Almost everybody knows that I have an huge antipathy towards anything that has a Siemens label on it; this antipathy isn’t really real, and it has a long history, but: In dire need of a new telephone system at home to replace an aging Eumex 310, I wanted an ISDN phone with a POTS port on it for my telefax machine and two or more wireless satellites. I was conned into purchasing a Siemens Gigaset SX353 which seemed to fulfill all my wishes. Actually, the damn thing did immediately work (even though it says Siemens on it), and programming via the keypad was easy enough. Since the phone supports a USB connection to a PC with software which was supposed to ease programming of the device including adding names and numbers to the phone directory, I wanted to experiment with that. Being a dubious kind of chappie, I installed the software in a virtual machine on a Windows XP, not really wanting an unknown amount of drivers to crash a perfectly good Windows workstation. Well, suffice it to say that today I got the first BSOD(Blue Screen of Death) I’ve seen in about three years! The Siemens support site for the SX353 lists software versin 6.0.28 as being the newest. Isn’t it strange then, that the CD that was in the box bears the numbers 6.0.30 ? After the Blue Screen of Death, I performed the usual ritual (uninstall, re-install) and I then got a connection to the phone. Each click in the software appears to take half an eternity while data is transferred to the telephone, but most of it worked. Most of it: any operation on the internal MSN list immediately caused the software to stop responding. A reboot was well followed by another BSOD until I pulled the cable, rebooted and then plugged in the USB cable (this is reproducible). Messages such as Configuration locked; please wait two minutes and then reload configuration don’t help too much either. What is rather cool, is an import of directory entries which I can then transfer (at snail’s pace) to the three telephones. Oh, BTW. Do visit the Siemens AG website for “Privatkunden” with your browser, and watch the CPU of your workstation climb to 95%; it may be a Firefox 1.5.02 on the Mac, thingy, but it fits in to my general Siemens feeling.