How I spent my rebate check: Getting tortured by Vista


My rebate check plans were simple: buy a new computer to replace my old one that was dying a slow, painful (for me) death. I spent weeks pouring over ads, reviews and tedious discussions of which feature was important to me. Sure, I'd heard Vista had some problems. Yes, I have a TV and have seen the John Hodgman commercials for Mac. But I didn't think it would be THAT bad. XP was no dreamboat, either.

Wrong. Within hours we saw the blue screen of death. I say we because my husband David gallantly volunteered to spare me the grueling hardship that everyone knows is migrating to a new computer. But soon I was seeing the blue screen of death every morning. Vista seemed to be allergic to both my newish printer and Macromedia Dreamweaver, an expensive web-editing program. Replacing them would cost $600. The whole new computer was $800. Did I want to blow half my rebate check just to accommodate Vista?

First I tried to negotiate with Vista. I compromised. I removed the printer and Dreamweaver. Vista was appeased. I figured I'd run the limping XP computer as my ambassador to the XP world of my printer and Dreamweaver. What seemed like a simple task, took days and much grief. Meanwhile, Vista grew angry and started flashing me the blue screen of death for reasons not clear to me. I removed a few more programs, but had to return it.