This is not my imagination. It's not malware. The very same thing happened to me on a prior PC that ran Windows 98. As Microsoft pushes out anonymous Updates, the PC gets slower and slower and slower until finally one Update produces the Kill Shot: video playback drops dead.
This is what it was like moments ago, trying to watch the Vimeo FLV posted by the MagicPad people. Viewing it online was so bad, I used Download Helper to put it on my hard drive. These screensnaps from vlc reflect the abysmal quality of video playback on this PC now. All due to Microsoft.
And then Microsoft wonders why they're hated? And wonders why people won't touch that pile of bloated overwrought shit called Vista? And why Macintosh sales keep improving? And why people are stripping Windows XP off the MSI Wind to replace it with Apple's Mac OS X?
Hey, Microsoft: Drop dead right back at you!
Blog Notes: XP War Rages On
Blog Notes: XP War Notes
Blog Notes: The War With XP Continues
Blog Notes: XP Needs A Beating!
Blog Notes: XP System Idle Process
Blog Notes: The XP War Chronicles
Blog Notes: Another Day In Windows XP Hell
Blog Notes: Another Clue
Blog Notes: Test #2 In Progress
Blog Notes: Test #1 = FAIL!
Blog Notes: Go Away. I Am Testing.
Blog Notes: PC Is Frak-Free
Blog Notes: Go Away. Scan In Progress.
Blog Notes: Intolerable PC Speed