JorgeA

Windows 8 - Deeper Impressions

6,162 posts in this topic

And yes, these were not really "news", or you were not paying much attention :w00t::

Yep. I missed that one by a mile ( Post #68 ), didn't even see this thread until Post #412 !

P.S. So with that portable editor, no registry I guess?

Edited by CharlotteTheHarlot
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P.S. So with that portable editor, no registry I guess?

Of course no.

Being a "good" app it creates a Q10.ini file :yes: for the settings (in my case - NO sound support on my system - the nuisance is that by default - at first run without the .ini - the Sound is "on" and throws an error trying vainly to create a sound with key press).

As well on my monitor the text size by default is a little small and I don't particularly like Courier (again the default).

But it's just a matter of Ctrl+P and change the settings (and remembering, if "moving" the .exe to also move the .ini with it).

jaclaz

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Former Windows leader Steven Sinofsky launches new blog ( NeoWin 2013-01-03 )

The Windows Destroyer in-Chief is back. Nothing major going on yet. He has but one opening blog post thus far. He has entitled his site "Learning by Shipping", for which the jokes can really just write themselves.

The URL to the blog is ... http://blog.learningbyshipping.com/

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Windows 8 Ergonomics Fail ... now available in 3 different flavors!

It really seems those hipsters up in Redmond and their OEM partners are intent on un-inventing the already invented efficiency of a simple pointing device. They really desire to break the paradigm of three decades of mouse development with its highly efficient small movement = large travel methodology, while simultaneously ignoring the obvious detrimental medical effects of out-stretched arms. Seriously now, according to them, keyboards and mice demanded specially designed cushions and other supplements to thwart repetitive stress and carpal tunnel injuries, for example see in this document, hehe :lol: , from Microsoft.com: Healthy_Computing_Business_Reference_Guide.pdf :lol: very short excerpt ) ...

Ergonomically designed keyboards and mice in particular can help improve comfort while working on a PC. Users may experience comfort the moment they start using an ergonomic mouse or keyboard, but the long-term benefits of ergonomic hardware may only be fully apparent after they are used for an extended period of time.

...

The costs to businesses associated with RSIs is estimated at $20 billion every year in the U.S., according to the federal Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA).

...

Fortunately, there are things you can do to prevent or mediate the discomfort and injuries that can be associated with computer use, such as using computer peripherals that are ergonomically designed.


Option One ... Touchscreen Desktops ( and Laptops )

zHiIIkD.jpgXDbhqIv.jpg


Option Two ... Pen Input

Targus announces Touch Pen for any Windows 8 PC ( NeoWin 2013-01-03 )

KI6OcYk.jpg


Option Three! ... Arm waiving

Asus to bundle Leap Motion's gesture control system with laptops and all-in-ones ( TechSpot 2013-01-03 )

Leap Motion's hardware to be bundled with some Asus PCs ( NeoWin 2013-01-03 )

Kinect is probably coming soon ( Microsoft late as usual, reminds me of IBM beaten by Compaq with the i386 )

Good thing they changed that EULA to thwart class-action lawsuits! :yes:

EDIT: wording, changed "Strikes" to "Options" ( too many mixed metaphors ), updated image URLs, and again

Edited by CharlotteTheHarlot
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Personally, and as said, I have had very good experience with using pens as a replacement for the mouse.

But this OBVIOUSLY ONLY applies to a "tablet like almost horizontally held" device (like my good ol' Concerto and to my good ol' Sony P910i) or to "traditional" graphic tablets, NOT on the example illustrated in the "Strike Two".

If you need to extend your arm and "write" on a vertical or almost vertical surface, such as one may be used to on a traditional blackboard you will soon get tired (and BTW in case of OCR of the handwriting the result will be most likely much worse, as when you write normally on a piece of paper your wrist/hand lies upon the desk and it is not "suspended in mid-air).

jaclaz

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If you need to extend your arm and "write" on a vertical or almost vertical surface, such as one may be used to on a traditional blackboard you will soon get tired (and BTW in case of OCR of the handwriting the result will be most likely much worse, as when you write normally on a piece of paper your wrist/hand lies upon the desk and it is not "suspended in mid-air).

jaclaz

I think most people actually put their arms flat on whatever surface (no pun intended) they are writing on. A touchscreen makes me think this would be quite difficult to do without sending cursors all over the place.

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I think most people actually put their arms flat on whatever surface (no pun intended) they are writing on. A touchscreen makes me think this would be quite difficult to do without sending cursors all over the place.

Yep, but I guess it would be trivial *somehow* to "filter out" any "touch" that is larger than a pen point. :unsure: and in any case, if you try it, writing with your hand "suspended" but with your elbow "pivoting" on the desk surface (still no pun intended) or held against your body is not that bad.

I just measured my actual workplace.

I have a desk with a (telescopic/extending from underneath the desk) keyboard and mouse holder.

Between my belly and the keyboard center there around 30 cm (and I can comfortably type with my elbows resting on the chair arm rests).

There are almost 90 cm between my eyes and the 22" LCD Screen. <- this is NOT negotiable, as that is where my eyes focus correctly

Measuring my arm from the tip of the index finger to my eyes it I get around 70 cm (and I am 1.84 m tall).

This means that there are around 20 cm between the tip of my index finger with fully extended arm and the LCD surface and to touch it I have to lean forward quite a bit.

I presume that a short-sighted monkey or orangutan, thanks to the combined effect of the LCD nearer and longer arms, might find touch screen a comfortable approach.

I do not. :no:

BTW, it is tradition :w00t: that every time the mentioned monkey or orangutan manages to touch the right coloured biggish tile, a banana or some nuts or juice are given to it.

recall-bbasile.jpg

I would become too fat ;).

jaclaz

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recall-bbasile.jpg

I will be nice and not make some joke about Metro beta testers that just popped up in my head. Ooops! :angel

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There are almost 90 cm between my eyes and the 22" LCD Screen. <- this is NOT negotiable, as that is where my eyes focus correctly

Just measured eyeball distance at exactly 33" ( about 84 cm ) for myself from a 24" display at 1920x1080. Arms just barely make it.

Yeah, why shouldn't I just completely re-arrange everything to make Microsoft Tiles usable. :no:

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The Japanese are ahead of us, obviously, as you can use this to touch your screen but it is also useful as a TV remote:

http://technabob.com/blog/2012/03/06/terebi-no-te-magic-wand-remote-control/

jaclaz

http://technabob.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/terebi-no-te-magic-wand-remote-control.jpg

Now that's funny right there ( and strangely appropriate ). But I suspect Julie would frown upon this because it would add another layer of abstraction between the consumer and those colorful Windows 8 bits.

EDIT: wrapped image with spoiler tags because it seemed to add delay to page load. Seeing Facebook in status bar now!?! Trying without it. Yep, seems to have linked baggage. Left as a URL.

Edited by CharlotteTheHarlot
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December reports are in, and Windows 8 share is at 1.72% or 1.80% (take your pick). Complaints from vendors about slow sales are spreading (we saw the remarkable graph a few posts upthread):

Its entirely possible that Windows 8′s slow adoption is simply the result of increased smartphone and tablet sales but wasnt Windows 8 meant to ameliorate that division by being a tablet operating system as well? Curiously, more than two months after Windows 8′s release, we still have absolutely no data on the success (or not) of Surface, or indeed any Windows 8 tablet. Weak Windows 8 PC sales are one thing, but Microsoft simply cant afford to cede any more of the tablet market to Apple or Google. Following what seems to be a record Christmas for both Android and iOS tablet sales, it does not look good for Windows 8.
[emphasis added]

Initial estimates for those Surface RT sales came in shortly after that article, and buyers aren't exactly stampeding into the stores -- just 500-600K units in the last quarter. Even sales performance hopes for the Surface Pro (qualified by a lot of ifs and coulds) are hardly likely to get Steve Jobs turning in his grave.

--JorgeA

Edited by JorgeA
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I saw this excellent comment at Slashdot, which was a great reply to the nonsense about resistance to the Win3.x to Win9x transition that Windows 8 fanboys have just made up in a vain effort to rationalize the current dictatorial strategy ...

Re:A couple things that kept me from upgrading... (Score:5, Interesting)

by RDW (41497) on Tuesday January 01, @06:06AM (#42440461)

"Lastly, you dont need the start button if you learn how to use whats there.. Thats like complaining when going from Win 3.1 to 95. They got rid of my Program Manager I wish they gave me a way to turn it back on.."

They did, from 95 up until XP SP1 ( http://support.microsoft.com/kb/142255 [microsoft.com] ). Of course back then they actually had people who thought about the impact of new interface design on users:

http://www.sigchi.org/chi96/proceedings/desbrief/Sullivan/kds_txt.htm [sigchi.org]

At one point in the design of Windows 95 they considered having two separate UIs, the windowed interface we know and a separate, simplified interface they thought might be suitable for beginners, and which seems to have featured a set of tiles that launched the various applications. Although the design "tested well, because it successfully constrained user actions to a very small set", it was abandoned because "If just one function a user needed was not supported in the beginner shell, s/he would have to abandon it (at least temporarily)", learning "would not necessarily transfer well to the standard shell", and "users had to learn two ways of interacting with the computer, which was confusing". I wonder if the Windows 8 design team were aware of this document..?

Have a look at that linked Win95-era document from Microsoft ( now hosted on a 3rd party site outside of Microsoft's reach ) and contrast this with the self-serving rationalizations found on the official Destroying Windows Blog featuring Sinofsky and Jensen Harris and citing bogus telemetry results. They cannot flush this stuff down the memory hole any longer. Usability studies used to be done and quite a lot was done prior to the Win95 RTM ( not to mention offering the optional fallback to Win3.x visuals ). Are you listening Sinofsky? Harris? Julie? Fanboy enablers?

( apologies in advance to anyone that already discovered this )

Edited by CharlotteTheHarlot
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Polaroid Has a 7-inch Android Tablet Too... For Kids ( Tom's Hardware 2013-01-04 )

Polaroid Introduces A Fun, Interactive, Durable Tablet Designed For Kids ( Polaroid.com )

ptab750-7-inch-android-8gb-internet-kids-tablet-with-camera-and-rechargeable-battery-white.gif

( Polaroid 7-inch Android 4.0 8GB Internet Kids Tablet with Camera and Rechargeable Battery, White - PTAB750 ... $149.99 )

This is the kind of thing that Microsoft could have done. There are ton of tablets like this already and there will be many more. They used to have tons of software for the education sector, heck they used to have other things like Flight Simulator too. It would have been simple to whip together appropriate products ( without Wi-Fi naturally and without Microsoft Store ) and attacked the low-end of the market. Or could they? Could they possibly price an Operating System low enough to compete at these levels? Probably not, because they decided to chain RT and 8 around "Windows" like an anchor. No, they would have had to create a separate edition of Windows for this, and that would have upset their grandiose plans for the rest of us.

Instead of populating the aisles of Toys'R'Us with MicroToyz ( catchy name huh? ) in time for the Christmas season with a safe, non-controversial product that does not attack and insult their existing customer base, instead we see these things are flying off the shelves, adding numerous new "Android" devices to the mobile market share usage statistics. How can they possibly even hope to have a chance to penetrate this market? What was the plan Steve? Oh yeah, create a monstrosity that attacks and insults their existing customer base. The common wisdom has said they can expect to make some headway into the mobile space, perhaps 10 or 20 %. As these low-end, high-volume devices roll in ( and there is a lot of talk of a tidal wave of low-end phones also ) how is that gonna happen? They might even lose total percentage or simply gain 1 to 5 %. Great job compromising the "Windows" brand guys. Great job.

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Have a look at that linked Win95-era document from Microsoft ( now hosted on a 3rd party site outside of Microsoft's reach ) and contrast this with the self-serving rationalizations found on the official Destroying Windows Blog featuring Sinofsky and Jensen Harris and citing bogus telemetry results. They cannot flush this stuff down the memory hole any longer. Usability studies used to be done and quite a lot was done prior to the Win95 RTM ( not to mention offering the optional fallback to Win3.x visuals ). Are you listening Sinofsky? Harris? Julie? Fanboy enablers?

That was fascinating reading, thanks very much for linking to it. It shows that Windows designers used to know how to conduct market research: by sitting down with users and interviewing them, :o not by gathering petabytes of meaningless, context-free "telemetry data."

I was especially struck by two items regarding Windows 3.x:

Beginning users and many intermediates relied almost exclusively on visible cues for finding commands. They relied on (and found intuitive) menu bars and tool bars, but did not use pop-up (or "context") menus, even after training.

Which is why Windows 8 with its "Charms" and "hot corners" and "chrome-free interface" is such a ridiculous concept. There is a point to showing menus, folks!

All but the most advanced users did not understand how to manage overlapping windows efficiently. Beginners had the most trouble-when they minimized a window, they considered it "gone" if it was obscured by another window. We heard many stories from educators (and witnessed in the lab) how users caused the computer to run out of RAM by starting multiple copies of a program instead of switching back to the first copy. Intermediate users were more proficient but still had trouble, especially with Multiple-Document-Interface (MDI) applications such as Program Manager and Microsoft Word. Market research data confirmed the problem by revealing that 40% of intermediate Windows users didn't run more than one program at a time because they had some kind of trouble with the process.

Count me as one of those users. Because I always maximized my programs in order to make full use of the real estate on my 15" CRT, I couldn't tell what other programs (if any) were open at the same time. I can't remember the number of times I ended up opening multiple instances of the same program.

Which is why I welcomed the Taskbar when I first came across it in Windows 98: it was an unquestionable improvement in usability. And which shows that us Win8 "haters" are not opposed to change, as such -- we are opposed only to change that makes things worse. "New" might be "better," but new is not necessarily better.

The folks at Microsoft used to understand that distinction:

However, the data we collected with the Windows 95 prototype and with Windows 3.1 showed us that we couldn't continue down the current path. The results with beginning users on basic tasks were unacceptably poor and many intermediate users thought that Windows 95 was just different, not better.

--JorgeA

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