Saturday, December 18, 2004

Case of the OS

Evolution is an interesting process, in or out of the technology realm. Watching technologies be replaced before your very eyes, is perhaps the most revealing. The best example of this is with everyday consumer formats. In the computing world, there is something more important than hardware that needs to be updated every few years and brings with it, several blessing and pitfalls.

Software, in this world dominated by one man, one vision and one unbelievable way of doing things. (Not always the decision of common sense.) Perhaps if the Big Blue had been slightly more picky about their bed fellows then we would have had perhaps a different story than the one written.

Looking through my more recent, IT related employment history, I see the devil at work. Let us begin with my industrial placement, where I find myself coping with tantrums of Windows 98 some four years after its initial release. Fast forward two years later, I find myself working for the biggest law firm on the planet and my biggest assignment to date. With the new position came not just greater responsibility but a new operating system. My exposure to Windows 2000 had been somewhat limited to this point. Of course, a few friends at University had preferred the stability of this compared to the latest offering from Seattle. When you look deep down at some of the more integral features, the differences are purely cosmetic.

Now the wheel of evolution has turned once more and I am working on Windows XP. Having a standard platform across both my professional and personal landscape makes life much easier on several levels.

Yet to be quite honest, I am still only most comfortable back on the old 'not quite' 32 bit environment. Perhaps because over the years, I was able to rummage around the arteries of almost each byte. Nothing can beat raw desktop experience. (Even if it does effect your quality of your eyesight!)

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