* Posts by AliBear

9 posts • joined 22 Oct 2014

Photostopped: Adobe Cloud evaporates in mass outage. Hope none of you are on a deadline, eh?


Little Fluffy Clouds...

... that get whisked away in the wind just when need them

RIP: Microsoft finally pulls plug on last XP survivor... POSReady 2009


I just want my Aero-plane

I grudgingly install Windows 2D10 on most devices I don't have to use daily. Because - for me - the kiddy-komputer 2D-ism actually makes it slower to use.

Still no real Aero glass theme (not this Aero-lite rubbish) - and the resize handle active area is STILL outside the box (gets me every time, but maybe that's because I use W7 with the active zone in the RIGHT place (because of the border width) most of the time).

Bigmuscle is doing a great job trying to fill the gaps, but unfortunately not really mainstream.

Rounded corners and integrated borders all started with XP. Maybe we can have an RIP XP W10 version with user-selectable Aero Glass? Please?

Take my advice: The only safe ID is a fake ID


I can hide and use at the same time!

When you are an Alastair Campbell, it's very useful a. for hiding from most searches and b.booking restaurants. Although, it's a helluvalot easier ordering Starbucks and takeaways using 'Ali'.

But is that my real name? Now I'm not sure anymore.

As for tracking spam, buy a domain name, then use the name of the provider as the pre-@. Like vulture@mydomain.com, register@mydomain.com.

Five ways Apple can fix the iPhone, but won't


Expandable memory!

Music doesn't need to be stored on the fast(er) internal memory. A 512G or 1T card would really make it a music power vault.

'Windows 10 destroyed our data!' Microsoft hauled into US court


Windows 10 destroyed my ability to work!

I would love to see the addition of all the horrible user interface experiences we have been forced to endure to the class action…

(before I do, I would just like to state that I have always been an early adopter of all MS OSes over the years. I have always disliked Mac and Linux UIs as they were never as usable as the MS equivalents. That was until W8...)

Forcing all users to use a single configuration profile that appears to be prioritised for pads and tablets. This simple fact reduces the usablility for enterprise desktop and laptop usage to having to use a compromised, simlified (toy?) UI as a business tool, when the overall experience is aimed at casual users with big clunky buttons for touch use. It is NOT FIT for a business tool any more. The majority of users don't have touch-enabled devices - so provide an option for K+M users to turn off the 'touch' features. Overall, It's like having your carefully selected Snap-On tool-kit confiscated and giving you 'My First Tool Box' instead.

Some issues that make it (W10+O2016) a far from easy to use environment:

1 Font rendering inconsistencies - some fonts are 'monochrome smoothed' others are 'colour smoothed'. The mono-smoothed characters are far less readable than those with colour processing. Apparently this is defended for the reason that colour-smoothing cannot give consistent results on 'some rotated displays' because of the arrangement of the pixels in the display panel. Fine, but at least give us the option of controlling the rendering strategy for desktop/laptop use. And, if there IS a problem with colour-smoothing, then why is it still used in some places and not others?

2 Grey fonts on grey backgrounds, blue fonts on blue backgrounds, almost invisible icons and activity selectors, and inconsistent application of all of these. This is a fundamental OH/HSE issue for very many users. This is especially bad in Office 2016 suite, with Outlook probably the worst. Not only that, but grey text used to be reserved for 'inactive' configuration options 'greyed-out'. Go to an O2016 configuration screen and apply that paradigm. It's just SO much more difficult to work with, and gives rise to significant eye strain. Maybe that's the plan? Force people to have to leave their screens to give them a rest?

3 Far too subtle shading on menu bars and other functional areas. Screens that were easy to set up on W7 now require much tinkering with colour rendition to give any sort of acceptable delineation.

4 Removal of many configuration options that enabled users to fine tune their business tool environment for their optimal experience. Removal of Aero and transparency 'because of processing overheads' make little sense on laptops and desktops and just makes the identification and selection of active windows that much harder. Please please. Please allow us to configure our own working environments. or at least make it possible for third party devs to make alternative tools to enable users to achieve this.

5 If the introduction of a 'new' UI paradigm was the purpose, then make it consistent -(ly bad). There are still many W7-style elements right beside W10 styles. Smacks of being still 'in development'.

6 Drag-active zones and resize handles are inconsistent. On windows without a coloured title bar, it’s impossible to see where the drag zone is. Resize handles are centred ON the edge on the top edge of windows, but are OFF the edge on sides and bottom. Ugh.

7 And it’s still buggy and crashes. Even as I type, my ‘Start Menu’ has stopped working again.

OK. I could go on. (And often do) This thing is just not ready for corporate usage yet.

Two words, Mozilla: SPEED! NOW! Quit fiddling and get serious


A 'Make Firefox Great Again' campaign?

I use FF as my default browser.

IE is dying fast

EDGE? Well franky, horrible.

Chrome? Well, you just opened your kimono to Google...

There are no other real options.

C'mon guys - keep it the best option!

Linode: Major cuts to several submarine cables to Singapore


Re: When are those laser-comm satellites supposed to be ready?

Problem would be the round trip delay of well over half a second...

We tried using Windows 10 for real work and ... oh, the horror


W10 is just less efficient to use as a tool

(note, this is all from the point of view of a K+M desktop user only)

I have to agree with just about everything Andrew points out. I have been collecting a very similar list over the preview period.

OK. Progress is of course a very good thing, with the promise of better integration with services, continuum, faster loading, new browser and so on. All great.

My problem is with the ‘breakthrough’ simplified, flat, whited (call it what you will) interface: W7 has subtly different designs for different functional zones, controls and icons, all of which makes for a more EFFICIENT working environment for people who wish to use a PC as a workplace tool, rather than a style statement.

Personally I think the interface as current developed is less easy to use, ergo less productive environment. This MATTERS for enterprise. Some examples that I notice all of the time…

It now takes LONGER to identify where the Menu / Ribbon / Status / Media zones are.

It now takes LONGER for us to select and use ‘simple’ scroll bars

It now takes LONGER for us to identify where sidebar and list functional areas start and finish

It’s now MORE DIFFICULT to read grey text on grey backgrounds (and no, I do not need the Hi-Viz themes) or blue on blue (See Skype). Why would you do that? Oh, sorry, it’s ‘style’

Selection and resizing handles of windows is inconsistent – the active zone on the sides and bottom are actually OUTSIDE the window, where on the top, the active zone is just inside the window. This appears to be as a result of reducing the border from ‘significant’ to ‘insignificant’.

Identification of the active window is now more INEFFICIENT; the shadow is less obvious, there is no title bar colour change, and the lack of the subtleties of W7 Aero shading means that valuable brain time is used in working out where you are focussed on the desktop.

Many ‘graphics’ are only revealed as functional controls when hovered over – this is both INEFFICIENT, TIME CONSUMING and OBSTRUCTIVE – not to mention that many of them are again grey-on-grey. Doh.

The Start menu has generated a lot of discussion too – I don’t find it too bad now in 10162, and the right-click option is absolutely invaluable. However, I do think the alpha separators in the ‘All’ list are a total waste of space. They make the scrolling process more INEFFICIENT. (And when I go back to W7, it just seems, well, more useful and obvious.)

So, if we focus on making the OS easier and more efficient to use, I think W10 is heading for a major fail (and all of the MS apps as well). Which is sad, because the technical improvements seem to be good. I was/am a great fan of the effectiveness of the subtle EFFICIENCY factors of the W7/Aero UX; colour (whatever happened to colour?), gradients, shading are all used by the eye and brain in identification and familiarity; it may only be milliseconds each time, but it all adds up. It seems that (nearly?) all of those EFFICIENCY and EASE OF USE factors have just been cast aside in the apparent quest for style ‘simplicity’ (ie ‘flatness’). It’s not as though PCs are so desperately low on processing power that the resources required to render the Aero UX was a limiting factor. I can just about buy that argument for phones (but even then most of the target devices are as powerful as the first Cray 1), but it just doesn't make sense on the desktop to ditch these useful UX mechanisms. At the very least make it a theme.

I could go on - about the inconsistency of new settings and configuration menus and dialogs, the lack of configuration, removal of options in IE11, bugs brought forward from W7/W8.x etc, but I'm *hoping* they are just V 0.9 issues.

Not least, there is still no plug-in support in Edge, the browser selection seems to be broken requiring me to answer a question every time I click on a link in an e-mail, and IE11 restarts when I shut it down.

So, to summarise: 10162 still has many clunky bugs and overall W10 IS a backwards step in FUNCTIONAL EFFICIENCY (IMHO). A triumph (?) of style over function?

Thirteen Astonishing True Facts You Never Knew About SCREWS



Sorry, you cant ever hope to pre-empt the place where a screwdriver (or ANYthing else for that matter) is going to be found. Because - whenever you find anything, it's ALWAYS the last place you looked.


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