It seems fitting to resurrect an old column that I wrote seven years ago in honor of Dr. King’s birthday and the coronation activities tomorrow. I made a few changes, but it still works today.
Twenty-some years ago, the PC was invented and our desktops would never be the same. And now we must face the tragic fact that our desktops are still not free. Twenty years later, our lives are still sadly crippled by the manacles of frequent crashes and by numerous security problems. Twenty years we have lived on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. We are still languishing in the corners of American society and find ourselves exiles in our own technological land.
So I have come here today to dramatize an appalling condition. Windows has to go from our desktops. It is time for the ‘nixes (Unix, Linux and Apple’s OS X) to play a more major role, and for Microsoft to get with the program and fix this broken buggy whip.
I say to you today, my readers, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of productivity. I have a dream, that all PCs will live up to their original marketing potential, and free their owners from the evils of Vista and frequent application crashes. I have a dream that one day our desktop PCs, sweltering with the heat of their overclocked CPUs, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and reliable operations.
I have a dream that one day all of my applications will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood and play nicely on my PC, no matter what version of drivers and odd video adapter is inside my computer.
I have a dream that your and my children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the version of operating system running on their desktop computer, but by the content of their work output on their hard disk.
I have a dream today.
This is my hope. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day from having to reboot our computers every day, from crashed applications and inexplicable blue screens and error messages.
How I wish most of us could free ourselves from the tyranny of Windows and have a desktop operating system that didn’t crash frequently, could support our legacy applications, were easy to install and wasn’t a security sinkhole. Dream on. When I wrote this back in 2002, we didn’t have XP, we didn’t have Vista, and we didn’t have Mac OS-X. Even with these new operating systems, we still have a very unstable OS, driver issues (still) with Vista, and more security issues by the week.
But a guy can dream, can’t he?