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A process which can be extremely painful for people who don't know much about computers and who rely on Microsoft to provide them with easy-to-use software. This process generally involves:

  1. Digging up the Windows CD's that came with your computer, which are behind the big heavy filing cabinet because you put them up there when you got the computer and forgot to file them, and then they got pushed to the back and fell off.
  2. Trying to get the Windows boot disk to work, which it won't because it's been sitting in your filing cabinet's weak magnetic field for so long.
  3. Finding out that the boot disk you got from the place where you got your computer won't work because it doesn't have a driver for your CD-ROM drive on it.
  4. After scouring the web for a driver for your CD-ROM drive on a friends machine, you start the Windows set-up, and scandisk gives some wierd error.
  5. This leads you to read the README.TXT file, which provides no useful information. You eventually figure out the setup.exe switch you need to use to get around the problem.
  6. You fumble through the dialogs until you come to the prompt for the Product ID OEM #. The installation process comes to a complete halt. You realize that you threw out the stupid little book with the OEM # on the front a long time ago. You call a buddy and get his OEM number from his "My Computer" properties.
  7. Now that the installation process is detecting drivers, you realize that you have some exotic hardware, and you have to again scrounge the internet for drivers. This leaves you feel empty and frusturated inside.
  8. Setup detects your game port and prompts you to insert your Windows CD, but that doesn't work, because Windows hasn't installed the CD-ROM driver yet. You want to scream.
  9. You decide to forget Windows and install Slackware Linux instead.
Of course, what makes this really fun is that all the Windows 95 and Windows 98 I've ever had the misfortune to reinstall (2 in total) have been unbootable. That every Linux CD I've ever seen (Redhat for a few years and SuSE (including evaluation, which some sales rep was giving out as a sort of business card)) is bootable just proves that Linux is an untrustworthy "hacker OS" (even the pirates who wrote it admit to being hackers).

As my Windows-loving friends say: "But not all PC's can boot off the CD-ROM drive!"

The only reason the free Unices are considered hard to install and Windows easy is that most people got their computer with Windows pre-installed.

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