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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 12:30 pm 
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I'd love a "power user button" :D

popo wrote:
Historically I think every major Windows version change has invoked some "I don't want that and will use the old version forever" comments.
I'm one of those. There were some programs that didn't run on XP any more and I used them a lot in Win98 times. I finally switched to XP in the end of 2006 (using the IE6 up to the end of 2010, switching to FF3.6 afterwards, changing the look (up to the icon!) and handling to about exactly the ones of the IE6 - just having a newer enginge behind it) :lol: Still I have an old computer (in this case: A laptop from 1999 or so) and it has Win98. I really like using it sometimes ;)
Still XP offered some nice features: You didn't have to install every USB stick any more - just put them in, wait a few seconds and they work. Installing programs got much easier in that time. Still I switched XP to the old design.
Then Vista came and I just skipped it. I was using it a few months at work and it was OK in terms of customization. Old design, old start menu, quick launch bar hidden on top of the desktop.
I'm still using XP on my old desktop and my netbook.
Then Win7 came and my old desktop was just... old. I bought a new computer, wanted to use the full RAM and so I chose Win7. First of all I changed all the settings to what I'm used to - old design, old task bar, got CWSM for the old start menu, switched off all the graphical effects on the desktop. BUT I couldn't get the quick launch bar out of the task bar any more. Damned.
On my laptop Win7 was pre-installed.
So I have 5 computers at the moment:
1x Win98
2x WinXP
2x Win7
All of them looking very similar*. Just having the Quick launch bars in the task bar in Win7 and on top of the screen ("automatically hidden" + "always on top") in any other system in order to keep the task bar clean.

Oh yes: A Linux system on an external HDD :lol:

Now Win8 looks too different to me... I'm not using any smart phones or something similar and if it can't be adjusted to what I'm used to I guess I'd have quite some problems using it...
(OK, Imost people I know are using Win7 by now and on their computers I'd have some problems, too. I like my "old look".)

*
"WOW! Are you still using Win98??" - "Nope, that's Windows 7..." (<--- Yeah, I was really asked that)

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:53 pm 
I hate the way this looks, I'm quite thankful right now that I won't be spending much time in Windows 8. When I was a full time Windows user, I also had all kinds of customisations running and in OSX right now I use a whole bunch of tools to get me what I want in the way that I want.

I suppose there will be 3rd party addons that will let you return most of it to the way it was, I will probably be using that.

I think Windows 8, in attempting to merge a tablet and desktop OS, is going be to full of usability issues. I find the idea of it quite appealing although having to put up with issues while they straighten out the kinks doesn't sound like fun.

My brother has the metro UI thing on his WinMo 7 phone and the UI as a whole is pretty slick but I don't see the tiles on the home screen adding any kind of benefit over the way Android or iOS display information.

It does look nice on the Xbox though 8)


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 4:42 pm 
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Maybe there's hope. PC Pro report that Microsoft may go the extra mile and prevent Metro from ever disgracing the screens of us Luddites (:!:) who want nothing to do with it on our workstations.

Great news, if true, as there would appear to be some good things going on under the hood in Windows 8. The proof of the pudding will be in the eating, however, as every new release promises to be the next best thing to sliced bread.

Bob.

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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 6:06 pm 
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Hi folks,

Unbelievably, at least to me, Microsoft is now going to "bring the [Windows 8] desktop closer to the Metro aesthetic, while preserving the compatibility afforded by not changing the size of window chrome, controls, or system UI. We have moved beyond Aero Glass—flattening surfaces, removing reflections, and scaling back distracting gradients" (source).

It has also been reported that Microsoft is ditching DVD playback as part of the Windows 8 bundle: if you want it then you have to pay extra. With such an investment in Windows software I can only hope that by the time Microsoft releases Windows 9 or 10 it has come to its senses and stopped trying to force this dumbed down approach on the power users. The Metro interface may well be just the ticket for Tablet users, it may also be the bee's knees for folk who are - nope, I can't think of a polite way to say what I feel! But for those who make a concious decision to activate the W7 Desktop look and feel on W8 to then learn that Microsoft has decided that such users must still be forced to endure the "Metro aesthetic" (that's an oxymoron as far as I'm concerned) rather casts Redmond in the role of some tin pot dictator who tries to convince everyone how popular he is by plastering photos of himself on every street corner.

Thank you Microsoft but "No Thanks". Metros are often underground and in close proximity to the main drainage system and that's where you can stick your next version of Windows.

Personal rant over. No offence intended to any forum member who actually likes the new look and feel but every offence intended to Redmond. :evil:

Bob.

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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 2:10 pm 
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The only thing I can hope is that Microsoft will still give advanced users an option of accessing the olde interface, like they had done with windows 3.1's Program Manager being hidden (but still accessible) in windows 95, 98, and even XP (although by then I think most people had gotten used to the new type of interface).

While I do love the interface on my iPhone, I don't think such an interface will be very practical using a keyboard + mouse combo. So unless they start creating 1080p 23"+ monitors with multi-touch, I think it'll make the user experience worse than Windows 7.

But then again, the tablet OSes are so simple a 3 year-old child can figure out how to operate it in a few minutes, so it definitely has an appeal for the more newbie users. But for the rest of us who actually know how to use a computer... I also hope they still support .bat files!

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 10:52 am 
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Hi folks,

I finally got around to reading the current issue of PC Pro (UK magazine). Jon Honeyball is a long time contributor, what he doesn't know about Windows is probably not worth knowing and he has some very interesting comments to make about Windows 8, although I suspect he won't be such a regular attendee at Microsoft's events once Redmond reads what he has to say. Here's a flavour:

  • I know of no business that has plans to move to Windows 8 on the desktop
    .
  • Tablets, yes, where there's a clear business justification for going for Windows 8 rather than the iPad, but nowhere else
    .
  • Windows 8 on the desktop, and on a conventional laptop, is a mess. And that's being polite. No, let's call it as it is - it's unusable.
    .
  • This is the first release of Windows in 20 years that leaves me cold. On the touch side, it's too little, too late. On the desktop side it's a car crash.
    .
  • To be blunt, I hope it bombs. Microsoft deserves a bloody nose for this, and lessons learned should make it redouble and refocus for Windows 9.

These are just a few extracts from a full page article but I think they give a representative picture of Jon's views about W8 on anything other than a tablet. Head to a store and buy the September ( :!: ) issue of PC Pro for more.

The same issue also has an interesting piece on developer's reactions to the user interface changes about to be introduced in Visual Studio 11 (Microsoft's software authoring package) and Microsoft's reply. It very much smacks of what we are seeing with Windows 8 where Microsoft thinks it knows what we want better than we do ourselves. As previously stated, I'll pass on Windows 8 but it does give me hope that we are at last starting to see the press having the courage to move away from the Redmond party line.

Bob.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 12:19 pm 
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Is Windows 8 a bit... Marmite? I was playing with the latest preview on the weekend actually. The Metro or lack of start menu as we know is I think is a bit overblown. We made the change from 3.x, to the 9x style, to the XP style, to the Vista/7 style. You will adapt easily enough unless you're really sticking your head in a bucket and will hate it no matter what, like what happened to Vista. Vista really wasn't as bad as made out, and I'm actually running it right now on my netbook to write this. It's major flaw was that it gathered a negative image in the press which it couldn't shake off. That might be what's happening here with Win8 too...

So for the tablet parts of it on desk/laptop, I did find myself trying to use the mouse as if it were a touch device, and using it to click-swipe which didn't work. So there is a bit of confusion as to where to draw the line there.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 3:21 pm 
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Hi popo,

I won't adapt because I won't buy it. :P

As for the bucket metaphor, totally inappropriate I'm afraid. I have 96 shortcut icons on my Desktop, organised into related groupings, as well as a small collection of gadgets for weather and financial data. There's no way I'd want that many icons on the Task Bar and even if I were daft enough to do so there's no way I'd be able to group them to allow such quick and intuitive access. I'm also one of the few who take the trouble to organise and nest Start menu folders rather than just accept the default folders that each new application installs. That way I can get rapid access to less often used applications and documents in a logically hierarchical way. I have come to terms with the W7 Start menu implementation however, although I still think the Vista one was less troublesome.

My issue with Microsoft isn't that they want to provide new and potentially useful ways to interact with the PC but that they insist that their new way is so good that we must tow the party line. Perhaps most deeply worrying of all is the fact that Microsoft seems incapable of separating the underlying OS functionality from what should in effect be no more than a "skin". I'm not an Apple fanboy, despite owning and using a MacBook Air, but that separation between the UI and the underlying nuts and bolts (isn't it currently Unix based?) was something they mastered long ago. Same deal with Linux and its different skins.

If W8 is good for you then I'm happy. As for me, I'll wait for Windows 9 and if that's not looking any better then I'll probably end up virtualising my current W7 environment. That frees me to choose an OS other than Windows to talk to the underlying hardware should I choose to switch in the future.

Bob.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 6:50 pm 
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The separation of core OS and interface is certainly something used in Unix/Linux for a long time. Mac OS X follows that tradition their own brew based on BSD I believe for the core. Windows during the 3.x days sat on top of DOS and that wasn't really broken with the 9x line. Only with the NT based line we're on now when it got moulded together more tightly. But unlike in the Unix/Linux world, we don't have that culture of multiple desktop choice with either Windows or Mac OS. Does separation there provide end user value?

On the bigger issue of the OS giving what a user wants vs. the user making the most of the OS, that is always a tricky one. I hope I'm not dragging this down to yet another PC vs. Apple thread, but I've also owned a Mac in the past, and I found that a lot less usable than even what I've seen of Win8 so far. I guess the point I'm trying to get to is that there are many ways to a desired end result, and which can lead you quickest down that path varies on what and how you do things. Win 8 desktop I don't think makes me any more efficient, so in that respect it doesn't add value and at best I can break even. But changes under the hood such as storage pools I think will help a lot with data management for me. And the tablet element... we'll have to wait and see if that provides significant value on desktop.

And that is the point I think. I think Win8 tablets, particularly the x86 model, will have a good chance of shifting in significant numbers as a high end tablet form factor. That will be one for the masses. Old school power users, of which I still count myself as one, may wish for something different. If I may draw a parallel with another thread, are desktops comparable to DSLRs?

I don't think the cork can be stuffed in the bottle at this point. MS have bet their future on tablets as the mainstream solution and I don't think they have time to U-turn on that decision.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 9:57 pm 
Popo - Yes, you're right about Apple's system, though any comparison visually or functionally with, say, OpenBSD, is drawing a long bow - the Mac systems are very much proprietary and with a lot of "corporation" restrictions.

I was a 3-Cert Windows tech (suburban dealers, workshop and shopfront) for 11 years - Win-3.x to the first generation of NT-5 / XP on the desktop. I was 'Redmond' from my first computer - 'Genuine IBM' Twin-Slotter, no TSR, no HDD, in 1983 - with PC-DOS - MS-DOS came "free offer from this new startup in America" - a few months later. Oddly - my "last" MS system was also "free" - given to us when I last updated my CompTIA A+ in 2002 - an early Corporate version, non-activation, of XP - never to be used for commercial purposes - sign the form...! I still use it, in Linux (Oracle) Virtual-Box, updated to SP3 (the early update has to go in first, before SP3 will 'take') - to try things and test for Windows using friends - it also handles their AxCrypt encrypted material they send me...


As my friends - 6 families, 2 singles - all still use XP - which I help out with occasionally - I'm not at all familiar with Vista, Win-7 - or this non-elegant smear which seems to be masquerading as "Windows-8".... Most peculiar....

I used various Distros of Linux while getting into it from 1999 on - then settled to Mandrake about 2004 - and left it when it became Mandriva - for the breakaway Mandrake derived PCLOS (PCLinuxOS) in May 2006, and have been with it since - though I keep running other Distros (as well as XP and Win2k-SP4) in Virtual-Box, to see what they're up to...!

I'm not one of the (thankfully declining percentage) of Linuxers who "push" Linux - friends visiting have a look - "wow!" at some things - then go home happily to their familiar XPs. There shouldn't need to be "Systems Wars" between the 3 most popular systems - in world usage - Windows is still No.1 - Linux No.2 - and Mac No.3. And the "best system" for anyone - single user or family - is whichever one does all the things they need and want to do - in the way they want to do them - and they're confident and comfortable doing.

Windows seems to be going through a "developing and transition" stage in recent years - I do hope Redmond sorts its act act soon, because the "XP-keeping" at present, folk, do need a Windows that's "familiar and comfy" to move up to, quite soon... I certainly wish them very well with that.

As for Linux - it now - and for the last several years - has programs for anything the Home PC user needs or wants to do - the PCLOS Distro has over 13,000 items pre-checked and tweaked if needed by the PCLOS Team, to run at their best in our distro. Often it isn't "Do we have an app for...?" - it's more - Which, of so many on offer? At times you simultaneously install - with Synaptic installer, over secure link from the Repo (repository) 5 - 7 or more "similar" sounding things to try out - and end up uninstalling in bulk nearly all...

The "separation of core OS and interface" you mention is actually functions above and below the SCL - system call layer. Above, is User Logons and external links - network, internet, WiFi, etc. Those are on the User password unless there's a security factor - e.g. internet - for which setup needs Root (Admin) Permissions.

User Logons are fully separated from System and from each other. To access anything from my 'David' (not the actual name) Logon, in another, say 'Fred's' Logon - requires using the Root Password - or logging-out, and into 'Fred' with the User Password for that one.

(Linux is multi-user - this box is connected only to one other - but if this home network had several PCs - the users on the other boxes could have logons on this PC - Fred, Ned and Ed could log into their logons on this box at the same time - and use whatever I'd allowed those logons to use at User Permissions level. If needed I could restrict per-user the amount of System resources they could use.)

For actions in System - below the security Call Layer - the Root Password is needed. And that allows you to do "anything" - at any level, no restrictions - and NO warnings. While you can Edit System Files (most are text files) - you must know what you're doing. Totally borking the System is surprisingly easy...! (However, you can reinstall system-only, without affecting your data partitions.) When a new 'better functions' System Kernel arrives in the Repo - you can install that with Synaptic - and it then becomes the default System Kernel. But, previous kernels are on the Boot Menu - so if a new one isn't suiting - select and boot the previous kernel. Then later in System Configuration - move that kernel back to the top of the boot-list, to retain it as default - very easy to do.

The claim that Linux is "immune from the Dark-Side on the Internet" - is just that - a 'claim'. While Windows viruses and trojans, etc, won't run in Linux - there are certainly worms and rootkits and more, that do...! You still have to be alert and stay-secure - this box is behind an encrypted hardware firewall router, and Shorewall software firewall. And no - I haven't been caught-out in 11 years of Linux - but there's always a first time!

Why stay with Linux? Answer is - I couldn't cope with Windows now - darned Linux has ruined me...! At the moment I have 6 Desktops up (they connect separately to the system via the call-layer, so events on one can't affect the others.) Desktop-1 is running this Forum, D-2 has a news site, D-3 has Avidemux converting a video to Xvid, D-4 has a lineup of downloads running in KGet download manager, D-5 has a local Yahoo group, and on D-6 I'm intermittently chatting with a friend in Ireland on Pidgin messenger... All of which would be very 'busy' on a single Desktop - and could conflict...

Regards, Dave.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 3:38 am 
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Another iteration to support the adage that Windows is like the Star Trek movies--every other one is good. (For the record, I used 3.1, skipped 95, used 98 (SE), skipped Me, used (actually still using) XP, skipped Vista, using 7, will skip 8.)

The real question is: will M$ still be around for Windows 9? - Mark


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:26 pm 
Mark - That's a good question... Microsoft has two main problems with its Windows system at home PC user level - one, mainly in North America and the EU, is that Apple has made Macs much easier to learn to use, with a more intuitive user-interface, than it was a few years back - the era when "Mac" either meant 'Graphics Workstation", or a somewhat Geeky home user. However, Apple's system is still limited to (if legit) specific hardware, which rather limits folk who just like to "try things" and if they don't suit, bypass them.

As mentioned earlier, I download the ISOs and "try-out" other Distros of Linux in Oracle's free Virtual-Box VM-ware. I'd love to download and try a Mac system - if it would even run there - just to get a hands-on look at it - but that wouldn't be legal, anyway.

Outside North America and the EU, Redmond's big problem is Linux on user PCs. Users in Russia, China, Asia, Africa and South America some time back were "mostly Windows", even if it was very often pirated in those areas. Win-98SE was extremely popular for a long time, there - it's pretty functional if advanced graphics and audio/video processing aren't needed, and it will run well on quite old late 1990s and early 2000s hardware. There's no activation, and it 'copies' easily via cheap CDs.

Apparently for a long time, Microsoft wasn't too concerned by this - at least the home-user masses in those areas weren't using the dreaded Linux...! But - now - they are. And whether I like their Distro or not (I don't, much) - one has to admit that Canonical has done 'wonders' heavily pushing the "Bunties" - Ubuntu, Gnome Enviro** - Kubuntu, KDE Enviro - Edubuntu, set up for Educational uses, and more. Canonical is "Africa's Microsoft", a large South African based IT corporation - which has made the 'Bunties the most popular Linux Distro in the World - particularly in Africa and some other Third-World areas.

Other regions also have local-area high PC usage Distros - the majority PC system in Brazil is related to the original Brazilian Conectiva system (merged with Mandrake some years back to become the current Mandriva.)

Redmond's problem in the Third World is that there are very good "light" Linux Distros that will run very well on anything that 98SE will run on - but are completely current, updatable, and with thousands of free programs. "Puppy Linux" is one good example of a Distro that runs fast and well on older, or new very low cost, hardware. In other regions - anything that will run XP, with its high overheads and resources demands - will run any of the "big, full-on" Linux Distros quite well. Install a PAE kernel, and 32-bit Linux can run 8GB RAM rather neatly. The box I'm using here is doing that, and with a 6-core 3GHz AMD and 8GB of DDR3, does rather well with 6 Desktops of multiple operations.

Adding to their problems re Linux, is that home-user PC Linux is "waaay-faaar" from the "Geeks-needed" system of just a few years back. The GUIs (graphical user interfaces) - plural - are now very intuitive and extremely easy to use. Anyone who can use Win2k or XP in Classical mode - can sit at this PC I'm using (PCLinuxOS) - and find their way around easily. The things at home-user level they'd need to learn are mostly "additions" - I use 6, but they could have up to 20 Desktops, and there are more functions available - plus the thousands of free programs that install in multiples in a few clicks.

As I have Win2k-SP4 and XP-SP3 in Virtual-Box for direct comparison (3 clicks gives me an open and fully running XP in 7-8 seconds) - I can say that this Linux is easier - and much faster - to use than XP. Which suggests it's easier again than the "more DRM'd than XP" - Vista and later versions.

Linux has lost its "Geeks-needed" PC level interface - looks great, very fast on even moderate hardware, and is just superb on Internet... If your ISP provides it - the system gives over 90% of the D/L speeds offered - in multi parallel - and up to 11.3 MB-sec downloading is somewhat addictive.... The above descriptions are what Windows-9 has to beat - including the very low resource overheads and ease of use... Good luck to them!

** "Enviro" - Desktop Environment. This is what runs as the interface at user level on top of the actual operating system. KDE is - with all of its graphics, audio, office, internet, etc, functions, the most popular PC home-user Ennviro. Gnome is the usual business or home-office one, and there are many others, including "lighter on resources" ones such as LXDE.

You can download from the Repository and switch between Enviros - you could run Gnome for a home business in the daytime - and KDE for home-user in the evening. To switch - no need to reboot - just log-off from one - select another in the Logon Screen list, and log into that one. I have KDE, Gnome, and LXDE on this PC.

Regards, Dave.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 3:15 am 
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Yeah, that's why I think M$ should ... not concede, but maybe scale back ... its (consumer) Windows desktop division and focus more on its Xbox/Kinect division and interconnectivity with (Windows) mobile phones and tablets. Outside certain specialized areas (granted, one of which is photo editing), consumer desktops are going away, anyway, and the Xbox could become a true "media center" (DVR, internet/cloud portal) serving content to any screen/device in Wifi range. This is also the one area where Apple hasn't yet made significant inroads. Of course, there's been a lot of talk of Steve Jobs 'finally cracking' Apple TV, and if Apple can get their product to market before the Xbox 720 hits stores, Microsoft may turn out to be the next Palm, and Windows the next WebOS.

Mark


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 6:35 pm 
Mark - Most sadly, Steve Jobs passed away last October. He had pancreatic cancer. He was only 56. Which is far too soon for such a leading innovator and great mind to leave us.

While I didn't and don't use his products directly, we're all influenced by the many products invented and trends begun during his time leading Apple, and since.

Regards, Dave.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 11:30 pm 
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personal taste.

I hate the look of win8, i know XP and its been solid since the day installed it.

I never went through vista and i am only now looking at win7 due to software compatibility.

I like thesound of linux and never heard a badword about it - i have even heard of people running windows within linux but im a not techie enough to know enough about it to run with it.

I use mainly my desktop for processing work, gaming, video and mainly home stuff, some work.. i like the interface on macs, i have an ipod and ipad but dont agree with some of their choices such as no usb or SD on their tablets. I hate itunes with a passion but i love their screens and they work.

I wont be going over to win8 anytime soon.

_________________
Canon 550D, Canon EFS 17-85 IS USM, Canon EF 75-300 IS USM, Canon EFS 10-22mm USM, Canon EF35mm F2.

Got some of the gear but really still no idea...:)


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