to apt-get is an apples to oranges comparison.

    Windows update is way too fucking slow and awful even on Win 7. I haven't used it much on Win 8. apt-get maintains far more software (for the user) and is much faster in doing so than Windows update. And then sometimes I've had Windows update simply fail until I tracked down some Microsoft FixIt thingy and ran that. Even if performance were comparable, the fact that apt-get does so much more than Windows Update probably puts them into apples and oranges categories, but I can't think of a single way in which Windows Update looks good.



  • @boomzilla said:

    but I can't think of a single way in which Windows Update looks good.
     

    I was going to say, "well at least it gets the windows updates and installs them" but then I realized the falsehood of my claim.



  • @El_Heffe said:

    @fire2k said:

    Name me another consumer operating system as old as windows xp still patched by its host company.
    There aren't any, but that is irrelevant. @fire2k said:
     XP is antique. Get on with it.
    XP is still the same. Software does not deteriorate or break like physical objetcs do.

     

     

    That is true, in the same sense that a titanium lock would hardly deteriorate. However it isn't the physical state of the software that is the problem. It's the digital state: Patches and Security Vulnerabilities. As Malware gets more and more sophisticated the chances of an operating system as old as Windows XP still being maintainable at an acceptable rate of manpower and cost get lower and lower. There is only so far you could patch without incorporating new security concepts into the system core. And Microsoft don't even have anything to get out of it, since they don't sell consumer copies anymore, and all enterprise contracts will also end at some point.

    And it isn't just the system core: There are already a lot of applications that publish x64-only versions of their latest stable and maintained software, like Office 13.

     



  • @fire2k said:

    And it isn't just the system core: There are already a lot of applications that publish x64-only versions of their latest stable and maintained software, like Office 13.

    Office 13? The superstitious at Redmond skipped that version.

    Pretty sure Office 2013 still defaults to 32-bit for compatibility with add-ins.



  • @boomzilla said:

    Windows update is way too fucking slow and awful even on Win 7. I haven't used it much on Win 8. apt-get maintains far more software (for the user) and is much faster in doing so than Windows update. And then sometimes I've had Windows update simply fail until I tracked down some Microsoft FixIt thingy and ran that. Even if performance were comparable, the fact that apt-get does so much more than Windows Update probably puts them into apples and oranges categories, but I can't think of a single way in which Windows Update looks good.

    Are you kidding me? I have a very oldish desktop machine (2007) and a very old laptop (2006) ... I haven't even noticed it updating in Windows since 7 until it prompts me for a reboot. Reboots with patches take maybe 2 minutes at most, I am not running SSDs (they died and I am back to spinning rust).

    I run SiteCore CMS, Visual Studio 2013, SQL Server 2012 Express and it starts getting a bit slow when using those 3 together (music from Youtube will skip). I honestly found zero problems with Windows update other than the irritating (you must reboot soon other I will reboot for you, unless you turn off automatic updates).



  • @Daniel Beardsmore said:

    @fire2k said:

    And it isn't just the system core: There are already a lot of applications that publish x64-only versions of their latest stable and maintained software, like Office 13.

    Office 13? The superstitious at Redmond skipped that version.

     


     

    Wikipedia is on my side here. 

    @Daniel Beardsmore said:


    Pretty sure Office 2013 still defaults to 32-bit for compatibility with add-ins.

     

    That may be so. Windows XP however still doesn't have the APIs and Runtimes needed for Office13

     



  • Honestly why should they be supporting EOL software with the latest office?

    I haven't supported even IE8 properly since early 2012 (less than 2% of our users, use this platform).



  • @lucas said:

    @boomzilla said:
    Windows update is way too fucking slow and awful even on Win 7. I haven't used it much on Win 8. apt-get maintains far more software (for the user) and is much faster in doing so than Windows update. And then sometimes I've had Windows update simply fail until I tracked down some Microsoft FixIt thingy and ran that. Even if performance were comparable, the fact that apt-get does so much more than Windows Update probably puts them into apples and oranges categories, but I can't think of a single way in which Windows Update looks good.

    Are you kidding me? I have a very oldish desktop machine (2007) and a very old laptop (2006) ... I haven't even noticed it updating in Windows since 7 until it prompts me for a reboot. Reboots with patches take maybe 2 minutes at most, I am not running SSDs (they died and I am back to spinning rust).

    I run SiteCore CMS, Visual Studio 2013, SQL Server 2012 Express and it starts getting a bit slow when using those 3 together (music from Youtube will skip). I honestly found zero problems with Windows update other than the irritating (you must reboot soon other I will reboot for you, unless you turn off automatic updates).

    I am not fucking kidding you even a little. I should probably mention that I don't normally use these machines all the time, so I typically fire them up explicitly to do updates, so the suckage that is Windows Update isn't able to hide from me in the background. It downloads in a reasonable time, and then sits there for multiple minutes on each goddamn update. Then I have to watch it do its thing while it shuts down and then while it boots up.

    Fuck you Microsoft. Your updater sucks ass.



  • @fire2k said:

    @Daniel Beardsmore said:
    @fire2k said:
    And it isn't just the system core: There are already a lot of applications that publish x64-only versions of their latest stable and maintained software, like Office 13.
    Office 13? The superstitious at Redmond skipped that version.

     

     

    Wikipedia is on my side here. 

    I"m not sure if it is Wikipedia or Microsoft, but somebody can't get their numbers straight. You're link goes to a page which says
    Microsoft Office 2013, often shortened to "Office 13"
    However, the Wikipedia page for Office 2013 says
    Microsoft Office 2013 (formerly Office 15)
    The Wikipedia pages for other Office products say that Office 2007 was also called Office 12  and Office 2010 was called Office 14 instead of Office 13 because of "fear of the number 13 "@fire2k said:
    Windows XP however still doesn't have the APIs and Runtimes needed for Office13
    In other words, Microsoft threw some extra crap into Office that really wasn't needed just so people couldn't run it on XP/Vista and would be forced to updgrade.

     

     



  • @El_Heffe said:

     I"m not sure if it is Wikipedia or Microsoft, but somebody can't get their numbers straight. You're link goes to a page which says

    Microsoft Office 2013, often shortened to "Office 13"
    However, the Wikipedia page for Office 2013 says
    Microsoft Office 2013 (formerly Office 15)
    The Wikipedia pages for other Office products say that Office 2007 was also called Office 12  and Office 2010 was called Office 14 instead of Office 13 because of "fear of the number 13 "@fire2k said:
    Windows XP however still doesn't have the APIs and Runtimes needed for Office13
    In other words, Microsoft threw some extra crap into Office that really wasn't needed just so people couldn't run it on XP/Vista and would be forced to updgrade.

     

    It's more of the decision to stop writing Office using Com/Com+ and Win32/windows.h Style-APIs that haven't been tought to anybody since the early nineties for a very good reason. There are some niceties that come along with it, like the modern user interface I don't really wanna debate here, a memory-managed code base and sane data types. But it will just generally be easier to find programmers for languages actually used somewhere in the wild. (No, I don't wanna go into the whole Office-Team-politics. They are the most boring part of any Joel Spolsky-book)

    Of course Microsoft is also interested in selling you new stuff you maybe don't need. Maybe you don't use any of the features the new Office has.That doesn't mean that the changes made to ensure that the codebase stays maintainble, like switching to a well-documented non-binary file format, using the same current User Interface and APIs your operating system does, extended cloud support, and so on weren't necessary.

    Also people are stupid, and will try to run their Operating System even when it isn't safe to connect it to the Internet anymore. I'm pretty sure there are still people around trying to justify running Windows 2000 with Firefox 3 or sth. Microsoft has enough reputational trouble with huge botnets as it is, I doubt adding your old PC which "works fine, why should I switch" to the long list of russian spambots helps them.

    Also I doubt Microsoft has to intentially do anything to make people switch over from Vista. I haven't even heard of anybody using it out of free will anyway.

     



  •  There are TWO numbering schemes for Microsoft Products, one is a sequential release #, the other is tagged with a year (and not always the actual year)..

     As far as:

     

    instead of Office 13 because of "fear of the number 13 "

    I was involved in some of the discussions...it was more "fear of fear" (concerns by Microsoft that "Consumers" would be concerned) than direct "fear" within Microsoft [each division has the ability to make their own decision in this matter...]

     



  • @fire2k said:

    Wikipedia is on my side here.[Citation needed]

    @El_Heffe said:

    In other words, Microsoft threw some extra crap into Office that really wasn't needed just so people couldn't run it on XP/Vista and would be forced to updgrade.

    At what point are Microsoft allowed to quit developing, testing and debugging their software for XP? When XP is a mere 10 years old? 15 years old? 20? Is there any sense in writing a program to support an OS that's about to lose all support? If you're on OEM and your PC dies, the replacement PC will have an OS that supports Office 2013. With volume licensing, you can downgrade Office anyway. With retail, you just reinstall an older Office version. One big gotcha with Office 2013 is actually companies still on Exchange 2003 (e.g. SBS 2003), but that's nothing to do with XP at all.

    Nobody actually uses Vista, so testing/debugging Office for that is senseless.



  •  Important dates to keep in mind for SBS 2003 when reading its lifecycle.

    • http://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle/?p1=1773: Exchange Server 2003’s EOL date is April 8, 2014.
    • http://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle/?p1=7022: Windows SharePoint Services 2.0 is July 9, 2013.
    • http://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle/?p1=2852: SQL Server 2000 goes out of support on April 9, 2013.



  • @fire2k said:

    @Daniel Beardsmore said:
    @fire2k said:

    And it isn't just the system core: There are already a lot of applications that publish x64-only versions of their latest stable and maintained software, like Office 13.


    Office 13? The superstitious at Redmond skipped that version.
    Wikipedia is on my side here. 
    Daniel's point being, I believe, is that the folks at Contoso Ltd. didn't officially name it 'Office 13' - that's clearly not going to stop the hoi polloi abbreviating it however.



  • @Daniel Beardsmore said:

    Automatic Update specifically chews up a whole core of CPU in a perfectly measurable and understandable way, i.e. when svchost.exe is using up a lot of CPU, you can use Process Explorer to isolate the thread in question and determine that it's the Automatic Update thread causing the problem. Even though it hides inside svchost, it's pretty easy to recognise the symptoms.
    sc config wuauserv type= own
    ...will move Windows Update to a separate service.
    @boomzilla said:
    And then sometimes I've had Windows update simply fail until I tracked down some Microsoft FixIt thingy and ran that.
    I've had Windows Update fail on a fresh Windows 7 install in such a way that no manual fixing (nor running FixIt) would get it to work (and trying to switch to Microsoft Update failed as well). The only workaround was to install Silverlight, which also enables Microsoft Update (which then magically works). I've no idea what causes this.
    @fire2k said:
    And it isn't just the system core: There are already a lot of applications that publish x64-only versions of their latest stable and maintained software, like Office 13.
    Office 2013 still defaults to 32-bit version (and runs without any problems on supported 32-bit systems).
    @lucas said:
    I honestly found zero problems with Windows update other than the irritating (you must reboot soon other I will reboot for you, unless you turn off automatic updates).
    It's not much of a problem on a desktop system set to auto update. On a server (where you want to control when updates are installed, and when you reboot the thing), it takes forever (read: 10 minutes) to check for new updates (same thing happens on desktop if you disable automatic checking for updates).



  • @ender said:

    On a server (where you want to control when updates are installed, and when you reboot the thing), it takes forever (read: 10 minutes) to check for new updates (same thing happens on desktop if you disable automatic checking for updates).

    If you manually install the current cumulative security update for IE (see the OP) before letting wuauserv run, it's a lot quicker. I'm typically seeing 20-second new-updates check times on a fairly conservatively spec'd virtual Windows Server 2003 box at school. Which is still completely pathetic compared to apt, but sure beats 10 minutes.

    Installing the updates is still ridiculously fucking slow though.



  • @flabdablet said:

    Installing the updates is still ridiculously fucking slow though.
     

    Maybe it's trying to juggle data from that that shitty restore point thing.



  • @flabdablet said:

    If you manually install the current cumulative security update for IE (see the OP) before letting wuauserv run, it's a lot quicker. I'm typically seeing 20-second new-updates check times on a fairly conservatively spec'd virtual Windows Server 2003 box at school. Which is still completely pathetic compared to apt, but sure beats 10 minutes.
    I'm actually talking about Servers 2008, 2008 R2 and 2012. I only have a single 2003 left in production, and that one's set to download but not install updates.



  • @ender said:

    @flabdablet said:
    If you manually install the current cumulative security update for IE (see the OP) before letting wuauserv run, it's a lot quicker. I'm typically seeing 20-second new-updates check times on a fairly conservatively spec'd virtual Windows Server 2003 box at school. Which is still completely pathetic compared to apt, but sure beats 10 minutes.
    I'm actually talking about Servers 2008, 2008 R2 and 2012. I only have a single 2003 left in production, and that one's in a botnet.
     

    FTFY



  • @dhromed said:

    @flabdablet said:

    Installing the updates is still ridiculously fucking slow though.
     

    Maybe it's trying to juggle data from that that shitty restore point thing.

    Nah, System Restore is turned off. Never trusted it. Prefer actual backups.



  • @lucas said:

    I honestly found zero problems with Windows update other than the irritating (you must reboot soon other I will reboot for you, unless you turn off automatic updates).

    I've found that people who haven't used other systems tend to think this. I thought this until switching to Linux a couple of years ago - and I find apt-get to be a far better system (especially in CLI, but IMHO most front end GUI wrappers from various distros are far superior to Microsoft Update as well)



  • @DrakeSmith said:

    @lucas said:
    I honestly found zero problems with Windows update

    I've found that people who haven't used other systems tend to think this. I thought this until switching to Linux a couple of years ago

    So . . . Linux has less than zero problems.

     



  • @El_Heffe said:

    So . . . Linux has less than zero problems.
    Compared to Windows Update, certainly.



  • @flabdablet said:

    @El_Heffe said:
    So . . . Linux has less than zero problems.

    Compared to Windows Update, certainly.

    Actually, if crap is all you've known, you don't realize how nice non-crap can be. Honestly, I've had lots of problems with Windows Update, and a few with APT. I'll take APT any time.



  • The thing about the ecosystem that's grown up around Linux is that when problems arise in it I can fix them. And not because "read the source" - fuck that, the source of every fucking thing has been too complex for anybody but the dev team to work with since about 1990 - but because the entire system is built from relatively small, relatively clean pieces whose individual behaviours are generally pretty well-thought-out and simple enough to understand, and which interact via a deliberately restricted set of relatively simple-minded mechanisms.

    There are lots of things that Linux-based systems don't do well, as Blakey frequently enjoys reminding us, but there are lots more they do just brilliantly. Being fixable is one of them, and being a kind of software Lego set that you can build just about anything out of if you put your mind to it is another.

    The main problem with Linux-based software is and always has been figuring out how to arrange the pieces to make it do what you want it to. The main problem with Windows and Windows-based software generally has always been figuring out how to get rid of all the stupid crap you don't want it to do. Personally I far prefer to have problems of the first kind, because solving them makes me feel like I've actually achieved something; solving a problem on Linux generally involves making things. Solving Windows problems most often feels to me like a waste of fucking time that's just derailed doing what I actually wanted to again.

    When Linux does something stupid, that's most often a bug that ends up getting fixed a few releases down the track. When Windows does something stupid, it's remarkable how often tracking down the cause leads to a MSDN page that says "this behavior is by design."

    At least in part due to the efforts of the estimable Poettering, Linux is being dragged away from its tinker-toy, all-the-pieces-on-display roots toward something rather more polished but inscrutable. It's a trend that saddens me, and once it's gone far enough that not even Linux tinkering is fun any more I'll give this industry up again; for good this time, I expect.



  • @El_Heffe said:

    @DrakeSmith said:
    @lucas said:
    I honestly found zero problems with Windows update

    I've found that people who haven't used other systems tend to think this. I thought this until switching to Linux a couple of years ago

    So . . . Linux has less than zero problems.

     

    Oh lord no... but as stated by others above, I typically enjoy fixing what problems I run into on Linux.

    One of my favorite quotes - "Those that think Linux is free must not value their time."


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