Anyway having kicked off late, and even on a fast connection a 75Mb+ download and install isn't to be sniffed at, I ended up going to bed and leaving it to do it's stuff. This morning, before work, all seemed fine. The first thing you see is lot of stuff about security - fine, I'd read the blurb - I was expecting a security-esque focus, I'm not sure the non-technically orientated user would be that happy though. Firewalls are all well and good but you don't really want to worry about that stuff if you just want to use a computer, rather than really know what's going on. I was fine though.
At this point I was impressed for the first time (I wasn't expecting that). Not only did XP detect that I was using zonealarm, it told me I was protected with it, and left the XP firewall switched off. Nice. Less nice was the fact that my internet connection seemed to have totally switched off (now that's safe). A quick re-boot later though and all was fine. Even the novice Windoze user has to be used to a multitude of reboots and the fact that they fix 90% of problems.
So what about now it's all is up and running? Well, as I say, I liked the zonealarm thing, and there's this program access feature that let you choose between Micro$oft and non-Micro$oft profiles - not only does XP recognise the fact that I have Firefox installed it lets me switch to a profile in a couple of clicks that only allows Firefox access to the internet and switches off IE's access. That's lawsuits for you. I'll not use it, access for all I say, I like a choice, but I'm impressed that it's there. It didn't recognise that I use Opera for everything though, not even that it existed, I can live this with though since it didn't actively stop me doing my own thing (you end up with the 'other' profile). Also, and I know this is silly, I liked the cute little new XP shield icon for the security settings (see pic above). If you are going to make users do security at least make it look good. Bonus points.
Finally, I didn't really notice at first, but IE has some new settings for things like blocking pop-ups. Could be good, I don't really know, I don't use IE at home if I can help it, although I'm sure it's going to cause merry hell with apps I'm developing at work when we have to have lengthy conversations with users about why some functions in their intranets are 'no longer working'. Experience has shown that explaining that Micro$oft has changed some defaults and they'll need to make a couple of adjustments to their settings will be a long and painful, and in some cases totally 'unexceptable', process. Oh well these things are sent to challenge you. What riles me most is how this is such a great 'innovation'. Whatever next? Tabbed browsing? It's a revolution I tell you.
So all in all the XP SP2 upgrade wasn't totally painless, but it wasn't exactly the complete nightmare I'd been led to expect from some sources either, there's even some quite nice features in there and I haven't even touched half of it, like the wireless network set-up wizard, yet.
Just one additional thing - whilst getting the links for this post I noticed that Micro$oft have updated the look of their website. Not quite the same shock value as when google changed their stylesheet, but another one of those little changes that makes you sit back in your rocking chair, in your slippers, with your pipe, and reminisce about ye olde internet from the good ol' days.
Large, loft-style apartments in New York City are well within the price range of most people -- whether they are employed or not.
At least one of a pair of identical twins is born evil.
Should you decide to defuse a bomb, don't worry which wire to cut. You will always choose the right one.
Most laptop computers are powerful enough to override the communications system of any invading alien society.
It does not matter if you are heavily outnumbered in a fight involving martial arts: your enemies will wait patiently to attack you one by one by dancing around in a threatening manner until you have knocked out their predecessors.
When you turn out the light to go to bed, everything in your bedroom will still be clearly visible, just slightly bluish.
If you are blonde and pretty, it is possible to become a world expert on nuclear fission at the age of 22.
Honest and hard working policemen are traditionally gunned down three days before their retirement.
Rather than wasting bullets, megalomaniacs prefer to kill their arch enemies using complicated machinery involving fuses, pulley systems, deadly gases, lasers, and man-eating sharks, which will allow their captives at least 20 minutes to escape.
All beds have special L-shaped cover sheets that reach the armpit level on a woman but only to waist level on the man lying beside her.
All grocery shopping bags contain at least one stick of French bread.
It's easy for anyone to land a plane providing there is someone in the control tower to talk you down.
Once applied, lipstick will never rub off even while scuba diving.
You're very likely to survive any battle in any war unless you make the mistake of showing someone a picture of your sweetheart back home.
Should you wish to pass yourself off as a German or Russian officer, it will not be necessary to speak the language. A German or Russian accent will do.
The Eiffel Tower can be seen from any window in Paris.
A man will show no pain while taking the most ferocious beating, but will wince when a woman tries to clean his wounds.
If a large pane of glass is visible, someone will be thrown through it before long.
If staying in a haunted house, women should investigate any strange noises in their most revealing underwear.
Word processors never display a cursor on screen but will always say: Enter Password Now.
Even when driving down a perfectly straight road, it is necessary to turn the steering wheel vigorously from left to right every few moments.
All bombs are fitted with electronic timing devices with large red readouts so you know exactly when they're going to go off.
A detective can only solve a case once he has been suspended from duty.
If you decide to start dancing in the street, everyone you meet will know all the steps.
Police departments give their officers personality tests to make sure they are deliberately assigned a partner who is their total opposite.
When they are alone, all foreign military officers prefer to speak to each other in English.