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The Rough Guide to Windows Lusers

Surviving in a crazy virtual world.


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They're getting their feathers ruffled again, the Windows lusers. There's been media hysteria about the latest Windows botnet 'Kneber' and everybody stops what they're doing and panics for a few days. Yes, it is really annoying.

But there's little you can do about it. Just as there was little you could do about all those ridiculous Windows 7 launch parties. Things will calm down after a while - Windows lusers are great at discussing calamities until they forget what they're so worked up about. But until then you'll just have to grin and bear it.

Life is so simple in the fast lane. Whether you're running Mac OS X or Linux, or FreeBSD or OpenBSD or Gentoo, you have none of that weeping and gnashing of teeth. But your Windows luser friends are human beings too and you can only win if you learn how to deal with them.

Here's a rough guide to getting along with the eejits.

☂ It's a big deal. No matter you think it's stupid they keep on hitting themselves in the head with all that antivirus and anti-spyware junk, panicking over the latest Microsoft patches, moaning over their Blue Screens of Death™, they think it's exciting. That's the only world they've ever known. It's a bit like watching NCIS or CSI on the telly. It's a big bad world out there and they're scared.

So be nice to them. Say things like 'aw that's terrible you can't use your Windows anymore' and 'oh I don't know what I'd do if someone in eastern Europe ran away with my life savings, you must feel terrible' and 'it's a big bad world out there - good thing you're keeping your antivirus up to date'.

Never ever suggest that none of those miserable things would happen if they just left Windows behind - they'll close ranks and ignore you. No it doesn't make any sense, yes it's batshit insane, but leave it at that. They won't understand. And nobody knows why.

☂ It's their idea. No matter they tell you excitedly that they have a cool new application that puts text into a window, or that they have a new keybooard shortcut so they can tile windows next to each other, or that they now have icons just like you, just humour them. Say things like 'oh that is so cool' and 'I don't think I've ever seen that before' - or if you really want to go for it: 'you've finally sold me - I'm going to buy Windows tomorrow'.

☂ Microsoft invented everything. You know and everybody knows they invent nothing at all, but they don't. So when you see that pathetic aero/glass for the first time, and you squint your eyes, and your eyes start watering over, don't complain. Never say 'but it's so blurry' or 'how much did all that new computer hardware cost you - I don't have to upgrade to get that'. Just make small 'hmm', 'ooh', and 'aah' noises - then disappear quietly.

☂ Drive letters are the bee's knees. Windows lusers don't get why you have a single file system hierarchy and they don't understand that the origin of their drive letters is an 8/16-bit system written by Gary Kildall for 8-inch floppy diskettes about thirty years ago. They don't know why they have drive letters, but they're sure it's cool. So be sure to say things like 'oh I wish I had drive letters too'. They won't understand but they'll be flattered.

☂ WTF are vector graphics? Raster graphics went out over twenty years ago. NeXT were using vector graphics before Susan Kare came to Redmond to paint Windows 3.0. But Windows lusers don't know that. They look at that Phone 7 pixellated interface and they think 'oh so cool' - they don't say 'how come Microsoft can't do cool graphics like everyone else'. Microsoft lost at the graphics game, they've outlawed graphics, and Windows lusers are buying it lock stock and barrel. Say things like 'so much easier to see the individual pixels!' and 'anti-aliens - who's against the aliens anyway?'



☂ The power in numbers. No matter you're right and they're stupid, you'll never get them to agree with you. At any party with ten people, the odds are less than even you'll find another non-Windows user. You're in the minority.

☂ The power in stupidity. It's been researched and proven many times over: stupid people are incapable of realising they're stupid. So don't tell them they're stupid - you'll never convince them.

IQ demographics follow a bell curve: there are some really smart people like yourself at the far right end, the people of average intelligence are the hump in the middle, and Windows lusers are in the Valley of the Fools on the far left. You'll never reach them - it's too tough a climb.

☂ The power in anarchy. Hobby computers are cool. You can do anything you want with a hobby computer. It's a toy. Serious computers are for something called 'work' and they're not as much fun all the time. You know that.

You also know you simply can't let every half-baked trojan run rampant on a computer, but your Windows luser friends don't know that. If you hear them talking about how the latest trojan overwrote files in their system32 directory, do not - repeat DO NOT - ask them how the F any system can be so stupid as to let alien processes run rampant like that.

Tell them things like 'I want to have a system32 directory too' and 'I wish I could overwrite my files like that!' and 'I've never felt like my computer is mine'.

☂ Bill Gates is their friend. Bill Gates had a dream - a computer in every home and on every desktop. He's succeeded - and they're all infected.

Bill Gates is the biggest crook in the virtual world - and you know it, the courts know it, and most people in the media know it too (but they're not allowed to mention it). But your Windows luser friends don't know it. They think Bill Gates is their friend. No joke - they really do. So don't push it. Say things like 'my good friend Bill Gates' and 'that Bill Gates, what a great guy'.

☂ Who's distracted? You'll find your Windows luser friends totally distracted if you pop in on them right in the middle of another Windows malware outbreak. Their systems won't work, they'll 'BSOD', they'll get porn storms, and they'll be running 99 different antivirus suites to get rid of the bad stuff (without succeeding).

All you want to do is hang out and talk about the latest about MS Office and Fone Se7en but they won't have time. You use your computer to get work done. Your computer just works and their computers almost never work. But you can't bring this up.

You can't say things like 'you pathetic fools, when do you actually ever get to use your computers' or 'you can't get any work done because you're distracted all the time with all those stupid malware outbreaks that never happen to anyone else'. They don't think they're distracted - they think they're doing very important things.

☂ You don't know anything about Windows. Statistically the odds are you're a switcher - you had Windows once upon a time but you got sick and tired of it and got out. You probably learned quite a lot before you made the switch. You might even have a reputation for being able to fix wobbly Windows boxes. Destroy that myth.

Your Windows friends will be coming to you for help all the time. 'Hey can you fix my Windows? Can you get rid of all the trojans and worms and viruses called botnet?' Don't help them.

Helping Windows lusers only gets you pissed off. Your time is valuable too (even if they don't recognise it) and cleaning Windows systems reminds you of so many things you're happy you forgot - things about how stupid Windows can be and how stupid your Windows luser friends can be too.

You'd find a Registry chock full of malware and you'll find the malware files on disk and you'll ask them 'this FSX78FY.EXE - did you download that?' And you know they did. And they'll turn pale, but they'll deny knowing anything about it. And so it'll go all through the endless list of shit they've collected because they're so stupid.

And they'll never offer to pay you (and might not even thank you) and they really think everyone else's world has to stop because they have a Windows problem. But never mention that. They'll think you're being inconsiderate.

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