August 17th, 2015

hal-9000

Win Ten

So, it's the summer of 2015 and Microsoft Windows 10 is upon us.

It will take time to determine if this Win Ten is a good witch or a bad witch. Redmond's track record is not particularly stellar on upgraded OSes. Windows 2000, for example, shipped with what, 50,000 known bugs? NT4 shipped without a working ability for a user to change a password. So if you think I would use the initial release of Win Ten -- you're crazy.

BTW, I'm jokingly calling it Win Ten, because Windows naming conventions have been so varied -- 95, 98SE, Me, NT, 2000, XP, 7, 8.1 -- and not only did they skip Windows 9, the competition went to Roman numbers with OS X.

There's no question that Microsoft needs a clean new operating system. Windows 8 was a stupid attempt to turn real computers into tablets and phones. We didn't ask for that. Windows 8.1 has improved operability, or so I am told. I wouldn't touch with gloves on. But which features? And what stuff will run on it?

I've already had to deal with dropping 16-bit and MS-DOS legacy support by Windows XP -- and Windows 7 doesn't run a lot of legacy software I could still make work in Windows XP. It's not a matter of me being cheap and not buying new versions of software. It's that some of my software HAS no new versions. And others, no longer work in the way I need them to.

As noted here (DW) (LJ), I have just resurrected NT4SP6a on two machines using Oracle's free VirtualBox virtual machine system in order to support legacy software. NT4 forever!

File format creep. Software version creep. OS version creep. Just stop it, dammit!

So...

Wednesday 6 June 2015 00:12 EDT, a new icon appears on the right side of my System Tray. It looks like a four-panel window in perspective. "Get Windows 10" it said. Free upgrade from Windows 7 Home Premium. Hmm...

Actually, it's rather nice of Microsoft to actually offer a free upgrade. They're always complaining about having to support older OSes after they release a new one. Trying to bounce all the Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 users up to 10 sounds like a plan. Maybe Windows 10 learned from Mac OS X. (evil-grin)

And I guess they did a slow roll out. If you ordered the upgrade, you'd be told when it was available. Again, clever. Of course, I've heard mixed reviews of whether the status of Windows 10 drivers and program support works.

I will never understand the thinking that when you get a new machine or new OS, you would just throw away 20 to 30 years of work and act as if that never happened. The real world doesn't work that way. My complaint for a LONG time is that I don't think the people designing and testing these things actually expect people to USE computers. Seems to me a lot of the computer business thinks that I own a PC simply to run Windows Update, Norton Live Update and install new versions of Adobe Flash. Urgh?

Then, with the release of Microsoft Windows 10, there's the issue of advertising. I swear, cell phones and Microsoft -- they don't seem to know how to sell these things. I mean, think of it. Most cell phone ads talk about very useless things and most of them never even talk about using the damned things as a phone. Their rationale for owning a smart phone is pretty darn vapid. It's made worse because ads for non cell phone products, but use cell phones, are equally clueless. Consider the current Eggo waffles commercial with the whole family sitting around the table texting "leggo my eggo".

So... the Win Ten ads? Yeah, the baby ads. They show a bunch of babies and claim that they'll grow up and not have to know about passwords and they'll be able to draw stuff on the screen. Great. You think Win Ten's login procedure is going to rid the world of passwords? Good luck with that. And making cheesy crayon mods of nice sharp pictures, ooh, how classy. Besides, think of it. How long does a typical Windows OS version last? Do you REALLY think these babies will be using Win Ten by the time they're teenagers? I don't think so.

This is NOT the Men In Black Last Operating System You'll Ever Need.

And then there's this:


Not content with the little System Tray icon in my Windows 7 Home Premium, we now get a Win Ten Upgrade pop up box. Get Now! Limited Time!

One -- I have heard that the free upgrade will run for a year after the Win Ten release. So, no panic. Plenty of time for Win Ten Service Pack 1 to get shipped and companies to improve the drivers situation.

Two -- I can even live with the pop up popping up at login. But... on the night August 14th, in one session, I had to kill the little blue fucker SEVEN times.

That is abusive.

And it doesn't endear me to you, Redmond.

Grow up. And figure out how to make a good OS, keep it up to date, keep it secure and How To Market It.

I'll give you time. I'm not going anywhere. And I'm still using XP and 7 -- plus NT4.

Dr. Phil

UPDATE 8/26/15 W: And then, of course, there's this from WMU's OIT:
The Office of Information Technology recommends that faculty and staff not upgrade to Windows 10 at this time. Any time a new operating system comes out, there is a fair amount of testing that has to occur to ensure that the upgrade will work with Banner and other enterprise systems. This testing is occurring, and an announcement will be made when it is concluded and upgrades may occur.

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maria-amanda

Oooh, Shiny!

And they are, too.

Today the mail truck drove up and dropped off a flat box. Turned out it was from Lulu.com -- my first four Beta 1 reader copies of A Princess of a Lost Kingdom.


All shrink wrapped and padded for your protection. (Click on photo for larger.)
©2015 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)

I'd have ripped the wrapping off, except I wanted a picture. Very pleased with the results. The gutters came out right, as did all the pages. Cover looks good. All that work I did setting up the prototype mockups has paid off.


Revealed! Four books. (Click on photo for larger.)
©2015 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)

The first copy goes to Mrs. Dr. Phil. Can I write on it? Sure.

Oh, and one of the things I need to know is where you throw the book across the room in disgust. Please fold over the page first, because bookmarks tend to fall out of thrown books -- and I need the page number. (grin)

Even better, in case my head gets too swelled at seeing books I put together in the flesh, I got my first comment email from a Beta 1 reader. About halfway through. Some confusion about details, which points out where I need to better explain the history. To avoid a big info dump, I may have been too coy.

And Chapter 13, midway, which I'd been waffling about and finally just rewrote the other day. May still be problematic. Good to know.

Not to worry, I can fix this.

Progress!

Dr. Phil
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