Windows WILL mess with your mind

I was going to install a rather large program, and knew that this would take a while, so I started the installation and went on to do some laundry and other household chores while the computer chugged at it. When I decided that it was about time the installation had finished, it turned out the computer had spontaneously rebooted. Strange, I thought, since the installation was not one that normally required a reboot, and also because if it did then it would certainly have waited for me to let it. After logging in I found that the program was only partially installed. Aha, so we were looking at a crash. Possibly my bad as I had left several programs running parallel with the installation. The bothersome part was that a number of notes and other stuff that I had, stupidly, left unsaved were now lost, until such a time that I manage to excavate them from memory, if ever.

So then I started the installation anew, freshly rebooted, with no programs clogging up the system that I could see, and popped off to finish some more of the household chores that I had left. Checking back ten minutes later (knowing the installation to take some 15-20 minutes), I again found the login screen blinking seemingly innocent at me, evidence of another crash.

Somewhat annoyed at this, especially as this had never been a problem with this particular program before, I decided to sit down and watch. I started the installation a third time and sat at the screen, eyes never wavering, to see where and when the installation would fail.

Five minutes later my mind longed for something more to do than just watch the progress bar slowly traverse the screen from left to right one minute pixel at a time. Another fifteen minutes further I had lost at Solitaire to the count of minus twelve hundred points, and the installation finished without a glitch.

So the lesson learned, and the morale of the story if you can call it that, is that any task the computer is set to finish on its own, not requiring any interaction from you at all, and that will take considerable time, especially if you have other things to do at the same time, will still require your full attention for its full duration or it will fail.

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