Windows 8.1 blotware

I’m not surprised by the amount of bloatware Microsoft is including in its “free” Windows 8.1 update.

I’m sad, but not surprised.

How to enable the start menu in Windows 8

As a follow up to my earlier post on Windows 8.

This requires the use of regedit. Pretty straightforward though.

Why Windows 8 will fail

Oh, and fail it will. Big time.  The single driving issue behind its approaching and certain failure is the Metro Desktop.

Metro clearly defined as a touch screen interface and it is just bloody awful to use with a mouse and keyboard.  Really, it’s truly horrible.

To make it worse, you can’t launch your apps from the desktop, unless you pin them to the taskbar or use a third party app launcher.

Yes, that’s right.  You will have to use a third party app launcher because the idiots at Microsoft have been drinking their own marketing Kool-Aid ™ and have removed the start menu from the desktop.

Now if you are one of those people who think Facebook (where you are the product) is the entirety of the Internet, then you will probably be cool with Metro.

Here is a video that makes it pretty clear that Microsoft expects Windows 8 users to buy new hardware.  Expensive hardware with hardware graphics accelerators and touch screen monitors.

Didn’t these clowns learn anything from Vista?

If the new OS requires expensive new hardware, corporate customers are not going to want to adopt.  Why should they? Windows 7 (or XP for those who are still using it) runs their applications, the employees know how to use it, and they don’t have to spend money on new hardware.

In case the Microsoft execs haven’t noticed, the economy is still bad, and companies are looking for ways to cut costs.  IT is not going to sign off on new hardware just so the rank & file employees can directly access Twitter and Angry Birds from the Metro Desktop.

Windows 7 was a nice apology for Vista, but it looks like Windows 8 will be the reincarnation of Vista.

Good luck with that.

Browser wars summed up

I recently “upgraded” to IE 9 on one of my systems.  Remember that  “upgrade” doesn’t mean “better.”

This cartoon sums up the browser wars pretty damn accurately.

I’ve taken the Windows 7 plunge

I’ve got Windows 7 Professional 64 bit on my desktop and copy of Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit on my laptop.  I’m pretty happy so far, the plug and play works quite well, with a couple of noticable exceptions.

First off is my Wireless Laser Desktop 3000 keyboard, which I’m not using to type this because the damn thing is missing keystrokes, which it never did when I was running XP.  Top that off with none of the fancy extra keys work running under Windows 7.  Yes, I did to Microsoft and downloaded the latest drivers, which are listed as Windows 7 compatible.  Annoyance factor is high here, even more so because it is bloody Microsoft hardware.

The second is my Microtek scanner.  It’s a few years old and is still in great shape.  Microtek support claims it will work if you jump though the right hoops in the right order during install.  I haven’ t tried their latest series of hoops yet.

Third is my Bose Companion 5 speakers.  I love these things.  Great sound, but every time Windows 7 finds something it doesn’t like and asks me if it’s OK to run, not only does the screen dim, but it kills the sound! I have to power cycle the Bose system to get my sound back. My work around has to been to hook my iPhone up to the speakers and play the music loaded on that.  A bit of bummer since it is a subset of the music loaded on my desktop.

I’ve got a few old games that won’t run under Window 7 (64 bit) either, but I don’t play them that often anyway.   I’ve got an old desktop that was running a RC version of Win7 that I should scrub and load XP on to deal with stray stuff like that.

Upgrading from Windows7 Beta to the RC

I upgraded from Windows7 Beta to the RC today.  Microsoft wants a clean install, but I decided to try this hack I found at Life Rocks 2.0.

It’s really pretty straight forward.

1 Download the ISO and burn the ISO to a DVD.
2 Copy the whole image to a storage location you wish to run the upgrade from (a bootable flash drive or a directory on any partition on the machine running the pre-release build).
3 Browse to the sources directory.
4 Open the file cversion.ini in a text editor like Notepad.
5 Modify the MinClient build number to a value lower than the down-level build. You need to change the value to 7000 as it is the beta version build number.
6 Save the file in place with the same name.
7 Run setup like you would normally from this modified copy of the image and the version check will be bypassed.

1 Download the ISO and burn the ISO to a DVD.

2 Copy the whole image to a storage location you wish to run the upgrade from (a bootable flash drive or a directory on any partition on the machine running the pre-release build).

3 Browse to the sources directory.

4 Open the file cversion.ini in a text editor like Notepad.

5 Modify the MinClient build number to a value lower than the down-level build. You need to change the value to 7000 as it is the beta version build number.

6 Save the file in place with the same name.

7 Run setup like you would normally from this modified copy of the image and the version check will be bypassed.

I had already burned a boot DVD from the RC ISO, so I just copied that on a 8 gig thumb drive, and modifed the file in question.  I then plugged that drive in my Windows7 Beta system and ran setup.exe from the thumb drive.

The only hitch was that RC didn’t like the $25 sound card I had installed to work with the BETA release.  I’ll check for updated drivers later.

Dell jumping on the Android Netbook bandwagon?

Microsoft is rushing to get Windows7 out the door. One reason is so they can push it into the netbook market.

Netbook manufacturers have been looking at alternate OS solutions, including Google’s Android (it’s not just for Cell Phones anymore).

The latest rumor is that Dell is working on an Android based netbook

If a major retailer like Dell starts shipping Android on systems, I’m betting that somebody in Microsoft OS sales is going to buying a lot of Malox ™.