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Comment: Re:Under the hood (Score 2) 187

by teh dave (#47152785) Attached to: Windows 8.1 Finally Passes Windows 8 In Market Share

There's heaps of us who like Windows 8.x/2012, but Slashdot has its mind made up and every time there's a Windows 8 submission these idiots bring out their pitchforks while people like us just ignore it. So no, you're not the only one.

At this stage it looks like Microsoft could patch in a new Start Menu, throw in the option to use oh I don't know, KDE's menu or whatever your DE of choice is these days, put in a tool that converts fucking lead to gold, and donate 50% of their net profit to NASA, and people here would still hate it.

Comment: Re:Blah. (Score 2) 82

by teh dave (#46364745) Attached to: Github Rolls Out New Text Editor Atom

Before I was introduced to the wonderful world of *nix, the fact that nano has essentially no features would probably have drawn my criticism in a similar manner.

However, the first text editor I learned to use on Linux has changed my perspective somewhat. We all know which one it is most likely to be. There is one feature it had missing, that nano does have, and I consider it the most important feature of all - it's not completely batshit fucking insane.

Comment: Re:PCs are not going to die. (Score 1) 385

by teh dave (#44281755) Attached to: PC Sales See 'Longest Decline' In History

A "giant pig" many of today's newest games may very well be, but that doesn't change the fact that if you want to run them (like I do) then you need a beefy machine. If some of today's games are giant pigs, and you claim to have a machine that is capable of playing "the latest" games, on "high detail" and "without a problem", then if that is the truth I should be able to pick any of these "giant pigs" and run them on your machine. That's what being able to run "the latest" games on "high detail" means. Don't like BF3 for whatever reason? Fine - Skyrim. Nexuiz. Spec Ops. Deus Ex. The latest Tomb Raider. Can't run those on high detail without a problem on your machine? Then don't claim you can.

Why do I need to choose a game other than BF3 to judge a system by? It's a reasonably popular, modern title. If you say you can run modern games but your PC struggles on BF3, then you're cherry picking.

Also, who's to judge whether a game requires an excessive amount of grunt or whether it's "coded badly"? If I look at the CPU monitor while in the middle of BF3 it sits at around 20%. Doesn't seem excessive to me.

ePeen? Really? My PC far from an "ePeen extension". The CPU is a bit excessive for gaming but that's not the only thing I do with the box. I only have a single video card. My SSD isn't the fastest or the highest capacity. I don't have the best anything. Many of the members of my gaming community have better machines than I do, so, if I did buy it primarily for that then I can't have done a very good job!

Comment: Re:PCs are not going to die. (Score 1) 385

by teh dave (#44257019) Attached to: PC Sales See 'Longest Decline' In History

My Athlon 64 X2 I'm typing this on is about 5 years old and it still runs the latest games on high detail without problems (on a standard 1-monitor setup).

Yeah, but no. When you say "latest games", do you mean the latest release of Bejewled? You can't play some of the latest games on an Athlon X4, let alone an X2. You tried throwing Battlefield 3 at your machine? Guarantee you won't get 20fps. My Q6600 was too weak to handle BF3 even when paired with a GTX 670 (CPU would be pegged at 100% the whole time and audio would cut in and out), and BF3 is two years old!

The only upgrade I performed at some point was the graphics card from a 8800 to a GTX 275.

And you're still running the 275? I had a 280 when I first started playing modern games like BF3 and Crysis 2, and averaged about 35fps. That's just awful. Heck, you can't eke more than about 40fps on the first Crysis on a 280, and that game is from 2007!

Comment: Re:the return of the Start button (Score 1) 505

by teh dave (#44128313) Attached to: Hands-On With Windows 8.1 Preview

You can get quick access to these by other methods, though, which are either direct replacements for the Start Menu way of doing things and require the exact same amount of effort and clicks, or are better.

To get quick access to your Documents, Music, Downloads etc, pin them to Explorer. Now you have two-click access to them, same as before. One benefit of this way as opposed to the Start Menu shortcuts is that you can put lots of other places there, and all shortcuts to folders can go in the same place rather than some being in the Start Menu and others being elsewhere.

To get quick access to settings such as Control Panel, Administrative Tools, Event Viewer, Computer Management (my favourite), run cmd as Admin, and a few other useful tools, use the new Admin menu. To get to it, press Win+X, or move your mouse to the lower left corner so the Start Screen preview comes up and then right click on it. If you open it with Win+X, it will highlight the mnemonic keys (the underlined letters), so then you can for example access Computer Management by pressing Win+X then G.

None of these are as obvious as the Start Menu, and that isn't right and is something Microsoft did wrong. However, once you know about them, they work fine and in some cases, better.

Comment: Re:the return of the Start button (Score 1) 505

by teh dave (#44121003) Attached to: Hands-On With Windows 8.1 Preview

I'll start by assuming that your last sentence suggests you're not happy with the way you access functions like the shut down menu in Windows 8.

If that's the case, I wholeheartedly agree with you there - the Settings charm is an absolutely atrocious place to locate the shutdown/reboot/sleep menu, it makes no sense at all and is very difficult to find unless you already know where it is. I have no idea what MS was thinking in order to decide to put such a vital function in an odd place. But in my opinion that is not an important issue for users like us: yes it's stupid but we know where to find it, and if you are shutting down or rebooting so frequently that it's an issue that it takes a couple of seconds longer to do, then perhaps you should put a shortcut to shutdown.exe on your desktop. I get that it's dumb, but the issue I'm debating is the Start Screen, not the Charms.

The primary way you find things in the main page of the Start Screen isn't by scanning it up and down with your eyes to find what you're looking for. It's the same way you know where that pinned app on the taskbar is, or that shortcut on the desktop, or the order of the icons on your Mac Dock - it's because you put them there; they are your most frequently used apps, the ones you use regularly. Most people generally don't specifically remember the pictures depicted by icons - they generally find it easier to remember the position of the icons (this is well documented, see here for an example). The Start Screen relies on this and is why it works well when used the way it was designed.

The All Programs view, I'll admit, I think worked better with the Start Menu than it does in the Start Screen. The reason is because as you say - it's easier to scroll through a one dimensional list than a two dimentional grid, especially when you don't know exactly where that thing you're looking for is located. However, I discourage this use of the Start Screen that way, because there are better ways to find what you're looking for. Just start typing to search for things - generally you can remember part of the name; the search function will find that for you. In the remaining case where you still can't remember exactly what it was that you wanted, the old Start Menu's 'All Programs' view might be better than the new two-dimensional grid (I think it was). However, that functionality is rarely used by the vast majority of people, so the other improvements that the Start Screen brings outweigh the drawbacks of going with a worse approach for that particular use case.

Comment: Re:the return of the Start button (Score 1) 505

by teh dave (#44120917) Attached to: Hands-On With Windows 8.1 Preview

Oh no, don't get me wrong. I'm not under the illusion that Metro was designed with the traditional desktop users like us (desktop/laptop) first in mind. I don't believe that for a second. I don't think anybody has claimed that.

Whether traditional desktop use was equal in importance to tablet use when they designed Metro or it took a back seat I'm not sure. I suspect that desktop/laptop users like us were practically ignored when designing the Metro apps, but the MSDN article I linked in my original post above suggests the Start Screen itself was certainly designed while keeping traditional desktop use in mind.

Comment: Re:the return of the Start button (Score 1) 505

by teh dave (#44120859) Attached to: Hands-On With Windows 8.1 Preview

Sigh.

I fully expected to be downmodded for this comment, but had hopes that moderators would be able to critically examine their own position to perhaps consider the merit of my opposing viewpoint and judge my comment for that, rather than just giving in to the knee-jerk urge downmod just because they disagree. Remember, Disagree != downmod...

Disappointing, Slashdot. Expected, but still disappointing.

Comment: Re:the return of the Start button (Score 1) 505

by teh dave (#44119835) Attached to: Hands-On With Windows 8.1 Preview

No, it hasn't. Well, in the economic sense it might turn out that way, but not in the philosophical. The fact that the majority of users are avoiding Windows 8 doesn't disprove anything I have said, nor any of the results of Microsoft's usability and productivity studies, because the current avoidance of Windows 8 might be caused by something that isn't the fault of (caused directly by) the changes themselves. Such as resistance to change, as I already mentioned.

Yes, I am insinuating that at the very least, some of the resistance to Windows 8 is purely because people don't like change, even when it's for the better. A range of cognitive biases cause us to indiscriminately resist change, though sometimes that is a good thing (such as in the case of change purely for the sake of change itself). They want to continue with the Old Way (and I'll admit that I was at first against Windows 8). In this case however, the article I linked you to shows that the new way is the better one, and highlighting the fact that both opinion and sales of Win8 are low doesn't do anything to disprove it unless the only thing that counts is Microsoft's bank account.

All that aside, Microsoft should have done a much better job at managing this release and the changes it brought. This could have been marketing it better, educating users on how to use it better, toning down the changes, providing an option to switch back to the old interface or any combination of the above, but even though I like the change I agree that Microsoft did a less than stellar job with them.

Comment: Re:the return of the Start button (Score -1, Troll) 505

by teh dave (#44118543) Attached to: Hands-On With Windows 8.1 Preview

I wanted the Start button but not the Start menu. Using a hot spot instead of the Start button made it more confusing when running Windows 8 over remote desktop, so now they put the Start button back that issue is fixed.

Microsoft has proven that the new Metro Start screen is more useful for launching applications and finding things than the Start menu was. There is no question any more. Your argument has been defeated. To insist on repeating it is to simply to cry "waaah I don't like change". The usefulness of the Metro apps themselves is another thing entirely, and I personally find no practical use for them on the desktop. But the Start screen, when used as an application launcher, (and in combination with the Admin menu, which you open by right clicking the lower left corner) is demonstrably more useful than the old Start menu was. Don't like the new Metro apps? Unpin them from the Start screen and just put desktop apps there. Do that, and you might just find that it's actually better than the old way.

Comment: Re:One-time online activation. (Score 1) 687

by teh dave (#43229663) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Is a Reasonable Way To Deter Piracy?

I agree with this, but I would suggest that instead of limiting the number of activations to some fixed number, instead keep it theoretically unlimited, and only start blocking new installs with a given key once they reach a threshold of number of activations within a given time frame.

For example, you could implement an "activation bucket". Define a maximum capacity of the bucket, for example three or four activations. Every time a user activates, remove one from the bucket. Every three or six months or whatever, add a new activation to the bucket unless it is full. If the bucket becomes empty and the user tries to activate while it's still empty, lock their account and get them to contact you.

This approach allows people to install your app on a few of their machines after they buy it (if you allow that in your license, if not then reduce the size of the bucket to e.g. two and allow people to add more licenss to their account), for example a couple of laptops and their desktop machine. If the machines are replaced or reformatted, they use another activation later on down the track. But if they share the key with more than one or two people, they are locked out because they run out of activations. I think this is a reasonable compromise between allowing your legit users to do what they want and preventing someone from leaking their key onto a torrent site and allowing thousands of people to pirate it.

Comment: Re:So... (Score 1) 298

by teh dave (#43110109) Attached to: Cherry's New Keyboard Switches Emulate IBM Model M Feel

Yes, because they are the best ever made.

IYHO.

Requiring more actuation force than necessary is a bad thing, not a good thing. 80g of actuation force is very high. The less force required, the less strain on your hands.

If you use a noisy keyboard in an office environment, it will likely annoy those around you. It is also very much debatable if the aural feedback is at all useful.

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