Windoze 8

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April 11th, 2013 at 7:35:14 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 328
Posts: 11352
I just read an infuriating article about Win8. the writer claims the OS is great, and mentions some very nice features like a quick boot. I'll buy that. but then he goes on to say that it has what everyone wanted, like iPad-like "gesture" controls. Who the hell wanted that on a PC?? Further, the writer advises everyone to quit whining and adapt to the new system. I thought to myslef "Reistance is futile."

There's this old laptop I stole, pretty much, from my mother. Unfortunately it runs Vista, but it might serve as a replacemant for my desktop soon. After that, I've no idea what I'll do.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
April 15th, 2013 at 7:44:43 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 328
Posts: 11352
I've been doing some further reading and thinking about the Win8 issue. I still think Microsfot is stuck in new Coke mode. But as satisfying, emotionally, as it is to vent against Win8, it's not particualrly useful. I'll try to refrain from doing so, then.

In general there are three camps among tech writers and pundits:

1) Those who think Win8 is the greatest thing ever, and people who don't like it are just metaphorical old geezers afraid of change. Didn't they rant and rave against Win95 and WinXP, too?

2) Those who think Win8 is a great performance improvement, but which needs to be tweaked and added-on to hell and back to make it usable.

3) Those who think Win8 may offer improvements, but who also think it gets in the way of any actual work they want to do.

Yesterday I had a chance to handle a Win8 PC at a store. I tried to get two instances of IE to run in the desktop and I couldn't. Further, I tried to uncombine active programs in the taskbar and couldn't, either. Later I looked up the latter issue online and found out how to do it. Instead of right-clicking on the taskbar and fiddling with the properties, I had to go to some corner, click and drag the mouse, open search, and I don't recall what else. So I guess that puts me in the third camp.

When I began using PCs I mostly sued DOS 4.something. There was Windows 3.11 then, but I saw no point in it, besides most of the software I used at work ran on DOS (in fact I kept using DOS-based business software until 2004, but I digress). I only beagn to use windows then because you could run a new thing called "Netscape" on it (and that was on a B&W laptop, but again...), which was useful for a new past time callled "The World Wide Web" At home I had a clunky "portable" PC running DOS, which I used for word processing, email and some primitive internet browsing (remember telnet, IRC, archie, etc?), as well as some old games (remmeber Zork, Red Storm Rising, etc?)

When Windows 95 showed up, it blew me away. This was, at last, a graphical interface worth the trouble of putting up with a mouse. Of course, it was nothing at all like using DOS, but unlike Win3.11 it was actually good for something. It took some learning, yes, but, I repeat, it was worth it. For example, using MS Word, or MS Works, was unlike the old DOS-based WordPerfect, but you could see the manuscript as it would print at all times, and gone was the need to insert codes for italics and such.

Win98 gave me trouble, until I upgraded the PCs RAM. Other than that, it was essentially just an upgrade of Win95. WinXP proved to be a better system, fixing many of the flaws of its predecessors. it had a better taskbar, too, a nicer look, etc. I next bought a PC running Vista. It's not as bad as they say it is, but it is rather troublesome in many ways. I never upgraded to Win7 for several reasons. One of which was that when I could afford a new PC, rumors of Windows 8 began to float around. I decided it made better sense to wait for the new OS, rather than getting stuck with an older one.

And therein lies the problem.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
April 15th, 2013 at 10:12:13 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 328
Posts: 11352
Looking at the progression of my own PC use, from DOS to Win3.11 and thence to 95, 98, XP and Vista, it strikes me that each new OS allowed me to do things the previous one had not. For example, Win 3.11 allowed me to use the WWW, while Win95 had it almost incorporated (with Win 3.11 there wasn't a modem controller even; I recall installing something called Trumpet WinSock to even be able to connect to an ISP). And then, too, using a spreadsheet program on a graphical interface was so much better than doing so in a text-based one like DOS.

But newer doesn't mean better. I mentioned I used DOS-based business software until 2004. That's because the DOS versions were better. Not only that I was sued to them and was loathe to give them up, but they were actually better. For example, the payroll software displayed formulas and functions at the touch of the F1 key in DOS, and would put them in a formula bar if you pressed "enter" while they were highlighted. In the Windows versions you had to open the manual, look them up and type them in yourself. So as the newer version offered no improvements, I didn't upgrade to them.

That's how I see the current release of Win8. Whatever its merits, it seems to be an obstacle for using the PC rather than a means to facilitate it. I don't mean just the whole new, and seemingly more complicated, way of doing things, but the very notorious fact that the desktop is being pushed out. They way the new interface works (and whatever it's called), is completely, 100% useless for the kind of work I do, both at the job and at home, and only marginally less so for the more casual use at home.

Given that most work, actual work, done on PCs requires a desktop, what's the rationale for getting rid of it, or shipping an OS with reduced desktop functionality?

I'm really angry and frustrated over this development, and I wish I could understand it. Thus far it seems Microsoft is trying to be mindlessly trendy. So it comes out with this system that, at the technical level, performs really well, but it's not good for anything. Imagine a car that gets 1,000 miles to the gallon and can go to 200 mph easily, but has no seats, no trunk and you control it with voice commands.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
April 19th, 2013 at 1:21:20 PM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 328
Posts: 11352
There's some chatter among tech writers that Microsoft will restore the Start Button in the upcoming Windows "Blue" (a.k.a. Windows 8.1) version. No word yet on whether this will include restoring some right-click functions as well. Tha only thing everyone agrees on is we'll know for sure around June. But I was gratified by an article regarding MS's "New Coke" moment (alas...)

What I still don't understand is the insistence in doing away with the desktop. I mean, what work do these people do? How would floating "apps," of which you can only open two at a time it seems, be of any use to anyone who does serious work on a PC? And what bugs me are people who like Win8 and think because it's good enough for them it should be good enough for everyone. Right. So because my mid-size car is good enough for me, a mid-size car ought to be good enough for everyone, including bus companies and long-haul highway freight business, yes? It gets worse when they add admonishments to adapt, because, they claim, that's the way it's going to be. I swear I'll switch to Linux before I "adapt" to a substandard OS.

Anyway, if MS finds it necessary to restore a Win7-like interface, they won't find it possible to reduce PC functionality to that of a tablet.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
April 22nd, 2013 at 2:44:26 PM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 328
Posts: 11352
I really ought to stop reading tech columns about win8. Mostly I just get angry.

But there are some insights. I read a long review on Wired (I think) which waxed poetically in panegyric(sp?) style about the lovely look of the Metro interface (whatever it's named now) with eloquence which might make Cicero jealous. Buried in the middle was the fact, not opinion, that the public isn't buying Windows 8. Literally sales of Win8 make Vista look like the bestest OS ever released.

This reminded me of the time Apple first sold an iMac. Remember that? It was an all-in-one machine with colored acrylic pannels. Reviewers back then, in print if memory serves, were wildly admiring of different colors, and about the lines of the new machine. Without ever saying a word about whether it even worked as a desktop computer. They might as well ahve been reviewing the world's most expensive desk ornaments (too big for paperweights). To this day I've no idea whether any of Apple's desktop computers, or laptops, even do anything. based on my own eperience, they're not even meant to be turned on. But your milelage may vary.

Next there was a piece on Real Clear Technology about the return of the Start button to Windows. That seems promising, and in line with my own predictions. But the article suggests all the revived Start Button will do is send you to the infamous Metro Start Screen. Seriously? That would be enough to make me bang my head on the desk, or to buy a Win8 PC and a sledge hammer (better yet, a warehouse full of Win 8 PCs and some pounds of Composition Four).

In general most of the positive reviews of Win8, of those that don't rave about the performance, are full of floating abstractions and undefined concepts, that I wonder whether the Metro interface on Win 8 is a kind of drug-free acid trip. Becasue, for the life of me, I cannot find anything even remotely reseembling a review about the usability of that interface for serious work, or even for lazy, mouse-potato web browsing.

So I'm looking at three alternatives: 1) wait for MS to regain its senses and release a sub-version, service pack or whatever-they-want-to-call-it of Windows 8 that is actually good for something other than eliciting cool reviews about its looks from trendy tablet fans, 2) download one of the programs that change Win 8 radically into an OS that you can, you know, use to actually operate the computer, 3) hope there will still be a few Win7 machines available by the time I decide I can afford a new PC (say around November).

Please do not suggest switching to Linux. The idea is NOT to learn a new operating system all over again. And please, please do not suggest switching to an Apple product of some kind. I shall not be responsible of my reaction if you do :P


Furthermore, in my opinion Windows 8 must be destroyed.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
April 23rd, 2013 at 1:29:19 PM permalink
AcesAndEights
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 5
Posts: 238
Quote: Nareed
I really ought to stop reading tech columns about win8. Mostly I just get angry.

But there are some insights. I read a long review on Wired (I think) which waxed poetically in panegyric(sp?) style about the lovely look of the Metro interface (whatever it's named now) with eloquence which might make Cicero jealous. Buried in the middle was the fact, not opinion, that the public isn't buying Windows 8. Literally sales of Win8 make Vista look like the bestest OS ever released.

This reminded me of the time Apple first sold an iMac. Remember that? It was an all-in-one machine with colored acrylic pannels. Reviewers back then, in print if memory serves, were wildly admiring of different colors, and about the lines of the new machine. Without ever saying a word about whether it even worked as a desktop computer. They might as well ahve been reviewing the world's most expensive desk ornaments (too big for paperweights). To this day I've no idea whether any of Apple's desktop computers, or laptops, even do anything. based on my own eperience, they're not even meant to be turned on. But your milelage may vary.

Next there was a piece on Real Clear Technology about the return of the Start button to Windows. That seems promising, and in line with my own predictions. But the article suggests all the revived Start Button will do is send you to the infamous Metro Start Screen. Seriously? That would be enough to make me bang my head on the desk, or to buy a Win8 PC and a sledge hammer (better yet, a warehouse full of Win 8 PCs and some pounds of Composition Four).

In general most of the positive reviews of Win8, of those that don't rave about the performance, are full of floating abstractions and undefined concepts, that I wonder whether the Metro interface on Win 8 is a kind of drug-free acid trip. Becasue, for the life of me, I cannot find anything even remotely reseembling a review about the usability of that interface for serious work, or even for lazy, mouse-potato web browsing.

So I'm looking at three alternatives: 1) wait for MS to regain its senses and release a sub-version, service pack or whatever-they-want-to-call-it of Windows 8 that is actually good for something other than eliciting cool reviews about its looks from trendy tablet fans, 2) download one of the programs that change Win 8 radically into an OS that you can, you know, use to actually operate the computer, 3) hope there will still be a few Win7 machines available by the time I decide I can afford a new PC (say around November).

Please do not suggest switching to Linux. The idea is NOT to learn a new operating system all over again. And please, please do not suggest switching to an Apple product of some kind. I shall not be responsible of my reaction if you do :P


Furthermore, in my opinion Windows 8 must be destroyed.

You should try switching to Linux! It's super easy to learn :D
"You think I'm joking." -EvenBob
April 23rd, 2013 at 5:25:23 PM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 328
Posts: 11352
Quote: AcesAndEights
You should try switching to Linux! It's super easy to learn :D


Apparently you've yet to locate the delete function. :P
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
April 29th, 2013 at 1:38:23 PM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 328
Posts: 11352
I got stuck at the local Office Depot waiting for a file (long, boring, pointless story), and I used up some of that time trying to wrap my head around a computer running Windows 8. I realized some of the things that really bother me about this (in)operating system:

1) Touch.

Yes, I hate the whole idea of a touch interface on a PC. It's not convenient (in fact, it's massively INconvenient), and adds little functionality. But worse than that, it will leave your screen filthy with streaks and dots. You'll either be cleaning the screen frequently, and eprhaps to little effect, or learn to peer around visual obstructions. I've seen such things on tablets with more than a few days of use, but somehow I had failed to make the connection with the touch interface.

2) The Desktop.

Although there is a desktop "mode" on Win8, it's severley reduced in functionality as opposed to Win7, Vista, WinMe, Win98, Win95 and, if memory serves, Win3. In large part (and I do mean LARGE), the problem is the missing "start" button. I do use it, frequently, both at home and at work. Instead on Win8 either the desktop or the taskbar will be chock-full of little icons for program short-cuts one can no longer access any other way.

Worse yet, Microsoft announced the desktop is there as a "legacy." You know, so you'll still be able to use a modern computer as though you were a caveman stuck in lat year's state-of-the-art systems.

When DOS was relegated as a "legacy" in Win95, that amde sense. Programs for DOS are very different from programs in Windows. But the massive piece of obstruction Microsoft called "Metro" is exactly the same as Windows in function. Suppsoedly it's just the form of the graphic interface that changed (from a usable one to one that's pretty useless). So why on Earth should the desktop be phased out? All signs point to NO DESKTOP AT ALL in Windows 9- That's beyond ridiculous; it's insane.

3) Gestures

I'll pass up the chance to make a cruel, ironic joke about it. anyway, I can see the need for "gestures" on touch devices. After all, a finger or two moving accross the screen can only signal so much. The touch screen woulnd't know, for example, if a touch is a left or a right click. So, sure, it amkes sense to swipe, drag, pinch, etc. But on a PC you have a keyboard and a mouse, and you are away from the monitor because it is all the way down there past the keyboard. So why are gestures a aprt of the system even for PCs?

4) The Metro/Modern/Whatever interface.

It's stupid. There, I said it. Really, it reduces the functionality of a high-end PC to that of a tablet, besides being ridiculously complex to use, hard to organize, and a mess of icons all over what passes for a desktop or something. It doens't even look nice. It looks like a caleidoscope was butchered and strew all over the screen. In theory you can run many "apps" at once. In practice it's ahrd to know what you're doing, since you can only see one "app" at a time. Like one particualrly scathign review had it, they should change the name to Window, singular.

In a completely unrelated matter, it is my considered opinion that Windows 8 must be destroyed.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
May 9th, 2013 at 8:13:37 AM permalink
AcesAndEights
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 5
Posts: 238
Nareed, you'll be happy to know that you can use 2 apps at once with Snap! At long last, multitasking comes to Windows 8!


/snark
"You think I'm joking." -EvenBob
May 9th, 2013 at 1:25:33 PM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 328
Posts: 11352
Quote: AcesAndEights
Nareed, you'll be happy to know that you can use 2 apps at once with Snap! At long last, multitasking comes to Windows 8!


It's good to know the Bestest Ever Windows Version of ALL TIME can now almost match DOS 4.01 in productive capability.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
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