H8ers again

According to various strings hidden hither and yon in the operating system, I’m running Windows 5.1. (You may know it better as XP.) Windows, say the wags, runs the opposite of Star Trek films: the odd-numbered versions are good, the even-numbered versions (like Vista, which was 6) not so good.

Warren Meyer of Coyote Blog complained about Win8 last year:

Like Windows Vista, it is an absolutely awful OS that our company has banned any employee from using on a company machine.

He kept it out of his house, too, until his son needed a new laptop. And now he reports that it’s even worse than he thought:

The system boots up into a tiled mess that looks like some cheesy website covered in moving gifs and viagra ads. To make matters worse, nothing on this tablet-based interface is organized at all logically. The interface is like the room of an ADD child that dropped all of his toys and books in random spots. I am sure these tiles have some sort of navigation paradigm, but it is completely different from any used in past windows versions. I could not, for example, figure out how to easily exit the store except to alt-tab out (there is no exit or quit option and right-click context menus which are one of the great advantages of windows over mac don’t seem to work a lot of the time). Again, I am sure there is some way to do it, but I have no idea what it is and no desire to learn new navigation commands. Perhaps Microsoft intends that one use a gamepad instead of a mouse — I would not be surprised at this point.

There are, I’m sure, third-party tools to avoid this particular pixelgasm, but I’m not sure I’d want to install them on a machine used by a tot.


  1. miniapplejack »

    9 January 2014 · 10:02 am

    Windows 7 did improve things greatly. Windows 8, not so much.
    As far as the right-click contextual menu thing, that’s been part of OSX pretty much since it came out. Then again, Apple is trying to do the Microsoft thing and integrate the GUI functions of iOS and OSX together. I think these GUI designers need to keep mouse/keyboard navigation and touchscreen navigation GUIs separate.

  2. McGehee »

    9 January 2014 · 2:50 pm

    So Macs now come with a two-button mouse?

    I think these GUI designers need to keep mouse/keyboard navigation and touchscreen navigation GUIs separate.

    Vehemently agreed. Even if the same OS is meant for both types of input, it shouldn’t be difficult to code the OS to sense whether it’s running on a desktop or touchscreen system, and configure itself accordingly.

  3. Tatyana »

    10 January 2014 · 8:59 am

    Alas, the machine at work is on W-8. It’s a disaster. I keep accidentally touching some button on k-board (ah, if I knew which!) and screen reverts to the start, with all the randomly tiled “goodies” in kitsch colors, including suggested windows into the lives of so called celebrities. Where did I ever express an interest in that?!
    It’s impossible to find “back” and “undo” buttons, all hidden, and time and again some sort of offer from MS pops up in the middle of my frantic drawing on CAD to meet deadline of upcoming meeting with Client – damn!

  4. SnoopyTheGoon »

    10 January 2014 · 10:20 am

    I would worry less about the tots, they are much more resilient than us, old coots. But one can always start with buying a Nokia smartphone. In a year or two…

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