120 days left in the year …

It’s September already, which means that the 2004 summer-that-never-was is nearly over and the weather here in northeast Ohio will soon start providing us not-so-subtle reminders that winter is on its way.

It’s also time for my annual format and reinstall of Windows XP. At least once a year I find myself wanting to completely blow away everything in my system directory and reload the operating system just to remove all that cruft from applications that didn’t uninstall every last bit of themselves, hardware drivers that didn’t perfectly update themselves on top of older versions and simply to clear out the start menu that I find myself not keeping as ordered as I should.

Things are better than in the past, with the Windows 9x family, in which a format and re-install was needed at least every three months if you wanted to keep your system in top performance form. Windows XP itself would probably last for years without needing a re-install, provided I didn’t upgrade video drivers as soon as new betas were available and didn’t install and delete as many applications as I do.

Still, it keeps things interesting, providing I can find all the CDs for those programs I now have to reload. Otherwise, it simply becomes frustrating.

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