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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 11:56 pm 
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No, I'm not talking about the book and no, I'm not talking about Mac OS. :P :lol:

My first impression after having read articles such as this one describing the Windows 8 user interface on other than tablets is, and I know I can be a bit of a Luddite at times, that Microsoft have gone mad! Supermarkets may reorganise the store layout on a regular basis in order to try and sell more fish-paste but this behaviour by Redmond is more akin to moving the controls and dashboard components of a car around in order to try and prove that the latest model is better.

In this Blog the reasons for ditching the Start menu are explained. Yes, I agree; it's where I launch rarely used programs but I don't agree that it isn't customisable and having developed a menu structure over many years so that I can easily find and launch those rarely used programs I don't begin to understand what Microsoft gains by removing that facility other than some hormonal rush due to an exercise of control freakery. My current Desktop is cluttered but structured and not only provides me with a convenient place to store more shortcuts than I could pin sensibly to any taskbar but also holds information rich widgets and gadgets whose sizes and shapes are tuned to provide the most information with the minimum waste of space. And I'm supposed to replace it with something that looks like this: :roll:
    Image
I headlined this thread as "Windows for Dummies" because I just can't see that UI as being suitable for the sort of person who uses more than a handful of programs - I will NOT use the word "apps" when it comes to serious computing. If Microsoft persist with this without offering a mode where that blasted Metro panel never sullies the screen at any time then maybe it will be time to jump ship when Windows 7 comes to end of life so far as support is concerned.

Oh, and as another example of how out of touch Microsoft has become, Windows 8 is already having an effect on Windows 7 users. Check out Microsoft's Looking for gadgets? page. Remove stuff that people use now because Microsoft wants us to use other stuff when, at some future date, Windows 8 is released. More control freakery! :evil:

OK, I've had a good rant over this :oops: so it's time to invite comment - in a family friendly way, of course ... :twisted:

Bob.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2011 12:51 am 
Hi Bob,

I've been using Desktop X and WindowsBlinds for a looong time.

By completely dispensing with ANY icons and simply set up texts as one-click shortcuts to whatever I want...documents, apps, you name it...I've been able to cram in a lot.I like my desktop to be a complete dashboard to what I want.

For these objects you define "behavior" for when it's passive, when you run your mouse over it and when you click it.

I don't really like ANY operating system to "design" how it's supposed to look and be accessed - I'd like an OS to give complete freedom instead.

When looking at the blog and the images - to me it seems like yet another self-hugging GUI/usability design(ers) who got too smart for her/his/their heads and came up with yet another "doctrin".

I don't mind the concept specifically, but I do mind being dictated yet another design paradigm - if they would just make a complete desktop Design Kit so you could do as you please, they wouldn't have to give business to all the other Desktop Design apps out there.

Cheers :-)


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2011 1:14 am 
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I guess I'm not going to use that for the next years. Maybe it's time to start using Linux in the future it Windows is going to look like that in all the newer versions. :lol:

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2011 1:32 am 
Bob - Well, must admit, at first glance I thought this was a 'Windows joke' a bit like the recent 'Pentax accessory' one.... :)

Seems not - so just what is Redmond up to? They used to logo, "Where are you going today?" - but with such a "Desktop" I doubt they'd risk asking that again.

I was all Microsoft systems from 1983 on - a 'Genuine IBM' Twin-Slotter, no HDD, and no TSRs, of course. I didn't have a copy of Widows-1.0 - but certainly had Win-2.0/286, then 3.0/3.1/3.11, and the versions of Win-95, OSR2, and 98-Std/98SE.

From Win-3.1 to Win-NT5.1 (XP) - first couple of years of "NT on PCs", I was a triple certificated tech, plus updates of A+ and Cisco at various times.

So my Windows background is reasonably solid. Windows began 'not to be fun' at the start of XP, and went downhill from there - through the disastrous years of "repeat and redo" of Longhorn until that became - along with more DRM-ing and a more massive "floommmp-desktop" than poor old XP could have dreamt of - sellable enough, they thought - to present as "Vista"....

Meanwhile - while XP was phasing-in for the first couple of years (I was still working at that time) - I was with the help of some folk at work finding my way into Linux - Fedora (Red-Hat), Mandrake, Mandriva, so on, and watching friends around me "adjust to the new Windows".

After several years they gradually adjusted to XP - but as of October 2011 not ONE of 8 family households I know quite well has a Vista PC - 2 have Vista laptops that came with Vista on them. But the PCs are all XP-Pro-SP3.

Vista was not apparently too good, with the DRM-ing and huge overheads and needing buckets of RAM to run usably. I've not seen a Windows-7 PC in home use - just on display in shops - so it might not be too popular, either.

Where Redmond is going with this "unusual" Windows-8...., is a puzzle. Perhaps Microsoft now has so many other investments and interests that their "Windows Department" has become a haven for "the Trendies", or such...

- That writer's reference to "apps" might seem strange to Windows users - but not to Linux (or Unix) users. In Linux where (not usual at PC level these days) it was common to "link" several single-purpose programs together - so the output of one was piped into the next and next to create a sequential multiple processing unit - the joined/piped units were the single-programs - and the entire structured sequence was the "application".

Nowadays at PC Desktop level Linux seldom does that (you still can from CLI if interested) - because the multi-function devices are all GUI (Graphical User Interface) - and the "programs", say Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, etc - are all "joined together" in one GUI application, OpenOffice - as are the program functions for Gimp and many other things.

As far as I know, while you could lineal-sequence scripts and programs in DOS - at least from Win-3x devices were only unitary - Word, Excel, Access - and from Win-95 on, were "joined" into MS-Office. So the "programs" joined into an "unsplitable" unit - Office - that then continued the tradition of being called a "program".

While I can't work out where MS "is going today" with Windows-8 - I wish them and Win-8's Users well... I learnt a lot in my 'Microsoft Years'.... :)

Regards, Dave.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2011 8:01 am 
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I saw earlier that MS were also moving Win8 to the ribbon interface. Any users of Office 2007+ will know how much fun that is and that alone was scary.

I suppose my biggest gripe with MS is they're trying TOO hard to be different. To me, Windows 2000 was the best OS they ever produced. I was using that as my main OS until the launch of Vista, when I grudgingly downgraded to XP since 2k support was fading fast then. XP was the first of the nagging OSes. Are you sure you're sure you want to do anything? But muscle memory largely eliminated that without me reading it.

Vista to me was an OK OS. A bit bloated for its day, but in hindsight I think I prefer it over Win7. It still had the classic start menu while still having a 64 bit operation.

The biggest gripe I had with Win7 was the lack of traditional start menu. Fair enough, I've adapted so that most commonly used tasks are now pinned, with the now crippled start menu primarily used for less frequent items via the MRU list. But finding even less frequently used programs if I don't know the name is now a nightmare to browse for.

Based on the two links Bob put up for Win8, I'm not sure I want this on the desktop or even laptop. Maybe I would have transitioned to tablet by then for the laptop replacement, but there needs to be a lot more work before that's ready for the desktop. One of the comments in the 2nd link raised an interesting point, what about corporates? I can't see this going down well and corporate purchases are a huge part of MS' income. Maybe they'll offer the "Win7 downgrade" in a similar way to the "XP downgrade" they offer with Vista?

I think Win8 is far from being ready so we shouldn't put too much weight into these early design attempts, although the direction is certainly worrying but it has been for a while anyway. Without getting hands on with it, it is hard to tell just what the impact is. Adapt and survive? Or move onto something else? No, this still doesn't make Mac OS any more attractive to me :P

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2011 9:08 am 
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Hi Dave,

My own transition from DOS was to Windows 2 and then rapidly on to Windows 3 and beyond.

I've tried a few Linux builds but didn't spend enough time to get comfortable with it as an OS. I've spent more time with Mac OS (UNIX code base?) on my MacBook Air and am comfortable enough with it that I could use it as an everyday OS but there are a number of programs I need which have no Mac equivalents, a problem that is even worse with Linux.

One thing, among many, that I don't understand about Windows is why there appears to be such a close integration between the program launcher/switcher (currently the Windows Desktop) and the nuts and bolts of the underlying OS. I've done a fair bit of amateur C++ programming so I am familiar with how various OS functions are called and how the APIs have evolved and/or retired over the years but I'm not aware of any reason why Microsoft can't produce a "skin-able" user interface rather than trying to force this one size fits all approach. Haven't the various flavours of Linux been doing something similar for years?

Bob.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2011 5:45 pm 
Hi, Bob - Your comments re Linux are very usual from advanced Windows Users - so I do wonder when you last tried a "good" Linux Distro...?

I did the usual "Distro dance" from 2001 onwards - Fedora, Mandrake, short visit with Suse, back to Mandrake, then Mandrake "merged" with Conectiva from Brazil, becoming Mandriva - and rather "less familiar". There was a breakaway Linux, based in Texas, derived from the last version of Mandrake, called PCLinuxOS - 'PCLOS' to its users - which I tried in May, 2006 - and over 5 years later I'm still with it.

As the name suggests - it's aimed directly at home PC-Users - and defaults to the KDE Desktop Environment, which has the tools, utilities, graphics, audio and multimedia functions for home PCs - there is a good Gnome (more business oriented) version, too.

The whole idea of Tex and his Team, who do the Distro - is to make PCLOS User and Family friendly at Desktop level - while retaining all CLI (Command Line Interface) functions for those who want them.

The PCLOS Repo (repository) has over 12,000 tools, utilities, programs and applications for free auto-download-install. Some Distros (e.g, the 'Bunties' - Ubuntu, Kubuntu, etc) do have more. However, the idea with PCLOS is that everything in the Repo has already been "tweaked-adjusted" to run faultlessly in PCLOS.

That sounds like "a big ask", and it is, but it isn't a false claim - it's a couple of years since I had to 'tweak' a Repo install to get it running properly - and that was rare even then. With PCLOS the intention is that home PC-Users can have all the benefits and functions of Linux needed in a PC, without needing to go to Root (Admin level) and use CLI.

Some folk think that Linux doesn't have many "good applications / programs" - such folk must have been looking at "low-end" Distros...! With PCLOS the problem is more, "which ones to install". There are plenty of things for kids - including ages 2-4 years up - interactives that teach mouse, keyboard, numbers, letters, co-ordination, click-to-paint, so on, as well as being a lot of fun.

For "camera folk" - usual graphics, post-processing with Digikam and others, several video-editors - KdenLive is better than and easier to use than the Sony Vegas Pro friends here paid over $650.00 for in Sydney last year, handles H264/MOV - or convert (Avidemux) different formats to 1 format for KdenLive to use - MPEG2, MPEG4, Xvid, all are okay.

With literally thousands of people - often computer professionals, programmers, etc, in their "daytime jobs" - around the World continually updating - things in OpenSource tend to happen quickly (and can also be why it's mice to have a Distro Team which checks and adjusts 'everything' before it goes into the Repository!)

One example directly relating to cameras - when Fuji released the HS10 - its RAF RAW files were specific to that camera. They had a very low-end "utility" on the camera CD that only converted the RAFs to JPEGs... Nothing else would touch them, including Adobe's DNG Converter (which runs well in Linux, in Wine.) The folk who do DCRAW - used by most Linux post-processing applications - had it updated to HS10 RAFs in 3-weeks - it took Adobe 7-weeks.

So - no actual shortage of many very functional devices in Linux. It's a bit of a "spoiler" - get used to it and there's far too much in it to feel that you "need Windows". At times I help friends with PCs - repairs and updates, or de-virusing their XPs - and the immediate feeling I now get with Windows is of "being smothered" - so many things that system "won't let you do" - and how could anyone possibly do "all of their things" and even "get all their work done" - with just 1 solitary Desktop?

I'm sitting here, "doing my Forums" on Desktop 3. Desktop 1 has a "news" site open, D-2 has a download-series running, D-4 is running a painfully slow download from The Dossier in UK, D-5 has Writer - I'm re-doing a documented layout that will save into *.docx for my Windows-using godson - and on D-6 I have Pidgin Messenger running, chatting sporadically to a friend in County Clare, Ireland, as he does his PC things...

So - when time allows, Bob - you might have a look at PCLinuxOS - maybe you have an older spare PC to try it with - Linux isn't nearly as demanding on overheads - PCLOS will run quite well with 1GB RAM and a 2GHz single-core - I'm using a 3-years old PC with 2GB DDR2 and AMD 6000 3GHz dual-core - and it's still plenty fast over 6 working Desktops.

Don't forget - you can download the Distro ISO, write it to CD, then just boot the LiveCD to Desktop to get a look at it. To install - it installs from the LiveCD Desktop - just click the Installer icon and follow instructions.

You can also use it (well, any Linux LiveCD) - to recover essential material from a Windows install that won't boot, before doing a Format-C: and reinstalling. The LiveCD will Copy data from any Windows partition and write it to a flashdrive, DVD or XHD (external hard-drive.)

Regards, Dave.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2011 7:26 pm 
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popo wrote:
The biggest gripe I had with Win7 was the lack of traditional start menu.

Indeed! One of the first things I put on my Win7 computers was CWSM: http://tricks-collections.com/cwsm-wind ... tart-menu/
I like having the traditional start menu ;) Well - I'm just used to it so why should I use another one?

Bob Andersson wrote:
but there are a number of programs I need which have no Mac equivalents, a problem that is even worse with Linux.

I'm not really used to Linux, either. My father is using it since 1999 / 2000 or so. There are a lot of programs and you can even use some Windows programs somehow. Maybe I should get some kind of cheap laptop and install Linux on it. "Linux Mint" still looks better than Win8 :lol: I have it on an external HDD and I can start it on most computers that way.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2011 7:29 pm 
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Hi Dave,

Good words and thanks for the pointers. The "need to have software" of which I speak is mostly to do with astrophotography these days and unfortunately some of it is flat out not available for Linux.

But if Microsoft persist with their current path it is not impossible that I might run Windows 7 as a VM. Latencies might be an issue and a consequent deal breaker but, as I'm not that fussed about gaming, performance would otherwise be OK. Indeed VMs look more attractive day by day, whatever the host OS, as the underlying hardware becomes ever faster. And a VM can be ported by a simple file copy as hardware is upgraded so long as Intel continues to support the current x64 code.

So far as I'm concerned at the moment Windows ain't broke so I've no desire to fix it but if the folks at Redmond keep playing with rocks they may end up breaking the glass irreparably. If that happens I'll have a few years to prepare as the Win7 will still work just fine in the meantime. I'd just far rather not have to face the hassle.

Bob.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 1:44 am 
Bob - Have you overlooked dual-booting? Linux GRUB boot-manager handles Windows very well - and you can assign the primary-boot priority (which of several systems boots as default), by re-arranging the sequence of bootable systems in the PC-etc, in Control-Centre, from the Linux install.

That way, for your specialist Windows Astrophotography setup, it's on an HDD installed system, so has the full use of the Windows functions it needs, and full access to hardware and RAM - that is, it wouldn't be using an allocated share of RAM, as part of the Linux system's total resources while running as a VM.

Also - many Windows programs will run quite happily in Linux under the Wine interface - there are around 20 on this box, including Photoshop/Image Ready 7, Publisher, Adobe DNG Converter, VirtualDub Mod, Exif Pilot, Raw Therapee, 3 versions of DVDFab HD Dec, Canon Utilities, and more.

Can you mention the name of your special Astro program and I'll ask about it - not mentioning origin of question - on PCLOS Forum?

If it doesn't run well under Wine, CrossOver Linux could be another way. I'll find out about that, too.

As for VMs - VMware and similar can be quite expensive on Windows side, so it was a relief to find Virtual Box in Linux. The Full Version is free to use on PCs (Sun owns it these days) for non-commercial purposes.

With Virtual Box, or VBox - you can create virtual hard-drives of "set" or "expanding" capacity, and install as many operating systems as you want to test or use - and have Host PC HDD space for... These huge HDDs we get so cheaply these days are a vast advantage for this!

You can run Windows, BSD, Unix, and Linux systems (Mac system is BSD based but not supposed to be run as VMs...) I have versions of Kbuntu, Mint, and Fedora, then XP-Pro SP3 and Win2k SP4, plus an "experimental" PCLOS (so I can mess it up without risking the HDD installed PCLOS) - all in VBox at present.

From the systems in VBox you have full access to Internet, can use USB flashdrives, access USB XHDs, and read / copy from / write CDs and DVDs.

Each Guest System can also have a linked directory (folder) in the Host System's /home (like a My Documents, but more-so) - to exchange material between the Guest and Host Systems.

PS: As many folk here know their way around Redmond's EULAs - I'd better explain the "XP" I have running in Linux. The CD is one MS kindly donated to the class I was in when I last updated my A+ Cert. (Early 2002) Microsoft is the Big Cheese in CompTIA, and as a sort of promo gave us each the "corporate" version of XP-Pro - stipulating no commercial use. This version doesn't have Activation, just the product key (installs like Win2k.) Then install SP2 (contains the SP1 that SP3 needs in the early CD installs) - and after that - SP3. Bit of a work-around - but it's legit...

Regards, Dave.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 8:36 am 
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Hi Dave,

Thanks for the links and your much appreciated time. No, I haven't overlooked dual booting. Windows 7 works just fine for me so I have no need to add extra layers to my computing environment. But that will change unless Microsoft takes notice of the barrage of complaints that have already surfaced and provides an option to prevent the Metro panel from ever appearing. They have gone some way towards this (but not totally) but it seems that the Start menu may still be a casualty. That's bizarre in my book as legacy program installers will still be relying on that functionality to provide access rarely used components. Worse, if Microsoft provides another way to access those shortcuts there's a fighting chance that people like myself who like to collect related groups of shortcuts into a simpler structure at the base of the menu tree (e.g. under 'Office', Multimedia, Programming, Security etc) will likely be stuffed.

Again, thanks for all the valuable Linux info but no, it's not for me just yet. 8)

Bob.

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Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 8:38 am 
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Hi folks,

Back to the subject of the Windows 8 Metro panel, I'm surprised that it hasn't attracted more comment. Does that mean that most forum members would actually be happy to have their 1900 x 1200 colour calibrated screen filled with something that looks like a smartphone interface having a bad hair day! :shock:
    Image
Bob.

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Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 9:29 am 
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I thought I had ranted enough already... but while I'm passing by again, the Metro interface, I guess I've been partially desensitised to it. If you've ever run Media Centre or even an XBox there's something somewhat similar already. I'm not saying I want it, but I can see how it would appeal to the less technical or advanced users. It would suit the casual or incidental users. But I do feel it would leave many power users in the cold.

As a wish list item, I really wish windows has one big button, hidden of course, labelled "power user mode". Press that and ditch the silly effects, dire warnings and excessive nagging. As opposed to spending ages hunting down individual bits in the registry, usually with limited success. As a gold reference, I would say if Windows 2000 didn't nag or warn you about something, I don't want to know about it. I really hated when they put into XP the "this file came from the internet, are you sure you want to run it?" box. I just downloaded the thing, yes I forking do! (workarounds: disable zone checking via an environment variable to get rid of that, or use non-NTFS filesystem which can't hold the side stream indicating that). More recently, UAC at least was easy to turn off.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 9:30 am 
Some of the posts on this thread make my brain ache.

The reason windows was initially so popular was it made computing accessible to people without using code. Everything thats been posted on this thread so far is way more complicated that 99.9% of computer users will ever cope with.

The current windows environment does not cope with the advent of 'touch' input so they need to change something to cope with this.

PC users who love the mouse/keyboard input devices will just have to cope with the new environments.

Its either go linux or adapt in the end.

Until I've used the new system its difficult to say whether I can find an effective strategy for managing the programme menus


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 9:46 am 
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In part I think the problem is a tablet OS is not a desktop OS or vice versa.

I guess we have to look at the bigger picture. What will people be using in say 3 or 5 years time? The desktop has long been declared an endangered species and for casual users that's probably a fair description. Laptops do 95% of a desktop without the bulk. Then this tablet thing came along. That does what? 80% of a laptop? It is probably the mainstream future of the casual low-mid performing computing resource, so fair enough MS want a cut of that pie since their smartphone attempts are going nowhere fast.

But I think that still leaves a gap for laptop and desktop users, more so power desktop users. As Bob hinted, it would be nice if Windows was more abstract like the Linux X system. A large part of the interface can be detached from the functionality below. So there's no reason you couldn't skin it like XP for example.

Historically I think every major Windows version change has invoked some "I don't want that and will use the old version forever" comments. By the time it eventually launches the features have been watered down enough or otherwise changed that the issues are not show stoppers any more.

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Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


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