I booted the netbook to its native Windows XP environment. Having not done so in a fortnight I expected some updates to take place. I did not, however, expect what transpired next:
- I had to perform an anti-virus update (I use Avira).
- I had to install the latest version of Firefox 3.6 (now at 3.6.3).
- I had to install the latest version of Java.
- I had to install the latest Microsoft Windows Update patch, a security update for IE8.
- I had to install the latest version of Avira anti-virus (an upgrade from version 9 to 10).
- I had to reboot.
- I had to perform an anti-virus update on the new Avira version.
Sure, you get massive system updates in Ubuntu, too. But there it's all consolidated, as in you don't have to update each application separately. And more importantly, it all takes place in the background, allowing you to continue working almost seamlessly (but for a tiny bit of extra CPU work and some bandwidth taken for the download).
By the way, after the installation of Avira 10 took place, the software warned me I am logged in as an Administrator - a potential security risk. How else am I supposed to perform all these system updates? In Linux you can login as an Administrator too, but you still have to explicitly grant admin rights to each application wanting it separately; the default is not to give away these rights. So there's another thing Windows can take from good operating systems...
Wait. The ordeal did not end there. I still had to do what I needed to do in the first place.
One of those tasks was to post my daily blog, which I did (here; probably my weakest movie review in a while, but I blame Lionel Messi). The second task was to FTP a few documents to my iPhone so I can have them on me wherever I go.
The last time I did this FTP to the iPhone trick was back in December; then it worked. Last night it didn't: it appears as if some Windows Update that occurred since has blocked this operation from being allowed under the guise of a security update. In addition, the iPhone's FTP software provider put a post on their website advising that a bug in IE8 prevents the FTP from working under Windows XP. Great! Here's for another half hour wasted.
Sure, a lot of the blame here is on Apple's shoulders. Being the obsessive compulsive they are, they prevent users from transferring files via a simple USB connection, forcing them to resort to rather esoteric measures like FTP. Still, that does not take any of the shame away from Microsoft: the Windows experience is simply a nightmare.
Today I tried the same FTP operation in Ubuntu. I had the files on my iPhone within less than two minutes.