Monday, June 24, 2013

Why I Hate Windows 8

I may have mentioned here before that I used to be a computer support technician.  For a couple years at the tender age of 22 I did that work mostly over the phone, supporting all the libraries in Southern Ontario through a free service provided by Tekdesk.  It sounds for more exciting that it was, we got on average about a call or two a day.  But we supported systems from Windows 95 all the way through to XP at the time.  After that I had a job at Computer Installations Plus doing support work that was more hands-on, on site type things, or we'd bring computers back to our shop.  During the tail end of my career there Windows Vista was coming in to play and I have to admit I was not a big fan.  It stopped me from easily changing settings and things that I was so used to be able to do in XP.

I got laid off from that job and returned to college for ECE, during February of 2011 I bought a new laptop as Amber’s was super slow, and we needed an upgrade in the house, she took my ‘old’ XP machine since she was familiar with that system and I took the new Windows 7 laptop.

I think it’s fairly common knowledge now that Windows 7 was the perfection of the operating system.  From a tech guy stand point it was easy to use and to set up and to find networks and other computers and all that.  From a user point of view it ran smoothly and looked really pretty.  The pinnacle had been reached.  It was here that Bill Gates should have surveyed all he had done, laid off a bunch of programmers and just kept Windows 7 current for the rest of time.

But no.  Windows 8 is here.

My dad has just returned from a 20 day bicycling trip to Ireland, he has a fancy new HD camera and has hours of video to edit and stuff.  He was going to do all that on his clunky 10 year old XP machine.  I said to him that if he runs his HD video through that computer to make his movies it's going to come out looking like crap.  The program he was using, Windows Movie Maker, of that era had no support for HD and his processor would have died trying to make all the movies! 

I convinced him he was going to have to get a new machine and spend about $500 before tax to do so.  He, being a cheap ex-teacher, mulled it over for a week and then decided that he wasn’t fond of the look of Windows 8  so he would buy a new computer, and then GIVE it to me, and then I would give him my now two year old one.  Sweet deal for me right?

We bought the computer on Saturday and I took it home to set it up (he has no Internet) and copy my files over to it and stuff.  I had just finished installing Office when the then crashed, Critical_Process_Failure or something.  Some choice words and a few reboots later and it was working again – Strike 1 for Windows 8.  I was really annoyed with the lack of a start button, since I have been using a computer a certain way for like 20 years, but got around that with a little add on program istart8 I think it was called.  But everything was an extra click to get to, and if you changed programs under the ‘metro’ or tile interface the other programs just kept running in the background!  Finally I went to install my copy of Photoshop and I couldn't get it to work.  I threw my hands up.  I've had enough of this!  (I tried a few times to get Windows 7 to install on the machine but the set up would kick me out and lock up about half way through)

Dad only wants the computer to make movies and track his cycling.  I added him as a user, deleted my profile and stripped of all the tile icons and junk so he had three programs, I made it boot to the ‘regular’ looking Windows screen and called it a day.

Maybe I'm old and just don't like change anymore, but why mess with perfection?  Windows 7 works so well!  Looks so Good! And behaves just how I expect as a tech and a user!  Windows 8 has none of that, it annoyed me on so many levels!

I turned down a NEW computer just to keep Windows 7!

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