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13 October, 1999 2.28pm pdt | Cookie Edition
One Dumb Thing MSN Forum Managers Write

BE DOPE NEWS (BDN) Even Windows NT administrators and fans were surprised recently when MSN Windows NT Forum Manager Jason Anderson claimed Windows NT is easier to set up and configure than "even BeOS". The statement had many calling into question, among other things, Anderson's basic math skills.

"I actually cannot think of ten things to do wrong in a BeOS installation," said Be, Inc. QA engineer Adam Haberlach.

In fact, Haberlach could only think of four items, three of which involved choosing the wrong disk partition during setup and install. The fourth item, "Forget to install the "optionals" stuff when you really wanted to," was not even considered "wrong" by most. Other then that, Be auto-detects all PCI and USB peripherals in the system and activate them if they are supported.

"Even allowing for the 'optionals' item to be called 'wrong' means there are six more things wrong in the [Windows NT] article than there are total things the user can do wrong in a BeOS install," said professor of mathematics Dr. Colleen O'Donnell. "I find it noteworthy that someone lacking basic math skills can still become a MCSE."

O'Donnell also points out that while the article lists only 10 things way the user can go wrong during a Windows NT install, that the full list is quite longer.

"This is very much a 'Top Ten', much in the same way Billboard will present its 'Top Ten' songs list to consumers while actually tracking hundreds and thousands of songs," explained O'Donnell.

Other evidence of poor math skills comes from the fact that BeOS typically installs in seven to fifteen minutes, during which the user is free to wander away from the machine and be otherwise productive. Most NT Admins count themselves lucky if NT installs during and hour and a half of babysitting.

Some also took issue with the article title: "10 Dumb Things Windows NT Users Do" - questioning the wisdom of calling your readership "dumb".

In fact, the article goes on to say "mistakes are made just because it isn't quite clear just what the right thing to do is."

"To me, that lack of clarity sounds like a user interface or documentation problem on Microsoft's end," wrote on NT Admin, "yet Anderson still insists on blaming it on the 'dumbness' of the user. I also don't like the way he embraces this shortcoming/user dumbness as a form of job security."

One MSCE wished to add "Accidental Installs" to the hazards of BeOS ownership, relating this story:

    "I got my CD in the mail and left it on my desk while I went out to stock up on provisions -- I figured that anything this cool would take longer to install then Windows NT, and I didn't want to starve to death watching the thermometer bar. When I came back, I found that my pet hamster (Smack) had installed BeOS on three of my machines and was working on putting it on a fourth in order to test out the distributed rendering engine that he had written. I had to stop him before he installed it on my Mr. Coffee."

Anderson had no comment at press time. Sources claim he was busy installing Windows NT.


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