Monday, September 11, 2006

i'm reading for antitrust right now. i'm reading part of the microsoft antitrust case, and the more i read, the more sense it makes why the laptop i owned in college decided to work so poorly, and eventually die on me.

it all started with one bright idea. i never used internet explorer, never ever. i was a netscape girlie. (yep, this was before the days of mozilla.) i decided that it was taking up valuable space on my computer, and i was going to take it off.

i looked in add/remove programs. it wasn't there. (i realise now, when reading this microsoft case, that internet explorer was in add/remove programs in windows 95, but they had taken it out as an option in windows 98--what this laptop was running.) so, i started rifling through all my folders full of program files. i found the folder with all the internet explorer files, and plumb deleted them all. i didn't want that piece of software on my computer, and my hard drive was so small that any free byte, i wanted for my files and not that program.

i didn't have the fastest computer ever in college, but then it just became ridiculous. it ran slower after i deleted internet explorer. it crashed several times a day, at least. my computer became the bane of my existence. i always had a funny feeling that deleting internet explorer was part of why my computer started running so badly then, but now i know for sure it's true.

i'm reading this case, and it's talking about how, in windows 98, they built internet explorer in so closely with the operating system. not only could you not delete the program from the add/remove programs screen, but the web browsing code was in the same files as other code that provided operating system functions. in the words of the court, microsoft did its best to "ensure that the deletion of any file containing browsing-specific routines would also delete vital operating system routines and thus cripple windows."

on one hand, i'm glad i wasn't inventing a connection between deleting internet explorer and the fact that my computer kept crashing so much afterwards. on the other hand...that's just an evil thing for them to have done, and i'm so glad they got sued for it.

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