* Posts by Paradroid

66 posts • joined 26 Jan 2011


Microsoft announces official Windows package manager. 'Not a package manager' users snap back


They're correct, it isn't a package manager

Used this lastnight to install PowerToys and it appeared to just download an MSI and run it - the installer was full of popups and UAC.

Understand that it's beta/preview but it needs a lot of work. The ability to update is critical and I question whether it should have even been let out the lab without that given that updating software is essential for security.

Heading in the right direction though, I like it.

Latest Microsoft 365 'wave of innovation' really just involves adding or renaming a bunch of update channels


Re: All I want to know is ...

Totally agree, I saw that search box change on some sort of preview and was shocked how bad it looked, can't believe it's been released like that.

Microsoft seems to be a company of mostly talented individuals, but with a few idiots who wield far too much power and can demand arbitrary UX changes to products, which the sane people have no power to override.

Microsoft puts dual-screen devices and Windows 10X in the too-hard basket


Re: Mangled language

I thought exactly the same thing, its just code for "we completely fucked up out strategy and need to totally rewrite it, and think we can get away with blaming it on Coronavirus".


Re: Keyboard & trackpad location

Yes - and this is a very interesting point about experimentation vs refining proven designs. Nobody wants to stifle new ideas, but we keep getting too much change for changes sake. UX is the worst example, where a new generation of designers threw away decades of progress in favour of a "clean" look.

Desktop OS makers need to be really careful about fragmentation too at this point. There's already a lack of decent native software, so trying to get traction on niche hardware designs like dual screen Windows 10X devices is going to be a quite a challenge.


Re: Dual Screen Woes

This is exactly why I don't use dual screens. I totally appreciate the advantages but the OS quirks gets in the way too much. I find I can work quicker with a single screen and heavy use of Alt-Tab, which works the way you expect it to when there's only one screen.


It felt gimmicky

The fact that they've pivoted away from dual screen just reinforces my concern that it was a gimmick all along, just something to differentiate and try to generate some interest.

I'm much more interested in the OS though. With the mess they've been making if Windows 10 it is time to try something different. My SP7 feels like great hardware let down by poor quality software that I don't completely trust, so if there's a way to install it cleanly on that I'll be all over it.

Is this an ASP.NET Core I see before me? Where to next for Microsoft's confusing web framework...


Re: Web Forms needs to be moved forward onto .NET Core

From my perspective it feels like it's going the other way - on Core they're starting to talk people out of MVC and into Razor Pages, which is closer in approach to WebForms.

That puts me off personally, I migrated a big e-commerce site from WebForms to MVC years ago and it was a real transformation, I have lots of time for MVC.

They need to have good options for server-side pages because Node doesn't, I've messed about with a few view engines on express and they're not a patch on Razor.

Microsoft throws extended support lifeline for folk stuck on car-crash Windows 10 1809


Re: They can't even have sensible version numbers

No I'm not trolling, and I'm well aware of how their versioning works, but the emphasis was on "a normal person", or perhaps I should have said casual user. The sort of person who doesn't know a lot about their computer but in the past knew perfectly well whether they were running XP or Vista.

What I'm getting at is that an OS with widespread consumer usage should have clear versioning. It helps people understand what version of an OS their machine is running once the time comes where their hardware can't support any more updates. It also helps developers clearly state what version of the OS is supported by their app.

The link to Unbuntu is spot on, but even they have the sense to put a dot between the numbers so it's a little bit clearer what's going on. And why would Microsoft choose to copy a company like Ubuntu which serves a somewhat different audience.

I just think they really screwed this up and there's no reason for it to be so awkward. It could have been a simple Windows 10.x numbering system although that is of course similar to macOS.


They can't even have sensible version numbers

How do you explain any of this 1809 and 2004 bollocks to a normal person?

"Sorry, your version of Windows 10 is unsupported and needs to be updated"

"Oh right, which version will I be getting?"

"Windows 10"


MS really backed themselves into a corner with this badly thought out attempt at dropping version numbers. They've just ended up with version numbers but ridiculous ones. And what hapoens when hardware becomes too old to upgrade?

Was it an attempt to copy ChromeOS?

What's the difference between Windows 7 and a bin lorry? One is full of garbage, and the other… oh dear


Re: More to the point.

Exactly what I thought. Maybe the truck is being driven by replicants too.

Give us a reason... not to buy a new handset? Samsung back-ports Galaxy S20 photo features to Galaxy 10 range


Full disclosure required

This article sounds like it's written by someone who has shares in Samsung. Do you Simon?

Samsung has got grief for years over their poor software update record, and now they're doing a really good job, you're saying they need to stop it to sell more phones. From an S10+ owner, thanks a bunch.

No-no-no-notarised: Apple gives Microsoft's Visual Studio Code the all-clear for Mac devs


Re: Amazing!

Quite the opposite! Macs are very popular for developing with many non-Microsoft languages like PHP, Ruby, and JavaScript front ends and node apps.

Windows Subsystem for Linux was actually added by Microsoft to try and make Window more appealing to these developers because they knew they were losing that market.

Google: You know we said that Chrome tracker contained no personally identifiable info? Yeah, about that...


Re: ????

Because they don't want a phone made by Apple. That's where I find myself. My latest plan is to use Android but run as many Microsoft services as possible because they're properly cross-platform so I can get at my notes and reminders from both my Mac and my Surface.

I would happily use more of Google's services if they were just transparent. The biggest issue for me is where to store photos. Nobody seems to have any idea what Google Photos does with customer photos. If it's purely to get data to train AI then that's not the worst privacy invasion, but if they're actively mining data from people's personal photos collection, that's creepy in my book. And is there any privacy difference between the free and paid tier? Nobody seems to know.

Hello, support? What do I click if I want some cash?


Re: Barclays don't dogfood their IT

Sadly, he probably would. He got caught with the "we are calling from Microsoft, your computer has a virus" scam to a point of letting them start controlling his computer remotely before an intervention saw the network cable ripped out the back and the phone put down.

The funny thing is, on those sorts of attack vectors, it really doesn't matter what version of Windows is on the machine!


Re: Barclays don't dogfood their IT

That's brilliant. I had it in my head Barclays were at least intelligent enough to log the user agent data from Online Banking logins, and then mail the appropriate customers, but I should have known better.


Friend of mine also encountered a Barclays cash machine showing the Windows 7 desktop. This one was touchscreen! The photo he sent me showed an Explorer window (File Explorer for the modern crown)!


Barclays don't dogfood their IT

I would laugh at these poor decrepit cash machines, except I recently lost 2 evenings of my life upgrading a family members computer from Windows 7 to Windows 10 because he was scared that it would be insecure. The reason for his concern? He received an email off Barclays telling him his computer needed to be upgraded and should not longer be used for online banking.

Huawei unfolds latest shot at the phone-tablet hybrid with reinforced hinge and reassuringly Xs-sive price


Would love to be in Apple's marketing department today

"Damn these guys, they make our overpriced premium phones look cheap"

Ever dream of being an astronaut? Now’s your chance. NASA wants new people for the Moon and Mars


So close

Was thrilled to see even at my age I am (only just) within the acceptable age range to apply. Then I read the bit about US citizenship. Damn.

UK contractors planning 'mass exodus' ahead of IR35 tax clampdown – survey


Re: re: contractors are not prepared to be unfairly treated

That's a ridiculous statement, I've worked as a contractor in places where I care more about what I deliver than the permies around me. That's not having a go at permies, it's simply pointing out that it's got little to do with employment status and more about the individual, and the culture of the business

You sound bitter that you're not a contractor.


"No one is saying you'll never work in this town again, just that you might need to pay a bit more tax"

A bit? That's an understatement considering the limited company pays a significant amount of corporation tax, on top of the tax being paid on salary/dividends to the individual. It really doesn't make sense to tax someone as an employee when they don't get the benefits of full employment.

Electron devs bond at Covalence conference: We speak to those mastering the cross-platform tech behind Slack, Visual Code Studio, etc


Re: What?

I kind-of agree with your point, but UI designers haven't exactly been on fire since this trend of "stripping back" interfaces, removing common affordances like knowing you can scroll something, and indications of what has focus

Hey kids! Ditch that LCD and get ready for the retro CRT world of Windows Terminal


Re: I don't need retro effects


Have you seen how excited the Digital Foundry guys are getting now they've remembered that instead of needing a monster graphics card to render games in 4k, they can get a better result running them at 1080p or even 720p on a CRT, relying on the CRT to do nice anti-aliasing naturally. And of course, they can max out the graphics settings running at low resolutions. And fast motion always looked better on CRT.

Microsoft emits long-term support .NET Core 3.1, Visual Studio 16.4


How does anyone make sense of this?

While I'm not a Windows app developer (I am a web developer though) I struggle to make sense of the options available. It seems there's three different ways to build GUI apps for Windows, but none of them is quite the best, they have different strengths. There's one that's dated with broad adoption, and another that's modern but feature-incomplete and won't run on Windows 7 or older.

Is it any wonder the Microsoft Store is missing a number of key apps, some devs must looking at this and deciding it's not worth the hassle. The reason Windows took over the world in the first place was software support and MS are in danger of throwing that away if this doesn't come together soon.

Apple's latest keyboard travels back in time to when they weren't crap


Re: Post Jony Ive, maybe Apple products can work again

That actually happened already in September for the 11 Pro (both sizes). Massive 4 hour increase in usage time over the equivalent model from the previous year. The phone is slightly thicker, and 3D Touch was removed to create more space for the battery.

While Apple fanbois rage at Catalina, iGiant quietly drops iOS and macOS security patches


Re: Apple software quality seems to be definitely dropping...

Isn't it fascinating how times have changed. When Vista shipped, Apple looked on, feeling a bit sorry for Microsoft for trying such a daft approach to security (basically a liability shift to the user). They would have correctly said "that's not the right approach"

Fast forward a decade, and they're now making the same mistakes. Their intelligence, direction and judgement with respect to MacOS is failing rapidly. I found myself contemplating going to Linux rather than Catalina recently.

To be fair I think iOS is on the right path, just with massive process issues that's causing silly bugs to get out in the wild. Notice how they massively rewrote Photos and Reminders, and pretty-much nailed it. But then one of the 13.1.x released shipped with a bug where it was almost impossible to clear the red bubble on the Phone app after a missed call.

You'e yping i wong: macOS Catalina stops Twitter desktop app from accepting B, L, M, R, and T in passwords


Sure it's not the keyboard?

It'll be hilarious when this gets fixed, but lots of people report that it's still broken. Er, no sir, this time the problem is your butterfly keyboard.

Microsoft Surface Pro X: Windows on Arm usable at long last – but, boy, are you gonna pay for it


Re: £1,700 for a Surface Pro X

Not sure on the comparison to a gaming laptop - that's the complete opposite of what the Surface Pro X is. A gaming laptop prioritises CPU and GPU power at the expense of portability and battery life.

I do agree though that this Surface Pro X is a tough sell. It's usually a good idea to buy based on what a device does now, not what it could be the future. While ARM might be the future for portable devices like this, there's a big premium for very little upside, especially with the software situation. I'd go Surface Pro 7 or if portability was absolutely critical, an iPad Pro.

Crumbs. Apple has tweaked the MacBook Pro keyboard


Crumbs indeed

Love the pun.

Are they just quieter because there's some sort of rubber protective rings around the ultra-delicate switches?

Half of all Windows 10 users thought: BSOD it, let's get the latest build


Nothing to lose

By substituting QA with the Insider programme, Windows 10 releases are nowhere near the quality the company was achieving a few years ago.

Normally you'd hold off an update until it's proven, but when the build you're currently running is already pretty bad, there's nothing to lose.

The April update ruined multiple monitor support with my hardware configuration.

MacBook Pro petition begs Apple for total recall of krap keyboards


A recall is doubtful

My MPB is a 2016 model and it's had no keyboard issues (yet). I like the feel of the keyboard. The MacBook keyboard is too extreme but the Pro version is nice.

However, I really can't see them recalling and fixing this. I had the first retina 15" MacBook Pro, and that had the LG screen that developed bad image retention. That was a widespread issue, a complete disgrace and they had no interest in a recall then either.

Samsung's 'OS of Everything' Tizen still has little to offer


A USP would help

It looks dull and generic. A me-too OS. While it looks perfectly usable, they are going to need to do something special to break into a market as tough as this one.

Windows Phone has a fresh UI that did move the game on a bit from earlier versions of iOS, but even that has struggled to make an impact.

Firefox, is that you? Version 29 looks rather like a certain shiny rival


Re: Nearly

I stand corrected! By Mozilla leaving the search box on by default even on new installations I assumed they wanted to keep things separate.

So I've tested it, and it doesn't work as well as the Chrome one. If you type a single word there is a noticeable pause before it hands off to a search engine. I guess this is to try and find a LAN resource with the same name. Chrome doesn't try to do this, but you can force it by typing a qualifier at the start like / or http://

Also, there is no autocomplete like the full search box.

Still a nearly for me.



I've tried to stay with Firefox, but after using Chrome for any period of time it becomes a total pain to use a browser with a separate search box.

Google kills fake anti-virus app that hit No. 1 on Play charts


Nerdy tweaks etc...

Looking at the comments above, it's clear that the curated App Store has it's detractors, but all the crapware we used to get on Windows has moved wholesale to Android, whereas iOS has barely any.

Whenever I've had Android phones it's always amazed me at all the garbage in the Play Store - anti-virus, task killers, speed-up utilities etc. Sure, it's freedom. But that only suits savvy users who know enough about their platform to know whether a given type of app makes sense.

Is this photo PROOF a Windows 7 Start Menu is coming back?

Thumb Up

To be fair...

Is it not time to cut them some slack?

Yes Windows 8 is a mess for desktop users, and crucially they ignored all the beta feedback that told them it was going to be a disaster.

But this now looks great. Start menu back, but with the option to add a few nice tiles. And Metro apps launching in a window on the desktop. That paves the way for most of our Windows apps to gradually transition over to Metro in the coming years. The end result will be a desktop OS but with the best bits of Metro (simplified apps, and flat design)

The only problem is they need to get this released now, not in Windows 9 in 2015.

Report: Apple flushes 12.9-inch MaxiPad plan down the drain


My iPad and Logitech keyboard make a surprisingly great device, so much so that I rarely use it as a tablet now. It's completely replaced a MacBook Pro, and can still get most stuff done.

My hunch was that they would build a 12.9" iOS laptop device. But I agree a retina MBA is more likely.

Mozilla takes Windows 8-friendly Firefox out back ... two shots heard


Picking your battles...

While I think they did the right thing canning this, I'm not sure they are picking their battles properly.

I still use Firefox but only for the top-class dev tools, as a browser it's now dated and a little bit ugly. Because of Chrome I really dislike going back to a separate URL and search box.

Meanwhile the news reports show that Mozilla is busy getting the Source engine running at high performance for games. Cool, but niche and should come second to the pure browsing experience.

Sega’s Out Run: Even better than the wheel thing


Those were the days

The memory is an interesting thing. In my head, the graphics for Outrun are as stunning as something like DriveClub on the PS4, because back then it was just amazing to look at. It takes a screenshot to remind me how crude they are by today's standards.

But even today it's great fun to play due to the fun gameplay, and the smoothness and frame rate of the visuals are still very good.

Back in the day it used to gobble my money and I could barely get to the end of the second stage. So around 2002, I played it to death on MAME so I could finish it reliably, and then took a load of 20p's to Southport and found the real machine. A few attempts later and I finished it. Lifetime achievement = complete :)

iOS 7 SPANKS Samsung's Android in user-experience rating


**In addition, its lack of customization contributed to WinPho's poor showing in user-experience friction, as well. "The user interface in general is not conceived to deal efficiently with the dozens and dozens of apps smartphone users want," Pfeiffer writes**

This is true, and in my mind the fix is simple - multiple start screens, ideally with the ability to colour code each one individually. I think that would be a huge improvement to Windows Phone yet Microsoft refuse to look at it.

I have owned all three mobile platforms (but WP7.5, not 8) and am not surprised by the winner, but I am surprised by WP coming in last place, I thought it was mostly a great phone OS. The problems are in app support and Microsoft's stupidly slow rate of improvement to it.

ZTE's $80 Firefox OS mobe sells out on eBay


Sell out?!

Isn't this similar to the Microsoft Surface "sell out" where selling out of fuck-all stock doesn't really count as a sell out?

Microsoft Surface sales numbers revealed as SHOCKINGLY HIDEOUS


Re: Rubbish!

Being overly picky there really, the point would have been valid if the OP had just said "lack of ANY applications".


Bargain hunters

I was tempted for a second to get a Surface RT, thinking it would be a smart move to buy it cheap and then wait for the rumoured Windows Phone 8 version of the tablet OS to ship, which would vastly improve the device.

Then I remembered that it's Microsoft we're talking about here and there's bugger-all chance of them supporting their loyal early-adopter Surface RT customers with a new OS.

Galaxy S4 way faster than iPhone 5: Which?


Re: Surprised at Which ?

But Apple don't really market their phones based on specs or performance, whereas the Android crowd do. All the marketing for the HTC tells me it's a quad core 1.7Ghz processor.

So which is the digested truth?


Surprised at Which

I am surprised at Which doing something as irrelevant as benchmarking when their target audience is non-technical consumers.

I have a HTC One and an iPhone 5 at the side of me. In theory the HTC should wipe the floor with the iPhone on performance, and I'm sure it will on benchmarks, but in real world use i.e. opening apps, searching Google Maps, using Facebook, running games, it is almost always slower.

A shame because the HTC screen is a noticeable step up from "Retina" and the speakers are amazing, but it's going on eBay soon because in almost any real-world test it isn't as good as the iPhone.

Review: Sony Xperia SP


As a piece of hardware...

It looks spot on. I'd be thinking buy that, run the stock ROM till Cyanogen support comes out and then switch over.

Not sure about that big light though, WTF is that about? I really like phones with a small notification LED (HTC-style), never understood why it didn't become a universal feature.

Nokia shareholder tells CEO Elop he's going to hell


Why is the pace of change on WP so slow?

The biggest problem for Nokia must be the slow pace of Windows Phone development.. Considering Microsoft is the new player, I expected them to be investing heavily and release continuous updates to enable new features. Instead they had to re-engineer the OS from CE to NT kernel, because they ended up in a technological dead end. While this was happening they should have had another team overhauling the front end. It needs things like multiple tile pages, a completely written music player with all the crappy panorama views stripped out, and numerous other small enhancements.

I bought an early WP7 device, full of expectation that the OS would continually evolve with updates, but in reality very little has happened. WP7.5 fixed a lot of pain points in the OS, but WP8 is really just WP7.5 with a new kernel.

Nokia must be doing their nut waiting for the OS to improve, especially as there is a lot of very clever thinking in Windows Phone, it just needs finishing off. It's clean and simple, but a little too clean and simple sometimes.

The Metro experiment is dead: Time to unleash Windows Phone+


Re: Too many abandoned non intel platforms from Microsoft.

I think this is a good point, not just about processor architecture. Their lack of focus and long-term product strategy is starting to hurt them badly. So many failures like the Zune devices and the infamous Kin, plus early WP7 adopters getting left in a near dead-end.

Who is brave enough to be an early adopter on a Microsoft product any more? And that's a bit of a cyclic problem because with no early adopters a product can never go mainstream.

Microsoft: All RIGHT, you can have your Start button back


It's not just a case of bringing back the start button

They also removed all the nice chrome from the desktop, that needs to be reinstated in "desktop mode" or whatever they want to call it. Some of that stuff is actually useful, like drop shadows to frame a window on top of another.

What I am really asking for is separate desktop and touch version of the OS, with the desktop version being a really polished and nice looking desktop experience, and then the touch version looking just like Windows 8 does today.

That way there's a version that suits the various classes of device.

Microsoft know this though, they forced Metro on all of us as a way of making sure it got out into the wider market and had a chance of succeeding. Not that the strategy worked...

Next Xbox to be called ‘Xbox Infinity’... er... ‘Xbox’


"Infinite entertainment. Infinite possibilities". Ha, reminds me soo much of "Infinite space. Infinite terror".

(Event Horizon tagline for anyone who doesn't recognise it)



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