Do You Want to Know Why The (Windows) PC Stinks?

Can I be frank with you? Are we at that level yet, you and I? Here, sit down, can I talk to you? Because Iive got a problem, and itis a really big problem. You see, Iive always been a Mac guy. No, Iim not one of those Mac guys who will play the "I used a Mac before you did" game, I actually started on a Quadra 605, not an Apple IIe or Lisa or any of those. So I just want to talk to you, thatis all. You see I need your opinion.

Iim a gamer, you know, one of those guys who likes to play games. Now Iim not particularly proud of this fact. Not that there is anything wrong with playing games, but Iim thirty-three-years-old. I have three kids, a full time job, a lawn to mow and cookie cutter reality TV programs to watch this winter. The point is, I donit have a lot of time for gaming anymore. More importantly, I like sports games. Yeah, I know, a Mac guy who likes sports games. You want to read more? Here, read this, but come right back as soon as youire done, because weire not finished yet, you and me. I still havenit made my point.

So OK, now you know that Iim for real. I like sports games, and I like Macs. So, something has to go, right? After all, I canit play the 1986 arcade hit, 10-Yard Fight, on my Macintosh emulator forever; I have needs. I need to be able to play a full season of something.

Heck, I donit even care what. Give me a Mac version of Professional Hungarian Curling and Iill gladly plunk down $30 to win the coveted, well, I donit know what type of award Curling people win, maybe a broom or something. I even downloaded a demo of Cricket not too long ago. I canit for the life of me tell you how to play but at least there was a score! Granted, I was always on the losing end.

Anyway, back to my problem. So I like my Mac, I like my sports games. I donit have a lot of time to mess around. So I have decided that I have to get rid of one or the other, sports games or the Mac. So first I think Iill get rid of sports games, right?

So I buy WarCraft or StarCraft or one of those "Craft" games where you build a city, or a castle or fort, I donit know. All I kept doing was pretending that my guys on horses where playing polo. I had them run back and forth, back and forth. Theyid run to one end of the playing field and then another. It was fun to watch those little horses gallop back and forth…until they were cruelly slaughtered! This strategy never quite panned out and I was mercilessly killed time and time again.

So I moved on to SimCity 2000. This had potential. I started up my city. I created about a half a dozen sports stadiums at various locations in my city, I had it all. There was a baseball team, a football team, rugby, soccer, basketball, you name it. The only problem was I couldnit remember the cheat code for unlimited money so with all my dough spent on these stadiums the people in my city started complaining. "We need food," they said. "Where is our water?" they complained. Traffic was up, smog was a problem, and they wanted housing...Man, what a pain! Meanwhile the Alpacas, my basketball team, were only drawing crowds of about 500 people. That was the last time I played SimCity.

Apparently Iid have to give up my Mac. So I bit the bullet and laid out about $200 for a new PC, it was something like a Pentium 15 with a 48" monitor, speakers, keyboard, a real, live mouse, it was the works. It truly is amazing what you can get for a couple of hundreds bucks in the PeeCee world. It even came with this kid named Stephen whoill answer any questions I have about the computer. He hangs out in the corner when I donit need him and he really doesnit eat much.

So I plunk down another $50 on the latest and greatest NBA basketball game that I can find. It turns out that there are a slew of sports games for the PeeCee, Iim in heaven! So I get Stephen to install in on my PeeCee, because he has to change a bunch of stuff in my registry, or change a couple of settings in the computer bios...I donit know what heis doing, this kid, but heis going a million miles an hour. So Stevie finishes up (he hates it when I call him Stevie) and turns the reigns over to me. I can hardly wait. I double click on the icon and ready myself for pure joy.

"Whatis this?" I ask Stevie, grabbing his scrawny little neck, shoving his coke-bottle glasses toward the computer screen.

"Um, thatis a direct X error, blah, blah, blah," Stevie says. It might as well have been French, what this kid is saying to me.

"English, Steverino, English!" I plead.

"You need a new video card," he says.

"New video card?" I ask. "I just got this system, how old is the video card that came with the machine?"

"Actually it was manufactured last week," Stephen says. "You need to upgrade to play this game."

So I lose it. I feel bad, it wasnit Stephenis fault, but the kid is going to have a heck of a time removing that keyboard.

So you see why the PeeCee stinks? Sure you can upgrade, sure you can dig into the guts of the beast, but why do you want to? Itis too confusing, I tell you. So here I sit, waiting for MacMAME to boot up. Itis Team A vs. Team B tonight in 10-Yard Fight. Should be a doosey!

Tony Overbay is the CEO of Diskology by day, and a closet technology writer (not actually writing about the technology behind closets, but...well, never mind) by night. Tony can be reached at tony@diskology.com.

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