Sunday, February 27, 2005

Windows is out of my Control

Microsoft Windows is out of my control. I just want to do something simple, render a movie, but the movie render program exits at random about 3 minutes into rendering. The customer support section of the render program web site suggests that I close down all background tasks before I start rendering in case they are interfering with the render. When I watch with the task manager, I see plenty of background processes that pop up from time to time and they may well be the cause of the problem.

However, is absolutely impossible to close down background processes. My system is not owned. I do not have a spyware problem, it is just that I do not have proper control over the components that I have installed on my system. There is an unwanted Windows component that will not go away. I have uninstalled it, however its process still runs and when I kill the process with the task manager it just springs back again after a few seconds. There are other Windows components that are too scary to stop but annoyingly active when they do not need to be.

My video card has two unnecessary background processes. I have managed to disable one, however I cannot find a control to disable the other one. My sound card software has unnecessary background processes that cannot be controlled and when I stop them with the task manager they spring back to life unasked. My CD burner software has several unnecessary background tasks that cannot be controlled in any sane way, and I have spent hours looking through the options dialog boxes for ways of disabling them.

I want to stop the anti-virus program as I know from experience that it can cause all sorts of problems. So I disconnect from the internet and disable it. The problems are firstly that even although I have disabled the anti-virus program its processes are still active and doing things. Secondly, I find out that there is a program that is run periodically to check whether the anti-virus system has been disabled and warn the user. So the total effect of disabling anti-virus to get rid of background processes is just to make extra background processes appear at regular intervals.

All in all it is enough to make me want to give up on Windows and buy a Mac!.