Microsoft Promised To Make You Speechless

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Microsoft Promised To Make You Speechless

Do you recall Pentagon Don's foretelling of "shock and awe!"? Well Bill Gates tried the same thing with Microsoft Vista, and I was not impressed with either. Both backfired!

The initial strike on Iraq presented no shock and awe to me...(and certainly nothing subsequently did)...maybe you had to be there.

Microsoft Vista was a disappointment even with Gates personally pushing it. Vista was the first operating system that Microsoft had to allow their distributors to replace, in newly minted computers, with an earlier version.

When I was a young boy scout on an outing with my troop to the Space Flight Center at Huntsville, Alabama, where the spit shined soldiers displayed all kinds of highly polished radio controlled armor, I was in awe. In fact like most boys of my era I was impressed by anyone in a uniform and, of course, the Marlboro Man (A real man's man) not unlike Gil Favor, Rowdy Yates, and Paladin. And, if they happened to have some kind of new electronic gadget that was even better. In the case of the Marlboro Man, his horse on the open range was sufficient. No one had ever heard of remote computer repair let alone expect him to have a laptop in his saddle bags or blue tooth stuck in his ear.

All of that culminated in Jack Kennedy's call to "ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country". As that plea of Camelot matured in my soul, Viet Nam loomed large, and against all advice of family and friends I volunteered leaving a wife and two babies for a land I had never before heard of.

It was a land where people traveled by foot or boat, ate mostly rice, watered down Tennessee whiskey which they sold back to troops by the glass. They went without the most basic medical care at a time when Dr Kildare, Dr Casey, and Marcus Welby, M.D. were in vogue in America. I watched as women left the field where they were working to catch hold of a fence or a tree and drop a baby between their legs. They would then wrap the new born, place it the shade and go back to work. That was shock and awe to a country boy!! Hospital...doctor...delivery room...advances in science and medicine...indeed?

In the middle of the night I watched and listened as UH-1s lumbered (of course they lumber and they ride like a wagon with octagon wheels, they are just big trucks with rotors) across the horizon alternately spiting red and white tracer rounds into the jungle below. Now that left me speechless, Mr Gates! As opposed to Windows, I learned to love the sound of those flying machines. Their descendants are still used as med evac choppers even in the civilian community, and when they fly close to my house I still wake up no matter how late at night, and I remain in awe. There is a comfort in that sound that neither mom, nor dad, nor spouse....that no human can provide. On the other hand, windows has been the cause of more than one night mare.

And, shock and awe was provided when F-14s were scrambled in the early morning. It was a site to behold to see in the distance. A ball of fire literally flying low down a dark runway and then the rumble of thunder as it rotated to 90 degrees, kicked in the after burners and melting the pavement beneath it screamed off into the heavens to Uncle Ho's dismay.

There was a time when we were proud. There was a time when we thought more of helping and giving than of taking and getting, but that was before the "me generation". There was a time when technology enthralled us. There really was an age of shock and awe, but it was long before Afghanistan and Iraq. It was before every Tom, Dick and Harry had even heard of a computer let alone seen, played with, or owned one.

It was before remote controlled cars, forget about remote computer repair. It was when men did and led, not outsourced, passed the buck and blamed someone or something else... It was a time of responsibility. It was when the 4th of July instead of some virtual remote computer provided the fire works. It was when you were taught in public school that it was impossible for a person to make a million dollars in a life time. It was when men took more pride in their home site than their website (no they were not the same thing). Talk of building a web back then would get you a one way ticket to the funny farm unless you were young enough to get away with playing Spiderman, and an inter net was to keep mosquitoes and other insects at bay.

Well, all things considered, I don't know about you, but, like most blind dates, instead of leaving me speechless, Microsoft once again left me cursing.

Yep, the old Tennessee Mountain Man has been left in the dark, left in the cold, left bankrupt, left for another, left speechless (but not by Bill Gates and Company), and even found himself in shock and awe, but not in this century.
tmm
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