I want – I got’s “It’s Time to Ditch Windows XP” Contest

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I want – I got's "It's Time to Ditch XP" Contest
Microsoft Surface Pro keeping me in step with technology with Windows 8

Today, another Microsoft Operating System ends its support life, Windows XP. Whenever this happens, I always find myself walking down memory lane. Microsoft has been a major part of my life. In high school, after I graduated from the typewriter my first computer ran DOS. I wrote my first BASIC program on that thing (it was lame) but I mostly used it to write essays. In university, I was exposed to Windows 3.1. It was one of the first graphical interfaces I ever played with. I still remember spending long hours in my Biomechanics lab plotting the body movements of a Jump Shot I filmed. Now I kind of wish I kept that project but it was stored on 3.5” floppy disks, I wouldn’t even be able to access the information. We’ve come a long way baby.

After getting my B.Sc., I moved on to Seneca where I begin my journey in Technology. I was taking the Computer Programming and Analysis program. At this point, Windows 98 was the latest thing. This is where I developed my fear of upgrading. I had a habit of holding to the old and shunning the new. School exposed me to different Operating Systems (hello UNIX and Linux) but I liked the graphical interface better than the command line for everyday use. It was there that I learned Windows 2K from an administrator’s point of view. Oh the memories of Windows labs and performing installs and setups over and over again. 2K became my OS of choice for many years, even after Windows XP came along in 2001. It was only at end of life that Windows 2K was pulled from my cold dead hands and I was thrust into the world of Windows XP. I liked XP, with the switch of a button it let me pretend that I was using an older OS and the new shock wasn’t hard to get over.

There were number of OS variants after Windows XP that I paid no attention to. XP suited me fine as I transitioned into the workforce after school. Most places I worked for ran Windows but one shop was an Apple shop. It was during this time I learned that I wasn’t an Apple person. The company gave me an iBook to work with and while the transition was pretty easy (it’s all same shit different day to me), I didn’t enjoy using the OS. I kept using Windows XP at home. I started this blog in 2005 on XP.

In 2010, the Windows XP love affair ended abruptly. I was in New York City for a Dell event and they gifted me a new laptop. I was so excited; this was my first laptop! It was 17 inches and not the easiest to carry around but who cares. There was one problem; the new laptop was running Windows 7. While I was happy it wasn’t Vista, I brainstormed the pros and cons of downgrading the laptop and putting XP on it. My irrational “Stick with what works” brain was going into high gear but thankfully the cons of XP outweighed the Pros. Not to mention that reinstalling an OS is a time consuming process that had already eaten precious moments of my life for years. Windows 7 was an easy transition and I laughed at my irrational fears. My history of OS panics was decreasing as I aged.

When Microsoft reached out to me about Windows 8, I was jonesing to see what this touch screen optimized OS would look like. I was finally ready to be an early adopter. I was finally getting used to touch screens and just ditched my Blackberry for a HTC One running Android. Based on my history of OS panics, Windows 8 should have had me running for the hills. It was a big departure from Windows 7 in terms of User Interface design and the Microsoft Store and apps. Transitioning to Windows 8 was painless. I could grok the Start Screen and I honestly didn’t miss the Start button as the Start Screen was the new start button. I really like the integration of my social and cloud applications and the option to work in Desktop mode, just like Windows 7. Windows 8 brought my Smartphone experience to the desktop. Photos I took on my phone were available on my Surface Pro almost right away via OneDrive. All the applications I used for blogging on Windows 7 were easily transferred to the Surface Pro. Hell, I’m even enjoying the free Office 365 subscription that I’ll renew it next year rather than reinstall Office XP.

So now you know my long history with Microsoft Windows. Those of you still running XP, saying goodbye isn’t hard. Think your home computing space and how that will change once you are running an OS build for today’s technology developments. XP came out in 2001!!!!! It’s a dinosaur. You aren’t using the 1st gen iPod anymore, why hold on to XP. If the security risks (http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2014/04/xpocalypse-now-windows-xp-support-has-ended/), don’t get you to upgrade maybe $100 credit to the Microsoft Store will help.

How To Participate

So I have 3 $100 credits to the Microsoft Store to giveaway. This credit isn’t like a gift card and it can be used one time only.

1. Enter by leaving this comment on this page or tweet me at @geekigirl with your favourite Microsoft Windows story. It can be good, bad or funny. Spent days staring at the blue screen of death? I wanna know.
2. To be eligible for the prize I need a valid email address – this will be kept secure and private and will not be published.
3. Submissions must be received by Wednesday April 10, 2014 11:59AM EST. If they come in after they will not be in the running for the prize. The winners will be selected randomly from the submissions.
I’ll announce the winners on April 11, 2014. The winners will be notified via email and/or twitter.

The Rules
1. The contest is open to residents of Canada
2. I reserve the right to change anything if I have to.
3. There are no prize substitutions. If you cannot take delivery I will pick another winner.
4. I will accept 1 entry per person.


  1. My favourite Windows story involves my parents finally surprising me with my first PC when I was in grade school, it was a crazy beautiful IBM Aptiva that was running Windows 95. Previous to this, I was using my cousin’s computer on the weekends that was still running 3.1! I remember being so fascinated by the colourful graphics and so proud that all of a sudden, I had the newer machine and was the source of envy among my family. I must have spent hours configuring the screen saver, background and played the included game, pinball, for hours upon hours. Totally made me into a geek and fall in love with computers. Hope I win the gift card, thanks Anita!

  2. A few years ago I had a laptop operating on Windows XP. Turned laptop on one day and got blue screen with message on it that I can’t remember what it was. Anyhow, I restarted laptop and still getting blue screen. I couldn’t get Windows going. After a few attempts of turning off and restarting laptop, it crashed!!!! Worse day ever. I lost half of my files that were not backed up. Important lesson learned: always back up your files regularly. Unfortunately I learned this the hard way.

  3. Recent favorite memory…transitioning from Windows XP to Windows 8. The platform and features are quite different. Took me at least a week to get use to the new look and figure out how to use the various features, with some help (thanks to my close friend). It was worth it and I’m proud to say that I really love Windows 8!

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