Tuesday, May 02, 2006

US Windows

Today it struck me that our government has evolved along the same lines as our most popular desktop operating system.

What is an operating system (OS)? An OS is the software or computer programs responsible for making the computer usable. It handles the memory of the computer, the hard disk, files, folders, getting information from the keyboard, getting information to the monitor. When you get right down to it an OS is a fairly simple thing in concept.

Those of you old enough to remember MS DOS may have hated it, but actually MS-DOS is very good at what it set out to do. It fit in a minimal computer configuration (or what seems small now) and allowed us to run Word Perfect, Windows 3.11 and all the other games and applications we ran under DOS. In fact, I have read even the deep technical details of DOS were solid.

Now, MS Windows and its countless permutations tries to promise everything to everyone. It is buggy and full of holes. It not only wants to run your computer but it shoehorns you into its own way of doing everything. For example, multi-media (songs, photographs, etc) is not an operating system concern but an application. None-the-less Windows and MS wants you to do multimedia its way and its way only.

Isn't that the way our government has evolved? It used to be small and did what it did well. Now it grows and no matter how much resources we give it ravenously wants more. Not only that, it also decides issues not its business are its business.