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View Diary: O/T: advice on TECH upgrades (50 comments)

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  •  Thankfully, we demolished Bob (1+ / 0-)
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    Odysseus

    Windows ME was also a failure. Windows Vista was replaced by Windows 7 in record time. Tech companies make mistakes, and WE decide what constitutes a failure as opposed to "progress."

    How different is the Apple user interface now, compared to when it started? Not very different. Windows 8 is a huge interface redesign. The Windows store is a terrible idea, and Microsoft should be punished for it.

    You see, productivity IS important. It is not trivial. Moving to a new operating system is a big deal. Many companies have skipped upgrades because they see no benefit, only pain.

    One thing that made Windows more successful than the arguably better Apple Macintosh was that, in order to work in most any office, people had to learn Windows. It was something one could put on a resume, like knowing how to type. Windows made no significant changes to the user interface for well over a decade.

    Why do companies buy Windows? Because it is easy to find people who know how to be productive on Windows. If companies upgrade to Windows 8, this will no longer be true.

    Microsoft screwed up, Windows 8 will be the same sort of quickly replaced failure that Microsoft is famous for. No, not every change was as bad as moving from drafting board to computer screen. Not by a long shot.

    This essay feels like an apologia for the stupider side of the tech industry. You admit that tech companies create new products not out of any real demand, but because of idiotic Product Managers and the soul-destroying "profit motive." There is no real money in fixing problems in an old product. There is no real money in improving an existing product according to customer feedback. The real money is in convincing consumers that they need the latest crap, whatever its merits.

    And you are playing right into that.

    I'm proud of the fact that I have helped ween many individuals, companies, and state agencies off of crap commercial software and onto Open Source, putting power back in the hands of the users. You seem to be saying, "Shut up and eat the crap we slop on your plate." Are you proud of that contribution?

    •  As one who actually used Bob, I can say (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wu ming

      it was kind of fun. It would have been a fun operating system for little kids. And it gave us Clippit!

      I never tried to use it for a real operating system - it would have been terrible at that. But as a fun OS wrapper, it was fine.

      Win 8 is basically Win 2 on steroids. Windows 2 gave us the first "windows", but they were static. You could tile windows, but you could not size or move them. We have come full circle and Win 8 now allows us only full-screen or two tiled windows. Actually, that's not even as advanced as Win 2. You could have more than 2 windows even then.

      When collective bargaining is outlawed, only outlaws will have collective bargaining.

      My political compass: - 8.38,-6.97

      by pucklady on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 06:56:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Please. Do not mention that... thing. (4+ / 0-)
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        wu ming, Odysseus, skohayes, pucklady

        Clippy is an abomination. It is Microsoft's complete misunderstanding of Brenda Laurel's ideas about human/computer interfaces. They stole the basic idea from her, but got it stone cold wrong, in ways that she specifically warned about, no less!

      •  Clippit :) (1+ / 0-)
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        pucklady

        It didn't just give you clippit, it also gave you the search engine dog of WindowsXP.

        Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

        by Chris Reeves on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 05:46:53 AM PST

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        •  Actually, I kind of liked that dog. (0+ / 0-)

          the way he'd curl up and go to sleep after a while was cute. The cat was even better. It would stand up and put its paws on the back side of your screen.

          When collective bargaining is outlawed, only outlaws will have collective bargaining.

          My political compass: - 8.38,-6.97

          by pucklady on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 03:23:33 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  That's a lovely idea (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Odysseus

      but many people are not prepared on any level to use open source software without a level of support that is unavailable without a "personal geek" around.

      I don't advocate reflexive upgrades, in fact I'm usually conservative about it as productivity IS important (won't do Win8 until the software I use is there).  But "open source" is not an option for what I do on the graphic side - but I appreciate your positive attitude.

      "Curiouser and curiouser!"

      by TechBob on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 08:00:08 PM PST

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      •  Thanks (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TechBob

        Rereading it, that last part I wrote sounds kind of angry, sorry for that. Your essay got me angry because it sounded like "Oh, you don't like some new thing in computing? SUCK IT UP, GRAMPA! Or do you want to get left behind?" I believe the end user should be in control, their needs and desires come first, and "progress" is what they say it is, not what tech company insiders say it is.

        Mostly, I've helped create back end replacements for closed source software, and for the most part, that included support contracts from open source firms, so the companies I worked with do have their own personal geeks, as much as anyone does. The thing about open source is, you do get your own personal geek. That's what mailing lists and forums are for: people will help you figure things out.

        I say this writing from a Windows 7 computer, though. I like strategy and war games, but try finding any of those on consoles, tablets, Linux, or Macintosh.

        Well. Microsoft has utterly pissed off the PC gaming industry with Windows 8. Maybe that will be the kick in the pants those companies need to move to Linux. You think Steam likes the idea that there is only ONE place to buy Windows 8 software? Or that MS will take 30% off the top? Haha, nope. Microsoft is in for a fight with this one.

        •  Sorry, too - I shouldn't have snapped back (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SethRightmer

          I also am very concerned about end users being in control, but I'm afraid many can't or won't take that responsibility.  Because of MY age (60) and being a life-long geek (wrote my first Fortran code @12 - did NOT like it) and also being an ADD-type arts/engineering hybrid - I'm very exposed to people who have NO interest in how things work, they just want to do what they want to do.

          It's a hard balance for me because I can't use anything until I understand everything about it at some level (stuff makes no sense until I get a sufficiently dense information cloud in my brain). It's hard for me to comprehend not wanting to know how the things you have to use work - and how to master them, rather than them mastering you.

          Many people my age and a decade or so younger have no interest in how things work and somewhat afraid of change - some are almost proudly ignorant of the tech that surrounds them - which concerns me even more.  I've made a special effort to enable those around me to access every day tech (all my friends have WAY more technology than they're comfortable with) - from smartphones to home theater and gaming.

          I tend to get a bit evangelical about technology and enabling yourself - guess it comes from shepherding artists into the tech world for so long. It is rewarding when my birds leave the nest and realize it's not so hard - they feel very empowered.  But I also realize that some will never care if they get left behind on even the basic stuff and try not to badger (though it does get me wound up).

          My worry is that eventually basic things like banking and medical access will become "tiered" and some will wind up with 2nd class (and usually more expensive) services at some point.  It does please me that I've been able to bring a couple of dozen octogenarians (including my mother) to a point where they aren't fazed by modern tech.

          After a fairly deep immersion into PCs, Macs, Unix & Linux - I try not to be caught up in an inflexible "OS as religion" trope that seems to be the domain of "fanboys/girls". Open source is fascinating and I've done my share to facilitate many younger, future geeks as a way to educate themselves in what interests them when you don't have the funds to buy what you want.

          Anyway, sorry for the "snap" - I get stubborn when someone holds up what reads as a rigid dogma (and I love to argue - it's genetic).  I'm for Tech Zen - I will "flow" with whatever technology I can get my hands on. :)

          "Curiouser and curiouser!"

          by TechBob on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 11:57:11 AM PST

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          •  We sound like very similar people (0+ / 0-)

            And not just tech-wise, after all, we are both here on Daily Kos so our politics must be at least sort of similar. ADD type arts/engineering hybrid, started on computers in the 1970s, memorized the internal workings of the Commodore 64, familiar with Windows, Mac, and Linux, why, the list of similarities just goes on and on!

            One meets some of the most fascinating people at Daily Kos.

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