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What does Microsoft Vista have to do with motorcycling?

Nothing. Except that I’m a motorcycle rider and I use computers for a living. Also, if you’re reading this blog you’re also using a computer, and the odds are you’re using a flavor of Microsoft Windows to do it.

Here’s the scoop. I’ve been using computers since 1983 including numerous flavors of Windows, Linux, OS/2, and now Mac. This web site is hosted on a Linux server and I use a Mac in my daily computing life. Suffice to say I can make a rational and informed comparison between the various operating systems available today.

I had my first opportunity to use Microsoft Vista the other day. I have read countless review about Microsoft’s latest OS and was anticipating a similar but slightly less satisfactory experience to Windows XP. I was amazed at how much I disliked Vista once I had a chance to actually use it. To put it another way, I hated it.

The incessant “Are you sure?” prompts felt like I was trying to have a conversation with someone afflicted with an acute stutter. Just moving my way around Control Panel was an unnecessarily complex rats maze.

Talk about a huge step backward in productivity!

It seemed that everything was a subtle invasion of my privacy, whether it was the incessant personal questions or the large volume of bloat-ware and crap-ware and trial-ware that comes with it. The overall experience felt like I was being molested by a well-dressed car salesman.

Not one part of that operating system felt like it was there to serve me but instead was there to serve some corporate power.

I found the interface to be very confusing and none of it made sense. Despite the fact that I’d never seen Vista before, I’ve used many operating systems and nothing in Vista looked like it made sense to me. It was very counter-intuitive.

I was surprised at how much I disliked Vista. I expected it to be only marginally worse than XP (based on previous reviews). It was drastically worse.

If you recently switched to Vista, either from XP or from other operating system, what’s your opinion? If Vista is your first computing experience, you not only have my sympathy but also my consolation that there are other alternatives. Downgrade to XP or better yet, take your computer back for a refund and go buy a Mac instead.

9 things NOT to carry on your motorcycle

There are as many opinions of what to carry on your motorcycle as there are people riding. From tire repair kits to lip balm to more bizarre things like dog goggles and hair spray (no one likes helmet hair!) But what about things not to carry?

Here’s a list of 9 things not to carry on your bike:

A frown.
Worries about your daily life.
A tow rope.
A life preserver.
A note from your mother.
An attitude.
Misconceptions about your mortality.
An eagerness to return to the daily grind.

In an effort to be positive and not just negative, here’s a list of things that I suggest you do carry every time you’re out and about on two wheels:

An appreciation for how lucky you are.
Respect for the risks you are undertaking.
A focus on the moment.
A willingness to enjoy the experience, regardless of the weather.
A sense of honor to all others on two wheels, no matter what brand they ride.
A sense of accomplishment for making this dream of riding come true in your life.