Windoze 8

August 4th, 2013 at 10:07:35 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 328
Posts: 11352
Installing Classic Shell helps. A lot. How much is a lot? it makes the fucking operating system actually usable.

Right now I'm having trouble with the screen resolution and Firefox. Some websites look ok, others I can tolerate, and this website looks horrible.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
August 4th, 2013 at 9:49:43 PM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 328
Posts: 11352
Here's an image of my current home PC's screen on a typical day when I'm doing some work:



That's what I use the taskbar for. That's how I've always used it going back to Windows 95. There are much better ways of launching programs than stuffing them all in the taskbar. The taskbar is for keeping track of work and switching between programs. Even if I were to use Alt-Tab, I prefer being able to tell at a glance what's open and what's running.

I've more or less tweaked the Win8.1 preview to work this way, and added a start menu replacement. It's enough that I could, in time, learn to live with it.

I've tried the M/M/W interface, too. I have found nothing, and I mean NOTHING, even remotely useful for me.

But thus far the biggest frustration lies in customizing the system. Not only has MS moved everything around, it's changed the contents, headings, and even the way one tells if something is informative or clickable. Really, the flat look has been taken too far and mostly it gets in the way.

And the desktop is on the way out. When it goes, or rather when no new major programs are developed for it, I'll ahve no mor reason to keep working with Windows.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
August 5th, 2013 at 7:47:07 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 328
Posts: 11352
I've been told the start screen is vastly superior to the start menu.

Thus far I haven't installed much software beyond what was already there. So no Office, for example, nor any major games (I'm not playing any right now). I put in one casual game. Anyway, the all-"apps" view of the start screen supposedly solves everything. Fact is, though, I see a lot of icons there, which can be ordered by category, date of instalationa nd date of use. But I've no idea whether I can make my own categories, or move icons between categories, etc. I decided I dind't even want to find out. I know Classic Shell puts in a new folder in the restored Start Menu, and that's good enough for me.

In other words, why figure out MS's new mish-mash of an interface control, when I can keep going on with a perfectly good option I know how to use and which works well for me? You know what it feels like? Remember the first "Raiders of the Lost Ark" movie? There's a scene where Indiana Jones is confronted by a skilled swordsman who makes a rather big show of his abilities. Indy just pulls out a gun and shoots him. Like that, only with start menus rather than guns.

I may yet try an experiment. As I want to test the much-touted system restore and refresh capabilities of Win8, I could restore it to its original state. That is, no start menu replacement, no disactivated "hot corners," no boot-to-desktop option, no toolbars, etc. Then I'd bring the laptop over to the office and see whether veterans of XP, Vista and Win7 can do anything useful with it without being given any directions.

I don't claim directions are not necessary. But Microsoft saw fit to release this thing without a tutorial. So let's see what happens.

I was going to restore it to factory fresh anyway, because I want to try other start menu replacement options anyway. So that, barring amjor changes to the final release of 8.1, I'll be all set to have a working system when I finally replace my PC.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
August 5th, 2013 at 9:27:28 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
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BTW, the early Win8 apologists declared it the best ever OS ever released by microsoft, or anyone else, ever. They pointed to features such as fast boot times, fast return from "sleep" mode, the new and much improved task manager, and maybe other things.

Well, boot is relatively fast (though you stare at a fish for what feels like a long time while the boot's in progress). But I woulnd't, and don't, amke much of it. Currently my aging Vista PC takes almost 5 minutes to boot, and all told almost 8 minutes before Firefox is up and running and can display bookmarks. But when it was new it was much faster. Ditto the even older XP at the office. A clean install of a new OS boots fast, regardless of what actual OS it is. Let's see how it holds up after a year of intensive use, program instalations, disk fragmentation, etc.

The task manager is very informative, but you have to find it first. Hint, in the desktop you right-click on an empty spot in the taskbar and find it in the pop-up menu. I failed to find it in the system accesories folder. You can lso bring it up by using the ctrl-alt-del key combination.

Though I tested it on a laptop, I dind't make use of the "sleep" mode.

I did hook up a keyboard, a mouse and a monitor, though (I dislike laptops on principle, and I passionately hate touch pads). Getting the monitor to work was relatively easy, once I called up the settings "charm" (I passionately dislike that term, too; charms are decorations worn as, or added to, jewelry). It did not pop up as soon as the monitor was connected.

The OS did install the keyboard and mouse automatically, but curiously it took the mouse as a generic two-button wheel mouse. It's actually a three-button wheel affair, which I think should be recognzied easily. Why? Because the mouse is made by Microsfot. I had to download a driver to get the side button working.

The keyboard worked without problems, and the system recognized stuff hooked up to the USB ports in it, like the mouse (but see above). The WiFi worked, too, though on a reboot it failed to recognize it once (eventually it did).

What bugs me is I've set it to not require a password at log in, yet it keeps asking me for one. I've never used one on my home PC nor ever intend to.

Overall it does work as advertised, and there are some good new features like the task manager.

But what use is all that, if the M/M/W interface is useless and the desktop doesn't work as well as Vista's used to?
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
August 5th, 2013 at 1:28:27 PM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
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Here's a more extensive overview of the M/M/W interface:

http://wizardofvegas.com/forum/questions-and-answers/casual-corner/14308-windows-8-must-be-destroyed/10/#post260909
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
August 7th, 2013 at 1:32:13 PM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 328
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Ok, time, I guess, to come clean... So to speak.

In 2007 I bought an early, early, early release of Windows Vista. While it's been much derided, the fact is it works well enough. the PC has been running since, with regualr updates, without much in the way fo trouble, beyond the built-in limitations of its design (not a very powerful processor, for one). It was good enough that I didn't think to replace it with a Win7 PC, until last December when I could more easily afford to. And you all know what happened then.

The point is I've never really used Win7. Oh, I've handled it a few times, but always only for an hour or two and on borrowed PCs. There is no time to tinker with it, nor is it proper to tinker with someone else's machine.

But since Win7 was praised as "Vista done right," and an overall "friendly" OS, I thought it was pretty much the same as Vista without the most glaring flaws of the latter, and naturally with a few cosmetic changes.

I'm learning now the Win8 desktop is, except for the missing Start Menu (a tiny detail as big as the Cosmos, as far as I'm concerned), pretty much the same as the Win7 desktop. Naturally this includes the butchered quick-launch icons, and pressumably also some of the "features" that make the control panel so frustrating to use in the Win8.1 preview.

But I'd still get a Win7 PC rather than a Win8.1 For one thing the former has a built-in start menu.

And now I'm off to scour the web for taskbar shells and/or tools. There's bound to be something <sigh>
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
August 8th, 2013 at 8:31:04 AM permalink
boopsahoy
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 1
Posts: 33
Quote: TheCesspit
You don't need to have a touch screen to use Windows 8.

95% of the time, I wasn't using any of the new interface on the new Win 8 machine I set up. Most of standard desktop is still there, and works as it does in Win 7.


I agree. Im not a techy at all and I have no problem with Win8. There is the same desktop Ive always had, its just that on startup the start menu comes up instead of the desktop. No biggie. You also dont need touch capabilites, the mouse works just fine. I like that you can "lock" a window so you can have another window open and the old one doesnt minimize.

My complaint is that the games we used to get free like solitaire etc, while being much better graphically and more choices now have commercials! THAT pisses me off.
August 8th, 2013 at 1:59:41 PM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 328
Posts: 11352
Quote: boopsahoy
I agree. Im not a techy at all and I have no problem with Win8. There is the same desktop Ive always had, its just that on startup the start menu comes up instead of the desktop.


What comes up is the start screen. The start menu is gone.

Look up thread for a screenshot of my home PC. I cannot work like that with Windows 8, not even in the desktop, unless I add a start menu replacement. And, yes, it is a big deal. For one thing I can't find anything on the regular start screen. For another, the "all apps" view seems rather limited, it can't be configured much, has no option to add folders, and I lack the time, the desire and the patience to figure it out.

Quote:
You also dont need touch capabilites, the mouse works just fine.


Those are different things. You dont' need touch, agreed. no one working on a desktop needs touch, and few even want it. The mouse does not work just fine. After only a few minutes playing with the preview, I was sick and tired of the "charms" bar popping on almost every time I tried to close a window. I solved it by adding Classic Shell, which allows you, finally, to shut off all the "hot corners."

It's a bit like talking to a two-yeard old:

"Ok, dear. Close the window."
"CHARMS BAR"
"No, sweetie. Not the charms bar. Just close the window.
"CHARMS BAR! CHARMS BAR!"

Quote:
My complaint is that the games we used to get free like solitaire etc, while being much better graphically and more choices now have commercials! THAT pisses me off.


Really? I didn't even run across either Free Cell, Hearts or Spider Solitaire.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
August 10th, 2013 at 9:23:49 PM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 328
Posts: 11352
I've been using Win8 on and off this past week. Far from convincing me to give this OS a chance, I pretty much confirmed all the impressions I formed by reading about it. So what I've learned is that research pays off.

The M/M/W interface is a waste of time. Far from making it the central feature of the system, MS should have relegated it to an obscure corner of the Windows attic. Call it "Tablet Compatible" or some such and banish it to semi-obscurity for those who do not make tablet-like use of their desktop PCs.

Would it make a good tablet interface? Maybe. My experience with tablets is very limited. Right now I know more about the Win8 M/M/W interface than that of any other tablet OS, but I've never used it on a tablet! (life's ironic that way). Would I buy a Win8 tablet? I don't know. I'd need to get more tablet experience first. But that's a matter for a different thread. For now suffice it to say I would not buy a Windows Surface tablet due mostly to price and portability considerations.

Before I list all that's wrong about the M/M/W interface, I'll say one semi-positive thing: I found an "app" I like. It's a native app called Reading List (I think). It works with IE 11. What it does is keep a list of website links bookmarked for later reading. This is better than a mere bookmark, as it shows you a little preview and more info than a bookmark can. But it's not well implemented. See, I'd have made it a button for the web browser. Then later you could open the app at your leisure and link back to the websites in the browser. But that's too simple. Instead you move the mouse aaaaall the way to the upper left corner and open the "charms" bar, then you click on "share," then you choose "Reading List" from the options. Later you open the app at your leisure and use it.

Ok, now for the fun stuff:

1) Controls for the windows in the M/M/W interface require a lot of movement. Opening them is the same as in the desktop, more or less, but a) they can't be minimized, b) in order to "snap" it with another app, you need to move all the way to the top of the app until a the pointer changes from an arrow to a hand, then you drag the window down and to the right or left until a black bar appears towards the middle of the screen, c) to close a window need to move all the way to the top of the app until a the pointer changes from an arrow to a hand, then you drag the window all the way down until it disappears and you're back in the start screen, d) I've found no way, so far, to resize a window.

2) The app switcher is a little ergonomics nightmare. First you move the pointer all the way to the upper left corner and wait about a second for the top-most app to peek out, next you move the pointer down to coax the rest of the apps out. Now you can see what you have open and choose among them, or you can even close an open app without leaving the switcher. Compared to a proper taskbar, it's a waste of time, effort and it adds to the wear and tear of your arm and shoulder muscles, bones and tendons. If I had to use that for work at the office, I'd quit.

This is precisely why I keep harping on MS's misguided (to be charitable) idea to dump the desktop. The M/M/W interface simply doesn't cut it for work. Now, before someone says "just keep two windows opened in snap view," that won't work either. I work with full-size windows, because having two or more visible at once tends to distract me. I've tried it, especially at my current job where much of what I do intensively involves copying and pasting from one file to another. Not to mention that we work with very wide spreadsheets and very long Word or PDF documents, therefore reducing the size of the windows would involve too much scrolling, or would require increasing the resolution and placing more strain on my eyes.

3) The missing start menu is a big deal. Some virtual ink has been spilled regarding this matter. Much more has been spilled lamenting it than defending it, at least. All I get from MS and Win8 apologists is that one can pin icons to the taskbar. Well, we know why that would be worse than useless to me. So what's left?

Some hay has been made of the fantastic search function in the start screen. There are two problem with that: a) it takes considerably more time to search than to use the start menu the way I use it (link to my desktop screen: http://diversitytomorrow.com/thread/189/7/#post5864 ), b) the much ballyhooed new search in Win8.1 searches the web as well as the "apps" and settings. So I invit you to imagine what happens when you search for an "app" with a name like "Word."

I can live with the Win8.1 desktop, provided I put in a start menu replacement. And I'm convinced Microsoft won't put it back in of its own free will, unless many things happen first (too many for this post).

Speaking of the search function that had even some Windows8 haters all atwitter, I found it lacking. I searched for "app switcher," because I couldn't bring it up. Keep in mind I did this while working in Win8.1 M/M/W interface, looking for a term specific to this interface. What I got from the web were mostly results about Apple iOS, then Android, and finally Windows. the problem may be with Bing, the search engine, but that is an MS product and it was MS's decision to integrate it into the OS.

4) The "charms" bar is awful. First you need to bring it up by moving tot he upper right corner. there's no other way I know of. In addition to bad ergonomics, it tends to get in the way of closing regular windows in the desktop (as I've mentioned before). I've used it mostly to tweak the PC, and that's where I keep bumping my head into one frustration after another.

Much as it did with Office, the headings are completely different from what I was used to from previous versions of Windows. Beyond that, some very simple options simply are not available. For example, Win8 boots into a lock screen first, regardless of any settings. Strike on. You need to click the mouse, or I imagine swipe a finger in a touch screen, in order to make it go away. But it's replaced by a request to log on using a password. Strike two. I've found no way to remove the need to enter a password. Strike three.

Yes, I know why having a password enabled might be a good idea. But I don't need one and I don't like it. So, fine, make it the default, but let us have a means of removing it.

When you consider this "feature," along with the removal of the start menu, one can't help but see MS is getting dictatorial in its designs. That's worse than all my other objections put together.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
August 10th, 2013 at 9:34:27 PM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 328
Posts: 11352
PS it's really too bad MS has made such a hash out of the interface(s) in this release. under the hood, Win8 has produced some notable improvements. I also tried restoring the PC to a fresh install. the process was reasonably easy to set up, and took under 20 minutes to complete. The new iteration of the task manager is very good and informative. the lack of "chrome" in the desktop trim does allow for faster operation (though even so the desktop is also too flat as compared even to Win95; I'd appreciate some depth back).

So here's an idea for a satire "A Tale of Two Operating Systems." You know: "It was the best of OSes, it was the worst of OSes...."
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.