Windows homeland

It is hard to believe it has been only eight years since Bill Gates changed everything with that historic announcement at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, when he proclaimed Windows XP the "digital hub" for the home.

How time flies when you're constantly rebooting your house!

Not that I'm complaining. I have to stay on the cutting edge of technology, so I signed right up, along with the original 434,565 beta users of Mira.

You remember Mira, that original set of wireless technologies that let you unplug flat-panel displays and schlep them around? Just like Bill promised us all those years ago: "As you move from device to device, your information is there for you."

Once we solved that problem with our dachshunds burying the damn things in the back yard, we were actually able to find our information. That was cool.

We eventually had to scale those dogs up to Dobermans anyway, after a few robbery incidents following some Unrecoverable Door Unlocking Errors in Windows HomeSecure.

My family was also an early adopter of Freestyle, which as you may recall turned the Windows XP interface into a control panel that could be operated by remote control. Looking back now, I can see why those roving vans of wireless crackers dubbed it FreeForAllBut when the Gates administration started that new federal agency (The Bureau of Stolen Identities, Compromised Information and General Aggravation), at least we had someone to call.

Not that you can actually talk to human beings anymore. But seriously, who needs them now that we have nationwide installation of Microsoft's voice-recognition software, Windows SayAgain? Though I do find Steve Ballmer's voice just a tad screechy.

What changed our lives the most, I must say, was the introduction of Windows technologies into all of our appliances. I've had very reasonable service from the Microsoft Certified Plumbing Engineers when WindowsJohn gets clogged.

Of course, when Bill said he'd "deliver the intelligent experience," he probably wasn't thinking of my teenage daughter's smart-aleck friends hacking into our Windows GroceryList and ordering that truckload of Doritos and Mountain Dew.

And my husband is still a little freaked about the lawn mower ordering that herd of goats to help with lawn maintenance. Don't even get him started on how the car insists on only premium MicrosoftGas instead of regular.

I still say it was merely an unfortunate choice of words on Bill's part when he told a Reuters reporter how "the explosive way that these devices work together will overwhelmingly be wireless."

There's no way he could have known about that freakish data exchange glitch between the MicrosoftToaster setup utility and the Stinger SmartPhone 2002. Didn't they get a patch out within 90 days? I mean, give the guy a break.

Overall, I can't say enough good things about Windows as the hub of my digital home. Life is so filled with unexpected challenges these days. I can hardly wait to sign up for that next big release. I hear it's code-named Lucifer.