Windows 8 Bleg

I just got a new laptop, which came with Windows 8 and Explorer 10. I am frustrated. Things are different now.

I’ve managed to stumble into a desktop environment like I was used to before in Windows 7. But that took me about fifteen minutes of fumbling around. And I have no idea how to get back here.

I hate the splash screen with the big boxy things everywhere. If this were an iPad or some similar tablet, that would be great. But I can’t get the hell out of the start screen.

As I type, I find that my cursor jumps around at random. Seems to happen a lot when I use the apostrophe key. I don’t know if this is a hardware issue or a software one.

I’m quite frustrated.

Is there some sort of resource that can walk me through updating all of this stuff?

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50 thoughts on “Windows 8 Bleg

  1. I’m not sure what resources are out there for your Burt but you aren’t alone in the complaints. And you are correct, it was designed for tablets. I suspect Windows 7 is going to be like XP and remain the OS of choice for quite some time.

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    • You know, as a fellow Mac user, this is why people find us annoying. PCs are somewhere between 1/4 and 1/3 of the price, with the same basic functions, and it’s easier to find games that are compatible with them; I can see why some people prefer them.

      I think that now most people with Explorer just download Firefox or Chrome for free, though.

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      • “How do you know when a Mac User is at your party?” “Don’t worry about it. They’ll tell you.”

        Thank you for that, Katherine. Roger, if I’d just bought a Toyota and had an issue with it, a friend saying “You should have bought a Mercedes, your Toyota is a piece of trash” isn’t particularly helpful.

        That’s kind of how Mac users sound when they gloat over Windows users having trouble.

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        • Be glad no Linux users have volunteered their help (“If you used Linux, you could just upgrade the window manager. Oh, yeah, that requires the latest version of the kernel, so you need that. And you’d better check if your filesystem needs patches for that. And if all your drivers are compatible — I lost my sound card at first, but then I found this neat utility that lets Windows drivers run inside a kernel sandbox, although it seems to cut off most of the bass, but I downloaded an equalizer utility and configured it to compensate for that. Anyway, you’re an idiot for using anything as inflexible as Windows.)

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      • Macs once had a giant usability advantage over Windows, but Windows 7 was very stable and very usable. And, I suspect from their recent releases (including their new Calendar program in MacOS and the new Maps program on the iPhone) that Apple’s usability advantage may not persist into the future…

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      • Now that I’m out of the tech business, I’ve slowly lost my pro-PC zeal. Finally, last year, I decided I needed a laptop and dammit but Apple beat PC again by coming up with a dual-touch trackpad, going a long way toward remedying my biggest hangup against laptops. But holy hell are those things expensive. Cooled my jets right quick.

        I look around at all these people with Apple stuff and think to myself, recession reschmession.

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  2. I think this kind of wraps up why Mac people like Macs in a nutshell. When a new version comes out, everyone upgrades and says, “Oh, that’s kind of cool.” When Windows users upgrade, they’re always saying its really terrible.

    Stuff like that make the Mac seem worth the extra money.

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    • Windows 95, NT, XP, and 7 were all huge improvements over the previous versions. (3.1 was much better than 3.0, but in the same way that pneumonia is much better than typhoid.)

      So PC users only complain half the time :-)

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    • I dunno… Lion caused a bit of uproar, when it came out.

      Ironically, as DRS has noted, the issues with this version of the OS come directly from Microsoft’s “Apple envy.” They looked at the simplicity and elegance that could come from a unitarian design aesthetic, and strong commitment to design choices. And in Windows 8, they tried to duplicate this.

      Unfortunately, whoever is leading the Windows redesign effort is no Steve Jobs. Microsoft has made a strong commitment to an inappropriate design. The OS seems well-designed and well-scaled for casual use on a slate computer. But for those millions of us who must work and design on a PC, we’ve kind of been left in the lurch.

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    • When a new version comes out, everyone upgrades and says, “Oh, that’s kind of cool.”

      Well, yeah…

      More seriously, Windows users are whiners and moaners. For the first six months after Windows 2000 came out, my friends did nothing but talk about how terrible it was. Now many of them say it was the best version of Windows ever made.

      Win7 got a lot of positive attention, though. The soft bigotry of low expectations.

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      • Do you mean XP rather than 2000? 2000 was an upgrade to NT 4.0, and as such was targeted to the commercial market (the corresponding home version was the abomination called Windows ME). XP was the first version that was intended for both home and commercial users (built on top of the NT kernel) and as such was the first home version whose internals didn’t completely suck.

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        • I was in college at the time and Microsoft was huge into introducing us to the product. Show your student ID, get a free copy of Windows 2000, and get a free candy bar! Oh, by the way, we have absolutely no verification process… winkwink. This is an exaggeration, but it was flying everywhere. So a lot of people in my very precise age range got Windows 2000 as a consumer product rather than commercial product. (So much so that I didn’t even know Win2k was specifically a commercial product until recently.)

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          • Interesting. I recall Win2K only vaguely, as “Yeah, they released a new version of NT that’s mostly compatible, but we still need to run the tests against it.” (I don’t think I ever had W2K-related bugs, but the people who did (because its thread-scheduling algorithm was different, or something equally obscure) cursed a lot.) XP was the awesome ability to play all of the kids’ Win95-based games without crashing every half hour.

            I’m still curious why your friends prefer 200o to XP (which I consider the best ever, though 7 has its points).

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            • Mike –

              I think your memory has betrayed you. Windows 2000 was the Win NT version that had the Windows 95 interface, and was widely used as a consumer OS. ME was the last version of Windows built atop the pre-NT Windows kernel .

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              • The fork isn’t quite that atomic.

                2000 was loosely based on the NT4 kernel philosophy (which was built off of the NT branch of the Microsoft OS history), but there were design considerations that were completely against earlier NT principles, and there was a lot of system stuff that was lifted almost straight from 98 for backwards-compatibility.

                ME was built off of 98 2nd edition (which was built on 95, which was only very loosely built on 3.11, more or less). And yes, it sucked ass, for all the reasons that 98 sucked squared.

                XP was built off of 2000. It really just was 2K with different window dressing and a couple of cosmetic changes (after they dropped the db file system from the development thread, it wasn’t a major upgrade at all, really).

                We’re now more or less all running off of the NT base of the kernel, if you can say that with a straight face.

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              • Wiki agrees with me:

                Windows XP, the successor to Windows 2000 and Windows Me, was the first consumer-oriented operating system produced by Microsoft to be built on the Windows NT kernel.

                But since our disagreement is about which were “consumer-oriented” rather than what they contain, it’s all pretty fuzzy.

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            • Basically Windows 2000 did almost everything XP did but with a much lighter footprint. If you used Win2K for any significant amount of time, XP came across as bloated and slow and you weren’t sure what enhancements occurred to justify it.

              I only stopped using Win2K a couple years ago. I’d switched to XP for most of my computers just due to the enhanced out-of-the-box driver support, but still used 2000 for less robust machines. About two years ago it just became unusuable and I started using Linux for machines that struggled under WinXP.

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                • Maybe. Pat might be able to clarify, but my understanding of XP was that it was simpy layered on top of 2000 without much in the way of added compatibility to 95/98. It was just that by the time XP came out, more drivers and such existed for the 2K/XP layer than had when 2K initially came out.

                  The knock on XP was that most of the bloat was caused by cosmetic improvements. Being who we are, blech on cosmetics. But I’m WAGging it here, too, somewhat.

                  What say you, Pat?

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      • Windows 2000 was the first time Microsoft launched an OS without updating their outstanding driver database.

        So it was the first time that people bought a Microsoft OS that didn’t work with all of their existing equipment.

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        • The driver support was an issue. Not just the driver database, but a lot of part-vendors weren’t caught up (I couldn’t use video in-out). The big thing I remember was “10,000 bugs.” Some group said they found as much and that was considered proof of how terrible 2000 was and how Microsoft sucked. Then people started realizing the notably fewer BSOD’s and – unlike ME – its reputation was rehabilitated with my cohort.

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  3. While I get all the hate aimed at OS manufacturers, I also want my cursor to stop jumping around on me while I’m typing something. This happened to me over twenty times last night while I was trying to write something for work. Why why why does it do this? Am I the only one this happens to?

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