Windoze 8

May 12th, 2013 at 9:57:56 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 328
Posts: 11352
Here's a link to a story detailing many of the flaws found on Win8: http://www.nngroup.com/articles/windows-8-disappointing-usability/

Of course, thsi says nothing about the desktop veing, oh, infinity squared times superior to the "Modern" interface.

Still, thinking about hidden commands and such, it hit me: how obvious is it to left-click on something? Well, it's not obvious at all. In fact, i can tell you when I found out the left mouse button was actually good for something. It was back in the late 90s, when we found a website displaying tons of runway photographs. my dad wanted to print some photos to use as a basis for his designs (he'd been doing that with photos from amgazines and nespapers for ages; this site only increased the amount of available material). that's when a more tech-savvy acquaintance told me the left ouse button brings up a secondary menu (this was with Win 3.11 BTW). Having learned that, I began to try it all over the place.

So si this like the hidden "charms" bar?

Not quite. It is obvious the mouse has two buttons. It's not obvious the "charms" bar exists at all. I also realized how I hold the mouse: with one finger on each button (and the thumb on the side button).
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
May 13th, 2013 at 9:13:55 AM permalink
AcesAndEights
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 5
Posts: 238
Quote: Nareed
Here's a link to a story detailing many of the flaws found on Win8: http://www.nngroup.com/articles/windows-8-disappointing-usability/

Of course, thsi says nothing about the desktop veing, oh, infinity squared times superior to the "Modern" interface.

Still, thinking about hidden commands and such, it hit me: how obvious is it to left-click on something? Well, it's not obvious at all. In fact, i can tell you when I found out the left mouse button was actually good for something. It was back in the late 90s, when we found a website displaying tons of runway photographs. my dad wanted to print some photos to use as a basis for his designs (he'd been doing that with photos from amgazines and nespapers for ages; this site only increased the amount of available material). that's when a more tech-savvy acquaintance told me the left ouse button brings up a secondary menu (this was with Win 3.11 BTW). Having learned that, I began to try it all over the place.

So si this like the hidden "charms" bar?

Not quite. It is obvious the mouse has two buttons. It's not obvious the "charms" bar exists at all. I also realized how I hold the mouse: with one finger on each button (and the thumb on the side button).

Are you left-handed? The left mouse button is typically the primary; the right mouse button typically brings up context menus, etc. Unless it's different in Mexico :)

Also, I had no idea Win3.11 even had right-click [from my perspective] functionality. Although I never browsed the web before Windows 95, so it may have been functionality built in to the browser, I suppose. Also technically I never used 3.11, but only 3.1.
"You think I'm joking." -EvenBob
May 13th, 2013 at 10:12:55 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 328
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Quote: AcesAndEights
Are you left-handed?


Oddly enough, no. You'd think I should be, given just about everything else about me. In fact many people assume I am for some reason.

I just get the mice buttons mixed up, because I click with my right hand.

Quote:
Also, I had no idea Win3.11 even had right-click [from my perspective] functionality. Although I never browsed the web before Windows 95, so it may have been functionality built in to the browser, I suppose. Also technically I never used 3.11, but only 3.1.


We bought a Compaq laptop with a gray-scale monitor way back when, and it came with Win 3.11 (so called Windows For Workgroups, whatever that means). It had no mouse, but a track pad which was mounted or perched on the right side of the keyboard. For lefties it could be mounted on the left side. And it did have two buttons.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
May 15th, 2013 at 7:06:02 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
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For those who think I've been to harsh:

http://www.itproportal.com/2013/05/14/dear-microsoft-windows-8-is-fantastic/

Favorite quote: "Windows 8 is the future. You achieve a sense of contemporary futility almost the minute you boot Windows 8."
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
May 15th, 2013 at 5:56:21 PM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 328
Posts: 11352
I've been trying to think back to the time when Win95 came out, and I still used lots of DOS software.

We had payroll, invoice and inventory, and accounting systems all on DOS. I also used WordPerfect as a word processor. I dind't use a spreadsheet back then, but the accountant ran Quattro. Auxiliary to payroll, we had to use a government-issued disk to figure out, and generate reports for, social security payments. I had a few games, like Red Storm Rising (amazing what an engorssing game it was given the very primitive graphics and controls). And there were utilities like PC Tools and such.

Moving to windows, remarkably, did wonders for the DOS software. I could, if I needed, multitask WordPerfect and one other program (WP had a built-in command for that). Otherwise if I wanted to run something from accoutning and was at the time running pyroll, I had to exit payroll and run the other program. With Win95 I could run them all at once if I wanted, each in its own window. I found it useful to simply open the most frequently used programs and keep them handy in the taskbar at all times.

Back then, though, I had no internet connection at my work PC. We had a modem and a dial-up subscription with an ISP, but we used it only in my brother's PC. Later we got broadband and amde a little network, but I digress.

Of course I had to abandon the old DOS utilities, and with the arrival of Office I began to use Word instead of WP, and eventually a little bit of Excel.

My point is that while Windows95 eventually forced users to let go of DOS, it made working in DOS better than it used to be, not worse. And that one could, if one wanted, keep running DOS software. In contrast Win8 says "let go of the desktop. Tiles are the way of the futre." But working in Win8 is not as easy or as productive as working in the desktop. And the Win8 desktop is diminished from previous versions, making it also more difficult and less productive. So not only is the desktop crippled, but the alternative is worse.

Compare that with Win95 and DOS. DOS remained pretty much untouched, and in the end many of the alternatives, native Win95 software, was better. If I'd wanted to keep on running DOS and pay no mind to Windows at all, I could have done so easily. It would have required clicking on one icon at the start of the day, and on the start button to shut down at the end.

I ran the payroll, invoice/inventory and accounting programs in DOS until late 2004. Really. The DOS versions were discontinued in 2002 or thereabouts. I'd hAve kept even the 1992 versions I started with had I not neeed to upgrade them for Y2K (it was real, but no more than a small nuissance).

So, once again, why is MS making it so difficult and irritating this time around that it wants to radically change its flagship product?
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
May 20th, 2013 at 1:56:35 PM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 328
Posts: 11352
Riddle me this:

Microsoft made the "Modern" interface central to Windows 8 because it wants to break into the tablet market, and it figures its customers will want 1) the same OS in PC and tablet, and 2) to "seamlessly" sync the two devices together (ie same files, configurations, preferences, etc, etc, etc.). This makes sense on first glance. But:

In order to have the same OS on two kinds of devices, MS went for a touch-based interface. And it did so all the way. That is, there is not mouse-based interface any more. it can be used with a mouse, yes, but only if you want to mimic touch, rather than by doing what the mouse does: point and click. Not content with that, MS also reduced the usability of the PC to that of a tablet. Sure, you can open as many "apps" as you like, just not two of the same "app" at the same time (or so I understand), and you can't have them all in view at the same time, and there is no task bar to keep track of them, and you need to switch between "apps" by fairly complicated means. All of which would be ok on a tablet, because on a tablet you wouldn't be doing that much work to begin with. None of which makes any sense on a PC or laptop, because you want to get more work done.

And then there's the crippled desktop. You can claim it's the same as it was on Win7 (and Vista and 98 and 95) all you like, but that simply isn't true. I don't recall having to switch to a different interface on Vista, nor having to pin ten different "apps" to the quick-launch area in the task bar on Win 7. Because on those primitive, non-"modern" systems, one had a wonderful tool called the Start menu, which one could use to open any program or run any utility without taking up the whole screen. And the task bar was for keeping track of open windows, not for launching programs (except the most-often used ones).

Sure, this can be fixed by adding a free or cheap third-party shell. For now anyway. Who knows if they'll work after Windows 8.1 becomes standard (that's the official release name of Windows Blue; and I wouldn't put it past Microsoft to wreck those third-party shells). And all signs and portents (nee rumors) point to NO desktop at all for Windows 9.

But this is not the XX Century. We have options now, though not any really good options. So we can switch to Linux, for example, while the more timid try the Mac (whatever the hell that is).

Now, if I'm going to be running Linux on my PC, why would I want a Windows 8 tablet? Sure, the OS may make sense for tablets, but wouldn't syncing the tablet with the PC be easier with an Android tablet? of course it would.

So MS developed Win8 as what exactly?
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
May 22nd, 2013 at 9:46:10 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
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I think my old Vista PC is on its last legs. It's been starting to fail playing myVegas on Facebook. Specifically I get a lot of errors from the video card or its drive (likely the latter). Yes, I know that may be due to a recent Adobe Flash update. i tried updating the card's drive, but ATI no longer supports it.

So I'd better reach a modus vivendi with Linux in Vegas. If so I can get a new PC by late June. If not, I'll have to wait a bit to see what "Bue" does to third-party utilities to restore the desktop, then decide whether I get a Win 7 or Win (ugh) 8 PC.

On a completely unrelated matter, 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.
June 14th, 2013 at 8:31:19 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
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It's time for yet another anti-Win8 rant, only it will be anti-Win8.1 this time, and from now on, as that's the new standard.

Win8.1 is not exactly officially out yet, but various tech websites have it down cold by now. the three salient changes are:

1) You can boot directly to the desktop. nice of MS to spare their users one click.
2) You can have the same background and/or wallpaper in the desktop and the "modern" interfaces.

That's it. That's all there is to it as far as I'm concerned. All the rest of the changes involve the "modern" UI or are completely worthless (but that is redundant). Much is made of the ability to open 2 or 3 apps at once in the "modern" UI, including having all of them the same size, and including different instances of the same "app." Woow! Even Windows 3.1 in 1993 could do better than that.

The much ballyhoeed return of the start button is as bad as I thought it would be. All it does is open the "modern" start screen, though perhaps it can do so in the "all apps" view. As the kids said back in the day, that's as useful as a screen door in a submarine. What serious users of PCs wanted was a start menu.

So, to summarize my position: I don't care a tiny rat's behind about the "modern" interface at all, so I don't care about any changes to it. Sparing me one click is nice, especially as it lets me pretend the "modern" interface isn't there at all, but it's not a major or even a basic necessity. I can withstand two seconds of "modern" every day. The background/wallpaper issue is "nice" in the Dom de Louise in "History of the World" sense; that is sarcastically saying "Nice. Nice. Not thrilling, but nice."

Though there is one problematic change involving the "modern" interface. or potentially so. the buzz is the "modern" control pannel, or whatever it's called, can now handle everything without having to go to the desktop. Potentially this means even if you make an effort to ignore the "modern" UI, you may ahve to get into it to sue the control panel.

So, Microsoft, you tried and you didn't even come within ten light years of fixing Win8.

On a diferent matter, 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.
June 17th, 2013 at 9:15:54 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 328
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Most of what I've read about the "modern" UI led me to think it was worthless, or largely so, considering the way I use the computer at work and at home. Granted the idea of "live tiles" seems itneresting, it doesn't apply to me. Sure, arranged right, if possible, you can see updated information on various things at a glance. Weather, stocks, email (pressumably), social media, etc. Well, for one thing I don't much care for that, for another I'm annoyed when "apps" interrupt my work or play with updates.

So I tended to dismiss the "modern" part as that and a tablet environment, poorly suited to serious work or even serious web browsing. With all the win8.1 changes, though, a lot is being said about the "modern" UI. so I've been reading up on it and tried out a few things ona demo PC at Office Depot.

It turns out I was right. This butchered caleidoscope of an interface clashes neatly with my PC habits. All of them. If I were afflicted with paranoia, I'd be certain by now MS developed Win8 to keep me away from computers. Of course that's not the case, but MS succeeded in making an OS that annoys me effectively.

Consider my work. I have several windows open at once. Not displayed at one, though, as each uses up all the screen minus the taskbar. Typically I'll have two browser windows open, an email program (ok, Outlook), and two or three Word and/or Excel instances.

I can easily do that on the "modern" UI (or I could if there were a "modern" version of Office). But during work I switch between open windows as needed by using the taskbar, which uses up a very small strip of screen on the bottom. The "modern" UI has no taskbar. It has a wide, large strip displaying "apps." To get to it I need to minimize my currently open "app," or go hit a corner, or swipe, or something equally ridiculous. This takes up more time, breaks my train of thought and action (trust me, I know), and is compeltely unnecessary.

Well, then, can I work this way on the desktop part of Win8.1?

Not entirely. The taskbar in this crippled desktop is more a pinning area for often used programs than a true taskbar. I've tried on demo PCs to get it to behave, and it almost does (it won't let me move the pinned programs all the way to the right of the bar). I could live with that, if there was a Start Menu. There isn't one, only a kind of start "tip" (MS is calling it that), which sends you kicking and screaming to the "modern" UI.

I can use an add-on shell utility like Start8 to fix this, yes, and it costs next to nothing, too, and there are even free utilities available. This would seem to be a solution to all my whining, ranting and complaining. Early on I thought it was. It is a possible solution only. The thing is that MS has labeled the desktop as "legacy." This most likely means it will stop developing desktop programs like Office and will phase it out by the time Win9 comes along (there are rumors about it in the tech press). That would be completely unacceptable to me. So if I'll be forced of windows eventually, I might as well get started now learning a new OS, like Linux. On the other hand, Win8 should last a decade or more, and lots of things can ahppen between now and the time I'm forced to "upgrade."

In other important matters, 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.
June 18th, 2013 at 8:33:54 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 328
Posts: 11352
Microsoft cannot see the trees for the forest.

Lately it's begun promoting Win8 and 8.1 as well-suited for business and enterprise.

Uh, as my favorite living philosopher is fond of saying, WTF???

Yes, there are integrated blah, blah, blah "solutions" for all the latest, trendy acronyms like BYOD, and the latest, trendy terms like Cloud. And maybe it's even true. But what MS is overlooking is the Blue Whale in the room: Win8 is a terrible OS for doing serious office work, and even so it requires a large investmet in retraining. And let's not forget it may require new hardware.

The latter is one of life's HUGE ironies. On the one hand MS brags about the lower requirements in electrical and processing power of the new OS, on the other it screams that you need a more expensive touch screen to replace your perfectly good, existing monitor. and if you have a laptop, of course you need to replace it entirely.

On other things, the people at Infoworld have come up with a real fix for Win8: Windows Red. Here's the link:

http://www.infoworld.com/d/microsoft-windows/how-windows-red-can-fix-windows-8-the-right-strategy-microsoft-219633

I would have upgraded to such a system without hesitation. as it is, though, 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.