* Posts by Headwest

5 posts • joined 15 Jul 2008

Windows 8.1: 'It's good for enterprises, too,' says Redmond

Big Brother

All members of Oceania must show appropriate enthusiasm during Hate Week ...

Future sociologists will have a field day with the Windows 8 bashing phenomenon - A ready-made study into group behaviour. Can so many screen inches of nonsense ever have been wasted on anything other topic?

Speaking as a Windows 8 tablet user (what! you mean you actually used it before commenting?) it seems to me that the Start Screen is semantically identical to the Start Menu of Windows 7 but a whole lot better. When I used XP I obsessively tidied my Start Menu so I knew where everything was but I can't remember the last time I explored it on Windows 7 - you just type. So who cares if you can't explore your programs easily - no sensible user has done that since XP. The Windows 8 Start Screen is identical in behaviour to Windows 7 - there are either things pinned to it or you just type. In operation then it is essentially a beefed up Start Menu that makes better use of the whole screen with a desktop that is unchanged. The Start button in 8.1 is perhaps welcome during the transition from previous Windows versions but is essentially a duplicate of the keyboard key, screen button and charm - so now 4 ways to get there...

Where Microsoft has done less well is in communicating this. It took me a while to discover half the gestures in Windows 8 (like 'semantic zooms' and 'snapping two apps' which I found by accident) but that's my own fault for skipping the video intro on first boot because I thought I knew it...

So the herd is currently Microsoft-bashing but herds are irrational, volatile things - who will be the next target for the two-minutes of hate?


Viewsonic Viewpad 10e tablet


"only Android tablet with an iPad-like aspect ratio" ? - except the Archos 80 G9 I bought for my daughter (and now constantly borrow). Dual Core, USB charging, Honeycomb, GPS, 8Gb built in + real Android market out of the box with ICS to come. Add £43 for 3G

Ah - it's only 8" I hear you say (thereby anticipating the iPad Mini by about a year). My mistake - the 10" one is (1280x800) so I guess doesn't count as it's better than the iPad. Street price of the 80 G9? £199.

Come on El Reg - keep up!

(Oh and the Kogan 10" I bought first is also 1024x768 and £179 but that is another story...)


All-in-One Inkjet Printers: Best Buys


HP Printer Software

I was feeling pretty smug having bought the HP Officejet 6500 but I have to agree with the software comment.

The HP software takes at least 20 minutes to install (what can it possibly be doing?), insists on reverting to 'Letter' paper whenever your back is turned (you can't overwrite the default presets) and has a habit of reporting things as printed when they've been poured down a black hole somewhere. I've also had to remove and re-install on occasions to get it printing at all.

Printer drivers used to arrive on one floppy disk - how hard can they be?


Was Microsoft's Office 2010 worth killing Clippy?


Bring back Office95

I've found numbered lists baffling since I moved off Office 95...


Criminal record checks could hit over 14 million people


And then you can multiply it by ten...

I've heard nothing in all this about the multiple CRB checks required for each individual. My wife is up to about 5 current ones so far (3 as a supply teacher in 3 different authorities, one to volunteer in prisons, one to host children - with their mothers! - from Belarus) and has a couple more to come (1 of which is for 'being a student' on an MA she is about to start). I've only needed about three so far for various voluntary activities so I've got off quite lightly. Interestingly one of the approved documents when applying for a CRB check is a CRB check!*?

The really crazy thing is that as far as I can see I could get convicted tomorrow and no-one would know. So here's my suggestion to save several million quid:

* When you need your first check with the CRB you get a reference number.

* When one of the numerous organisations entitled to know about you does a check they 'register an interest' on your number.

* If you get convicted all interest parties get told.

Simple - you only need one check, they don't have to be renewed and interested parties find out immedately if there is a problem.

Perhaps I'll set up as a fancy consultant and pocket 10% of the savings... (though I suppose it would be less of a money-spinner for the CRB).

Joke alert since it describes the current system.



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