Category Archives: PC Operating Systems

Who has most to gain with XP’s April 2014 end of life?


I think this is the crucial question. And the answer has to be Microsoft and its OEM partners, who are asking everyone to buy new hardware and a new OS. They will throw around arguments about security and vulnerability. It all just seems to be just the way for these big businesses to scaremonger ordinary computer users to part with their money.

If Microsoft were really concerned about ordinary folks, and not just about themselves and their OEM cohort, they can make a release of Windows 7, or 8 or whatever, that’s streamlined to run capably on the sort of modest hardware that XP is able to support. But what we get is just the opposite trend, of irrational increasing demand from MS’ new operating systems for more of precious RAM, HDD and computing resources. The new MS’ operating systems are competing for precious resources instead of making most of it available for the user’s apps.

The trend for hardware to become faster and bigger is good and we should all benefit from it, but if the OS is filled with bloat and just uses up most of it, then whatever hardware performance giveth, the OS takes away.

We are all fortunate to have Linux as a free alternative OS, but some of us are stuck with Windows because of the existing apps we already have in place. So, for me, I will continue with using XP, and I will ignore the scaremongers. I will welcome April 2014 happily and am gonna stick to XP for as long as MS does not offer a real viable alternative. I’m keeping my shields-up: firewalls, and anti-virus and I am gonna be a vigilant user.

Bill Gates had a reputation for being an excellent coder in his day. During college, Bill Gates and Paul Allen wrote a full BASIC language interpreter in assembly language for a computer which had only 4000 bytes of memory. They wrote it on a PDP-10 running an Intel 8080 emulator.

As much as Operating systems are innovating in terms of fancier UIs, and it seems they won’t stop messing with it, there should be a revival of old best practices in programming–making lean and tight applications and systems.

But maybe those old values just don’t jive with certain self-centered business interests. After all, who will buy the new massive laptops and PCs if end-users can still run their important apps on modest hardware.

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Windows 7 – a review


Cons

1. after xcopy sometimes there is auto-set of attrib +s +h

2. xcopy results in insufficient memory error

3. copy does computation before copy

4. new folder takes long

5. writing to root dir denied

6. remove usb shows little info on who has lock when system returns cannot be removed at this time response

7. outlook hangs up very often, sometimes shut too quickly. Same thing seems to happen with other apps.

8. always on top behavior not correct for task manager and sometimes for other apps as well

9. where is the up one folder icon in windows explorer?

10. disappearing alt-tab items

11. attachments don’t open on click from outlook

12. not possible to remove aero snap

13. quit changing the appearance of icons.

14. the text contrast is bad on a number of important screens, including ctrl-alt-del.  Unreadable for the color blind or for people with poor vision.

15. system hangs up after closing folder view in windows explorer

16. typing to search for an app in start menu is slow.  cannot alt-tab to go away and go back.

17.  shutdown causes screen black-out.  alt-tab to click on save is not possible.

18. No performance gain over Windows XP.  In many cases performance is slow.  The enhancements seem to be mostly cosmetic and for eye candy.  Where is the umph from the new I5 and I7 processors?

19. There are still many instances of displayed items going awry.  Must be GDI resources going low.

20. network control panel – not easy to get to.

21. WiFi access management is not intuitive.  Not easy.

22. Hangs-up when printing to a network printer.

23. Responsiveness of apps after coming back from a couple of hours of not using the PC is slow.  Responsiveness of commonly used applications seems to suffer a lot from being paged out.  E.g. I use outlook often and after coming back to it on the next day, the performance is slow.  Often hangs on using it again.

24. If the right window pane in windows explorer is set to a particular directory (e.g. by using Alt-D or the address bar), the left pane does not follow and open the same directory.

25. Does not work well with other OS.  If Ubuntu is installed first, then ubuntu will not be able to boot after Windows is installed.

26. There seems to be no way to recall old items in run list.  Down arrow does nothing.

Pros:

1. Task manager now has a properties page for processes.

2. The 64-bit version supposedly can allow one to get beyond the 3GB physical memory limit.  If you install more than 3GB of physical memory, Win XP will not be able to expose more than 3GB to the user.  Win 7 supposedly can.