Monday, April 14, 2014

Choose Your Path to Hell: Windows 7 or 8?

A moment of pleasure, a lifetime of regret. That is how I see my decision to run Windows years ago. Back in the day, I had a Mac and an SGI and neither of them would run Java or PC - based games. Since I wasn't giving up the SGI and since two computers was my limit at the time, I switched to Windows in order to learn Java. Its been hell ever since. If at first you walk down the dark path, forever is your destiny affected.

The time has come to upgrade from Windows XP to another operating system. The Internet has become a cesspit of loonytoon right wingers and malicious code and one can no longer surf to your favorite porn sites at leisure without serious potential ramifications. Fixes to XP security problems will no longer be provided for the general public, so one must move on. But why run Windows at all at this point? The PC game business has died, and besides, any game I developed would not be for Windows. The only reason I continue to run Windows is that I have a handful of applications that I use in my work and I am loathe to give them up. One of them is Canopus ProCoder, a very good software only transcoder and there are a few others. Everything else, including all my writing and spreadsheets and so forth can be done very reliably on Linux.

So your "choices" for upgrade are Windows 7 or Windows 8. I already run 8 on a very inexpensive laptop and I can tell you flat out that I hate it. Maybe I will learn to love it, that happens quite frequently with me, but if so it hasn't happened yet.

In order to help others make this existential choice which will affect the rest of your so-called life, this are the reasons I chose to go with Windows 7.

1. There is a feature in Windows 8 that makes it impossible to delete a file unless you are logged in as Administrator. The only people who use this feature are people who write malicious viruses (virusi) for Windows 8.

2. But as distributed not only is there no Administrator account on Windows 8, the possibility of having such an account is deliberately disabled. So first you have to figure out how to go behind Microsofts back and disable the Administrator disabling code, and then create your administrator account and then, only then, can you delete a file on *your* fucking computer. Not their fucking computer, but your fucking computer. Life is too short for this kind of bullshit.

3.Windows 7 Professional has an XP compatibility mode that is actually a virtual machine with a licensed version of Windows XP already installed. By definition, this compatibility mode will work with your old XP application, albeit perhaps slower depending on things like graphics. Windows 8 hides this mode from you, and may have some other compatibility mode that may or may not work for you. Again, who needs it.

4. Windows 7 has been out for a while and is a mature OS. Windows 8 is a new OS. All new OSs are buggy, period. Its a law of nature. Just like all new rendering technologies are slow.

5. The only reason to use Windows is because one has learned to be productive on it. The Windows 8 UI is completely different and all productivity goes to hell.

6. One can get around the Windows 8 UI with third party software that tries to defeat the new UI and bring back the old one. These third party programs work pretty well, but the new UI creeps in occassionally in spite of this and then you waste minutes trying to figure out how to get out of it and back to work.

7. I hate the way the new UI looks.

8. I hate the way the new UI works.

9. In order to download updates or "apps" you need a Microsoft account so they can violate your privacy and track everything. I don't think I have any privacy on the Internet but I am still loathe to be forced to give Microsoft marketing information on me just to download updates that contain their bug fixes. Its not that big a deal, but I do it under duress. I believe that the concept of your Microsoft account, to let you use their "cloud", big whoopee, is integrated throughout Windows 8.

So down another path to hell and Windows 7 Professional it is.

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