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Comment A few annoying bugs (Score 4, Interesting) 376

I'm still a sucker for OS upgrades, especially free ones, so I upgraded both Windows machines in my home (one laptop, one PC) to Windows 10 soon after it was released. I just recently upgraded the laptop to Anniversary edition. Overall the OS seems functional, and loses the annoying Windows 8/8.1 start screen, but I'm probably not taking full advantage of the features. I was interested in using Cortana, but not so interested that I would tie my local logins to a Windows Live account. Why not let me use the Cortana features with a local login? It's not like I'm lugging my PC everywhere or replacing it like a tablet.

Also one minor comment about the Windows 10-specific options dialogs is that they seem to have a lot fewer options, so 99% of the time I just use the search bar to get to the Windows 7-style options dialog.

Now the main reason I wanted to post was three pretty annoying bugs. One was with vanilla Windows 10 (haven't seen it yet in Anniversary, but the upgrade is young). That is that the start button and widgets on the start bar would sometimes stop working. This ranged from mildly annoying (I can't set the system volume!) to basically dealbreaking (I can't do any work with NO start bar!) Sometimes a reboot would fix this, but sometimes it wouldn't. In the worst case, after trying a bunch of online remedies, I basically had to do an in-place reinstall. That worked, but that shouldn't have to happen for such a basic piece of functionality. Perhaps a more effective repair install that fixes the start bar?

The second annoying bug (again, in vanilla Windows 10, don't know if this was fixed in Anniversary), but my laptop tends to wake up from sleep in tablet mode. It's a Lenovo Yoga, so it can theoretically be used as a tablet. However, I practically never use it as such and never put it in the tablet "position," and yet I have to keep dealing with the initial disorientation of the UI not being what I expect when I open it.

The last annoying bug just started happening with Windows 10 Anniversary on my laptop. It seems like the pointer keeps jiggling nonstop. Now, I don't visually see the cursor move, but if, say, I'm watching Netflix in full screen, the player UI keeps popping up every second as if I'm continuing to move the mouse. Moreover, the screen never sleeps (I assume for the same reason).

I'm willing to put up with this nonsense (and foist it upon my poor wife), because I still have some fun fixing up OS issues (see many hours of toying around with Linux). But for my mother, I made sure that her system did not get the free update, because I thought there was very little gain for her in exchange for a lot of new issues.

Comment Re:Punishment almost fits the crime (Score 1) 705

I've taken my girlfriend to see both Twilight movies so far. It was a really rowdy crowd, with everybody cracking jokes and MST3King the movie and throwing popcorn at the screen. I'm not a huge fan of the Twilight series, but both times I saw the movie it was a lot of fun. I don't know who would sit silently through these films when there's so much to make fun of.

Comment Re:Higher taxes needed (Score 1) 590

It's not always a problem with not enough money in the budget. Some schools manage budgets horribly. The high school I went to purchases all kinds of Smartboards and projectors and regularly-upgraded computers. Somehow, after buying all these expensive toys, they found themselves broke and had to cut wages, buses for high-school students, after-school activities such as drama club. Yet the tax levies they always try (and fail) to pass are never for what the community wants (wages, busing, drama club), they are for building new schools to replace the old ones!

It's not always so cut and dry as "why won't the community accept new taxes for the poor schools?"

Comment Re:LAN (Score 1) 453

So if everyone is in the same room and the room does not have an internet connection, are we SOL or will it realize that we simply want a LAN game and leave it at that? Not all LAN's have an internet connection as well (for example, a LAN in a garage that can't reach a wireless access point) Sometimes patches and mods are transported via sneakernet.

Comment Re:The $250,000 economy car (Score 1) 554

Download prices are actually slightly smaller. Whereas an album may be anywhere between $12 and $18 (depending on where you buy it), Amazon regularly lists $9 and $10 albums (Itunes sits somewhere in between). That's not a huge difference, but it is a difference, and it's a lot better than the game industry, where the boxed copy is often less than or equal in price to the digital download.

Comment Re:Finally! (Score 1) 164

One of the most frustrating things with many fighting games are the ridiculously cheap final bosses. Soul Calibur IV is a recent exception, but I remember many games that required beating the final boss several times to unlock all the game's characters. This isn't terrible except that final bosses aren't particularly smart AI, they just have lots of cheap moves that make fighting them frustrating. I don't plan on playing in fighting game tournaments, I just want to mess around in the game with friends with whichever character I choose.

Honestly, I'd play a few bucks for DLC that simply unlocked all the possible unlockable content: characters, stages, modes, and other goodies instantly. I remember Guild Wars' PVP component allowed you to pay $10 to unlock all the spells and items instantly. This worked because Guild Wars PVP was more about skill and strategy than having the "BEST EVER" gear. Something similar for other games I think would be reasonable. I wouldn't always pay for it, but in some games I would.

Comment Re:I keep asking myself why we care about Iran? (Score 3, Interesting) 156

As much as I respect the Iranians who protest, what's going on in Iran is a big example of why the US may be hesitant to protest: protesting is SCARY. One of the most watched videos on Reddit recently is a gruesome video of an Iranian girl being shot to death for protesting. I think a lot of people in the US just want to be left alone by the government. Is protesting the government worth risking your neck or your job? What about your spouse and children? It's sad, but that seems to be the case.

Comment Re:Damned if they do, damned if they don't. (Score 1) 260

They should listen to what their customers want.

For example, many Sonic the Hedgehog fans have been begging for a Sonic game with absolutely no innovation whatsoever, just pretty graphics and genesis-era gameplay. Sega acted ridiculous by announcing that Sonic Unleashed would be old-school Sonic gameplay--with the innovation that Sonic could now turn into a werewolf that punched things. Seriously, if somebody shoehorned in Sonic 2 game logic into a modern graphics engine, I wouldn't mind, just stop the innovation!

On the other hand, Half Life 2 Episode 2 felt pretty stale, especially compared to the rest of the Orange Box. Episode 1 was exciting because Alyx Vance felt chillingly like a real person, so I didn't mind playing what was basically more HL2 levels. However, the innovations in Episode 2 were mostly graphics and animation related, the one gameplay change (the "strider buster") was too minor and came too late in the game to make the game feel fresh.

If a publisher asked its customers whether it wanted innovation or just rehashing in several upcoming titles, they'd find that the answer really depends on the title.

Comment Buggy game demos == Lost sale (Score 1) 178

I remember downloading the Bioshock demo when Bioshock first came out and discovering that it I would get a BSOD about a couple minutes into it. I remember downloading the Timeshift demo and discovering that the executable wouldn't even... execute. I remember downloading the Unreal Tournament 3 demo and having to spend a couple of hours searching forums and playing with obscure settings just to get it to run.

The only game out of those three I bought was UT3. However, Epic seems to have considered UT3 PC as a sales failure. Is it any surprise that sales are lost if the company is unable to provide a demo that even works?

The two best demos I ever played were Doom (obviously, a third of the game is not a bad demo) and Unreal Tournament 2004, which provided 1 map for every single game mode except the new one (Onslaught) which had TWO maps. Not only that, but there was not one but TWO demo releases, the second fixing bugs and adding content. Is that good business sense? I don't know. I played the UT2004 demo for a LONG time, but I was 17 and penniless, so I don't think I'm a good sample.

Comment Re:Severe lack of respect for IT (Score 1) 685

I have a question--how do I estimate the time it takes me to do a particular task and communicate that to my employer?

In my first internship (as a programmer, not an IT guy) I was asked often how long I think I would need to do a particular task, and I usually had no idea because I had not done something like it before. I would be noncommittal about it, work to get the job done, and get derisive comments from my employer about how he would have had the job done much faster. Perhaps he was correct, but I took as long as I personally needed to get the job done. How do I resolve these communication issues?

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