Wednesday, September 18, 2013

9/18/13 Windows 8

Want to know, out of the millions of photographs I've collected or taken over my lifetime, which one gets the distinction of being the very first one every saved to my new computer?

I am not typically one of those Grumpy Cats who bitch and moan about every little change made on OS or websites. I'm usually a pretty early adopter of cool new tech, or at least an avid reader if I can't afford to be an adopter. 

But, seriously, Windows 8 just SUCKS.

It's not intuitive at all. You have to be a mind reader of some high as kite programmer who thinks all computer users really just want a really big phone screen to interact with. It's also clearly geared to touchscreens, which I decided again last night because I just couldn't justify the cost, not to mention how all those fingerprints would make me bonkers.

Over the course of one day, here's what I've learned:

Windows 8 is designed to try and keep you exclusively with Microsoft products, especially Internet Explorer, which I loathe and only kept on previous machines because most of my work programs aren't supported by either Chrome or Firefox. First strike: you've already forced me into your OS, don't push it or I'll pick anything other than Microsoft products every chance I get.

The "new" Start screen feels like a visual representation of the bloatware I try to avoid at every turn. Unpinning all this crap has not been high on my list of things to do today, nor is it as simple as a right click/delete command. 

Speaking of right click -- now to access the right-click menu, I have to also hold down the Ctrl key. When I finally get around to tackling that fugly Start menu, every button has to CTRL+right click, just to get the "Unpin" button to appear, that also needs to be clicked.

All the tiny motions my poor brain is getting retrained in all at once, including a new, very spiffy backlit silent keyboard that makes me feel like I've just sat down at a Baby grand after playing on a 44 key synth for years, and little things like not being able to standard right click can start to feel like a very big deal.

This is a lot like the MLA deciding, after decades, you didn't need to type two spaces after a period. Not cool. 

And do the designers of Windows 8 really think, after training your brain to click (you know, ONCE) over the past 7 iterations, that you won't be irritated by it defaulting to every action needing a DOUBLE click instead? Yes, I found out how to reset it, after several hours of thinking, "What the flip is WRONG with my brand new computer??"

Of course, when you try to run Task Manager, you realize you may never know. They've stripped down to a useless list of open programs and nothing else. 

This is NOT A PHONE SYSTEM. Why is it defaulting to requiring me to enter a password every time I wake my computer up? (Also fixed, but not easily or intuitively.)

You are seemingly locked into this horribly, ugly, busy "Start" screen with NO START BUTTON. You know, the one at the bottom left that allows you to access pretty much everything? GONE.

Best tip I picked up all day: Windows button + D takes you to the Desktop section, far away from those nasty tiles. It's totally, blessedly black and quiet. Add Google Chrome and this is the only place to keep it. It's the last vestige of sanity from Windows 8, especially if you just want your desktop back the way it was before you lost everything and had to buy a new computer that feels like landing on an alien planet where you can't even read the street signs.

You get the Windows Media player . . . but it no longer plays DVDs. C'mon, really?

That's all I've got, although it's only been about 10 hours in. Each hour brings a new, awful discovery. The suspense is just killing me.


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