Bringing dad over to Windows was a mixed bag. On one hand, now he’s got a world-class browser and Eudora (my beloved Eudora…). On the other hand, the machine is much slower (because Win98 ignores his second CPU and because Win isn’t as efficiently designed in general). His modem drops connections sometimes under Windows – never did in BeOS. He says it “looks ugly” (this is a person who has used only MacOS and BeOS and has never used Windows).
But the biggest headache was in trying to find usable software for his digital camera. I was so proud the day he got his camera a couple of years ago, hooked it up, found the Camera app, and started using it with no help from me. I fully expected there to be a wide range of great camera apps for Windows. But the Camedia software that came with his camera is so arcane it’s almost unusable. The Adobe software that came with only grabs one image at a time and tries so hard to be user friendly that it backfires on itself. I downloaded three shareware apps that didn’t work at all. I read countless messages from people complaining about the terrible state of Windows camera apps out there. All over a slow mountain modem connection. Wasted half of yesterday. In the end, the solution he’s going to use is that he’ll boot to BeOS, download his images, and copy them to his Windows partition from there. What a freaking joke. I hear that XP finally addresses the camera issue fully. Great, but that’s not an option.
Since I stopped using BeOS a couple of months ago, I’ve only had occassional needs to boot into it. But every time I do, I feel like I’m missing something great. The same old refrains : how can something this great, this powerful, this usable, not have taken over the market? Of course I know all the answers to that question. But it still pains me no end. BeOS is still like a great orgasm for your computer.