103 posts • joined 25 Apr 2008
Microsoft got themselves into this mess and only have themselves to blame. Windows 8 was a decidedly half-baked release. Even the biggest fan of TIFKAM has to admit that the shutdown process for example was ridiculously convoluted and the whole interface was very immature.
This has meant MS scrabbling to release updated versions to fix Windows 8's shortcomings, and now MS is stuck in the hole of either supporting multiple versions of its OS, or discontinuing support for them. If they'd bothered to ensure that TIFKAM was properly implemented in the first place, they wouldn't have this issue.
And of course, a lot of Windows 8's problems from a perception point of view are down to the "stick" approach that MS used to push TIFKAM. They wanted in on mobile, so they made a deliberate decision to try and *force* it onto everyone. They went out of their way to disable registry hacks for beta versions of Windows 8 that re-enabled the start menu and decided that hitting with the stick was the right approach. You WILL use our new, convoluted and immature interface whether you like it or not.
Call me picky, but if there's one thing I DETEST, it's a company dictating to me exactly how I should use their products, exactly how I must use their interface, etc, all to try and drive that company into markets which do not concern me. The result is a deep personal hatred for Windows 8. Not just from a technical/interface point of view, but from a point of view of what it stands for.
The only thing MS can do to get around this really is to accept that Windows 8 and the stick approach has been a failure, add more options and customisability back into Windows (which they are slowly doing), and then kill off the Windows 8 brand altogether.
Like I say, all their own fault. the more you hit with the stick, the more people will resist as a matter of principle. And now with multiple versions to support or abandon, they're riling up even the adopters.
Re: Cuing the obligatory audiophile discussion regarding sample rates...
It's not the sample rate that bothers me, just the overall point of this. I simply do not see the point of introducing high-definition audio formats when the music industry is utterly and totally incapable of making proper use of the existing technology. Modern music (well, for about the last 15-20 years) sounds absolutely dreadful - not because of sample rates or MP3 compression, but because of the utterly abysmal mastering.
The fact is that almost all music since the mid-90s has been mastered and released without the slightest bit of interest in quality. Instead, it's all dynamically compressed into a lifeless brick-wall of fatiguing distortion and clipping. CDs from the late 80s and early 90s showed how good basic 44.1Khz 16bit stereo can sound, but the format has since been utterly abused by the industry.
In my opinion, this is what needs to be fixed first. Sod spending £17 on another copy of a classic album, just learn how to properly use and exploit the existing technology first before we worry about 92Khz, 24bit and surround sound. The old CD format has the potential to deliver MUCH better sounding music, if only the music industry would try exploiting that potential.
Agreed. Windows 3.1 had more going for it visually than the Windows 8 desktop. I've used it on a couple of machines and the bland, lifelessness of the Windows 8 desktop just feels depressing.
Re: Someone must be blind to think thats a Window 7 Start Menu
Just depends how tweakable it is. The impending return of the Start Menu is a good thing. However MS need to keep it tweakable. So long as I can tweak it to suit my needs, great! Now all they have to do is provide some desktop themes that dont look lifeless, flat and downright god-awful. Sorry MS, the Windows 8 desktop is just a dreary place to be. The Windows 7 desktop looks far more visually pleasing still.
Re: Isn't the iPad (and code) part of the deceased's property?
And this is an account which is set up on the iPad already (and hence locked), and which is in the name of a relative for whom they have the death certificate and will? Surely that combination of information rules out the chance of it being stolen from Joe Public.
Re: Am i the only one
It's likely to make a bit of noise, but not too much. I have an old SGI machine at home which has a 15K 3.5" system disk and although it's audible, the noise is surpisingly low. And as said, noise in a datacenter is less of an issue anyway due to cooling fans, aircon and the likes.
Re: Is this laptops as well?
Samsung make some very nice laptops. The Series 9 ones are sleek, robust and well built.
Sony always had dreadful support and this is a prime reason why I stopped buying their kit. Took them nearly a month to replace the motherboard in my sister's Vaio for example.
Then at work we bought a Vaio for a member of staff. Battery died just after a year and we were quoted nearly £250 for a replacement. They charged £45 for a set of driver disks for it (and even then they were fresh from someone's CD burner), the thing was piled to the gills with crapware and took hours to clean up into a usable state.
In fact, we had such a bad experience that we placed a block on buying any further Sony laptops - the only company that we had this with.
Sony make some nice hardware, but fail dismally with software and support, and the whole package is important when you're shelling out £1,000 for a supposedly premium product.
Bye bye Vaio, you won't be missed. Not by me anyway!
Re: What we want to know is...
Many people I know used it and learnt it - myself included. I can navigate around Windows 8 from TIFKAM, I can get into the control panel, shut down Windows etc. The problem is that I find TIFKAM to be less usable and less optimal than the Start menu. The Start menu was smaller, quicker and easier to use IMO.
TIFKAM is like Marmite. Some do admittedly love it, but too many people out there do not like it. Too many for a company like MS with around 90% of the desktop/laptop market to just force it unconditionally onto everyone without creating a backlash.
Re: Bring back Aero too
Agreed! Mixed case is easier to view without really thinking - hence why it's used on road signs and the likes. And I also bemoan the loss of rounded corners. Even Windows 3 had rounded corners...
The default themes in Windows 8 for the desktop are dire, and you can't add new ones without hacking about with system files. Even then, you cannot restore all the functionality that Windows 7 could do with the desktop visual elements.
MS: Add choice. Give people a choice of flashy/rounded UI themes or flat/square ones. Give them a choice of TIFKAM or Start Menu. Add choice and the complaints will go away.
Re: You're right about the screen!
It's a nice, high res, but has two drawbacks. Firstly, it's still 16:9, so an aspect ratio that is geared towards watching movies rather than producing work on. Secondly, it's a glossy screen and I HATE shiny reflections when I'm trying to get some work done.
Back in about 2007 at a previous job, I was fortunate enough to have access to a Dell Latitude D820 which had a 15.4" matte 1920x1200 screen. The clarity was excellent (and not too small that Windows looked bad - due to its poor DPI scaling) and programming on this machine was beautiful. Last I heard, it was still in use as there's simply nothing out there replacement-wise today that can match it screen wise.
Re: You're right about the screen!
"Can't we have 1680x1050 as a minimum, 1900x1200 for mid-range (think of it as Full HD with some extra space at the bottom for subtitles), and 2560x1600 for serious work?"
Now that would be beautiful. Just beautiful. I'd splash out right now if someone could make a 15" laptop with a 1920x1200 screen. They used to make them 4 years ago, but not anymore.
Agreed. I can just about accept a 1366x768 screen on a budget £400 laptop. But when I'm paying high prices, I don't expect a low-res, cheap-as-chips screen like this. Ideally I expect 16:10 of course for work because screen resolutions have actually gone backwards over the last few years (at work, we're replacing laptops that have 1280x800 res screens with 1366x768. For vertical space, that's a downgrade).
I still hate how you look at modern laptops and see such a fat bezel at the top and bottom to make up for where usable screen space used to be 3 years ago (this Toshiba is no exception).
Personally, I'd still go with the Samsung Series 9. <£900 and you get a very sleek ultrabook with a matte 1600x900 screen, backlit keyboard etc. It's not perfect, but it's still pretty decent, and it's a much better display than this!
Re: What's the point of upgrading
Precisely. Both my desktop PC and laptop are approaching 4 years old. Both are Core i5 (2.6GHz in the laptop, 3.2GHz in PC), 6-8GB of RAM, both now have SSDs. Only major upgrade I've made (apart from the SSDs) was to replace the budget graphics card in the PC, and even then it was to a £170 Radeon.
Result, it boots in a flash, can run Skyrim at 1920x1200 with all the detail on maximum. So, why replace it? Go back a few years and an upgrade to a dual/quad core CPU from an old single core CPU was quite noticeable, and ditching a clunky P4 made a world of difference. These days, if I spend hundreds of pounds replacing my PC with a Haswell system, I honestly doubt that I'd notice much difference over my old system.
Intel are right to focus on power efficiency improvements with Haswell, but for me the difference doesn't justify a new system - especially (laptop wise) when it'd mean downgrading to an awful 16:9 screen!
Re: You're banning it wrong
Apple products currently leave a nasty taste in my mouth*, to such a level that I find it morally wrong to buy one at the moment. Apple's incessant suing of everyone over tiny, petty and pointless details - especially when they didn't invent most of them themselves anyway - is really starting to grate - and that's before you even get to the walled-off App store and Apple's anti-competitive rules for app publising etc.
My stance was similar for several years with Sony over their dreadful attitude over the Rootkit scandal some time back, Ubisoft over their awfully invasive DRM, EA over their cannibalism and destruction of small gaming studios - just in case someone thinks I'm just anti-Apple.
As it is, I know from talking to friends that I'm not the only one who feels this way. Apple have to ultimately realise that constant legal action over petty details makes them look like a sad, desparate, petty and moaning company. Suing over bigger technical infringements is fair enough, but when they're suing Samsung over the little rubber band effect, or HTC over "slide to unlock", it just gets ridiculous.
Apple: Please grow up, or else this will end up costing you even more sales as punters become increasingly sick of your attitude to competition.
* Now that really IS holding it wrong!
First the layout, now this
Yet another calamity to hit them, following the awful roll out of their updated interface a couple of months back. In just 2 months, Yahoo Mail has gone from a powerful and flexible interface on top of a pretty reliable mail system, to a crippled, stripped out and lousy UI on top of a flaky mail system. Two reasons why I'm in the process of ditching my 14 year-old Yahoo Mail account...
Re: I had to Google how to find the Control Panel...
Although you are correct, having to resort to the search box to find basic functionality and underpinnings of the OS which have been there since the early 90s (and maybe even earlier) is a sure-fire way of accepting that the UI is a complete failure.
Re: Had enough of Microsoft.. start menu whingers
"At some some point in the evolution of their products all those vendors have to make a change & we consumers are obliged to accomodate those changes (by accepting or moving on)"
Rubbish. If Microsoft implement a crap interface and provide no way of working around it, I'm not forced to either accept it or move to a different OS (ie Linux). The third option is to shun that particular version of Windows, stick with one that works properly for what I use it for (Windows 7), then make damn sure that Microsoft is aware that I think Windows 8 is a mistake.
If everyone quietly accepts even when they disagree, MS will continue to steamroller over everyone. If enough people shun that version of Windows and complain, MS eventually are forced to react. They did it with Vista (by fixing it and calling it Windows 7), then they tried to do the same thing with Windows 8.1 (although not successfully - hence the continuing complains and the further planned concessions).
And to go back to the first point, nobody is demanding that MS get rid of Metro and force the Start Menu on everyone again. I'm fully aware that not everyone loves it. The only thing anyone is asking for is choice. MS used to provide this, Windows 8 is the first version that doesn't. That is the crux of the problem.
Me too. I will happily pay a few pounds for a decent game, and have done on many occasions. However, I want a one-off payment that will allow me to unlock and complete the game at a pace dictated by me. The "freemium" model is nothing short of a scam IMO and I will actively avoid any game that pushes it.
Re: are friends electric?
Sorry, I tried it, used it for a bit, and didn't like it. It has some nice features, but Metro was god-awful and the desktop just looked flat, lifeless and dull. Slapped Windows 7 back on and haven't looked back.
Windows 8 does have real promise, but there's just a few irritating "gotchas" that hold it back. With the option of a Start Menu, a few nicer themes and the option to turn off Metro on a desktop PC, it'd be great. However at the moment it's sadly lacking these options.
Re: Where's the matt screen?
In fact I've found it: http://www.pcpro.co.uk/blogs/2011/05/23/glossy-vs-matte-screens-why-the-pc-industrys-out-of-touch/
Scores seem to be 75% preference for matte, 13% for glossy and 13% for "undecided". I don't expect it to be completely impartial as a lot of those who responded will be matte screen fans that are annoyed by the abundance of glossy screens out there, but it seems to debunk the claim that a majority of users prefer glossy screens!
Re: The lack of upgrade option is slightly ironic
Agreed. I have a Lenovo X201 laptop from 2010. Core i5 with 2GB of RAM and an slow 160GB hard drive. It was definitely showing its age and ran rather sluggishly.
Now, it's got 6GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD and it boots in a flash and runs very fast and snappy. I've bought a good 2 or 3 years of extra life out of it and all for around £100. Plus it took less than 5 minutes to install both components. THAT is why I like a bit of basic upgradability in my laptops!
Re: Where's the matt screen?
PC Pro did a survey on that a year or two back and around 80% of people who responded claimed they preferred matte screens. Sure that means some that like glossy screens, but you'd be surprised how few do. Problem with matte is that you lose some of the "Look at the shiny shiny" effect from it, which is probably why Apple aren't doing one.
Personally, although I love the 16:10 aspect ratio, the lack of a matte option combined with being utterly unable to upgrade any part of it would be enough for me to say "No". I can understand lack of upgradability on a tablet or ultrabook, but on a proper laptop there's no excuse for it.
I generally agree. The biggest advantage of a high resolution snapper is the ability to incorporate better digital zoom. Set it to 8MP and you end up with about 2.5x zoom without loss of quality (as it effectively crops the 20MP image down to 8MP rather than down-sampling it. At 20MP though, all it does is fill your storage up quicker.
Re: yea google F*ck you
A single sign-on which *requires* you to provide your full name and various other personal details, just to leave a comment on a video. Gone are the days when an e-mail address and password were sufficient.
Excellent as always!
And nice to get two in quick succession as well!
Re: This is why...
I agree. I resisted the urge to move to Chrome a few years back and the latest Firefox versions are very good. In fact in recent reviews I've seen, the latest Firefox build has shown to be faster and more stable than Chrome. Oh how the tables have turned compared with how sluggish Firefox used to be a few years back!
Re: Is there anybody who approves of this?
Fair enough, I won't then. I've repaired an iPhone 3G before as they're fairly easy to disasemble (and replacing the screen on one myself was FAR cheaper than getting Apple to do it). Other than that, I'll stick with my Samsung phone which has a user-replaceable battery and an iFixit score of 9/10. At least I know if I drop it that replacing the screen is possible.
And even if I can't do it myself, the higher the iFixit score, the cheaper it's likely to be for a 3rd party repairer to do the job. Take an iPad Air to the guy on the market and I bet half of them will just refuse these days.
Re: The point is
"I can't replace the engine (myself) in my car either..."
Actually, you can if you remove the correct bolts then winch it out. That's because your engine is held in place with nuts/bolts and not with glue. Hence with the right spanners and time, you can remove and re-insert your engine as many times as you like without any damage at all. Just because you don't want to doesn't mean it's not possible.
With an iShiny though (or a Surface, or an HTC One for that matter), the risk of damaging it due to the copious amounts of glue means it's a very difficult task indeed.
Re: Is there anybody who approves of this?
Can I offer the suggestion that it's not the actual battery itself that the iFixit guy is complaining about, but the way that it's been fixed to the case with half a ton of glue? Perhaps half a ton of glue where a couple of screws or a couple of small blobs of glue would have been equally sufficient?
Here we go again...
Whilst I understand the need for patents, I'm really not sure about the idea of buying "ideas" and then using that to sue other companies.
"Is the system running slow today?"
I have genuinely lost count of how many times I've been asked that. Or the other classic "Is the system down?". No further info, no slightest hint as to what they're doing, just "the system".
I think next time someone asks me that, I'll also have to fire up Google Earth....
And yay for a new BOFH on a Friday morning!!!
Tablets may play a minor role, but try learning programming or even word processing, spreadsheets or databases on one. ICT is supposed to be about teaching production skills and tablets are (by and large) consumer devices. Either way, I don't think the time of the school PC is over just yet!
Flash for ads...
I'm still amazed that so many ads run via Flash wheny you consider that this effectively auto-blocks them from mobile phone/tablet browsers. Not that I'm complaining about the relatively ad-free experience I automatically get on my phone of course!
Reminds me of a few years ago when HP fired a bullet through one of their disk arrays. That one did actually survive (well obviously, or else they wouldn't have shown the footage). I'm intrigued to see how this one pans out!
Re: they really have nothing
Show me an Apple product with a design like that.
On the other hand, a Lenovo device with a 16:10 display! All they need to do now is buy a few more and pop them into some laptops. Then they'll have a product I'll actually want to buy...
Still a pigging mess
I live in hope that at some point, there'll be none of this "moderate restrictions" grey, blurry line crap. Instead, the ASA and broadband companies might start to actually report the truth. Have a service with no limits or throttling? use the term "unlimited". If you do apply throttling/limits, you don't call it "unlimited". It'd be simple, easy to follow and truthful.
Until that time however, we'll still be stuck in this crap situation where broadband companies are allowed to bluntly and blatantly lie about the services they offer whilst getting away with it scott free.
Re: Fondleslab Disc?
Agreed. I'd be much happier if Apple would just swallow their pride and slap a USB port onto the iPad for additional storage. That way you could carry around 1TB of videos if you really wanted, but wouldn't be stuck with the drive inside the casing.
Please explain why the Galaxy S4 copies the iPhone? It looks completely different, screen size is different, OS looks different, etc.
This "Samsung copies Apple" excuse is getting old. Maybe old Samsungs such as the SII did hold a striking resemblance to Apple products, but for the last two years or more, Samsung phones/tablets have been very different from both a looks and functionality point of view.
Did you read the article? Even Apple will have a tough job replacing a battery that's glued in place and also glued to delicate ribbon cables!
I've just upgraded the RAM in my laptop from 2GB to 6GB, and replaced the mechanical 160GB HDD with a 128GB SSD. Took all of 5 minutes and has revolutionised the performance of it. It also only cost me around £100 to do. Changing the battery is also a 30 second job if required.
Why? Because it's a Thinkpad, not a Macbook Pro. I could also do the same with laptops from Dell, Samsung, Fujitsu, HP, oh you get the point. With a Macbook in the future, I'm either stuck with crappy performance, or facing a £1,000 replacement. I don't expect to be able to replace everything, but a couple of the basics would be a start!
Re: screen went blotchy, bad hard drive, bad NVIDIA Geoforce graphics card
You said the third party repairer warped the case. Do you think that a slightly more accessible design would have prevented this? When you have to pry half a ton of glue apart with a heat-gun, the chances of damaging it go up a LOT. In the future, all third party repairers will simply refuse to touch your Apple products.
I can just about understand this type of construction for ultrabooks and tablets. When it's a full-blown laptop though that's being sealed together with glue, there is simply NO EXCUSE.
I'm another person who loves the design of the Macbook Pro (16:10 screens!!), but won't buy one until Apple can start building them properly. I replaced the RAM and HDD in my Mac Mini to extend its life, I expect to be able to do the same if I buy a Macbook Pro.
Re: @AC Agree with Woz
You realise you can get 64GB MicroSD cards at not ridiculous prices? I've got one in my Galaxy SIII. Just two of those and you've got the 128GB storage expansion that he's asking for. And I'm pretty sure I could manage a way of tracking the contents on the two of them. Maybe A-M on one and N-Z on the other perhaps? Or is that too complicated for you?
Re: £150 on amazon for a 256GB
That was a good 12 years ago! Do you honestly think that Hitachi could continue to produce seriously failure prone hard drives for over TEN YEARS without massive ramifications? Yes, certain models of Deathstars had issues, but the worst of these were ironed out by the 120GXP range, which is when they were still under IBM ownership. By the time Hitachi bought the business and the 120GXP and 180GXP drives were retired, the issue was pretty much history.
Ever since then, Hitachi drives have been no worse than Seagate or Western Digital drives.
Re: Thanks El Reg
It's important for so many reasons. Earlier iPhones were fairly easy to repair and as a result, old/dead ones were still worth something to the 3rd party repairers. I got £30 for my dead iPhone 3G because the digitiser was still intact and could be easily removed from the device (no glue at all) and fitted as a replacement on another dropped iPhone. If the board goes in your Surface, it's worth nothing as it's such a faf to try and get any usable components out of the thing.
No matter what the device, there's no excuse for glue and close to 100 screws.
Re: Battery Life
Sorry, but not true. Lithium Ion batteries don't suffer from the memory effect of NiCads and (to a lesser degree) NiMH batteries. What they do suffer from though is shortage of life and possible failure if completely and utterly discharged.
Of course, leaving one constantly plugged in and charging won't do it any good either, but letting a Lithium Ion battery run right down is not a good idea.
Re: trackball. Trackball again, and once more.
Up-voted for the 16:10 screens. At my previous job I was in charge of IT purchasing so quickly sorted a couple of nice 16:10 screens for my desk - much better than horrible 16:9 ones. I did also try to buy these for users too mind you where I could! At my current place, that's not possible, so I've gone for 3 19" 4:3 screens instead. Not quite as good, but still nice enough! One guy opposite went the whole hog and brought in two 27" screens from home for himself.
My favourite desk gadget is a USB coffee warmer that actually works! I've seen so many that are crap, yet the one I have does a great job of preventing my coffee from cooling down to "yuck" temperatures - handy if I get called away from my desk for a bit, and it was only a tenner from IWOOT.
I largely agree with you, but you're a bit out with your volume agreements. My previous employer had an OVS agreement and had 250 employees. And believe me, an OVS agreement is useful when it comes to rolling out new versions of Office etc. without having to purchase, install and activate hundreds of individual copies!
Other than that, I agree. And the problem (largely) IMO is the cost of the OS. When you're making and selling a device for a few hundred pounds, the difference between a free OS (Android) and a £100 OS is quite sizeable.
Re: Won't be sad
Hang on, a key supplier rips us off and only stocks outdated kit and I'm not allowed to have a dig at RM for it?
The fact that I was leant on considerably to buy them from RM (our preferred supplier, after all, we were an educational establishment and they specialised in education!). It took a lot of discussions with RM (no, we definitely don't ship those), discussions with other suppliers (yep, here's some shiny Core 2 Duo systems that are cheaper and much faster than your RM systems), followed by lots of wrangling with my boss who was reluctant to change suppliers. Either way, it was a lot more work than it would have been if RM had simply bothered to update the specs of their systems. Still, I was happy with the eventual outcome (and RM lost a willing customer at the same time).
As for the warranties, £80 for a one year extension per PC is a complete rip-off. Especially worsened by the fact that they wouldn't group the PCs together and give us a group-warranty coverage. £2,000 for one year of warranty for a small lab of PCs is daylight robbery. Even for 3 years it's be quite steep. We told RM where to go and our new supplier (Stone) shipped us better systems with a free 5-year on-site warranty. Much better! If you rip off your customers, eventually some of them will move elsewhere.
RM PCs were expensive for what they were, had dated specs, and outrageously expensive warranties.
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