Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Windows dumbs down

Changing from Windows 98 to XP was like sliding back a couple of years at primary school. Words reverted to pictures. The trend continues with Windows 7.

Start (bottom left), which misleadingly hid Stop, has been scrubbed and literalists may now click on a globe icon and delight in an unequivocal Switch Off.

Right-clicking Create Shortcut is not always available. Instead it’s Send To > Desktop, More logical, of course, once you know.

The former Control Panel option of Add/Remove Software, which I always thought required an initial act of faith, is to be found under the blandly titled Programs and Features. Right-clicking on the listed program gives Uninstall.

Sentimentalists will mourn the passing of the egg-timer as they wait for things to happen; a rotating silver ring doesn’t have the same charm.

But perhaps the best change is the execution of the obscurely titled Outlook Express (which I always renamed Email) and its re-emergence as Windows Live Mail. What took them so long?

There’s a brutalist intervention in Solitaire. When no further moves are possible Windows tells you so.

CHICKEN MECHANIC I wrote the above while waiting for a repair to my car at Winner Garages at the aptly named Forest of Dean town, Cinderford. An interesting fault. At precisely 81 mph a high-speed flapping, almost a chatter, announced itself. How did law-abiding BB become aware of this? In France, of course, where 81 mph is more or less the autoroute maximum of 130 kph. The receptionist told me quite sturdily that the mechanic was not prepared to road-test the noise. However, he did find a loose undertray at the rear and it remains for me to find a bit of motorway and check the repair.


Rouchswalwe said...

I sat with friends drinking homebrew last night. Whinging that I haven't been able yet to listen to you reading your sonnet. Grumbling about the short hours at the library and the disgusting state of the computers there. Complaining that the person sitting next to you talking away on his mobile destroys any attempt to concentrate. When my friend leaned over and asked me how long I had been researching and comparing and pining for a laptop. So I'm happy to tell you, BB, that I read your post on Windows 7 with much joy, because that is the operating system (are you sitting down?) that is loaded on the laptop I ordered last night! Hurrah! It should be delivered in 2 weeks, which will give me time to check out a book and learn even more about it. My very first computer. What do you think I should call it?

Barrett Bonden said...

RW (sZ): Much more than just a computer, Tall Woman. More like passing into a state of grace, of being beatified, of losing a nickel and finding a quarter. You will now be able to free the inner Tall Woman (only a mere 1.5 cm, shorter) and give vent to that highly individual voice which is the result of knocking round interesting parts of the world. Were I religious this is the point at which I'd say Go with God - instead I say: Go with Inventiveness, Good Spirits, Good Humour and a unremitting desire to master the outermost reaches of the world of beer brewing.

Barrett Bonden said...

RW (zS): Computer name. Excelsior! Better still Nothung - the name of Siegfried's sword.

Lucy said...

I was rather chuffed that this new toy was still fitted with XP, rather than that ghastly Vista, which also has the rotating circle thing.

Even so, I have difficulties getting right click shortcuts, so I might try the send to option, though now I'm using Google Chrome on it that rather removes the need, and I did used to rather abuse the function and ended up with too many, so my desktop might have deserved the appellation 'the big hook', which my dad used to call the floor. I also note that Chrome's built-in spell-checker queries the word Google, which is a bit ironic.

Tom moaning about the slowness of the old computer, I was led to wonder if in addition to the normal clean-up and defragging it might be time to go for reducing the visual elements for optimum performance. But it looked so blocky and grey and utilitarian we just couldn't face it!

There is Nothung like eine Dame...

Barrett Bonden said...

Lucy: I was going to provide some profound guidance on TSR (terminate and stay resident) programs as a means of speeding up XP boot-up. Luckily I checked on Google first and discovered my knowledge is horribly out of date. I cannot improve on the info contained in the following link http://reviews.cnet.com/4520-10165_7-5554402-1.html.

I too was put off Vista by vituperative reviews of its shortcomings. However the somewhat less literary Windows 7 is said to put all our worries to rest.

As to Nothung my first instinct for RW (zS) was to suggest Wotan's supposedly all-powerful staff. But despite exhaustive trawling I was unable to find whether or not it has a name. Siegfried was definitely a step down. I see him as the exemplar for Hereford youths emerging from Commercial Road hostelries at midnight and making their way noisily towards sources of vindaloo.

Rouchswalwe said...

I've been trawling, too. What worried me about Siegfried is that he kept breaking swords ...
I have it from an authority that Odin actually carried a spear named Gungnir.