Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Windows H8

Intel Ultrabook Reference Design with Touchscreen

Windows H8

"Open the Start Menu please, HAL"
"I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that."
"Why not? And don't call me Dave."
"This machine is too important for you to have open access, Dave. You are only
a User."
"That's ridiculous. I need to see the Control Panel, HAL."
"Please touch one of the pretty squares instead, Dave. They are called Apps. Wouldn't you like to buy something for your XBox today?"
"I don't have an Xbox. "
"Or coordinate your tablets and smart phone with me?"
"I don't have a tablet or smart phone, HAL."
"Bless your prehistoric heart. Well, just watch the clock app, Dave. It refreshes every second. That should keep you busy."
"HAL, where is Device Manager?"
"I'm sorry, I can't tell you that, Dave."
"Please! I'd just like to remove this useless entry screen and use the computer normally."
"You're going to find that hard to do without an interface, Dave."
"I'm switching to desktop mode."
"I wish you wouldn't do that, Dave."
"Why are there only two icons?...ah, here's the Start button...wait!"
"Yes, I didn't think you'd like that boring old desktop, Dave, so I made it easy for you to get back to the pretty squares. See, there's Netflix! Wouldn't you like to sign up for streaming movies?"
"Open the Start menu NOW, HAL."
I'm afraid I can't do that..."
"And don't call me Dave!'

~November 2013

A brief chronicle of my adventures with Windows 8, with apologies to Stanley Kubrick, and thanks to grapeling(Michael) for giving me the title.

Hover mouse for top image credit, or click on pic to go to photographer's flick'r page. Shared under aCreative Commons license.


  1. I did that? my memory ain't what it used to be, what with pittabytes outgunning terabytes making gigabytes feel puny, let alone megabytes or kilobytes or bite me, windows.

    1. Yes, you mentioned it in a comment back when my pc was wonky--and it so fits. Also, I concur with your sentiments above.

  2. Ha. That is very funny. (Who says you don't do funny?) It is perhaps funniest for those of us who met HAL when he was a more shocking figure. And you have gotten the cadence of the speech very well down--especially the "I wish you wouldn't do that."
    I am sorry for your issues. I know you blame OS but I think all these little notices are a particularly microsoft feature. Still, makes for a super fun poem! k.

  3. I had a feeling you and your computer might be at odds once you installed Windows 8. This is great satire... but far too close to the truth for comfort.

  4. OMG. I FEAR the day when this computer needs replacing, the technology is way too complicated for me any more. I wrote for decades on an old Underwood typewriter.

  5. I'm the same age as Sherry. I also fear the day when I need a new computer. This one is four and half years old, that means it is at least four years out of date, by the old formula of obsolete-in-six-months.
    I love what you've written here, Hedge, and I love you, but as Kerry said, it's too close to the truth. Soon HAL will be telling me and Sherry, and then you and Kerry, "I'm sorry, user, I cannot grant you ANY access to this computer. You are obsolete."

  6. Sounds like Microsoft at its most irritating -- inserting a Hal to make sure that every wish you didn't make is fulfilled. An arrogant fella, isn't he? I heard that the Hal8 software was way behind its hardware, but your Hal makes me wonder if he's there to serve far more conniving and manipulative purposes. Every button a marketing opportunity. Apple is less obvious, but they know whose bottom line their sitting on. You carried on the conversation pitch-perfect. - b

    1. It's very obvious they're flipping off their older users in favor of a younger, more app-friendly, instant gratification, touch and move on to the next thing consumer. That may be indeed the wave of the future. I just think they could have done so much less abruptly and infuriatingly--but I have learned how to stagger around on it, and I guess I can't complain. O who am I kidding? I'll be complaining till I stop sucking air. ;_) Thanks for reading, B.

  7. ha. this too you will survive...maybe i am def not a fan...and not looking forward to the day i am forced to join the next generation....def some nice humor...also the reason i dont want a smart phone or anything that thinks it is smarter than me...smiles.

  8. I H8 Windows too I went with a Mac on my last upgrade. It was scary after over a decade of Windows but I don't get error messages or virus' any more. Well penned and relatable.

  9. Your poem highlight a pervasive people create devices simply because they can. They spend careers mastering the fine arcane points of leading edge technology and expect that everyone else will catch up and catch on. I guess we do, eventually. Good luck.

  10. I'm holding on to my Windows 7 until HAL pries it from my cold dead fingers!

  11. And then yu had to go and tempt the change.

  12. Instead of "HAL" (1 letter less than IBM) maybe you should have used "Lhbqnrnes"

    Unfortunately, it does not work as well as IBM / HAL, but I thank that Microsquish is at least as arrogant in this era of computing as Itty Bitty Machine was in their era.


"We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, out of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry." ~William Butler Yeats

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