181 posts • joined Wednesday 31st October 2007 23:34 GMT
Re: use on a network....
I remember playing Doom on Sun workstations -- already networked, it all just worked together. Great deathmatches.
Re: Getting used to Windows 8
Agree. To "get used to" Windows 8 I'd have to use it, and there's not much danger in that. My work is just now upgrading to Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008, and they tend to stick with an OS until it's not supported anymore. We've been using Windows XP for 13 years. We'll probably stick with 7 for a decade. A lot can happen in that time. Microsoft will either come to their senses (Ballmer leaving may help with that) or some other platform will become more interesting.
wow, there's so much wrong with this...
... I don't know where to begin.
Tablets are *not* the wave of the future. They are the wave of a future for a particular group of people -- the content consumers. One could even stipulate that most PC users are content consumers the great majority of the time.
But to have content to consume, you need content creators. Other than taking a low quality photo and drawing a moustache on it, tablets suck at content creation. There will still be a need for PCs. I'll be happy to revisit this when Adobe produces a usable touch-only version of their Creative Suite. (I know, they're working on this for some pieces of the suite, but they're not working very hard, partly because of the perception -- warranted -- that content creators do not use tablets.)
And this brings us to Windows 8. It's a little screwy but somewhat usable on a touch-only device, (although for some things you will still have to attach the optional keyboard) but on a desktop machine, the machine on which content is created, it's pants. I'm sure Microsoft knows this; they're not idiots. But they pushed on anyway, no doubt thinking that they'll make enough on the Surface to balance the losses they'll experience in the desktop model.
"Intuitive?" Are we talking about the same Windows 8? Ok, you have never seen Win8 before. I hand you a slab. You can scrape your finger across the screen, see some squares which don't always tell you exactly what they are. Some have dynamic content. You touch one, and an app opens up. Ok, now I want to do something else. HOW DO YOU DISMISS THE APP? There's nothing obvious to press -- no conveyance -- to tell you what to do next. How do you get to the control panel? How do you turn the damned thing off? All of these questions have answers, but you have to learn them elsewhere, or divine them by random scraping similar to finding easter eggs in a first person shooter.
iOS? Intuitive, yes, if somewhat limited and boring. Android? Intuitive enough that my 73 year old mother can pick one up and make it do stuff. But Windows 8? It should be renamed WTF, because that's the phrase you'll be repeating over and over.
Moore's Law didn't need to continue indefinitely, it only needed to continue until PCs are Good Enough. And now they are. There are still performance bumps possible -- denser memory, faster disk (mechanical or solid state), better caching algorithms, but commodity computers are Fast Enough for most people right now. Computers that are not upgradable seem wasteful to me, but it is what it is. If the computer starts out Fast Enough, and is cheap enough, I'm happy with replacing it when my requirements change.
From Task Manager, I list 18 apps currently running, 40 processes and close to 60 services. The CPU Usage tab shows all these disparate programs running roughly evenly across all four cores. Even with only 1 app running, I still have a pantload of processes and services, more or less evenly distributed across the cores.
So no, unless you're running Lotus 123 from a Dos prompt, you can't help but have many many things churning around just under the surface, even if you don't realize that this is the case. "If you run just one app you need only one core" is an idiotic statement for anyone who professes to write for a technical website. Multiple cores really do buy you a lot in an OS with proper multitasking. It's almost as if the author is making a case for single tasking because Metro tends to run apps full screen -- getting us used to the idea that no, we really didn't want to do more than one thing at a time. It just doesn't fly.
There's a LOT more wrong with the article, but I'm out of time and need to get back to work. In summary, the entire article tries to wrap up some idiotic conclusions in a few half-truths and some outrageous ... well, let's call them Misunderstandings. We aren't going to an all-tablet world anytime soon. Windows 8 continues to be Pants, and was probably Ballmer's worst mistake in a long series of arrogant blunders.
My company allows a choice -- iphone, several Android models and a single Windows Phone. As an IT guy, I see mostly iphones, 100% in executive row, and the great majority of managers and would-be execs. It appears to be the thing to have.
We also support the ipad for some company apps, but not Android tablets, and we have completely ignored the Surface.
Amongst geeks Android phones are somewhat more popular than iphone.
I have yet to see anyone, *anyone* in the company, choose a Windows Phone. I strongly suspect that if the company forced the issue, it would bring us back to the bad old days, where we carried two phones. A company phone because we have to, and a personal phone because that's the one we use.
I don't see this changing, and the primary reason is, the people who would sign off on the decision to force Windows Phone are all using iphones, and they don't want to give them up. So Exchange administrators will have to deal with that.
Re: What is it this week?
As in the article, the cause for sudden non-working and the necessity to reinstall drivers is "drive by updates" that happen in the middle of the night. "automatically install updates" may seem like a good idea, but it really isn't. On all of our machines, I periodically run update and choose which patches are installed. And if a device is working, I decline to install driver updates. Because at that point the very best you could hope for is that the device continues to do what it's already doing.
Re: If I wanted a laptop...
I think that touch versions of media creation utilities would work fine, if the companies involved would design the interface appropriately for touch. After all, the mouse apes physical manipulation. Microsoft's early attempts to provide a touch interface had touch gestures aping a mouse which apes physical manipulation. No wonder it sucked.
For instance, I use Adobe Lightroom a lot. There is no frakking reason why Lightroom couldn't be a completely touch-oriented application. It just needs someone to come up with a reasonable interface. (I'm told that there is an (as in one (1) single) engineer working on this at Adobe.)
When Lightroom works in some reasonable fashion on a tablet, IOS or Android, I'll dump my Windows laptop and never look back.
Re: Office = a selling point?
Agreed, but Microsoft never really "got" tablets. They've tried in the past to make Windows work on tablets, mostly by repurposing Accessibility features, and it really didn't catch on. (Those of us who had to use it would say "for good reason".) They don't "get" that the tablet is a different kind of device, having a different usage model, and requiring a completely different interface paradigm, and that plus Microsoft's overriding mission to have one single code base for all devices, tends to produce abominations like Windows 8, which is too much touch paradigm for desktop use but not touch paradigm enough for touch devices, causing desktop users to struggle to find mouse workarounds for touch gestures, and for Surface users to struggle to use it on tablets without a keyboard.
And you can kinda see their predicament. As far as tablets are concerned, Microsoft has nothing to bring to the table. Zip, nada. The entire tablet market does not fit into Microsoft's business model in a fundamental way. Microsoft sells operating systems. On Apple and Android tablets, the operating system is free. Microsoft sells office suites. The tablet usage model lends itself to *viewing* documents, (for which there are various free apps -- I use quickoffice) but not for *creating* documents. Therefore, having Office on a tablet is not a selling point. Which means the Surface needs to be marketed as a mini-laptop, not a tablet. And around in circles it goes.
Microsoft is really between a rock and a hard place. Apple and Google have positioned the tablet business model to be the antithesis of the Microsoft business model. (Which I'm sure was deliberate.) And this makes it a real struggle for Microsoft to compete in that space.
> We've asked our pals at Apple for a comment, and (when) if they respond we'll update.
Likely, they'll respond when they finish laughing themselves sick.
But seriously, these days both parties appear to be living in somewhat of a dream world. Microsoft is still apparently in denial that their cunning plan (of putting a phone OS on the desktop and a keyboard on a slab) hasn't resulted in humongous sales, and Apple seems to think they piss perfume. I think they're both wrong, although Microsoft is more wrong than Apple.
Re: What about fitness-for-purpose?
> Good luck with your 13 year old car.
Shrug. We have one 13 year old car, and one 19 year old car, and they still run fine, thanks. We haven't had to make a car payment in a very long time.
Also still running Windows XP and Office 2000 at home.
The similarity is this: The purpose for a car is not to own a car, but to have personal transportation. The car still fills that need, so there's no reason to replace it, until it gets more expensive to maintain than payments on a new car. And please, don't go on about leaded gas -- that went away over 30 years ago, and mostly only affects collectors now.
Similarly, the Windows XP machine exists to load programs and provide a certain set of system resources. While it continues to do that, there's no point in replacing it. One does the normal stuff -- don't use IE, run a current antivirus, (I use AVG) and run behind a properly configured router. But that's normal stuff that a cautious user does anyway.
We need to remember, the OS is not the application. The OS exists to load applications. As long as it continues to do that adequately, there's no reason to upgrade.
> A witty wag could argue we need all that anyway just to carry on as we have...
One might even argue that going from WinXP to Ubuntu is a smaller leap than going from WinXP to Win8.
XP works. Win7 is basically XP with transparent frames for $150 more. Win8 sucketh mightily. XP is stable and runs all the legacy stuff. For the great majority of the rank and file, there's no reason to take action, other than vague warnings of some future doom. Kinda like global warming.
I beg to differ. I have a Windows 8 convertible (asus) with a stylus and it's absolutely pants on Windows 8. This must be a very unusual definition of "just fine".
Re: Microsoft don't seem to get it.
...because making incremental improvements and adding a "2" on the end is all they know.
"Windows 8. No thanks. Definitely no, thanks. No, no, no, no." - sounds like a knee-jerk "I hate Microsoft" reaction.
"Price: no thanks" - fair enough.
I dunno... I have Win7 at work and at home, and get along with it. I have Win8 on a convertible, and it's essentially shelfware. I may give it another try when 8.1 comes out, but I consider the device essentially unusable at this time.
So, it's possible to not want Windows 8, not due to a knee jerk "I hate Microsoft" or "I stood out in the rain to get my latest trendy brushed metal fruit box" but simply because "I tried it, and in my professional opinion, it sucked."
> Prices for the Surface 2 start at $450 for a base-spec unit and $900 for the Surface Pro.
Let's PLEASE stop continuing this misconception. The Surface 2 and Surface Pro (Surface 2 Pro) are two different products, with different architectures, and they are not software compatible with each other. The Pro purports to run Windows PC apps. The Surface 2 will only run the paltry handful of Windows apps compiled for the ARM processor.
Users interested in the Surface product line must be very careful about this. I can't imagine that more than a tiny, tiny fraction of the consumers interested in the Surface product line want to buy one because of how cool the form factor is and how nifty the GUI. They want to buy one in the belief that they are slates that will run their existing PC applications, being the best of both worlds. Yes, exactly in the Borg sense, but never mind. This (backwards compatibility) is the ONLY reason to buy one of these overpriced devices.
The problems are these:
1) Windows PC apps will "run" on the Surface Pro, but because legacy apps are not touch enabled, to use them effectively requires a keyboard and a mouse. Hence, you are technically running your app on a slate, but you're not using the slate in the way slates are generally understood to be used.
2) Windows PC apps will not run AT ALL on a Surface RT or a Surface 2. This can not be said enough times. If you buy an ARM based Surface, it must be with the understanding that the only apps you can use are the ones that come with the device and whatever is in the Windows RT marketplace. If you're buying an ARM based Surface, you need to be satisfied that you prefer the Surface form factor and the Win8 interface enough to put up with the lack of apps.
....for "talk like a pirate" day.
Re: Apple makes consumer products
> Microsoft is more business oriented. They don't really "get" consumers
Agree. I think Win8 proves the rule in a different way -- it tries to be consumer oriented, fails, and the collateral damage is that it's not business oriented either.
Re: Ninth Doctor?
I suspect Hurt is meant to be the eighth doctor, and the plot will have something to do with the time war, that's only been alluded to so far.
If so, I really like Hurt, am sure he'll do a great job, but part of me wants Paul McGann for the part.
and this is a good thing how?
OK, so a dying company buys a nearly dead company, inheriting as CEO the very person responsible for "nearly dead", and this is a bold move?
Microsoft seems to be between a rock and a hard place -- everyone else is selling hardware with free software, and that's the opposite of Microsoft's model. So getting into hardware might seem a good move, except this strands all the hardware manufacturers with whom they currently have deals. I wonder how that's going to work out.
Re: Been looking
I have an Acer with a touch screen, running Windows 8. Nothing makes running Win 8 a joy.
Re: I'm a MSFT Fan But.....
"Nope, quite the contrary, they know the corporate market has no option but to swallow whatever comes of microsoft 's ass,"
I have to disagree. Many corporations gave Vista a pass, for instance. Machines that were delivered with Vista were re-imaged with the corporate copy of Windows XP. It was one of the reasons XP has been in the field so long.
Re: 100 million
"If the product was designed for purpose a utility - designed and available from a non-trusted, non-secure third party, no less - should not be needed. It should have been built-in. A settings choice. An optional manufacturer-supplied component install. A user profile switch."
Moreover, once that mistake was apparent, they had a SECOND OPPORTUNITY to fix it with Windows 8.1.... and chose not to. Were this a boxing match, I'd begin to suspect that Ballmer was throwing the fight.
(A side issue is that no corporation is going to plan to deploy a product that relies on a third-party free (and thus untrusted) utility.)
Re: 100 million
" I hated the Windows XP start menu, but I didn't go around claiming it was made for touch, or Windows was therefore a flop."
Really REALLY bad example. One setting change would turn off the garish XP look and give you the classic Windows look and feel. Same is true with Windows 7. (All my XP and Win7 machines are running the classic look.) If Win8 had this feature, we wouldn't be having this conversation.
Re: I'm a MSFT Fan But.....
And it's ugly! Geeze, they could at least have made it visibly appealing.
Re: I'm a MSFT Fan But.....
Sorry, we have a convertible running Win8, and it doesn't work *well* in either mode. There are things that need touch and things that can't be done via touch, and basic phone-isms (like all metro apps being full screen) that don't make sense on a larger than 5 inch screen. It's clumsy enough to make it a chore even for standard Windows apps, resulting in going back to the Windows XP laptop it was supposed to replace. I don't recall ever being so profoundly disappointed in a computer purchase. Current plan is to upgrade to 8.1 when the update is finally released to mere mortals, and then find a new home for it.
I know, I know, we're all whiners who should just buck up and take whatever Microsoft gives us and LIKE it.
And there was a time when you just had to grit your teeth and work through it. Not true anymore.
Re: I'm a MSFT Fan But.....
"That being said, how many companies would have migrated to Windows 8 anyway? Many are still trying to get to 7, so in Ballmer's defence, going after the consumer space was not a a bad idea."
A reasonable point. The problem is, it appears consumers hated it too. It's not just a business/consumer issue. It's a touch vs traditional PC issue. Come out with a touch-friendly OS, fine. Microsoft REALLY needed to do that. But force non-touch, traditional laptops and desktop PCs to use an inappropriate touch paradigm, only for the sake of forcing an ecosystem? Screw that. If I'm a non-geek and I just bought a conventional laptop, what is this crap?? Double screw that. If I'm the geek that has to help the non-geek try to live with his Windows 8 non-touch laptop? Triple screw that.
Windows 8 is a superb example of a company thinking they can dictate the marketplace, because they always had been able to do it in the past, and finding out it didn't work anymore. Coming out with a touch-oriented interface wasn't the mistake. Again, that was something Microsoft needed to do. Insisting that it be used on a non-touch device, when Microsoft mostly sells software that runs on non-touch devices, was a HUGE mistake.
In one place I worked, our machines would have most of their problems on Thursdays. Different machines, different architectures, different models of storage devices... we couldn't figure it out. This was a raised floor, halon protected computer room with a combination lock on the door.
So, with nothing else to try, one Wednesday I prepared to spend the night in the computer room. Sure enough, about 2:00 AM the cleaning crew came in with a big buffer machine, preparing to run it over the raised tiles.
I chased them out and next day confronted the facilities manager about (a) giving the cleaning crew the combination to a secure room, and (b) letting them bang a floor buffing machine against our disk arrays.
He looked at me like a guy who'd seen his first kangaroo. He couldn't fathom why I wouldn't want the floors polished in the computer room. I finally gave up, got some tools, took the lock apart, and changed the combination.
As I write this, I now realize that I did not pass on the combination when I left the company. Oops.
Re: They did it before.
Interestingly enough, Windows 98 is still in use in point of sale machines (yes, computers that actually HANDLE MONEY).
Re: Holy Crap (TM), I have to give my 2c worth here.
Yeah, the problem is, the OS is just there to load my applications. I don't need a new OS, and I don't need a new computer just to be able to run a new OS in order to run my existing application. So, no. Sorry. Don't care how long it's been. Mere age is not in and of itself a reason to replace a computer that is still doing the job.
Is there a basic flaw in this reasoning?
Is it just me, or does this entire argument predicate that the bad guys were *not* aware of these vulnerabilities for YEARS before Microsoft decided to patch them?
Seems to me that the issue also being present in XP means by definition that the issue has existed since 2001. Are we to believe that Microsoft is so much better at finding security defects than the average criminal programmer that exploits found 12 years after release had not yet been found by said criminal? In substantial numbers?
If you believe that, I have a version of Windows 8 that doesn't suck to sell you.
Seriously, the ONLY motivation for this announcement is to scare you into buying another copy of Windows.
Re: offer says it expires on August 29th
> Like the RT, this is the start of a fire sale.
At fire sale prices, it might be interesting. Oh, what was I thinking? It runs Windows 8. There is no price cheap enough.
Although most of me thinks they're firing the wrong people, a reorg isn't necessarily a bad thing. When you have a problem and you don't know the cause, changing something (anything) and see if the problem changes is a reasonable strategy.
Of course, if you don't know the cause and everyone else in the world does and you refuse to listen to them, whatever you change probably won't end happily, but it'll probably be entertaining for the rest of us.
It'll be windows phone
I can't imagine HP not going with Windows Phone 8. Their biggest partner is Microsoft, which isn't above using its stranglehold to "guide" hardware manufacturers in the right direction. It'll be Win8. And it will fail, of course. But HP will be "in the game", after a fashion.
Ok, time to go back to 7
I bought Win8 when they were offering that special deal at a very low price. Loaded it on a Win7 laptop with a touch screen (since Win7 doesn't really know what to do with a touch interface). It sucked. From what I'm reading 8.1 does not fix the basic issues with the UI. So I'm thinking I'll restore Win7 from the recovery partition and then give the laptop away. I've got other laptops, and it'd bug me that this one has a useless touch screen.
Why is latency so high?
We switched from an overloaded Exchange server to Office 365 and immediately noticed a pronounced delay in mail delivery, up to minutes, accompanied by occasional refusal to recognize user credentials, causing temporary email outages on a random, individual basis. The portion of the company still on Exchange are not seeing these symptoms. Comments?
Linux? probably not
Much more likely to be Android. Which is not necessarily a bad thing.
Re: XP cleverly slowed down to a crawl as the years went by!!
Computers used at two grocery chains in my area still show the Windows 98 splash screen on boot. I have observed this personally.
not just the lack of tablets
>> Part of the reason why Win 8 was a initially a damp squib was the lack of touch tablets or PCs on the market which could take advantage of the Metro interface TIFKAM.
Hmm. Well. Perhaps. But speaking as someone who has only ever used it on a hybrid with a touchscreen, I have to say that *most* of the reason why Win 8 was and continues to be a damp squib is that it SUCKS. Even on a touch screen device. I can sorta see how this might be useful on a phone, but laptop or larger it's pants.
Re: Start Icon != Start Menu. This the problem.
But that does not gives you a start menu. It gives you an ugly collection of square blotches of color, which appear to represent applications, with no hierarchical grouping visual clues, that takes up the entire 22 inch screen while showing only a fraction of the choices, having to be scraped back and forth to expose the rest of the blotches. It's a mess.
I'm writing this on Windows 7. When I hit the Windows key, I get a real menu, and I can choose to bring up a new application while leaving my current open windows in place. I have a Windows 8 machine, but haven't touched it in weeks, because a real user workflow does not work on the device. It's probably fine for casual browsing (which I do on my phone anyway, but never mind) but is a definite step backwards for real work.
There's so much that failed here, I don't know where to begin. The start button -- I had a feeling they would just change the graphic rather than change the behavior. As if the graphic was the issue. How condescending.
As I write this, I have nine apps appearing on my 1920 X 1200 screen. If I upgrade this box, I will only be able to effectively display two apps. That's such a total wet-fart fail that I am at a loss for words.
An effective company would fire the person responsible for these decisions. It appears that Microsoft is no longer an effective company.
At this point, it looks like I'll be using Windows 7 until I just can't use it anymore, and then switch to something else. Maybe Chrome or OSX. What a total incredible botch.
We actually have a laptop with a touchscreen that's running Windows 8.0. (Because Windows 7 doesn't do anything reasonable with a touch screen.) Nobody uses it because it's very frustrating and time consuming to use, and some things (like comparing data from multiple apps displayed simultaneously) can't be done at all.
We'll upgrade this appliance to Windows 8.1 because it's free, and then I'll try to find a home for it.
> They forced desktop user to use metro so those same desktop users would know how to use their tablets when they came out.
Exactly. And that didn't even take a great deal of thought. Windows Mobile 6 and earlier was the Desktop (including start button and walking menus) pushed to mobile devices, on the theory that people would gravitate to something they were already used to. The only difference here is that someone said "We tried pushing desktop onto mobile devices; it didn't sell. Let's push the mobile interface onto the desktop that's surely a winner." And of course, all it did was suppress desktop sales.
The Q10 is really tempting. I've been carrying an Android phone for three years. I switched to Android during an extended BES outage. But after three years I still can't type as quickly or as comfortably as I could on my old Tour. And what Blackberry excelled at, better than any iOS, Android or (shudder) Windows phone, is that it is a PHONE first. The Tour excelled as a phone, over and above any Android or iOS based smartphone.
I'm really tempted to switch back to Blackberry. Will have to think about this.
ESPECIALLY since it's an inescapable part of the i-culture that users must swap phones every time an incremental improvement is shat out, or run the risk of not being hip. So what do users do the first time an i-phone comes out that won't fit in their i-car? Replace the car? Wow, if VW can get away with that, they'd be set for life.
Re: Crappy software is better than the browser version
> Its all violently annoying to setup but once you are there it is really useful
This is part of the problem I have with the entire concept. It appears to be made for people who don't want to have to fiddle with a complicated A/V setup, but on the other hand, the device itself takes a fair amount of fiddling over a significant amount of time by a knowledgeable individual in order to do its job. It seems to be more for bragging rights than for actual use.
Re: Who are they kidding?
Alternately, you spend entirely too much on an Harmony for your huge home cinema setup, and all your friends point and laugh while you try to get the durn thing to behave, finally in frustration going back to the native remotes to get anything done.
I paid $250 (US) for an early Harmony, and after five weeks it became shelfware. It my communicate with a gazillion devices, but my receiver was not one of them. It was verrrryryyyyyyy slloooowww to do anything, and often did the wrong thing.
I think these remotes work best in households with one alpha geek and one luddite. The alpha geek is necessary to debug and program the durn thing. The luddite must have an unreasoning fear of A/V systems with more than one component. The geek is forever tweaking the Harmony to find some combination of settings that will make the luddite comfortable with turning the TV on and finding something to watch.
Finally, the geek gives up, the Harmony collects dust, and the family goes back to the original remotes. (Try an armchair remote cozy. It at least keeps them all together.)
Re: April Fools!
I have to agree. I had the SCO graph from Yahoo stocks up on my wall for a long time. The one where it moves along like a regular stock, and then the verdict comes through, and it dives straight into the dirt. So satisfying.
- It's true, the START MENU is coming BACK to Windows 8, hiss sources
- Pic NASA Mars tank Curiosity rolls on old WET PATCH, sighs, sniffs for life signs
- How UK air traffic control system was caught asleep on the job
- Google embiggens its fat vid pipe Chromecast with TEN new supported apps
- Microsoft: Don't listen to 4chan ... especially the bit about bricking Xbox Ones