Sunday, February 18, 2024

What the Hell is Mode S?

Microsoft is trying to use cheap Jedi mind tricks on us.

I tried to help my friend with their new computer and we got some things accomplished.  The printer (HP, sorry!) is WiFi enabled and it keeps losing its WiFi connection for some reason.  But I think we got it logged on for good.  If not, a good old USB cable should fix it permanently.

I was able to download their photos from their iPhone to the hard drive. It tried to load them to Microsoft's cloud, but there wasn't enough room - but they helpfully suggested we could buy more room if we wanted to.  Gee, thanks.  No.

I tried to load Chrome onto the machine.  At first, it said, "You don't need Chrome, you already have the best web browser ever made! These aren't the (an)droids you are looking for!"  When I tried to install Chrome, it warned me, in a scary voice, that in order to do so, I would have to exit "S mode" so I said, "why not?"

Another scary screen pops up, telling me I will expose my computer to viruses because, you know, the number one Internet browser used by billions of people is some sketchy "app" from who-knows-where (Gina?).  It would no doubt say the same thing about Firefox as well.

So I say, "screw that!" and click "continue."

The next page (yes, there are several) then ominously warns me that if I leave "S Mode" then as far as Microsoft as concerned, I am dead to them.  No coming back, mister! Tossed out of the house like a gay teen who came out to his MAGA Dad.  You'll have to live on the streets now, buster - see how you like that, gayboy!

Fine. If it was my computer, I would say, "See ya later, Dad!" to Bill Gates and move on with life.  But it wasn't my computer.  Besides, their son-in-law is coming over next week and he is more proficient in modern operating systems than I am.  Their grandson, aged 10, would be even more adept.

I go back home to my homely black Toshiba laptop, where I can look at the contents of my hard drive simply by typing C:\ DIR

It is my comfort zone - I have at least a vague idea of what is going on and where my data is stored.  It doesn't have that uneasy feel you get with smart phones and netbooks, that somehow your data is lost in the void.

By the way, my friend had a Mac and it died and they had a two-week wait for an "appointment" at the "Genius Bar."  They bought an Acer laptop instead - it cost less than an hour at the "genius bar" and no doubt, the "genius" would have recommended buying a new iMac for two grand. Real genius there!

"They always make me feel like an idiot at the 'Genius' bar!" they said.

"That's the idea," I replied.  Apple makes it such that - like the old days of IBM mainframes - no one can really know how the damn things work, except the anointed few.  And Microsoft is going the same way with Windows 11.

My friend will figure it out over time, and maybe I will, too.  But Windows 11 is a whole different beast than older Windows. Everything is hidden from view.  It is like a Chromebook - every program is an "app" and it has a very phone-y feeling (in both senses of the word).

Now if you'll pardon me, I am going to listen to my old bakelite 78 rpm records on my Gramaphone.  No electricity needed!