Rather than have an extremely expensive piece of hardware sitting around and depreciating every day I decided to sell it while it still has some value. A buddy of mine on one of the gaming networks I belong to offered to buy it and yesterday I went about the process of cleaning out the machine. Since you can't really sanitize an existing Windows install the best thing to do is just reinstall/reformat Windows XP.
I spent 17 years on Windows so I know my way around, especially when dealing with arcane driver and registry issues and the inevitable errors. Why was it then that I felt like a stranger in a strange land on the machine? I was only a month and a half removed from daily Windows use. My precious Mac keyboard shortcuts didn't work and the navigation controls I struggled with initially on Mac were now ingrained into my muscle memory.
More than once in prepping the machine and ensuring that everything of value was moved off I would just jab at Command-Space (Alt-Space on the Windows keyboard), expecting QuickSilver to launch so that I could get to a program quickly. Nothing happened of course and I would sigh, my shoulders would sag and I would reluctantly grab the mouse. I tried to do simple things like copying text to the clipboard and fail (Command-C on Mac, Control-C on Windows).
I had to open a CMD window and execute several instructions to manually register some DLLs; I reluctantly remembered that I had to go through the little CMD menu in order to paste items. On my Mac when I need to paste a string into the terminal I use the standard Command-V; Windows can't use their default Control-V command in a CMD window because the Control modified keys have significance to command line applications. It's just a mess.
All of these little things were just a frustration to me. When I was going through the transition from Windows to Mac it was easier because I had a feeling that the Mac was something I wanted to spend time on. From the minute I fired up the MacBook I was excited about using the machine; it had me at hello. On the other hand with Windows I know that I'm not going to be using it any time soon so I'm far less tolerant of things not working the way I except them to. It is a mindset thing to be sure.
I am very fortunate; as an entrepreneur and business owner I have the luxury of choosing which technologies I want to use. Since my move to Mac happened to coincide with the creation of my next venture I was able to make a clean start and not be concerned with legacy issues, especially since I opted to go with platform independent development tools. Outside of their homes few people have that choice.
I am going to box up the Windows machine in preparation for shipping. I rotated machines pretty regularly so I don't hold a particular affection for the physical machine I'm about to send off. I do however feel like I'm sealing a big part of my Windows experience into the box and shipping that off too though.
Who knows, maybe I'll rediscover Windows in 17 years or so.