By George! Microsoft does good bags. I have an Office 97 bag and it?s dead good. It?s sturdy, holds stuff like books and CDs plus a towel and even a notebook (paper). But one of the really big pluses is the large satisfying Velcro patch that sticks the front down. I?m sure it is very Freudian.
If I had any complaint with it I would suggest that the Office 97 logo on the front of it should be a touch smaller. Frankly, I feel a bit of a dork wandering around with this bag over my shoulder. Sure, it is perfect for my needs, but it insists on promoting computer software ? a surefire way to imply the owner is an anorak. And I refuse to spend the evening unpicking the carefully woven logo, like I did with my Microsoft Euro 96 denim shirt. I unpicked the Microsoft fine, but replaced it with several holes.
So I have a bag that does just what it is supposed to, but embarrasses the hell out of me.
Thinking about it, that sums up the Microsoft experience. Sort of OK software to use, but embarrassing to own up to. Have you noticed the instant you admit to being a more or less satisfied Microsoft software user you are branded as some sort of loser, or worse, by the angry people that insist that Bill Gates is the antichrist and Microsoft is really communism/fascism/Russell Grant by another name.
These people, who probably don?t have enough hobbies to fill their spare time, focus on one small thing that Microsoft does and then bang on about it until the cows have not only come home but have had kids that have grown up and started a chain of sport shops. Surely there are more important things in the world to complain about? Surely there are more important things closer to home, like when will the Kevin Keegan story finally break?
But no, these people go on and on wittering about how terrible Microsoft software is. I have an idea in this area, I think that the Spice Girls should be sponsored by Microsoft. And when these saddos are asked whether they?d prefer Microsoft software or a Spice Girl, they?d be forced to answer: the first one to go down. It would change Microsoft?s image overnight.
Anyway, on with the bag. It is very good, it works. This is unlike Office 97, which isn?t very good and doesn?t work. And what bothers me is that we?ve not heard a peep out of the Microsoft worriers, oh no, they are too busy denouncing Gates as a man with a body odour problem. (No, really, I saw someone on Compuserve confidently telling the world that Our Bill has BO. As far as I know that person has never met him, but, hey who ever let that get in the way. Oh, and by the way, I have met him and I never noticed anything.) Not a single thing about Office 97 being a pile of cack.
OK, just to stop the lawyers from coming over and beating me senseless with lead-lined writs, Office 97 is a pile of cack for me (and lots of other people) because I (and they) have Symantec?s Norton Navigator for Windows 95 version 1.0b, plus the file popups, folder popups, and/or drive popups options turned on in Norton Navigator Control Centre. Basically if I hit the right-hand button in Office 97 I stand a good chance of the whole PC hanging ? that?s right, a big red switch job.
Who would have thought, especially given that this bug was apparent in the late betas, that Microsoft could let this happen. More amazing, while ?Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in the Microsoft products? it still has the gall to say ?you may also want to check with Symantec to see if a newer version of Norton Navigator that corrects this problem is available?. Heavens above! Here Microsoft admits to it being a problem in Microsoft?s code, but still points us in the direction of the Symantec crowd on the off-chance that they might have come up with a solution.
Oh, and in case you are thinking I should give Microsoft some more time to fix this, the knowledge base file I?m quoting here has a date of 16 November 1996 with a revision date of 2 January 1997. So, what?s that, three months? It is too much to ask that they might have had a solution in three months and interestingly there is still confusion about whether Microsoft will. It is hardly a small thing. One can only assume that Microsoft has a new path to beat.
So there we have it ? the technology highway has hit a fork. One direction is bags, the other is Office software. This is a time of change for us all. God knows why, but Microsoft is about to take the bag world by storm ? rucksack manufacturers look out.
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