Another One
    Bites The Dust

Microsoft Rants and Crash Anecdotes

Frame-Enhanced Version

NEW! Microsoft really did it this time! Read all about the latest Microsoft idiocy!

Firstly, people curious as to what Microsoft software I have on my system (and for God's sake WHY?) can refer here. The Crash of the Day and archived crashes are located below. There is also a NEW section about software I junked detailling why. But before those come the Memorable Crashes and first, these generic rants.

Generic Rants

Five generic rants:
  1. Microsoft stuff crashes a lot. Monopolies beget poor products. My average uptime is less than 48 hours. Also, Microsoft blames third party software for Microsoft failings! Ever got an error box that says MyThirdPartyApp caused an Invalid Page Fault in MFC42.DLL? The bug is in MFC42.DLL, but Microsoft (indirectly via their O/S) blames the app that happened to most recently request services from the DLL. Scapegoating. And, the fact that the fault lies with a Microsoft DLL is only apparent if you bother to click the "Details >>" button. Common culprit DLLs (all verifiably Microsoft's):
  2. Microsoft's so-called "knowledge base" tells us two things.
    1. They can't make a knowledge base with an interface worth crud, and
    2. We get to see the sheer magnitude of the problems they cause. There are millions of bug reports, together with their usually- unsatisfactory workarounds (many involve registry fiddling most people will foul up or not do at all, and the rest involve lengthy, tedious, data-losing, preferences-losing reinstallation). Worse, an incredible proportion of their bugs are showstoppers. Enter a search for "hang" or "crash" or "gpf". It will find thousands of articles! Worse, most of them say things like, "Problem: Machine hangs using Word 97. Cause: You have a Logitech mouse and Word 97 SP-1 not SP- 2." ... a lot of people don't know about the obscure service packs. And the fact that Word would differentiate a Logitech mouse shows someone isn't managing dependencies in writing the code. Word should just use the mouse events the O/S provides. If they want to see mouse events of a new kind, then they should make the O/S provide more event types to which an app can listen. They should NOT write direct mouse muchery in their apps which then crash when someone uses an unanticipated breed of mouse (with all the correct drivers installed). They should localize those drivers in this case.
  3. Microsoft tech support by phone expects people who ALREADY bought a product of theirs (and got more than they bargained for in "undocumented features" like the above IE box logo) to pay money? Greedy moneygrubbing monopoly. Their email tech support, of course, is ignored... probably discarded by their mail server as soon as it reads the envelope To: without a bounce or error message and without ever receiving the body text. After all, if they had it actually received by a bot that says "Phone our toll line and pay for your help with our problems", their server'd overload. When instead I emailed their postmaster to report an IE crash, I was rudely given a nasty message never to mail them again, and it was CC'd to my then ISP Sympatico! Even though I politely informed the postmaster that the email was being sent to him because if it weren't, no live human would ever read it. Seemed reasonable to me.
  4. Service packs and upgrades... ugh. Heard the news about the SP-2 for Office? Browse on over to MSNBC. Microsoft are at least able to admit (however indirectly, through MSNBC, or obscurely, in their "knowledge" base) their errors. They are still stuck on step 2 of Basic Learning to Take Responsibility for One's Actions... to refresh your memories, these steps are:
    1. Admit you have the problem/made the mistake,
    2. And for god's sake FIX IT!
    3. And for the sake of the Multiverse learn not to make the same blasted error again!!
    Actually, they don't even have step 1 down all the time (see above about scapegoating bugs in their DLLs).
    Anyways, the service packs fix some bugs and introduce at least as many new ones. And the upgrades (like the infamous Windows 98) are just service packs to which they have, for some arbitrary reason, chosen to attach a three-figure price tag. (See Upgrade Definitions to relieve some Microsoft tension.)
  5. NEW! Microsoft buying out various free services on the net and then running them into the ground. Witness Hotmail. Then they bought out LinkExchange and in less than four hours, they were already screwing things up!

Memorable Crashes

Crash of the Day

These are my experiences with Microsoft products. Mainly crashes, and often more than one a day in reality.

My Microsoft Software and Why I Don't Use Something Else

I use third party software where I can and Microsoft software where I must.
Third-party software I use:

Software That I Discovered Was Bad

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