Re: @David 132 - "Personal" computer no more
Thank you all for your kind words and upvotes (I've reciprocated, in a round of mutual back-slapping). It's nice to know that I'm not alone in my concerns.
Rationally, I understand that all of this is just a necessary part of the evolution of the computer - it's moved on from being a hobby project for nerds, to being an appliance that underpins every aspect of modern life. Interconnected, with the potential, if hijacked or subverted, to ruin lives worldwide. In fact "appliance" is an apt comparison - we don't complain any more that we can't take apart our washing machines and upgrade them, or our microwaves, or our cars. We've made all of those things reliable, safe, dependable, so that anyone can use them without having to have a degree in electronics or mechanical engineering. Yet here I am, in an age of fuel-injection, bemoaning the fact that I can no longer balance my own carburetors. I am - we are - swimming upstream against the inevitable flow of technology. We're the one soldier on the parade ground, complaining that the other 99 soldiers are out of step. It's depressing.
I just don't get excited about new computing technology any more. Ironic, because I work for one of the largest technology companies on the planet.
It's no longer a case of "ooh, something new and interesting has launched, I wonder what I can do with it?". Rather, it's "Oh, an upgraded set of handcuffs that now have always-on tracking and tagging. But I get to choose their colour. Yay."
And as several of you have suggested, I am already moving to various Linux flavours. I built my own NAS based on Ubuntu (yeah, don't laugh, it just happened to have the most "how to set up NFS/Time Machine/DLNA/RAID-1" guides available for it), and any new machines that enter my house get Cinnamon Mint.
Oh well. I'm sure I'll learn to live with all of this.
"He gazed up at the enormous face. Forty years it had taken him to learn what kind of smile was hidden beneath the dark mustache. O cruel needless misunderstanding! O stubborn, self-willed exile from the loving beast. Two gin-scented tears trickled down the sides of his nose. But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother."