You know, I used to be a very "techy" kid. Seriously, I used to be one of the most technologically savvy kids I knew, and I even helped out the network admins at my high schools.
Somewhere along the way, I really just stopped giving a damn. Not sure why, but I think maybe I felt I didn't want to get into I.T.; now I'm not so sure about that and regret the fact that the last time I knew what the hell I was doing was the year Windows XP came out.
I'm not even joking. I actually had the learning materials for "MCSE" qualifications and I read them through, did the practice simulations, etc... when I was about twelve. I could've got a damn MCSE certificate before I hit junior high (barely) - at least theoretically.
But I kinda lost interest and now the really technical stuff is a little beyond me. Don't get me wrong, I wanted to throttle an online friend when he baby-talked me through using the fucking "run" function to get the registry editor open; I'm not talking about that, or being too inept to use Microsoft bloody Office (which I'm coming back to, by the way), I mean I don't know anything that would get me a half-decent salary.
I also don't know anything about the new NVidia GeForce TWGNS#@WTFBBQ or any of that shit - I have hobbies, okay? Can it play Batman: Arkham Asylum with 50fps or more? Good, because the buck starts and stops with fucking Batman, as always.
That said, I have to say, the sheer irritation factor of setting up networks using Windows probably also didn't help my desire to ditch IT and pick up politics. I swear, they just pick and choose whenever they want to work and navigating the UI to troubleshoot is like trying to fix a damn rubix cube while blindfolded.
Unfortunately, I know how the mentality goes. "You suck, it's easy when you know what you're doing." But the big problem I have with Windows Vista onwards is that it's very hard to even get a hint of what the problem is unless you've taken six month correspondence courses on the bloody matter; it's a total mess of oversimplified pretty GUI, split into multiple locations instead of sitting in one convenient place. Knowing what to do is fairly simple (not much has changed over the years), finding where to do it and hoping the OS feels like cooperating is the tricky part.
Again, I can usually wrestle the bloody thing into submission but it just annoys me; and to be fair, Win7 is not as bad as Vista was (at anything) when it comes to shit just being all over the place.
I dunno, maybe I'm just inept (PEBKAC?), but that doesn't seem to be the entire equation.
Anyway, I'm talking about networks because I just got a netbook. My laptop is excellent, definitely all I need in terms of power, but the battery has died - after some budget-wrangling and haggling with a salesman (while things were on sale anyway), I got an Acer netbook which weighs about as much as a nostril hair.
I basically only wanted this thing because of its portability and long battery life, which makes it excellent for note-taking, traveling, etc. Also, rather than splurging and "wasting money on it" I'd actually saved up so much while my parents were away that I barely noticed the cost (buying a handful of DVDs would've cost as much).
To my irritation, I discovered it wasn't imaged with Office07/2010. It also doesn't have a disc drive, so I needed to be creative when it came to installing it - it came with Office 2010 "starter" which is basically a good reason to punch Bill Gates in the face and nothing else.
While I was out and about, I looked for Office 2010. I have 2007, which is pretty freaking good already, but I was curious.
I found the full suite of Office 2010 for $800. Someone please fucking explain why the inclusion of Outlook (Thunderbird's jealous rival) and Powerpoint (tool for bored children) bumped the price to several times the cost of this computer. I don't care how many licenses it has in that box.
Still trying to figure out why MS Word doesn't come free with the Windows OS. I know, I know, guys at Microsoft, you put a lot of work into it, but you're a bunch of dishonest twats that tried to lock peoples data up in your proprietary formats - then you stopped including Office with your OS and started charging hundreds of dollars for what most people consider a basic Windows necessity. Just include it in your OS so I don't have to buy it separately at least, come on.
I bet it made you all shake in your boots when free word processors started being able to read your formats. Oh, and yeah, Mozilla kicks your asses six ways from Sunday.
I don't hate Microsoft, by the way. I never got into that whole Microsoft-hating or Apple-worship thing.
So yeah, I'm a relatively happy kitsune. Got myself a netbook which I'm using to write with, and it's a fairly snazzy one too. I know Acer isn't considered god-tier, but so far I've not been in the slightest disappointed with it - yes, it has Windows 7 Starter, which just seems fucking cheap and annoying in small ways (it can't set up ad-hoc connections or change the desktop wallpaper) but I don't want anything fancy from a netbook.
I want to know I can rip it out the wall and carry it in a pocket, then take it out and use it for seven hours straight on full-brightness because its battery runs on awesome sauce.
That said, I think it's time I just shut the fuck up and went to learn some IT skills that'll get me a real job.
Note- yes, I know the more expensive Office packages come with more than just Powerpoint and Outlook. The $800 one I mentioned includes InfoPath and OneNote, etc, which I actually am aware of and in fact use in Office07. However, I was merely exaggerating for comic effect: it's still true that tacking on Powerpoint and Outlook bumps the price up here by several hundred. Groove and InfoPath smack it all the way up to over $700.
Just saying, I know.