Windows XP changed my life

Seventh in a series. Two short years ago -- not even that yet -- soon after testing Windows 7 for several months, I came home to find a UPS post-it stuck to my front door with "delivery attempt" on it. I live in a small town, so I drove around looking at the major places I might find the UPS guy. SCORE!!! He was at the bank. There I was standing by the brown truck waiting for him to come back. I must have looked a little creepy -- crazy guy physically shaking in anticipation. I’m not sure what the UPS guy thought as he handed the Windows 7 package to the creepy guy with shaking hands.

Many people do not realize how many geeks actually get overwhelming joy when a piece of software or technology gets released -- something that can or will change the world of computing. Now that is said, let’s go back 10 years.

I was just like any other guy that owned a computer, learning the technology and starting my own builds. At the time I ran Windows 98 and later Millennium Edition on my desktop, which was my only PC at the time. Ha! Many PC mice fell victim to the infamous “mouse smash” when something did not work right.

Then I started learning about this new operating system called Windows XP. One buddy of mine was a beta tester, and he shared good information on what XP was all about. He said that Microsoft was taking the best features of all its operating systems and putting them in one that was rock-solid stable. He sold me. I wanted to know: Where can I get in on this action?

Soon after, Windows XP released to manufacturing. After sweet-talking my friend, I got hold of a copy. This is when that physical shake started. The rush of having a piece of software that would revolutionize the industry was intoxicating. I remember the install like it was yesterday.

Many people had troubles trying to upgrade from ME, so there was only one option for me. A clean install and hope for the best. The splash screen came up and the excitement hit a new level. My wife asked if surfing the Internet was going to be better. That didn’t matter to me, at the moment. CD-RW support! Device driver rollback! This was going to be the greatest thing EVER!!!

I don't remember how long the install took, but staring at the screen watching the progress bar it seemed like all day; then the restart. The desktop loaded and there was the new GUI. The beauty of that bright blue and green taskbar was overwhelming.

This was the exact moment I was hooked. Technology was now my life. Hours of constant research and "playing" took over most of my free time. I blame Microsoft and Windows XP for my addictions. I was never the same person, not after the milestone in my life called Windows XP RTM.

Photo Credit: Priceminister

James Ward says that he has no technical or software certs. He started working on hardware and testing software in 2000 when he uncovered a passion for technology. We predict he's going to get the shakes real bad -- and lots of other tech enthusiasts with him -- when Microsoft unveils Windows 8 next month.

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