Category Archives: Windows

Windows – what is still Missing! Free + cheap must-haves!

Must-have-Windows-8-apps-for-your-PC-or-tablet

Window 10, Windows 8.x, Windows 7, Windows XP Users!
We have a LIST for you…

I find it a bit surprising I have to download so many things for a 30 year old OS. Microsoft has plenty of money to buy all of these and bundle into the OS. But here is what I download on any new Window installation. It makes Windows a lot more productive, powerful and friendly.

Advanced Users (novices ignore): Rather than install these one at a time go to https://ninite.com/ and let it install many of these at once, and keep them up-to-date all at once 😀

Very Good Lists (with different choices) on others Blogs!

The downloads divided into groups

Everyone will want to download the Productivity group. Other groups just depend on how you use your Windows machine.

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Productivity

  • Clipmate – because cut and paste in Windows is very limited. This fixes all of that in a dreamy way.
    Download @ http://www.ClipMate.com
  • Chrome by Google – because IE sucks. Chrome is much more secure than IE and FireFox. patched faster for years in response to new threats. Blocks malicious software if users download and try to install.
    Download @ http://www.google.com/chrome/

  • Search Everything – because Windows search sucks. This is tiny and super fast. can find anything on your disk durn near instantly with very little overhead.
    Download @ http://www.voidtools.com/
    Read more about it @ http://techsuperheroes.com/?p=361
  • EverNote – a good cloud note taking system to keep lists and notes on your Windows that you can get to on your phone, tablet, Mac, work PC, etc.
    Download @ http://www.EverNote.com
  • FireFox – because IE sucks, and FireFox has a few add-ins I still need that Chrome do not.
    Download at http://www.GetFireFox.com

  • FoxIt PDF Reader – a FREE lighter, faster version of Adobe Reader. More secure. Uses less memory. Loads faster.
    Download @ http://www.foxitsoftware.com/Secure_PDF_Reader/
  • GoScreen Wish you had 2 or more monitors but cannot afford them? Way better than Windows 10 virtual desktop. Way Better. Virtual Monitors done right for people with only 1 monitor.
    Download @ http://www.goscreen.info. Not FREE, but under $30 and worth every penny.
  • TextPad+ – Because Notepad sucks. Only needed by people who edit tons of text files.
  • Download @ http://www.Textpad.com
  • Tor Browser – Allows you to browse sites your company forbids and blocks. Hides the site you browse from everyone who monitors your network. For something even better than Incognito/Private mode (some corporations may not allow this)
    Download @ https://www.torproject.org/projects/torbrowser.html.en
  • UltraMon – If you use 2 or more monitors this setups 2 or more separate task bars with relevant programs on the correct task bar (not all same programs lumped on several taskbars).
    NOT FREE – approximately $40 but I love it.
    Download trial @ https://www.realtimesoft.com/ultramon/
  • XMind – I think MindMapping is even better way to take notes than Notepad 😀

IE-Browsers

Web Browsing!

Here is the list anyone serious about browsing the Web and Safety needs to have:

These should really make you able to browse with more power (and safety) and speed.

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Graphics and Photos and Webcam Goodies

I have picked the programs that are easiest to got started with graphics, photos, and your webcam.

cloud-computing

File & Disk Management & Backups & Cloud – oh my

If someone else manages your computer, you do not need these. But if the person managing your computer is not using these, you may need a new computer person 😀

computer-mechanic   Computer-Woes

System Maintenance / Troubleshooting

If someone else manages your computer, you do not need these. But if the person managing your computer is not using these, you may need a new computer person :D

  • Belarc Advisor – must have for system survey. Not sure what hardware or software you have. This makes a nice multi-page report including product keys, product version numbers, etc. Allows you to answer anyone’s questions aobut “what kind of machine?”, “what software is installed”, etc.
    Download @ http://www.belarc.com/free_download.html
  • Long Filenames or Pathnames keeping you from deleting, copying or renaming a file?
    Get help @ http://longpathtool.com/
  • PC Decrapifier – remove all the extra junk software the PC makers added to your machine to save disk space and memory. Easy to use. Eezy peezy Japaneezy.
    Download @ http://pcdecrapifier.com/
  • Process Lasso – because Task Manager is sucky and weak and missing key features.
    Download @ https://bitsum.com/processlasso/
  • Oracle Virtual Box Not for everyone, for people who want to install other operating systems on their computer (other versions of Windows, Linux, hacintosh). Because free Virtual PC is too weak and VMWare is too expensive.
  • Registry Workshop to make registry editing a dream @ http://www.torchsoft.com/en/rw_information.html
  • Speccy – detects some things that Belarc Advisor does not. Gives you every technical spec on your system if any tech support asks you what your PC model, graphics card, disk drive, etc. is
    Download @ https://www.piriform.com/speccy
  • Take Ownership – when Windows screws up a file permission set so bad you can’t open a file. Read the fix @
    http://www.askvg.com/add-take-ownership-option-in-file-folder-context-menu-in-windows-vista/ (the fix works for Win 7/8/10)
  • Unlock Files that will not allow deletion or rename or the like – see the article @
    http://www.howtogeek.com/128680/how-to-delete-move-or-rename-locked-files-in-windows/
  • TeamViewer If you try to help family and friends far away this lets you take over their machine, see what their monitor sees, use the keyboard and mouse on their machine as if you were there. Because the Windows remote desktop client is stone age compared to this and hard to setup and use. And decent multi-monitor support if the target machine has 2 monitors. It is multi-platform. Nothing new to learn on other platforms. iPad or Android can control a Windows machine and vice versa.
    Download @ http://www.TeamViewer.com

Music, Movies, Music and DVDs and CD Goodies

Yeah music and multimedia rocks and here are the ways to get your computer rocking, dancing and singing (well rocking and singing at least):

* If you do not know what an ISO File is, you may not need this. But it is a pretty amazing thing I will attempt to explain here. Rather than load a CD/DVD into your computer’s drive to install software, you can transfer the CD or DVD into an ISO file (CD Burner XP is one way to do this). Or if a boss or co-worker wants you to install something rather than a CD or DVD they may just give you an ISO File. ISO mounting software lets you double-click on the ISO file and make ti pretend to be a CD/DVD drive then you install software while putting nothing in your CD/DVD drive. Very nice huh?

Why so many Add-Ons?

These tools should be built into Windows. Its a question people should be asking to Microsoft employees, at press conferences, in blog comments and when being begged to get excited about buying yet another site license and upgrade.

We are at Windows 10 by 2015 and after 30 years I should not need these many add on products to make it usable.

When this kind of consumer neglect kills Windows, I will not grieve for the lack of interest in Windows machine (and people using their phone as a PC or tablets, or buying Macs or Chromebooks) because this was easy and cheap to fix.

 pcguy_death

Windows still missing some BIG STUFF Microsoft

What I wish Windows had built in that sadly it still does not. Such huge omissions after 30+ years of Windows and over a decade of DOS are one of the many reasons people won’t trust or buy MS Operating Systems any more for personal use:

  • Security – unfortunately your newly purchased Windows 7/8/10 is still highly insecure. If you want security for your PC, friends or family, there is a WHOLE other set of Security add-ons you must download for free and/or buy and learn how to use.
    • MS spent billions fighting DOJ and Europe to force a browser on you even after FireFox and Chrome are way better, so you do not need IE.
    • MS threatens Dell and HP and all PC makers to not dare install a better browser for you that makes IE look bad, but does not stop them from installing so much crapware that  PC Decrapifier  @ http://pcdecrapifier.com/ is a THING you must download.
    • MS won’t fight DOJ or Europe to make your PC Windows as safe as Mac, Linux, iOS or Android. But instead they will spend a few hundred million encouraging their staff and loyalist bloggers to spread very inaccurate FUD about Mac and Linux and Android (and running Ads that Windows 7/8/10 is the most secure Windows ever).  But apparently the world’s safest OS needs another set of FREE and paid downloads to protect it.
  • Partition recovery tool – Every fricking tool that fixes this costs $50-$200 and you will use it for an hour. You will not need it again for years. And its all because the stone age MS partitioning tools do not support an Undo.
    • I guess Microsoft missed that day at “we care about the user” school.
    • Many Live Linuxes have this. So a bunch of hippies deliver something free a company with several billion does not?
  • File recovery tool – Many Live Linuxes have this. So no matter how much you pay for Windows, your boss pays, and your PC maker pays Microsoft does not care if you lose your files but a bunch of Linux hippies do… In fact Microsoft thinks if their OS loses your files with no UNDO you should pay a $50-$200 penalty and have to buy something to fix a Windows you pay for, your boss pays for, and your PC makers pay for. Pay for many upgrades by 3 sets of people and Microsoft could not put a crowbar in their wallet and recover your files they allowed you to delete without an undo feature? FT.
  • Basic Cleanup Toolssee this post!
  • A Desktop App Store (the Mac has one) – you should be able to buy Windows apps (not Metro/Modern apps) in their own store.

They have OUR Money and Profits! Spend some on Windows

I hope the new Microsoft CEO that replaces Steve Ballmer fixes 20+ years of neglecting customer needs on Windows. So far he does not seem to be, as Windows 10 has none of this. They can spend billions on Skype, AQuantitive, losing tons on Xbox and not spend a few million on either making all this unnecessary or just buying and integrating these products.

Still Using XP on a Machine – we got your back and some advice

This is what we have for you:

Hope this LIST makes your Windows more productive – Charles Carroll

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USB 3.0 and ReadyBoost

OS-Windows-ReadyBoost

USB Stick as Windows RAM – ReadyBoost

Windows starting with Vista (an OS I skipped to go to the much better Win7) can use a USB memory stick as RAM.

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Get a Fast USB stick/drive

If you do that then find a fast one:

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Read More on ReadyBoost

The following articles will clarify more about what performance improvements to expect:

Hope this helps you eek more performance and run large programs.

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Notes

I run Windows on my MacBook Pro Retina so its an easy way to give my Windows 7/10 more RAM.

Here is to Fast Windows Computing! Kampai! – Chaz

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Windows UI Fails: Dissecting Upload dialog box

File Upload Dialog Box in Windows

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This is a very common task. It affects so many people it should be right. The internet and cloud we are always uploading files, so our perception of Windows is resting on this among other things. They have APIs for this dialog and they have updated and tweaked these APIs with little regard to end users and maximum regard to programmers.

This box appears on:

  • Every Web Site that has a default upload (Facebook, Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.)
  • so many places that it really deserves to be a first class experience.

Those who say we give them an API. it’s the application programmer’s fault we have several answers:

  • This dialog box comes in all browsers YOU WROTE THIS MS
  • You strong arm programmers all the time about APIs and break them, and ditch them and change them. But suddenly now you can’t to help your customers?

I know whose fault this is not. It is not the User’s fault. They have every right to expect a big successful product that cost them money with expensive upgrades to be easy to use.

Windows 30+ years to get it right… Still waiting…

Windows has been around a while 1, 2, 3, 3.1, 95, 98, ME, NT 4, 2000, XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 8.1, Win 10 they have had plenty of time to get this right.

We have paid and paid and paid and paid (and our bosses paid, and our PC manufacturers paid) premium prices for our OS. Money was paid for premium support and per incident support. Bosses paid for annual software subscriptions even when no new OS releases were happening for years. OSes are free now in post PC world from Apple, Google, Amazon, etc. and you still have the gall to consider charging XP and Vista and Win 7 users for Wins 8.x and Windows 10. Wow! Really.

Really Microsoft? Really?

And your OS is full of dialog boxes like this for core features and enough UI Gaffes whole books can be written about it. Yet boo hoo, nobody trusts you and nobody wants to buy your OS and hardware any more.

If your primary strategy for keeping customers is

  • Stockholm Syndrome
  • We know more than the users
  • paid support and demanding the users file reports you ignore and close for years without fixing…

Maybe you should reconsider your business model. Or just accept that you created the post-PC era by consumer computing neglect, so the consumer mistrust of you and trust of others is your own fricking fault for inability to take consumer computing seriously for decades.

Windows 10 does not fix that

We pay a fortune in Windows license fee around the world. So does Dell, HP, Cmpaq, etc. on tour behalf because they pay a lot for our license to bundle it with our computer. They sure are not spending our money on perfecting Windows.

Sigh maybe by Windows 20 and another decade of upgrade fees and subscription

Uploading a file in Windows (in this case a graphic)

Here is the upload dialog.

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Let me list the flaws:

  • The preview can only be resized / split by grabbing a tiny 1 pixel strip to the left of the scroll bar. WTF with that much screen real estate and a huge monitor??!!
  • No maximize button.
  • Preview Tile is irrelevant when you have an extra large icon option.
  • Most of the time when I go to select the icon size it looks like I switch to another app entirely till I select it the upload Window actually looses focus.
  • Text Search does not work on Filenames or Folder when I am in DropBox or Google Drive (which can be done easily technically Mac Spotlight Search does it as does Void Everything Search a freebie for Windows)
  • Filename on status bar does not wrap when extra long (not surprising since Windows support for long path and filenames is still broken at many levels)
  • Filename is in TINY PRINT what is this a phone instead of a 2-5 million pixel monitor?
  • Button names like Open and Cancel are very ambiguous and not user friendly. They should be labelled by “application context” i.e. “upload pic to Facebook” and “cancel FB pic upload” plenty of room to label it we have 1920 x 1080 and larger monitors.
  • Print for all filenames captioning files is so small, illegible font, and NOT scalable. Do you just hate older users? They are the ones most likely to be using Windows instead of some post-PC solution. Have you just never seen a Mac Retina display? Have you never learned that responsive design is not just for the Web and post-PC devices.
  •  Drag and Drop folders works but no undo or confirmation. So anyone with no co-ordination could accidentally drop a directory somewhere they could never find it again.
  • I can rename a file with F2 or right click and choose rename. But if I rename and then select it and click “Open” it gives an error message about the old filename and I have to select it again.
  • If I right click a file there is a copy and move option. Neither offers a directory picker which means either opening a new window for drag or drop, or navigating to new place and then losing the original folder context.
  • Title is NOTHING which is ambiguous. What app/location/context are we uploading this too?
  • No check boxes for multiple selections. This is not Windows 3.x no one should have to learn about Ctrl and Shift and hold keys down.
  • No icons for select all or filtering to select a group.

What they got right on Upload

Its a short list unfortunately:

  • The icon sizes including extra large are nice. It never remembers it consistently so you will be constantly choosing “Extra Large” so many times if you upload a few dozen files.
  • The “Recent Places” is a godsend. Wish it noticed every interaction and added every folder instead of just most of them.
  • Nice they stole the ability to add shortcuts to the left from the Mac. Also very nice.

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Get it right Microsoft!

Or

  • Don’t complain when Android, Mac, iOS becomes beloved because they are releasing fixes for their UIs several times a year and listening to customers and they are releasing their OS upgrades free. You have been charging hundreds of $$$ each for OS upgrades since Windows 1.0 and there has been Win 1, 2, 3, 3.1, 95, 98, Vista, 2000, XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, and Win 8.1. We paid you thousands of $$$ to get this OS right, as did our corporate bosses.
  • Microsoft Bloggers, quit writing blog posts about the imperfections of your competitors you need to enter the market to offer an alternative for.
  • Microsoft Bloggers, quit writing about platform fragmentation on iOS and Android unless you have 100% of PCs running Win Latest (8.1 at moment) you are typically at 20% adoption or less of a new OS the first few years of its release. Android and iOS have that beat by a wide margin.

Broken-Windows

You had one job in 30 years!

Windows Search is Broken! Here is the FIX!

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Fixing Windows Search

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Why is it Broken?

Windows Desktop Search is a memory hog, a disk hog and a CPU Hog! Its not that fast and ignores attached cloud storage (like Google drive and DropBox).

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What can I use instead?

http://www.voidtools.com/
is awesome and is FREE.

Install this and uninstall Windows Desktop Search to speed up your computer.

Why MS did not fire the Desktop Search Team when they saw this and just replace it with this and hire the talent…. Just quit giving a damn and quit holding themselves to the high standards Gates set in the 90s.

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How can I disable search to speed up my PC again and regain disk space?

Here are the details by each Windows type:

Hope this makes a big difference for you!
Charles Carroll!

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Copying Files Fast (Windows)

Copying massive amounts of files are slow and prone to errors.

First some common sense…

There are many tools listed at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_file_copying_software including

  • Robocopy*
  • Teracopy
  • XXCopy (a good product but plagued by one unforgiveable bug that keeps it from being my favorite and the lack of a GUI is a bad point as well)
  • XXClone
  • RichCopy*
  • etc.

* Orphaned by Microsoft rather than sanely being made a first class part of their Operating System.

But my current favorite is FastCopy.Minimalist with simple UI but fast and reliable.

http://www.majorgeeks.com/files/details/fastcopy.html
is as good  a place to get it as any.

It outperforms most of them and handles errors and retries well.

FAQ #1: I encountered the dreaded
GetVolumeInformation(Access is denied.5)
when trying to copy from Network path.

Answer: It does not like Network paths unless you map drives to them.  Then it copies fine.

 

 

Speedup a Windows Machine!

How-Can-Fix-Slow-Computer-Boot-Windows-Computer-Boots-Up-SlowSpeed-Up-Windows-8-Booting-Start-up

Speedup that work for all Windows Versions

Introduction

Sent about 12 hours speeding up my Mom’s old XP system because it had gotten very slow. Here is the definitive guide (and almost all these suggestions are Win7/win 8 / vista ready) to what I did some of you may have great suggestions or corrections here is the list:
(of course I first just removed lots of programs casual users grandkids, me, her other children put on that have not been used in forever, drivers for 3 different printers and their companion programs she does not have anymore, etc.)

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The Speed Up Tips

  • http://www.belarc.com/free_download.html is the ULTIMATE SURVEY TOOL to see what your system has hardware and software wise and print it out. Free and does an amazing report including License keys, installed service packs, every piece of hardware and motherboard revision #s, etc. A printout from this will answer any techie’s question about what is on your system. And will help you know what drivers you do need based on your current hardware.
    Note: Speccy http://www.piriform.com/speccy is somewhat better in terms of hardware discovery. For instance, a video card that Belarc will show as a generic VGA card will be much better detailed by Speccy. Belarc, however will doa great job with applications and software!
  • http://www.blackviper.com/ BlackViper is your must have reference to know what Windows Services are started and don’t need to be (i.e. Services.msc issues). This option is time consuming, consider just steps 3, 4, 5, 8 first they may speed things up enough that you don’t have to do this even though eliminating unneeded services speeds up PCs even further.
  • Tip use half as many colors as usual i.e. if your Graphics card can do 32 million colors, set it to use 16 million instead. Half as much work redrawing the screen. Right click on display properties provided that option.
  • TIP If your system has 2 to 4 Gigs of RAM turn off ‘swapping to disk’ for memory just use straight memory. On control panel, SYSTEM, ADVANCED
  • if on XP make the system look great, turn on ClearType (on already in Vista/Win7 most of the time). You will be shocked how much better text looks on the machine.

Process Lasso is your friend

  • Install Process Lasso YESTERDAY from http://bitsum.com/prolasso.php it will help you make any system MUCH MUCH FASTER it allows you to
    monitor who is hogging your computer’s brain (CPU) and memory (RAM) sooooo much better than any other tools, terminate programs instantly
    that don’t want to exit or take minutes or never exit when they hang, etc. It also ‘throttles’ (i.e. slows down) any program that tries tomonopolize your machine.
    process lasso has many more features than Task Manager:
  • when a program tries to grab 100% and takes over a machine PL keeps a log of the programs that did so on the bottom of its screen. This is helpful because when a program slows down a machine often machine is sooooo slow Ctrl escape will not pull up Task Man and when it finally comes up the offending program has calmed down and you cannot see who was monopolizing the machine a few minutes ago.
  • When a program tries to tab 100% PL throttles it i.e. slows it down and gives it less CPU time so it can grab 100% of the CPU. PL is an active tool unlike TaskMan that observes but cannot slow down a greedy program.
  • When a program hangs FoxPro, Explorer, whatever and quitting or clicking on the X will not close it, Process Lasso has several right click terminate options some of which can end the program in a second when a stubborn program refuses to end.
  • It has many more useful columns of information about running programs to see RAM consumed to spot RAM pigs, threads, average and current % of CPU, etc.

More Speed Up Tips

  • http://pcdecrapifier.com/ is superb tool. It clears out a ton of uneeded programs vendors throw on that clutter your computer and registry.
  • http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner   Ccleaner can clean your registry but it makes me super nervous as it does MS engineer to remove things that may break software. But this seems to be the best at it.
  • Glary Utilities is useful.
  • Revo uninstaller is amazing. It can remove things Add Remove Programs will not.

Security Tips

Security I just removed everything but Microsoft Security Essentials.
In the past I have used AVG (very good free), Norton, Macafee, Spybot Search and destroy (also very good), and AntiMalware Bytes but nasty things slipped by any way on other’s machine about twice a year or anytime my machine got infected by a baddy  I had to clean. NORTON in particular slows down a machine so much I always remove it entirely from a machine and use Microsoft Security Essentials which takes much less machine resources to keep machine even safer. Process Lasso has identified most scanners as CPU HOGs – windows security essentials is not.
When Bad things slip by or even if you suspect but are not  sure your machine is infected do THOROUGH BADDY CLEAN (see end of doc)

Browsing Tips

  • Internet Explorer and Firefox are memory hogs. IE more so than fIreFox. On an old system or slow system switch to Chrome it will perform much better on any system.
  • Use the suggested add-ins I recommend.

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XP Only Speedup Tips

  • http://www.litepc.com/xplite.html is THE TOOL to remove tons of uneeded stuff that windows XP itself will never let you remove and to do so in a very easy way. First thing I do after installing it is apply the SHRINK option it reclaims a lot of disk space and eliminates a lot of unneeded update rollback info, orphaned temp files, etc.

More Questions? Need Help!

All of these tips and more and advice on this can be gained by asking questions on email groups devoted to repairing and using Windows I recommend joining and sending questions, error messages, etc, to

  • http://superuser.com/ the Stack OverFlow family of help sites for Windows.
  • my favorite Yahoo Groups i.e.
    • xxxx
    • xxxx

Windows 8.x – broken and never fixed?

Where to get Windows 8 help….

There are several places when I consult, I go to get Windows 8 help to help my customers.

  • xxxx
  • xxx
  • xxx

If you came here because your Windows 8.x is having troubles, you can stop reading here.  The rest is a deep and objective discussion about Windows 8 and Windows 10.

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The Windows 8.x failure – Why It Failed…

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xxxx

xxxx

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The Windows 8.x Failure – Why it DID NOT FAIL

I hear really bogus reasons Windows 8.x failed all the time. They sound seductive but fail the tests of general semantics and critical thinking. Some fall for the bogus reasons, but here they are and easy refutes for them:

  • “You just hate learning new things.” Actually tech types love it. They just love learning the fastest, easiest way. iOS and Android are offering that.
  • If you had a touch laptop you would love it.
  • If you had a touch monitor you would love it.
  • It is the bravest thing Microsoft has ever done.
  • Just throw away everything you learned about programming to make Win 9/Metro/Modern apps

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Why Windows 8? Why Windows 10?

xxxx

  • xxxx
  • xxxx

xxxxxx

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Why Not Windows 8? Why Not Windows 10?

xxxx

  • xxxxx
  • xxxxx

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Win1-and-Win8 Windows8-idiocy

A list of really obvious Windows 8.x problems there are no answers to

Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt despite what Microsoft blogging engineers and blogging IT types want you to believe.

  • TCO
  • iPad Copying
  • Android copying
  • One OS to rule them all
  • If you think these are wrong, you may want to research confirmation bias.
  • The hatred of Skeuomorphism and love of flat.
  • The embrace of ugliness and bad typography.

How bad is Windows 8?

Well there are many signs it is much worse than it’s Stockholm Syndrome cheerleaders are willing to accept via their rose colored irrational glasses:

  • People use their phone and tablet because it is easier than their PC.
  • The rising new purchase of Chromebooks and Mac OS and Hardware.
  • People are upgrading phones and Tablets both hardware and software.
  • Gifts and Prizes.

This is some hefty evidence. Only victims of confirmation bias, Stockholm Syndrome and MS Fanboy status (even ones in denial) will refute these.

But Windows is SUCH a better Corporate and Productivity OS

Ah this one sounds so good, but is easily answered with rock solid counter points.

  • xxx
  • xxx

Don’t be an OS bigot. Bigotry is how a bunch of Christian people found themselves in White Sheets burning crosses on lawns. Now bigots are too busy leaving nasty comments on Windows 8 blogs, refusing to buy Apple devices, buying Microsoft stuff for family members that want Android and Apple, or commenting rabidly on blogs that dare to criticize the great Microsoft. Microsoft Supremacist may sound better than White Supremacist, facist, socialist, et al. but supremacy mentality combined with confirmation bias is how Joe Stalin and Grand Dragons became who they are.

Anecdotal Problems I had that discouraged me from using windows 8 full-time

I run/ran Windows 8 in a virtual machine. I have to know it to support it as a consultant and for friends and family. but I cannot bear to subject my best machine to it.

  • I had the Wifi problems everybody had.
    • No internet access while every other device (Win 7, Win XP, Mac, Android, iPad, Android Phone, Android Tablet, iPhone) had Internet fine when connected to Wifi.
    • In a connected world not being able to access Internet from WiFi is a show stopper. Do not ship till you got this right. My Windows 8.1 is totally up to date and was bought in March 2014 so I am not an early adopter. They had several years to fix this.
    • There are fixes in fact http://everythingsurface.org/4-ways-to-solve-your-windows-8-1-surface-pro-wi-fi-issues documents 4 fixes.
  • Ugly colors. Ugly icons. Ugly typefaces. Tiny icons. Boring icons. Monochrome dialog boxes and icons.
  • Bugs. Bugs. Bugs.

The best fix to Windows 8

There are many best fixes to this.

Use Windows 10 the minute it comes out as a free upgrade to Windows 8. I like the beta-test/customer preview versions of Windows 10. I do not LOVE it like I loved past Windows because Mac OS X and iOS and Android provide me with so many things I usually count on windows for.

Use Other better products instead of Windows. Read about your options @
http://techsuperheroes.com/?cat=297

But then you are just an Android and Apple and Mac Fanboy! And anti-Microsoft!

Well that is a nice thought that sidesteps the legitimate issues I raise here and the massive agreement that the purchasing public and usual Microsoft cheerleaders discredit.

But read this article on Fanboys and if you still think I am after that, well I have done my best to present you with the objective truth. Even I can’t beat confirmation bias.

Hope this all helps – Happy Windowing! – Chaz

 

 

Windows – Long Path and Filename Bugs

I use a few DOS commands and third party programs that encounter the dreaded

The directory name is too long

This is an operating system problem in an OS they have had 28 years (since Windows 1.0) to get right. DOS was released in August 1981. Do you think they could have it free of bugs by now?

Granted I can buy my way out of the problem with things like:

But I personally bought DOS 1.0 – 6 and Windows 1.0 – 8.1 and everything in between at a cost of several thousand $$$. Apparently MS does not care enough about their OS to fix this long standing bug even for those of us who who pay, and pay and pay.

It affects internal and external commands as well:

  • a simple command
    dir curl.exe /s

    blew up the screen with errors like this:

0003

And not only did it flood the prompt with those errors they wiped out any hope of ever seeing that the file was there several times.

In the excellent Take Command it worked quite well i.e.

0004

If Microsoft wants to win back customer loyalty leaving severe bugs in a product for well over 30 years is not it. Bugs that tiny companies can fix yet a company with over 50 billions in cash and in excess of 100,000 employees does not bother.

It also broke XXCopy my favorite file copier because it is entirely DOS based – at least on systems with long file names and paths. A few of my systems have that issue.

What I STILL love about Microsoft

Microsoft has lost my trust and respect. Almost 15 years of Ballmer did that. I love what Bill Gates did, but Ballmer spent over a decade destroying what Bill’s teams built and not adapting and out-competing Apple, Google, Amazon and a couple hundred small companies and cloud vendors so everything I do with personal and business computing is often “everything but Microsoft”. Here are the things I still love (with caveats):

  • I love some of the amazing software made by 3rd parties. ClipMate, Process Lasso, BelArc Advisor, XPLite. UltraMon, GoScreen, etc. do not like that Microsoft does not help or promote those companies. Their habit of sucking all the oxygen out of the room and only promoting paid partners is appalling.
  • I know it might not be popular but I like the Ribbon UI in Word. I do think objectively they are unfinished and unpolished and most people will never like them till they make a few core improvements. But for what I use them for, they are awesome.
  • Smart art in Word rocks.
  • The task Bar in Windows 7 is awesome.
  • WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation) rocks. The fact it has no first class website like ASP.net does is a disaster 🙁
  • Windows 8 improved boot times are awesome 😀 The fat that Metro / Modern UI is there when you do boot yuck. iOS and Android got Touch UIs “good enough” – you blew it so far Microsoft. The price = yuck. Should be FREE! every other OS I use now is: Mac, iOS, Android.
  • Most of the Microsoft employees are arrogant, think they are smartest people in room, unresponsive to emails to a sociopath level, have Stockholm syndrome, post disingenuous things about competitors, and just generally hurt more than help Microsoft. But a few are easy to love: Jerry Hibbert (inventor of ASP), Joshua Trupin, Michael Corning, Scott Hanselman, Scott Guthrie and Yasser. The smarter ones already left: Omar Shanine, Mark Anders.

I wish I loved more about Microsoft. Unfortunately there is too many things to hate, and too many things to love in the Post PC World, I hope the new CEO can fix it but I seriously doubt it – he has shown no evidence he will work on the root of the problems, just the superficial parts.

microsoft-mug