11/16/2012 06:43 pm ET Updated Jan 16, 2013

From Father to Son: What You Should Know About Windows 8

A note to my dear son Ted,

Oh, I know too well that familiar sadness for what has happened to the Dubno household yet again. I'm sorry, my beloved man-child: now you too are beginning to understand the disappointment I fervently hoped I could keep from your innocence.

Yet, in our struggle to shield our children... to help them avoid the same pitfalls we have faced that now seem so obvious as we age... it is inevitable that with the impetuousness of youth you must, I suppose, courageously embrace unfamiliar risks with endless optimism.

I understand how seductive the promise and possibilities of a new Microsoft operating system may initially appear, my boy. Sure, I can tell you that, from long excruciating experience, costs usually outweigh any advantages. We must admit that marketing makes a new operating system like Windows 8 at first seem astonishingly alluring.

Yet, how does a parent who loves his son truly convey to him the risks learned over years of sadness? Wisdom must be acquired each generation anew. This despite what previous generations have known for years: there will always be yet another Windows OS upgrade... as inevitable as the changing of the tides and new cycles of the Moon.

Tempting as this all may be, you know I begged you not to be an early adopter. Yet, it is unworthy of a parent to simply say, "I told you so." Wisdom must be found along the path your own legs will carry you and I'm certain you will find courage on the way.

Alas, now, you have learned the painful lesson so many have shared... and now, your brand new laptop... which worked so fine only yesterday.... sits forlornly now... painfully flashing what we once called more than a decade ago the "blue screen of death." All that remains is just a flickering, pulsing screen of gray... dimly flashing on then off. The hard drive searches hopelessly in a loop for a new video driver... perhaps a new "service pack"... one, no doubt, that thousands of others will soon be clamoring for.

Teddy, my son, perhaps I thought just warning you not to install Windows 8 could keep your earnest optimism in check. Yet I can not chide you for disdaining my advice. Generation after generation can not simply be TOLD never to install new Microsoft operating systems. How hard it is to wait at least half a year at least until some of the major kinks have been worked out.

Youth must, sadly, discover this first-hand again and again... lessons so painfully revealed time after time since Microsoft began. Your computer sits sadly -- flashing over and over -- now one enormous paperweight... another monument to the age-old lesson: Do not install newly released operating systems made by Microsoft. Don't do it. Let enough other suckers first crash their machines... wait until enough patching and fixing and new "service packs" and modified drivers have been released into the ecosystem.

Not every "upgrade" is worth the price and each one carries risks.

If only I could always be there to guide you through it, my son. But now you have gained wisdom on your own... and one day, in the event Microsoft may still be around to haunt the next generations, I know and trust you will pass this lesson on to them.

With fondness,