Imagine you buy a new car — it’s shiny, it’s fast, and it smells really good.
You always drive with the top down and play the stereo a little too loud. Life is good. Then, when you go to the gas station, you discover that none of the nozzles fit into the gas tank. Frustrated, you ask the attendant why this is happening.
He’s not sure why, but apparently your car doesn’t take gasoline from a pump. You have to drive to a special gas station near Yuma. Of course, you don’t have enough gas to get to Yuma ...
It’s human nature to delve into the unknown; to blaze new trails into the frontier. Today, this primitive itch is satisfied by buying new stuff.
We all love new things … new cars, new lawn mowers, new reality TV shows. We want to be on the “cutting edge.” If we’re not careful, though, we could get ourselves into a bad situation (like many did when they rushed out and bought a new computer with Windows Vista on it).
The example of the car is unlikely to really happen. Buying a new car is a safe bet.
When it comes to new operating systems for your computer, however, all bets are off. Software always has bugs in it in the beginning, I don’t care who makes it and I say “let the rest of the world try it out,” then if it gets good reviews, then maybe.
A few years ago, Windows Vista was the hottest thing to ever hit computer store shelves.
It had new gadgets, a new look, and the promise of unrivaled functionality. After the dust settled, however, many users were left without access to their peripheral devices (many of which were less than a year old).
Costly hardware upgrades were inevitable. Certain software programs were often left high and dry as well. The effort it took to make everything work together in harmony went well beyond the initial cost of the operating system, and many times the end result was not worth the price.
Later this fall, Microsoft will be ready to launch its latest operating system: Windows 7. Undoubtedly, there will be a lot of people jockeying themselves to be among the first to have the new program, but it will come with its share of bugs and issues that need to be addressed.
The best thing for each of us is to install the operating system that will work best with our hardware, software, networks and applications.
Many times, this means installing an earlier version of Windows — namely Windows XP. Windows XP is perhaps the best operating system ever created, and it took a good five years to work out its bugs.
While it may seem like a downgrade, it is, in reality, an upgrade to our system.
It may not be shiny, new, or cutting edge, but an old standby operating system like Windows XP might be the perfect fit for your computer. It has a proven track record that will minimize your frustrations and maximize your productivity.
Microsoft has recognized the inconsistencies with Vista and offered free “downgrades” for certain versions.
The downgrade is a great idea, but it may take professional strength help to do it right … it may just save you from that long trip to Yuma.
Daniel Taft is the senior network administrator and member/owner of Computer Problem Specialists, LLC with a degree in applied computer science. His career spans more than 20 years.