I am 57 years old, and I am far from perfect, but I am fed up with being improved. No-one ever asks me if I want to be improved, it just happens.

Microsoft improves me every month, I climb into my office chair and the computer has been rebooted. Microsoft has improved me. Unfortunately they didn’t remember to save the documents I had open, so I spend some happy time recovering the un-named documents. But I have been improved!

My main weapon of choice is a Dell laptop, I like it, it seems to put up with my abuse and keep on trucking. However the improvement that I just got from Microsoft seems to inspire Dell to improve me. My desktop is a train wreck at the best of times. My idea of a filing system is to stick it on the desktop, documents, MP3’s, Video, it goes on the desktop. When the desktop gets full I delete stuff. OK it is not a perfect solution, but it works for me.

So, after being improved by Microsoft I get improved by Dell. On my desktop is a great big box informing about the current weather conditions in Austin, Texas. I don’t live in Texas, and while I am sure that Austin is a great place, I really could care less what the weather forecast might be. I find the ‘X’ and get rid of it. Dell is not finished with the improvements. The bottom third of the screen has been eaten up by some hideous tool bar. So I find the ‘X’ and get rid of it.

The improvement process is not done! Because Microsoft has improved me, everyone seems to feel the need.

My anti virus nags me, and I spend some quality time updating. It is a minefield, press the wrong thing and you get a charge on your bank account, press the wrong thing you get the totally useless toolbar. I navigate through this swamp, and yippy skippy, I have been improved.

As I work with PDF documents a lot, Adobe wants in on the fun. So once again I get improved. Once again I have to tread carefully through the minefield, but I survive, no bank account is hurt.

I feel that I have been improved. Spanky new Windows, better Virus protection, the latest PDF viewer, what more could you ask for?

There is one minor hitch with being improved by Microsoft, you lose all of tabs you had open in the browser. I am irritated, but it is not the end of the world. I start Firefox, guess what? It wants to improve me! So once again I leap into the being improved zone.

OK, now I am ticked off, I have work to do. The computer is not a toy, it is a tool. I have just wasted an hour or more being improved. My first order of business is email. What happened overnight? What disasters do I have to deal with?

I log in, and guess what, my stinking email service wants to improve me. There is only one option, get Improved. I was quite happy without being improved, but had to take in on the nose. Note to Gmail, I hate the improvements.

Bottom line, I am old and grumpy, I am set in my ways. Leave me alone and stop trying to improve me.

Simon Barrett

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