You ever have one of those moments when you almost wish you could string Bill Gates up with his own entrails? I had one of those moments yesterday morning.
My problem was not Bill Gates or even Microsoft in general, but their representative to the common man: Windows XP. I was bitten by that annoying Explorer bug where it blocks for several seconds at a time for no particular reason. I had to clean off my D: drive because it's is a measly 30GB, which is just barely enough to house the data I've accumulated over the last five years, plus my collection of virtual machines. However, it seemed like every two minutes, when I clicked something, explorer would lock up. No apparent reason, no inordinate disk or CPU activity - it just stopped responding. Then, after 5 to 20 seconds, it would pick up where it left off.
Now, this has happened many times before, but never quite so often in one session. It was positively maddening. It's a good thing I was drinking decaf, or I probably would have ripped my monitor to pieces.
Things went slightly better today, but I did have an issue with deleting a file. Basically, the progress dialog displayed for way, way, way too long. Like a minute or two for a 1MB file. It's just ridiculous.
The worst part is, it's not like I can just stop using Explorer. If this were a UNIX, I could just switch desktops or file managers. But on Windows, that just doesn't work.
Oh, don't get me wrong - there are alternative shells and file managers, but I've never found any of them to be very good. At least not the free ones (I haven't tried any of the paid-for options because my boss is kind of cheap). Most of the free file managers seem to focus on useless features like dual-panes and integrated file viewers (that's why we have file associations - duh!). And the third-part shell replacements...they just feel like second-class citizens. Plus I've found that things tend to break when Explorer isn't running.
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