Another 'I've worked in IT fifteen years' one...
....who has endless problems with their PC. A point I have raised before. Project managers work in IT, but I wouldn't trust one to plug a mouse into the right socket, never mind maintain a Windows box!
"Well, I have over 15 years experience in IT and for what its worth...
Lost too much of my life trying to keep PC's working, SickNote (my last PC) takes 15 minutes to actually become productive, and is not a wimpy machine."
Your hard drive/s are probably either heavily fragmented, mixed in with lots of startup programs, your hard drives have lots of bad sectors, the registry is getting knackered or a mixture of all four.
I would suggest an overnight defrag, then select all the tickboxes in the Disk Check section on the disk properties, reboot it before you go to bed and let it churn away.
Then get a hold of Microsoft BootVis, do a boot trace, it will time your bootup including driver delays and disk activity. Once you have done that, optimise it, then retrace the boot sector and see the improvement - it can make an *astounding* difference on a machine that has been in use for a while.
And if it's still a bit slow, then get a decent registry cleaner.
Then there is the option of a full reformat/rebuild if that doesn't help. Beyond that, you are probably looking at physical disk problems [replace them] or a mobo/memory problem [replace them]
Of course, you shouldn't have to do any of that! ;-)
"Linux too geeky even for me, most of the LinuxHeads I know are getting excited over the latest wongo driver/program/application, sad!!"
Meh, I use Linux, not because my Windows box is as shagged as your one [for being four years old and with a few little tweeks to the hardware it's still grunty enough to run FEAR at a respectable lick and multitask amiably] but because like you, I got bored of the odd little "twinges" that XP boxes get from time to time when all I wanted to do was wank and bank. That, and the fact that I have an old laptop here that runs Ubuntu better than it runs XP - even with all the shiny graphical effects switched on. Ubuntu doesn't like my desktop graphic card tho. But then Ububtu doesn't like my current favourite waste of time, rFactor [top racing game if anyone is interested], either - so XP stays. It has it's uses.
"Macs, start up fast, allow me to do my development tasks, dont crash/freeze that often (and its usually me who caused it!!)"
And that's of use to you - and who am I to argue? I've been playing with Mac OS X 10.5.1/2/whatever the latest one is and I must admit, it's quite nice, but not as intuitive as I expected it to be after all the hype of OS X being the Next Big Thing in OSs. Maybe too long in the M$ world, perhaps. Still, it's shiny, quiet, and runs multiple apps without a hitch.
I fancy getting a bit more OS X experience under my belt [I expect my experience in Linux-land shell stuff won't hurt] but the more I diversify my desktop environs at work and at home, the less I give a stuff about [insert OS here] and the more I care about what I can I do with it, how much control and customisation I get with it [after all, it is mine, innit?] and how much it pisses me off - which they all do, to a degree.
For the moment, Ubuntu wins overall, XP second, and OS X is somewhere in the outfield till I get a proper look at it.
Oh, and finally:
"(And they are shiny too!!)"
Amen to that mah bruthah - I'm looking at one of those Shuttle-esque MiniITX aluminium jobs to wang a core2duo in with a MythTV media centre job at some point. Slightly tricker than buying a Mac Mini - but then, I'm a desktop/hardware tech - I love this shit, heresy thought it is to admit it these days....!
In short, I disagree with your anti-windows comments to a degree, but overall, i think we are in the same boat in a roundabout sort of way. We get what we want from our OS's.
However, the 6-bit shit from Mac The Hardware Vendor - now that's just a cheap shot. A fine example of when public image and private habits mix [see Max Mosley - what a guy! and Creative's adhoc, user distributed Vista drivers...] - Glock, meet toe...
I enjoyed that little mild mannered rant. :-)