* Posts by jim 45

148 publicly visible posts • joined 12 Jun 2009


Microsoft Surface Touch keyboards self-destruct – and more

jim 45
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This article is just dumb, sophomoric cr@p.

The Surface RT is an excellent product that is selling well. It's defect rate isn't 0.000%? I'm shocked beyond words. Should the top designers be fired if they won't sign a letter of apology?

Apple is granted a patent on the rectangle. No, really

jim 45

surely there is some way...

... to have this sort of nonsense overturned on appeal. This can't continue.

'We invented Windows 8 Tiles in the 1990s', says firm suing Microsoft

jim 45

"We couldn't get anyone to like them either"

I guess I'm the only one? Except for the thousands who just lined up to buy Surfaces, of course.

Yahoo! will! ignore! 'Do! Not! Track!' from! IE10!

jim 45

we forgot to say "please"

Obviously an automatically generated 'request' is going to be ignored by companies like Yahoo. What's next? A national "Do Not Track" registry? We've already jumped through the hoops at the Direct Marketing Association, but the junk mail keeps coming. We need a bigger hammer...

N00bs vs Windows 8: We lock six people in a room with new OS

jim 45
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Re: Windows 8 is like punching yourself in the balls.

Holy smoke dude. Anger Management.

jim 45
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why is this important?

I had Windows 8 figured in a few minutes. Why should I care if some clueless people off the street had trouble? And hasn't this profound experiment now been performed about 50 times, by every technology news site?

Windows 8: Microsoft will declare victory, but will anyone believe it?

jim 45


All this breathless foretelling of doom reminds me of the Y2K crisis which of course turned into the biggest 'never mind' in history. I installed Win8, learned my way around it in 5 minutes of fiddling, and liked it just fine after that. Most people will figure it out in a lot less time than they've already spent reading about how confused they're going to be. It will look cool in stores, and a lot more appealing than the typical PC of today.

Ballmer's lightened pay packet is the least of his problems

jim 45

not getting the barrage of negativity on this

I really don't think most managers and IT people believe that the "business desktop" must remain forever frozen in the 20th century, or vast "re-training" costs will be incurred. Were the office workers of the 80s the last generation capable of learning the rudiments of a user interface? Funny because they didn't grow up using computers - whereas so many of the people in today's business world did.

Most people will figure out WIndows 8 in a lot less time than some IT people are spending composing memos about how no one will be able to understand it without hours of hand-holding.

Windows 8 early-bird users still love Windows 7 more - poll

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We're not being told who these 50,000 people were, but if they're not a randomly chosen sample of potential users, then this "poll" has no meaning. Might as well tell us that 50,000 Republicans overwhelmingly preferred Romney.

Win8 tablets may cost MORE than iPads – AND LAPTOPS

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right across the hall

I live in Minneapolis near the Mall of America, where Microsoft has a beautiful big store directly across the aisle from Apple's. A more direct venue for comparison shopping could not be imagined; the stores are literally steps apart, facing each other. If these prices turn out to be real, it's going to be a huge disappointment to the nice people who work in Microsoft's store, who desperately want cool new products, and will instead have to endure an endless stream of customers asking them why they should buy the Win8 tablet cost so much more than the iPads, and who then walk out the door and don't come back.

One more try: Metro apps are now 'Windows Store' apps

jim 45

" one of the worst branding and marketing disasters in the history of computing"

Give me a break. The history of computing includes more than 50 years. This colossal 'disaster' will be forgotten in another 2 weeks.

It's time to burn the schedules and seize control of OUR TVs

jim 45
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Ok I know what was wrong with "Bob". What does that have to do with Metro?

Office 2013 to offer one-off apps on demand

jim 45

Might work fine - the devil is in the details.

What I think is cute is that everything now has to be called an "app", no matter how big and complicated it is, because that term is what sells. . So is Photoshop now an "app"?

Password hints easily snaffled from Windows PCs

jim 45

Re: Basic error in the system!

Sez it all.

Microsoft tried to solve this with "Passport" - it went nowhere, largely because people didn't want MS in control. Something like this is desperately needed - but as we now know, any company providing this service becomes a target of attack, and it's only a matter of time...

Windows 8: Microsoft's tablet-desktop still painful to swallow

jim 45

Re: Still isn't making it easy

So, nothing can ever change. I understand now. I can go into cryo-sleep until 2050 and be confident that I can still use a computer when I'm thawed out. Now that's progress!

jim 45
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Re: a whole hour?

I too have used it and basically liked it. It's a transitional release, no secret about that, but it does move things forward to a gratifying extent.

I like the "Modern" UI. Really, the only thing I can't forgive is the egregious waste of screen space - i.e. the surrendering of 25% at the top just to display a gigantic "Start". Come on guys.

Microsoft: It's not Metro, it's Windows 8

jim 45

Making a version number part of the name...

... sets them up for endless confusion in the future. Someone at MS should stop this nonsense before it gets enshrined in 100 memos and directives, and tell marketing to come up with a (hopefully catchy) new name to use instead of Metro.

Microsoft Surface slate: Acer, resellers predict a riot

jim 45
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Re: Make something better

"Left to their own devices, all they'll come up with is endless mediocre me-too products, while cutting as many corners as possible to maintain their margins."

Exactly. The Surface could be exactly the kick in the rear that companies like Acer, HP etc so desperately need. Hey maybe it will even be free of cr@pware.

Microsoft dumps Metro from Windows 8

jim 45

Re: Wow

It's not just the forums, it's the Reg itself. Anything MS does or says - cook up some astoundingly negative, over-the-top spin - and immediately tell the world how it's totally ignorant and evil. If that sounds familiar, think "Fox News".

As someone who spent decades as a Windows developer, I have no love for Microsoft as a company, but this blindlngly one-sided, totally predictable coverage simply loses my interest. Couldn't we hear some other voices?

jim 45

I think I'm starting to understand the vitriolic hatred of Windows 8 on display here.

The sad fact is that most of the truly creative people - who like things that are new and different, and are appreciative of visual design - long ago went to Apple and aren't coming back. Today's Windows user base contains a whole lot of cranky IT people to whom any significant change in the OS just means more work and more problems - to them, there's no upside. These are the guys who are going ballistic because the Start button has changed.

I think it's unfortunate that this narrow point of view - which to me is just one big buzz kill - seems to have become the de facto position of the Register itself. But, in the end, the Reg's constituency is IT, not people from other walks of life.

The challenge to MS is to win back the creative people. The GUI formerly known as Metro is a good start.

jim 45

Re: it's irrelevant

Yes, the Start button is gone. And with it, Western civilization, which has lost the ability to adapt to change .

But did you happen to notice the live tiles?

jim 45

it's irrelevant

So what was the "standard" Windows UI called? Nothing. It had no name. Or maybe, according to a lot of posters here, we should call it "XP" and demand that it remain unchanged until the end of time.

Whatever name is formally assigned to the Windows 8 UI, I already like, and am already using it, and all the verbal venom still being directed at it is just a lot of incomprehensible noise to me. Really, it you can't grasp it in minutes of experimentation, consider going into another line of work.

Microsoft: Gmail rival Outlook.com will 'look good on your iPad' 

jim 45


Fabulous, how they've reduced clutter and reclaimed wasted space, so they can run a BIG FAT AD BANNER instead.

jim 45

Re: It really is competition for gmail...

"it doesn't work with Opera either"

I noticed that too. I actually think it's a goal for MS, to frustrate Opera in every way possible.

Samsung lets slip info on WinPho 8 Odyssey

jim 45

By now we know that any positive comments about WinPho quickly get slammed with downvotes. I have to wonder - how many of these are from people who don't even use WP7? Or possibly haven't even tried it?

And yes, guys, it would be so clever and funny to downvote this post too. I'd be shocked.

'We asked firms if they were looking at Windows 8, most laughed'

jim 45

Re: Windows 8 is brilliant

I've also been using Win8 for a while and can't comprehend the torrent of hate and ridicule being heaped on it here on the Reg. To me it's a nice change, a fresh look, I really like the live tiles. It livens things up and It took me 5 minutes to figure it all out. The high-tech early-adopter types that post here apparently have outgrown their youthful interest in the 'new' and would now like things to remain changeless until they're are lowered into their massive stone tombs. How sad, really.

Gabe Newell: Windows 8 is a 'catastrophe' for PC biz

jim 45

Re: this is getting silly

To be honest, I never got past the headline of "Somebody-or-Other says Windows 8 is a 'catastrophe' for PC biz. I've quit reading all the hatchet jobs on Metro that the Reg has been running lately and I assumed this was just another in that continuing series.

So just apply my comment to whatever Metro story they run tomorrow :-)

jim 45

this is getting silly

The Reg has become your one-stop-shop for Microsoft hatred. Not a day now goes by that they don't find some pundit or 'expert', somewhere, to tell us that we'll never be able to figure out Windows 8. Apparently, over the last 10 years or so, our species has lost the ability to learn and understand a new computer interface. We can no longer adapt to change; Congress will have to pass legislation freezing Windows at version 7 and the courts will throw out Metro.

Devs can't be bothered with Nokia's Windows Phone – report

jim 45
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Re: Duh!

While I think MS really stuck it to Nokia by announcing that WP8 won't run on phones bought today - I agree that the future looks quite a bit brighter. Late this year, people will go in stores and see the cool-looking Metro interface running identically on PCs, laptops and phones, and that I think will be pretty compelling.

Let the downvotes begin!

Windows 8 'bad' for desktop users - Gartner's one-word review

jim 45

Re: WINDOWS 8 works great for me

It's crazy isn't it? All these top computer professionals ranting about how they won't be able to do their work, how nobody will be able to figure out this new interface, how it was designed purely as a means of torture by a giant corporation employing people who hate life. Meanwhile their 8 year old kids will be using Metro just fine from day 1, and laughing at how angry Dad gets about it.

jim 45

awesome analysis

"desktops have a keyboard and a mouse; and as much as this doesn’t make any sense, it seems to me that Microsoft forgot about this when they designed Windows 8"

Yes, I'm sure that's exactly what happened. Microsoft forgot about the keyboard and the mouse.

This is the sort of penetrating analysis that brings in the big bucks for Gartner Group?

I've been using the Win8 preview for a while now and the keyboard and mouse seem to work fine. Maybe I need to pay more attention.

Microsoft promises Metro developers 'fame and fortune'

jim 45

Re: So I think they're doing what they have to do...

Do I use/like Windows? I wrote software for Windows for over 20 years, and DOS before that. The word "Use" doesn't even begin.... :-)

Maybe older guys tend to like Metro because we're s-o-o-o-o ready for a change.

They mightl eventually give us a boot-to-desktop Registry key, but during the Win8 rollout they want to be sure that when people go into the stores, Win8 looks exactly the same on the phones, tablets, notebooks, desktops, and the Surfaces.

jim 45

Re: Take a deep breath ...

It's wonderful on a phone, will be great on a tablet, and is nice but also a bit weird on the desktop. I think what people aren't getting is that soon the average person will be using a tablet for everything. And MS wants to be in on that, and doesn't want to be stuck 2 branches of Windows, one for the tablet and one for the desktop. And neither do users, developers, OEMS or support people .

So I think they're doing what they have to do - if you think about it, what choice do they have? The traditional desktop is still there and Windows will continue to be a Thing With Two Heads for years to come.

jim 45

Re: The thing is

I guess I basically disagree that the public is really that inflexible and that the current Windows GUI is such a cornerstone of their existence. . They won't accept a new shell on Windows, but they're rushing to buy iPads?

jim 45

Re: some people genuinely love to hate...

"Just the fact that I can't boot to my desktop is enough to piss me right the hell off. I don't care about Metro per se, as long as it get's the feck out of the way when I don't want it!

Bitterbug - please. Take a deep breath and reason with me for a moment. Win8 boots (faster than Win7) to a Start screen which you hate. I get that. But see that tile labeled "Desktop". Click it, my friend. There you are- it's the 90s again, that comfortable familiar desktop for you to litter with countless little indistinguishable icons, however you like.

Exactly one click stands between you and this retro Nirvana.

I understand - sort of - the viewpoint of corporate IT people who say they'd be deluged with calls from clueless users users, panicked by the Start screen, unable to find their way back to earth. For those purposes, I expect that MS will provide a way to set up the system to boot to the Desktop. They currently say they won't, but I bet they will.

Embrace change. Let your cheese be moved. It's liberating.

jim 45

Re: amazing

" For those of us who actually use a computer to do work ..."

Too funny. I wrote software for 30 years, mostly for Windows, occasionally for Mac. I am not seeing how Metro would be an impediment to that work in any way. I was able to find the steering wheel, it's actually in the front seat, just square now instead of round :-)

jim 45

Re: Metro myths

" metro is marred by huge usability problems"

No idea what you're getting at here. I have a WP7 phone, and I've encountered no "problems" in doing anything at all with it. In general everything was blindingly obvious and easy.

" While it seems that most WP7.5 owners... suffer from stockholm syndrome,"

That would include myself and a couple of friends who recently bought Lumias. And maybe my wife, who has an Android but wants a WP7 after seeing mine. It can't be Stockholm Syndrome if you haven't been captured, yet...

jim 45

Re: The thing is

Oh, the pundits all said people would never give up DOS either. Who needed a mouse and icons? They'd just get in the way of you getting your work done. We've all learned the command line, and can't change now.

I had Metro figured out in about 5 minutes of fiddling and exploring (remember how to do that?) and I am obviously no kid. If you don't like the design on aesthetic grounds, sure, I get that. But in the time some IT professionals will spend writing angry posts about "usablity", their 10-year-old kids will have it all figured out..

jim 45


As someone who's been in the computer biz since the 70s, it amazes me how conservative it's become. Call me crazy but I still like what's bright, shiny and new. Maybe I won't end up "satisfied" with it in the long run. But just give it to me anyway - I'll decide for myself after trying it for a while.

Metro is quite innovative in terms of clean presentation, a commitment to simplicity, design and typography, as well as being a notably smooth and responsive implemtation. I'm not going to panic because I can't find "Control Panel" in the old familiar location.

jim 45

Re: really? special access to exclusive development documentations? sign me up

Yes. And few people seem to grasp this point. There is also the fact that nw WP8 users won't have 800 apps already and will be ready to buy.

Your chances of actually making some money, vs. just acquiring coffee-shop coolness, are probably much greater on WP8.

jim 45

The backup for a claim about a "largely negative" response to Metro - a link to an article the Reg ran back in March - wasn't too convincing. I find the response to be very positive, at least among people who've actually used it.

It seems like technology journalists and insiders no longer want anything genuinely new and different; because it's more fun to deride and ridicule it. Is that really how we make progress?

Has Nokia bottomed out? El Reg drills into the detail

jim 45

Re: Nokia is toast. And Microsoft will be in danger too with the awful MetroUI

Do you have a WP7 phone? I do. Metro is a great design - that's part of the irony of this situation. The product sells itself to people who actually try it. But WP7 sales are likely to flatline now that MS has said there will be no upgrade to WP8. MS obviously has some new design people, shackled to the same old bean counters.

Nokia flogged 4m Lumias, still bled €826m this quarter

jim 45

Re: it pains me but I will say it again

It is within Microsoft's power to force app writers to support WP7, albeit with functionality limited in some way. Of course it would also have been within their power to make WP8 run on existing phones in some form. That would have been vastly more acceptable to the average WP7 owner of today - they'd understand that newer phones enable additional features of WP8 but wouldn't have clear sense of being stiffed that they now enjoy.

jim 45

Re: it pains me but I will say it again

But the "average" customer just thinks Android is Android, they don't know if they have "Gingerbread". Whereas MS will wrap a big public ad campaign about WP8 - notably tied to Win8 itself - so anyone with a WP7 phone will naturally say "ooh! I can't wait!" and then get the wonderful news.

Because this is Windows, and people always know about, and want, the newest version of Windows, right? And they won't want to be told that the PC they bought 2 months ago won't run Windows 8, will they? But that's exactly what they're going to find out about that wonderful Lumia that their friend (ME) told them to buy just a couple of months ago.

This is a really bad decision, and it might even prove to be catastrophic if Nokian gets stuck with container ships full of WP7 phones it can't unload.

jim 45

Re: everything on the shelves is obsolete

They want to build support and loyalty for a new platform. And in a single bold move, they stiff every single person who's bought the product to date. They even do it in a big, public way. And then act surprised, no doubt, at the bad press that results.

jim 45
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everything on the shelves is obsolete

I have a WP7 phone and have been telling friends how great it is. 2 of them recently bought Lumias. Now I have the happy duty of explaining to them why it's a dead end that can never be upgraded to WP8. This ends my brief career as an MS evangelist.

What's really breathtaking is the sheer chutzpah of MS/Nokia thinking they can 'manage' this by simply denying the obvious, which is that all the WP7 products now on shelves are obsolete, by promising unspecified upgrades to WP7. Hey I can hardly wait to download which "fixes a bug in Outlook" while new phones get WP8.

It's classic Old Microsoft, back on the block: when they're not locking you in, they're locking you out.

Ballmer plays down sales impact of Surface

jim 45

Re: So when....

Exactly so. I'm also running W8 on a laptop and liking it. It will be great on a tablet and do well in the market.

Basically it's a very welcome change.

Dell seeks Linux fans to try cut-price Ubuntu Ultrabook

jim 45

Re: And so it begins..

Not to worry... Because the public will never want something with a weird, geeky, unpronouncable name like OOBOONTOO...

Windows Metro Maoist cadres reach desktop, pound it flat

jim 45

it's all about tablets

All you guys who want to barricade yourselves in your garages with XP and a shotgun are completely missing the point, which is that in a very short time 80% of the public won't even use the word "desktop" anymore and will be getting rid of that old tower PC sitting unused in the den. Everyone will be using tablets for everyday "computing" tasks and the Metro UI will suit them just fine. Having accepted that reality, MS knows there's nothing to be gained by forking this most massive of source bases and trying to maintain a historical "desktop" version. At some point they may have to appease corporate IT by giving them a way to boot to the traditional UI, but development no longer proceeds down that path.

Microsoft plots entry into tablet trade

jim 45

looks nice, but...

... can we please have back the roughly 30% of the screen now devoted to the word "Start"? I think we've all gotten the idea that this screen is where we "start". Yes. Thank you.