I remember I was 12 when Windows 95 first came out. \nI\u2019m not sure I\u2019m supposed to mention this to all of you, because I\u2019ve been told that revealing my age to you will scream inexperience. But I\u2019m about to undergo a metamorphosis and I think it's worth sharing even if it's at the peril of having wounded credibility for being sub-30. \nSo here we go:\nMy father had always been a first adopter ever since I could remember. This had been partly out of necessity for his job in sales (storing and crunching sales data, transactions, etc.), but also out of his own insatiable thirst for new technologies. Despite growing up in a rural New England town of 1800 people, our house was always as wired as an office building 90 miles away in Boston.\nEven before we got Windows 95, I remember that first monstrosity of a Toshiba laptop that sat on his desk which he\u2019d let me use at nights and on the weekends, with an ISP by the name of (reaching back now) Prodigy. \nLife then was pretty simple. I\u2019d use the computer to write up a paper for school, play a primitive video game, and, after the upgrade to Windows 95 and to AOL, I\u2019d surf in and out of chat rooms and talk with other kids from across the country in California (the only parental controls was my mother calling from the kitchen and asking \u201cwhat are you doing in there?\u201d). \nViruses, though they very much existed, to me they were something I took care of with penicillin, tomato soup and grilled cheese. Our computer ran well almost all the time (and, to my dad\u2019s credit, I\u2019m sure he put some measures in place to ensure that). But nevertheless, things felt safe.\n\nNow the world is different. A few operating systems later, I\u2019m constantly under heavy fire every time I connect to the web on my laptop. Malware comes through the swiss cheese-like layer of protection. And I\u2019ve become obsessed with fighting it. I have a half-dozen\u00a0 ad, spy and virus protection (some might say this is making the problem worse, that these programs could be slowing things down even more, but I\u2019m just too OCD to stop using them!).\u00a0 I scan and I quarantine and I delete. I can hear my computer hum away as I run them from the other room of my small city apartment. It\u2019s a disease now. When things get really bad, when I can\u2019t bear things moving at a snail\u2019s pace, I back everything up on an external hard drive and wipe everything away.\nBut now I\u2019m tired. I can\u2019t keep doing this and collaborate with my colleagues without having painful consequences on my PC. I finally feasted my eyes on Vista the other day, and I have to say it looks visually very appealing. But I don't think it's going to solve my problems (Blanket disclaimer: I really don\u2019t have anything against Microsoft. I think they\u2019re a good company with many brilliant people. I don't believe them to be the boogie man many in the tech community deem them to be. Fact.)\nIt\u2019s just that, again, I\u2019m tired of doing this. \nSo what\u2019s my solution? A mac? Well, maybe soon, but for now I don\u2019t feel like buying a new computer so I\u2019m going to have a friend of mine install Linux. I\u2019m not taking the plunge in its entirety, because I\u2019ll have a toggle option if I should need windows. My desktop is going to be simple, some kind of an open office suite with Mozilla. Nothing fancy.\nThis is not easy for me. I\u2019m going to miss Windows (and, like I said, I\u2019m not letting go completely. I also use it at work everyday and will continue to do so if I plan to do my job effectively). But I wonder if others are getting as fed up as I am. If I\u2019m just an individual home user and I encounter these frustrations, what\u2019s happening in your enterprises?\nMaybe everything is just dandy with windows. Maybe I\u2019m just a bad steward of my computer. Maybe they\u2019ll keep releasing operating systems that continually get better. \nBut Maybe they won\u2019t. Maybe this is it. Maybe this windows boy has finally grown up.