I suspect there comes a time in everyone's life when it seems that everything is changing, and the things we remember from the "good old days" seem to start disappearing more and more quickly. As oldsters drift into the various stages of CRS ("Can't Remember Shit") and beyond, the loss of the familiar old ways of doing things can be disorienting or upsetting.
The dial telephone, the typewriter, paper checks, postage stamps, road maps...all these things familiar to today's 50 and 60-year-olds are going the way of mastodons.
And while some things are transformed by technological progress, others change just for the sake of change. For example, the recipe on cereal boxes these days for "traditional" Chex Mix -- traditional, it's not -- it bears no resemblance to the original Chex Mix. Is ketchup headed in this direction? The Heinz company says no, but let's wait and see.
So it's always heartening when occasionally one of those altered products admits a mistake and goes back to its original form. The poster-child case, of course, is "Classic Coke," introduced with much fanfare but it never caught on.
The latest example is Microsoft's operating systems. For years, the company's consumer OSs were notorious for shutdown problems. I remember myself how Windows 98 never would turn off correctly, even after numerous patches. And of course, we users cherished this quirk, but Microsoft felt they had to change just for change's sake. So they invented Windows XP, which would shut down like a charm. Most users, evidently, found XP's behavior too predictable, too consistent (although I kind of liked it myself, and even stuck with it through the Vista years).
But responding to popular demand, Microsoft's engineers went back to the drawing board and in the latest iteration, Windows 7 (which I bought into about 3 months ago), they gave users back what they had missed: shutdown problems. To avoid having to confess a mistake, though, they made up a sort of "classic Chex Mix" version - the same, but not the same.
Now, rather than NOT shutting down when it should, this latest operating system shuts itself down at the drop of a hat. Leave your computer screen for 30 minutes and you may come back to find it turned itself off. (Not just the monitor, or the sleep mode, but a nice complete shutdown that requires you to reboot and reopen all your closed programs and windows.)
Like the unclassic Chex Mix, the re-originated Windows OS, for me anyway, just doesn't have the same comfort level that Win 98 had. But thanks for trying, Microsoft. Your heart was in the right place (wasn't it?).