Argghh, Windows keeps coming back to bite me. (Or rather me being a "nerd" means I give free support to my friends, who sadly all run some variant of windows)

While having dinner with some friends tonight (who happen to be another uninformed computer user that I blogged about while back), I was asked if I could "look" at their computer.

Basic problem was they had recently signed up for high speed internet, and his wife's computer was no longer able to access the internet. I spent 20 minutes trying to figure out XP's network configuration (I've never owned an XP computer), and I swear that 98 (which was confusing itself) was much simpler.

I was taken through about 20 pages of a wizard before I figured that I was down the wrong path. I was given too many options, with no clear indication of which was the right one (I was trying to either connect to the cable modem directly or use their router). Before I was able to do anything, it was time for our kids to go to bed, so we had to leave. Luckily their laptop still connected...

The point of this post is not to say that I'm a great admin or windows user, but that windows networking is confusing. I'll take gentoo any day. At least I'm given excellent documentation, there is a single text file containing the configuration data, and there is no reboot required.

Easier for the normal (read non-nerd) common muggle? I don't know, I think both would be confusing, but recent versions of Fedora have pretty good gui wrappers around network configuration. At least they don't overload you with wizards. (to prove my blinders aren't too dark, I'll say that wireless configuration (and wireless network detection) has been A LOT easier on windows. In fact I've considered buying a access point just so I don't have to re-install my non-kernel wireless driver (netgear ma-101b) everytime I update the kernel....)