scribbles tagged ‘Windows’

Buying a computer in John Lewis’s

Monday, February 10th, 2014 | tags: , , , , , , ,  |

We wandered around the computer displays.

Wendy: which one do you like mum?

Mumsie: I can only choose based on how they look dear

Wendy: They’ll all work for what we want them to do, so that’s an ok way to choose

Mumsie: This one has a big space-bar, I want a big space bar. Why is that one [an Apple] so expensive?

Wendy: It’s for people who like showing off that they can pay a lot for their computer, I can’t help you with using that one, I can help you using with all the others.

The large store was very busy in January. We asked for an assistant and were put in a notional queue, we browsed while we waited for an assistant.

Assistant: How can I help you?

Mumsie: I don’t know, we want a computer with a keyboard

Wendy: Mumsie wants to do emailing, share her digital pictures, use Facebook and write the WI minutes. And I don’t want to push her into getting anything she doesn’t feel comfortable with

Mumsie: Oh, is that what we want?!

Assistant: You want a Surface RT, it comes with Microsoft Office installed for writing your minutes

Mumsie: Wendy, is that the ‘Word’ thing that I use? I just copy last month’s minutes and make small changes each month

Wendy: Yes mumsie [turns to assistant] Do any of the others have a version of word installed, and how much would it cost to add Word [annoyed because my surface pro didn't come with any version of Office, just the option to purchase the full version]?

Assistant: Only the surface comes with Office installed, it is a reduced version but should be sufficient for your Mum’s needs. You’d have to buy and install it on other Windows8 machines

He started talking about Bluetooth and other technical features at this point and I could see mumsie getting disengaged.

Wendy: can mum have a go with it?

He took us to see three Surfaces, each with a different coloured keyboard. Mumsie really liked the keyboard because it had a decent space-bar, but mostly because it was backlit so the letters on the keys were really easy to see. We bought the surface because the value for money and enabling mum to keep using word was important.  Then on with the shopping, we wandered off to look at the winter coats. Mumsie carried the surface easily around the store as we continued browsing. Nice. It was like buying a computer had become just another thing you buy on a shopping trip. A bit scary for mum, but it was my money so it all went smoothly. The package even fitted under the table in John Lewis’s café as we stopped to treat ourselves to coffee and cheesecake. Mum doesn’t use a walking stick, but if she did she would have been able to carry the surface easily around John Lewis’s. Well done.

I was a bit scared about how right the Surface RT would be for her, I would soon find out, but that’s another blog post…


5 bits of fabulous banter »

Surface Pro first impressions

Sunday, February 2nd, 2014 | tags: , , , , , ,  |

BoxedIn early September 2013 I bought a Microsoft surface. The box is firm, strong and its easy to both see and feel what to do next, pull the white box out from the darker gray box. It’s a tight fit, but smoothly pulls out revealing a continuation of the simple branding, without the typical set of legal, feature, geeky must-know information. Nice.

Lid offThe white box is opened by a lid, again it’s obvious and easily turned back to open. No latch or catch used because it’s not needed with the sleeve design lf the gray box. Pleasingly simple, it feels like playing pass the parcel with myself, and I’m almost at the prize… The inside of the lid is the same bright blue as the logo on the outside.

The surface is right there, wrapped in a shiny cellophane wrapper, not necessary but I loved being able to see it and having yet another level of the present unwrapping feeling. The power cable was wrapped in the same shiny cellophane, given the same gift status as the actual surface. They were Out Of the Box (OOBE) and plugged in within the minute.

Shiny packagingAt first I barely noticed the paper user-guide and electronic pen placed under the surface. I didn’t need to notice. The power cable had ‘snapped’ into position on the surface, there was only one place it could go and they were literally magnetically attracted, no need for me to be dextrously precise in placing it. Ooh! NICE! Below the surfaceOnly 2 buttons on the Surface, one looks like volume so the other must be power. I pressed both as I reached for what I presumed was either a user manual or quick start guide. It turned out to be a 3 page, concertinaed quick start guide labelling all the external hardware features. Easily digested, superfluous yet comforting.

I turned away from the packaging and logged into the surface using my ancient Hotmail account, it was so smooth, quick and immersive that I didn’t take any photographs and was finished in a couple of minutes, relaxed in my comfy chair, exploring the possibilities

Quick start guideThere were some minor demo’s of interactions that showed how to find the side controls and search, the bottom of screen controls and the stuff on the right. Possibly some more, I can no longer remember if I was told about or discovered the pinches, flicks, pulls and long-presses. They’re not intuitively discoverable so someone, sometime must have shown them to me.. ready to goIt wasn’t long until I white screened, while loading my thousands of photographs up to the SkyDrive, which couldn’t cope.

I twitted about this and then got into a frustrating bug-diagnosis discussion with the surface twitter feed. Oh dear, a great start, packaging, went down hill dramatically quickly as the expensive device demonstrated poor usability performance and ill thought-out social media use which merely inflamed my situation. I didn’t learn, over the next few weeks. I had several frustrating interactions with Surface twitter who asked me questions I wasn’t able to answer, making me feel stupid, and not making any noticeable progress to solving my problem. Compiling the anti-climax of my first experience.

Alas, Mumsies experience this January went downhill from when we turned the power on, but that’s another blog post…


3 bits of fabulous banter »

car over football

Sunday, January 12th, 2014 | tags: , , , , , , ,  |

what does it mean?Mumsie: But how do I keep the email address so that I can find it again?

Wendy: You can ‘Save’ it in an address book on your computer. Can you see anything here that suggests ‘save’ or ‘keep’?

Mumsie: No

I look at the symbol of the floppy disk and wonder what dipstick in the Microsoft visual design icon set development team thought that a floppy disk would be meaningful to youngsters who’ve never seen one and oldies like mum who’ve never used one. While I can’t imagine a universal symbol for ‘save’, ‘keep’ or ‘store’, this symbol clearly misses the mark now and will miss the mark even more with the younger generations to come.

Wendy: What does that look like?

Mumsie: the car driving over the football?

Wendy: Yes! Brilliant, that’s exactly what it looks like, a ‘hummer’!

Mumsie: What’s a ‘hummer’? Someone in a choir who’s forgotten the words?

She’s quickly learnt the symbol now I’ve told her that it means ‘save’, the car saving the goal strike. Mumsie is very bright. Gotta love her and question who was recruited by the windows 8 user testing team to test the legibility of this icon.


1 wonderful musing »

Surface Super FAIL

Saturday, September 7th, 2013 | tags: , , ,  |

The default (Microsoft) App for

  • mail crashes everytime I paste a link into an email, which is for most emails
  • calendar crashes every time I paste a link into a calendar invitation

Surface shipped too soon. I’m not a Beta tester, I paid full price for this half-baked product. Those are bugs that should have been found during the internal use, before even going to Beta testing or Preview. I’m Furious and want to return the machine and get my money back. Meanwhile, @surface behaves as if my anger is an opportunity to uncover the bug reproduction steps, to waste my time on something they should already know because its such a consistent behaviour. How to make a furious Wendy fume even more!

twittersurface


3 bits of fabulous banter »

Ordinal 466 (559) could not be located in the dynamic link library

Friday, May 24th, 2013 | tags: , ,  |

After an irritating long windows update when I was trying to leave work on time, my laptop starts with these trust inspiring messages:
Ordinal 466 Ordinal 559

Several friends experience similar messages after their updates. What’s an ordinal? Do I care? Dynamic link library? Seriously?!

What were the windows update test team doing when they let these error messages slip through before releasing?

Oh, and I almost forgot this confidence inducing message: ‘The operating system cannot run %1′
Operating system cannot run


5 bits of fabulous banter »

windows crashes the morning

Sunday, March 31st, 2013 | tags: , , , ,  |

Just in case you thought that all my story blog posts mean that I’m neglecting my role of publicising details of software failures, I thought I’d throw this little message in the pot.

Arriving at work to discover that my computer had ‘shutdown unexpectedly’ or some such phrase that completely ignores the emotional impact of a computer crash. I do like that Microsoft wants to know about these events so they can diagnose their causes and work with partners to reduce their occurrence.  I’d rather they used this messaging opportunity to:

  • acknowledged the emotional impact of what happened.
  • told me they will use this information to reduce events like this happening in the future “sending more information can help Microsoft create solutions” is too corporate, formal, impersonal.
  • added a bit of humour to the message to demonstrate that they want me to be happy and they employ expert editors to make that happen.

Eventually these things may well happen, but I’m getting impatient, come-on already!

Crash bang wallop


7 bits of fabulous banter »

windows colours

Sunday, February 10th, 2013 | tags: ,  |

RolexThis Rolex store in Wilmslow appears to be based in what was once a movie theatre. The tall coloured windows are something I associate with UK movie theatre architecture.

Late in the evening the coloured windows provide light, warmth, colour and a smile to the cold, dark, windy street. The colourful light made me smile. The colours are the colours of the Microsoft windows logo.

 

Without directly promoting products this Rolex store has promoted good spirit in a way that anyone, irrespective of income, can share.

Love it!


3 bits of fabulous banter »

the blue flash of colonel panic

Sunday, January 13th, 2013 | tags: , , , , , , ,  |

Blue Screen of DeathThe Blue flash of colonel panic is not a military award, one of the X-men,  X-women, a Transformer, or other superhero.

Windows 7 scary classic!

The file dump from Windows 7 “Blue Screen Of Death (BSOD)” happens so quickly that we  rush to capture an digital image for posterity because maybe there will be a generation of computer users that have never see a blue screen. I hope so.

You can see the blue screen paparazzi in the reflection on an old Lenovo laptop.  The windows 7 message is already teasing the user with more text than they can possibly read in the time it’s displayed! Squinting at the photograph I saw the phrase “BIOS updates” – a phrase that produces a mild form of the gagging reflex.

Windows 8 is succinct, readable, understandable and less SCARY!

The message has changed for Windows 8, it looks like a more graceful failure message because it has larger, more readable, and understandable text. It looks like they’ve actually written it for the normal people that will see it rather than for the developers. They no longer mention “Caching and shadowing”, “removing or disabling components” or the gaggable “Bios updates”.  I wonder whether it’s still a ‘Blue Flash’. Excellent user experience enhancements.

 


6 bits of fabulous banter »

dad’s been jackanaped

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012 | tags: , , ,  |

The sender of this email agreed to let me publish it because he’s entertaining and talking about buying a PC from PC world:

My Dad just bought a new computer, without asking me first *facepalm*.

He went to PC World and some jackanape sold him a win 8 machine. Apparently it’s ‘in the cloud’ and ‘blazingly fast’, something my dad doesn’t understand but was convinced is a good thing.

Anyhoo,

To cut a long story short, my dad has come to visit and is begging me to put win 7 on it.

He said ‘it took me 45 minutes to find the control panel on it and i’ve been deleting stuff but noting makes that f*cking screen go away’.

Thanks MS. Thanks PC World.

Sent from my phone

 


5 bits of fabulous banter »

have some babies for windows 8

Friday, November 9th, 2012 | tags: , , , , ,  |

Windows 8Several things make me think that Windows 8 is not for me.

The UK advertising campaign is my main source of thinking it’s not meant for me. For example, in an advertising email Microsoft appears to be suggesting that Windows 8 has been designed for either:

  1. young women who can afford to have kiddies who wear smart clothes indoors on the bed, or for
  2. people who want to have a young woman with a kiddie who wears smart clothes on a bed.

I am neither of these things – but I can afford a decent personal computer, unlike many of the young people who can’t afford to leave home let-alone have a kiddy.

The promotional picture of the UK Windows 8 upgrade website is equally excluding me from its focus. Below we see what looks like a young family, a beardyman wearing pink corduroy flares, a woman with a strappy dress and a child with a big smile. They are all bravely ignoring the wind storm that is about to take down the palm trees in the background. Is this the Windows 8 user-group or representing their aspirations. I am very far from being either of these. I wonder if it’s Microsoft’s imagination of what they aspire to have their users be like. Tush. I can see I’m a disappointment to them – too old with insufficient babies.

Windows 8 upgradeI’m a bit peeved at this persistent exclusion. When you see their TV adverts for the Surface, it gets worse. I’m not ready to go there yet.

Looks like my next computer will be the Nexus 7. Ironically, a friend who’s a recent mother is raving about how she can feed the baby with one arm while using the Nexus with the other….

 


6 bits of fabulous banter »

BONKERS price matching

Thursday, November 1st, 2012 | tags: , , , , ,  |

Sparkles boxFrom all the advice and a bit of playing with some Windows 8 laptops in store my plan was emerging. Fermenting ideas. The strongest ideas bubble to the top. The bubbliest plan is to buy:

  1. Windows 7 laptop – with hardware that meets with windows 8 requirements
  2. Intel i5 processor as minimum – I want fast
  3. Something pretty – not chunky but doesn’t need to be too small as long as it’s light enough not to pull my shoulder muscles
  4. Find a way to take an image of the Windows 7 drive then use the free upgrade to Windows 8 and take an image of that.  Try it out and go with my preferred image.
  5. Ask for the Google Nexus 7 tablet as a birthday or christmas pressie.

I LOVE my plan.

Gosh, I’ve gone and gotten all happy and I haven’t even spent a penny yet!

I know which of the in-store laptops were most appealing and an online search found that even the manufacturers refurbished version was £200  more than the instore model I’d seen, and that was BEFORE the £150 cash-back trade-in on my ‘old’ laptop.

All the online versions were not only more expensive, they were quoting a 3 week delivery period, what’s up with that?!  Walking out of a store with a laptop under my arm is the cheapest and quickest option!  Thomas and I roll up at PC world who are selling the Acer Aspire 3 for near £200 less than thier ‘Currys’ store.  Oddly, Currys had a price match promise – but why buy more expensive and have to claim the money back in a price match within the same company – BONKERS!


4 bits of fabulous banter »

blue screen of temporary illness

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012 | tags: , , , , , , , , ,  |

PC demo zone on Windows8 launch dayEver since the Cupboard’s face got smashed in I’ve been asking friends and colleagues for advice on what I should do – what sort of computer I should get and when.

My UK friends give diverse advice which naturally mirrors their own preferences. Though the IT professionals quickly get side-tracked onto talking about virtual machines - getting terribly excited at the thought. They seem to run substantial Apples with dual-boot from which they control lots of virutal machines. Not really for me.

I’ve also been popping into local shops that sell computers – Currys, PC world, Comet, John Lewis .   In these stores I get the pleasure of chatting to young handsome fellows who’re very excited about the prospect of being able to save up for an Apple iPad. Cute, but not actually too helpful for me – they aren’t good at ucovering my criteria and herding me towards one of their products. I’ve got wads of dosh in my pocket for something special, yet no-one’s selling to me. They’re selling to themselves. Most bizarre.

On the day that Windows 8 released I pootled along to Currys to play with a copy on their display machines. Everything started well:

  • No queue outside the store of people waiting to get their sticky hands on the new fancy OS. Such good fortune. I do dislike all the jostling and the lack of diversity when everyone plumps for the same thing. Even the store’s Demo stand was enticingly empty.  I felt good.
  • 5 assistants all ready to help me and the other customer in the PC section of the store. wonderful. I do like having someone on hand to spend time chatting with me – especially if I’m planning on spending more than £200.
  • A queue around the Apple stand.  Baffling.  Such ugly and expensive machines. Still not much choice – they’ve side-stepped having to make all the decisions that I’m about to take on…. which manufacturer, which processor type/size etc. More spacefor me to explore!

Store copy of windows 8 on release dayI wandered over to the windows 8 laptops that looked about the right size and design funkiness. Oh, a small blue one with ripples on the lid (Acer Aspire One).  My first experience of Windows 8 was a message that says:

 “Automatic Repair couldn’t repair your PC

Oh how I laughed!

A young assistant noticed my standing looking at the computer, giggling,  he swooped in and offered his help.

wendy: is this manufacturer installed windows 8 or a windows 7 machine that’s been upgraded in the store?

assistant: it came from the manufacturer with windows 8 on it

wendy: it’s not working, that’s not good on a demo machine is it?

assistant: it just means it didn’t shutdown properly, that’s all, I’ll just reboot it

 

I fell over

LAUGHING

(no broken bones)


7 bits of fabulous banter »

Windows H8

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012 | tags: , , ,  |

In my research for replacing my home laptop I’m stumbling across a lot of scathing press on windows 8. I’ve not seen or used a copy so this is all speculation based on rumour and such-like. I’m hearing that Windows 8 will alienate:

  1. current windows users migrating because it’s so different and current windows loyal customers are not seeking really different. Microsoft will alienate their core customer-base.
  2. software developers who produce the applications that run on windows because its a more significant investment (time and learning) to produce compatible upgrades of their programs.
  3. corporations who supply PCs for work because Windows8 is so different the cost of staff learning,  making mistakes, being trained, to use Windows 8 will be prohibitive.  Better to stick with, in many cases Windows XP  or Windows 7

I suspect Microsoft are trying to apply an approach that has worked well with the Office Ribbon. They deliberately chose to accept the initial backlash that comes when the first-use experience not optimised because they knew that once learned it the experience is significantly better for regular use. One suite of products, one release, one core user-group – Corporations. The Office user experience team undertook a lot of high quality research to make sure they knew the impact of introducing the Ribbon on ongoing productivity.

Does this strategy work for an operating system across multiple form-factors (phone, tablets, laptops, Desktops)?  Once Windows 8 has been on the market for 5 or more years will most of the use problems fade into distant memory? Assuming that Windows customers stick with Windows and undergo the pain while everyone adapts to the new interface, this could happen:

  1. Customers will experience of the new operating system’s interaction patterns on one or more devices and learn how easy it is to move between different devices re-applying the fundamental interaction concepts. Windows 8 will start to feel familiar and easy. Maybe it will even be fun?
  2. Software developers will have changed their development practices to align with the new Operating System requirements. New and innovative programs and updates will be efficiently produced. Maybe it will even be fun?
  3. Corporations research the total cost of ownership of alternative operating systems and realise that they are more expensive than Windows 8. Mainly because of things like outrageous hardware outlay costs (Apple) or lack of speedy, deployment infrastructures within secure environments. The need to shift operating systems will be becoming imminent as Microsoft removes support for the legacy systems that corporations will still be using. I have difficulty imagining that this could be fun.

The big risk that Microsoft is taking appears to be that in this time period many customers may have researched, learned, built, commitments to other operating systems (Mac, Android etc) and not be prepared to move ‘back’.  It’s a huge, brave, bet by Microsoft. I hope they’ve done their groundwork research to know this is going to work.

I’m buying a computer in the next couple of weeks. Will it run Windows 8?  What’s your guess?


7 bits of fabulous banter »

Do Androids dream of electric wendys?

Monday, June 20th, 2011 | tags: , , , , , , , ,  |

While standing in the isle of a FGW commuter train from London Paddington I watched the young man seated beside me using his Blackberry phone. It looked like a mini Windows 95 – text-menu list overload! My gut reaction was yuck! The young man navigated the text-heavy grey menu with impressive speed. Clearly an experienced user.

Some of the things I love about my Android HTC desire are the way the designers have managed to

  • Use pleasing interaction styles –  I can gesture with flicks, stretches, squeezes. I can drag and drop all sorts of things across screens. I can use short and long presses on the screen to find different button behaviours. It’s fun to explore and learn
  • Create a simple, versataile information architecture. I don’t have to learn then relearn where everything is because everything is in a sensible place that’s easy to find and find again. The navigation system is clear and simple
  • Allow me to easily find and install useful, innovative, fun, relevant Apps. It’s my phone and it does what I want it to do!
  • Avoid looking like Windows 95, no battleship grey, no long text menus with uninspiring fonts
  • Include fun animations like the windscreen wiper blade running across the screen when its raining. I love how the designers have taken the notion of a dashboard design and then added a winscreen wiper extending the metaphor with humour. Fun!

My HTC Desire in the rain Hoorah for Android!


3 bits of fabulous banter »

windows 95 start up theme

Monday, February 28th, 2011 | tags: , , , ,  |

According to wikipedia Brian Eno said of this piece

The idea came up at the time when I was completely bereft of ideas. I’d been working on my own music for a while and was quite lost, actually. And I really appreciated someone coming along and saying, “Here’s a specific problem — solve it.”

The thing from the agency said, “We want a piece of music that is inspiring, universal, blah- blah, da-da-da, optimistic, futuristic, sentimental, emotional,” this whole list of adjectives, and then at the bottom it said “and it must be 31/4 seconds long.”

I thought this was so funny and an amazing thought to actually try to make a little piece of music. It’s like making a tiny little jewel.

In fact, I made 84 pieces. I got completely into this world of tiny, tiny little pieces of music. I was so sensitive to microseconds at the end of this that it really broke a logjam in my own work. Then when I’d finished that and I went back to working with pieces that were like three minutes long, it seemed like oceans of time.

Brian Eno’s 3 1/4 sec piece for Windows 95


6 bits of fabulous banter »

accidentally uninstall

Friday, October 8th, 2010 | tags: , , , , ,  |

How to get rid of an unused program on Windows 7 Starter

  • I clicked on the ‘control panel’
  • Under ‘adjust your computers settings I clicked on ‘uninstall program’
  • I chose Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007 from the list
  • I clicked uninstall program
  • But windows doesn’t want to accept this action without further confirmation, I might not mean it, this might be an accident, do I REALLY want to uninstall this program?
  • I clicked on the ‘yes’ button with extra force to demonstrate my certainty.

Are you sure?

YES

Large and bold, that’s how I felt. That’s what I wanted the button to say. This was no accidental uninstall. 

I wonder how often people do accidentally select something to uninstall, click ‘No’ on this dialog. If it is a genuine problem then fixing should happen before this point, improve the users ability to select the program initially, more information with larger clickable target rather than questioning the users ability to be ‘sure’.

This reminded me of the XP shut down process where you have to choose shutdown at least 2 times before it will actually do what you’ve asked, and only then if some programs haven’t objected to your wishes. Luckily Windows 7 Starter simply shuts down when I ask 

Shutdown Control Hoorah!


what do you think of that »

Windows 7 Starter – how is it like XP?

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010 | tags: , , , ,  |

Earlier I mentioned that my first impressions of Windows 7 Starter reminded me of XP.  It’s the little things, like having

  • an hour-glass next to the cursor to indicate that the computer is doing something
  • partially obscured notificiations, or hover-overs, hanging around on the desktop – poor fit and finnish
  • a task manager that looks exactly the same as XP’s
  • No snipping tool, just like XP. I quite liked this built-in Windows tool, but I guess its not widely used tool

There are some ways that Windows 7 starter is definitely not like my old XP Pro. These are defintiely not little things, for example,

  • Indexed desktop file search. With my thousands of photographs this is wonderful
  • Tagging for files. Excellent, this is a real bonus over XP, especially if, like me, you spend the long lonely winter evenings drinking vin chaud and classifying your lovelly photographs of Matrix
  • No cascading menus. finding stuff in my ‘Start’ menu is easy as ‘search’ none of those fiddly cascading menus. HoooooooooRAH
  • Network and sharing centre. this is lovely, it arrived in Windows Vista and has a network connection troubleshooting tool. While I use it rarely it does a great job worth doing
  • Task based control panels. In the control panel the controls are grouped, sensible groups, easy to navigate by tasks and no option to view them in ‘classic’ (XP or Windows 2000) list format. I like this. It’s relatively easy to find out if a control exists or not
  • No Windows Movie Maker. There is no windows moviemaker onWindows 7 starter. This is an application I rarely used, but it would have been nice to be able to edit the media-clips that my digital camera produces. Ho hum. If a cheaper version has less features this is one that I would vote for excluding
  • No mail client. XP included Outlook Express which I used to use so that I could manage all my email while offline, store it on my laptop. Windows 7 expects you to be online, using the cloud all the time. They provide a complimentary free trial of Office 2007 but it doesn’t include the Office mail client – Outlook. I enjoyed the benefits of having a local store of my mail from multiple email accounts. Now I have to go online or purchase a mail client. Sigh.
  • Sync centre. There is a sync centre with a control for setting-up offline file sync, but nothing happens when I click on it, not even any feedback that says I can’t do this or what I need to do to set it up. I used to use this in XP Professional on Darling
  • Personalisation. can’t change the desktop background, or pick a fun colour scheme, lack of this fun functionality is just silly.  Even ‘starters’ want to personalise thier stuff

A quick look at the questions and answers on this forum for super users implies that they would rather have XP on their Netbooks than Windows 7 Starter. On balance, for me, Windows 7 starter is working well enough with the exception of  not being allowed technically or legally to change the desktop background.

I will probably find more differences as I start to fully use the Cupboard, for now these are the immediately noticable differences.

XP-like graphics - hour glass


8 bits of fabulous banter »

the good, the bad and the ugly

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010 | tags: , , , ,  |

Matrix and Neverland share a glass of wine with meHere we see Neverland having dinner with Matrix and I in a farmhouse style restaruant that tolerates ladies with laptops on their tables. That was

GOOD

Once you’re up and running with your new, budget, computer, what do you do next? I change the desktop background to that gorgeous picture of Matrix.

When I used the fabulous easy transfer migration wizardy thing to move my files and preferred settings from Neverland, this desktop background picture didn’t move. For a fleeting second I thought this was odd but not a big problem because its so easy to pick a picture and I do enjoy picking and changing the picture.

Can you hear it coming? Can you?

Windows 7 starter does not let you change the desktop background !!!!

BAD

my new cupboardApparantly ‘Starter’ means we’ll take away the frivolous fun and your ability to personalise the desktop.  The available colour schemes for the desktop are the ‘Classic’ which mean make it look like Windows 2000 and the high-contrast schemes that make it easier for people with vision defects to use the computer. I can live without personalising the colour scheme but being forced to look at the windows logo on a blue background is a bad decision. Everyone I know enjoys chaning their deskop background.  At work they have to have dull corporate or business backgrounds, but on  their own machines and phone’s they can make it personal, put their own picture as a Background. Even cheap phones let you change the background picture, but not windows 7 starter. That was a big suprise and a major disappointment. It’s a mean not user-focussed decision, that’s just

UGLY


5 bits of fabulous banter »

please welcome the cupboard

Saturday, October 2nd, 2010 | tags: , , , , ,  |

my new cupboardNeverland has retired. Hardware failure due to wear and tear. She will be donating her organs to my home network. Screwdrivers at the ready!

Please welcome Neverland’s replacement, Cupboard. Neverland was a top of the range Sony Viao TT with fab processor, delicious styling, lightweight gorgeousness. She was yummy. Cupboard is a cheap Windows 7 starter Netbook, smaller and heavier than neverland. Another Sony Viao, I’m a bit of a brand loyalist. Lets hope the cheaper hardware is more robust.

Differences I noticed before purchasing when I tried the Netbook in the Sony store:

  • More pushy - The key-push experience needs slightly more push, the keypad is not as sesnisitve. A subtle quality thing. More pressure is also needed on the ‘mouse’ keys.
  • Small but chunky- despite being smaller than the Viaio TT the Viao netbook is heavier and thicker.
  • Skinned windows XP – Windows 7 Starter looks like a visual treatment overlay on Windows XP. Yuck. That’s really ugly, like an old person dressing in clothes for a smaller teenage person.
  • Easy file transfer is possible.

So EXCITED about getting to use the CUPBOARD, what little suprises will she have IN STORE for me!


3 bits of fabulous banter »

Error of the week

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009 | tags: , , , ,  |

Which of this weeks ‘errors’ do you think should win my error of the week award,   and why?

  1. Transient notification of a ‘USB Device Not Recognised’?
  2. Network Diagnoistics ‘Windows tried a repair but a problem still exists’?
  3. Or the classic old favourite from IE8 ‘Internet Explorer has stopped working’?

Still a problemUSB Device MalfunctionWindows closed IE


4 bits of fabulous banter »

ping remote host

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009 | tags: , , , , , ,  |

Words of wisdom from  an almost stranger*.  in this case Windows Network Diagnostics:

When planning your party make sure you employ communicative DNS servers to hand-out the canopes and if your host is being a bit remote,   just ping him a bit and he’ll deliver cuddles all round.

ping host

*  past tips provided by Alan the hairdresser.   Lucia the hairdresser, an anonymous  manicurist, a Jackson’s sales assistant, a bus stop philanthropist, a mini salesman, a neighbour  and Reading Police

2 bits of fabulous banter »

stopped working

Sunday, June 7th, 2009 | tags: , , , ,  |

Outlook Stopped WorkingAt least I get diversity from my regular doses of reactionary software,   it’s like the early 1970’s all over again, retro-chic software on a 3 day week working to rule.   Your guess is as good as mine over what rule it will work to.

At least Windows is acting as an arbitrator, looking for a solution on my behalf,   this is on top of the 169 problems it recently investigated on my behalf.


1 wonderful musing »

problem reports and solutions

Friday, June 5th, 2009 | tags: , , , , , , ,  |

169 problems!Windows Vista provides problem reports and solutions. That  is helpful for people who want to try and fix something now, cheaply.   We don’t have to  pay for a service specialist or spend hours fiddling in the depths of the control panel.  This  is quite nice of them.   Or is it?

All Neverland’s 169 reported problems are atribbuted to Windows rather than other applications.   Should I be alarmed by Windows?  Or, iIs this because other programs don’t use the Windows  problem reporting system or is it because Windows has an infinitely  higher problem rate?

On planet wendy there are no problem reportsbecause the program causing the problem would receive the report, fix it then make me a cup of tea and compliment me on my choice of frock.


3 bits of fabulous banter »

not you

Thursday, December 11th, 2008 | tags: , , ,  |

Apparantly the new version of Windows Vista is not for me,   its for some other user…
not me, the computer wants an


1 wonderful musing »

wheels

Friday, November 14th, 2008 | tags: , ,  |

Pram between 2 windowsStylish wheels in Florence with low environmental impact enable the locals to surrepticiously pass by large and well protected

glass

window

panes


4 bits of fabulous banter »

behind the imitation window

Thursday, November 13th, 2008 | tags: , , , ,  |

fake windows in courtyardIn a small Siena courtyard the walls mimic windows,

forgetting to mimic shutters or reflections.

Silence and darkness within the windowless rooms.

Protecting the people within from too much colour,   too much light,   noises from neighbours and the street,   from the prying eyes of passersby.

In the silent darkness occupants can float on siestas unseen, unknown.

Freedom to dream of the luxuries of everything  and nothing


1 wonderful musing »

I want Vista

Tuesday, August 12th, 2008 | tags: , , , , , ,  |

Reasons to retire Darling,   part 4

1. Increasing requirements to contact computer support services

2. I am developing  obstreperous-w intolerance.

3. 8loody hail, breeding task manager

4. I WANT Vista

I’ve used a Vista machine and I love all the search-stuff (start menu, control-panel),     I no longer have to remember where I put things.

Its got a thing called ‘snippit’ which takes pictures of what’s on your screen in a much easier way that control-print-screen,   open-paint,   then paste.  

It’s pretty! The computer I used running Vista is a rather ugly thing,   unlike Darling.   I want to marry the two,   prettiness of Darlings body-work  with  the  human-memory-complimenting  functionality of Vista.


1 wonderful musing »

8loody hail, breeding task manager

Sunday, August 3rd, 2008 | tags: , , ,  |

Reasons to retire Darling,   part 3

1. Increasing requirements to contact computer support services

2. I am developing  obstreperous-w intolerance.

3. Generally increasing bizarre behaviours that do not actually require support calls because they are solved by reboots.  

In this example we see the results of my having hit control-alt-delete (CAD)  in an attempt to get the task-manager so that I can Zap the program that for some reason is now using all my processing power….   nothing happened… then…     …I didn’t press CAD that many times,   its been breeding…

8loody hail, breeding task manager

 


what do you think of that »

windows support commuties are quite good

Saturday, July 12th, 2008 | tags: , , , ,  |

windows support answer to my query

No curmudgeonist moments for me today.

In less than a 24hr turnaround I got a response that was concise and useful.   I also tried to report my ‘bug’ to Google,   I couldn’t find a way to report it,   I used their ‘questions’ section and,   to my knowledge, no-one replied.  


what do you think of that »

can I have small bag of subtlety please?

Saturday, June 14th, 2008 | tags: , , , ,  |

I’m sorry sir,  

we have just run out of subtlety,  

will a double dose of concise frankness do?

It’s 70% off.


1 wonderful musing »