A bunch of cunts, mostly in the Australian sense. Except that one guy.

Why I HATE Windows stuff...

I don't know why, but for the last week or so Windows Explorer has been crashing on me rather consistently. It seems to occur mostly when changing screen resolutions (either when entering or leaving a game) but sometimes just at random.

It might be something I've installed; what could it be, I don't know.
Permalink Almost H. Anonymous 
August 12th, 2005
Run Ad-Aware.
Permalink Simon Lucy 
August 12th, 2005
Sounds like hardware. Hardware does die, although if people are running Windows they attribute it to it, where those running Linux/BSD/Whatever attribute it to hardware.
Permalink Dennis Forbes 
August 12th, 2005
Stop changing resolutions? Buy a Mac? Become a hermit and subsist on nuts and berries?

I just installed some Windows updates and the Media Center shell seems to have developed an annoying habit of locking up when changing from full screen mode to a window. GRRR!
Permalink Mat Hall 
August 12th, 2005
A couple of times a day my whole system freezes for ~5 seconds, while the hard drive light is on solid.

And I got 2 blue screens today.
Permalink Alex 
August 12th, 2005
I haven't had a blue screen in years. I have some legitimate complaints about some Microsoft software (for instance opening recent documents and you happen to have a file in there on a network location that isn't currently available. Explorer of course needs to load an icon from it in the main thread, so you can sit waiting for your locked GUI session to timeout to do anything), but stability is a thing of the past on good hardware (stability was bad when I ran on a system without thermal paste between the CPU and the heatsink, and another where I had a bad memory chip. No other OS can magically fix that).
Permalink Dennis Forbes 
August 12th, 2005
"Hardware does die, although if people are running Windows they attribute it to it, where those running Linux/BSD/Whatever attribute it to hardware."

That's because Linux/BSD/Whatever tends to run forever without weird screwups. I have a Linux box that's running on shitty hardware and hasn't been rebooted in months (I had to power it down to move it) and never a problem. My wife had this tendancy not to reboot her Windows computer for weeks (and she only uses it for a few hours week) -- at about the 3rd or 4th week it was completely useless. She only uses it for basic web stuff and games.

In Windows it's relatively common for the operating system just to go wonky. I'm not necessarily blaming Microsoft for my problems -- I'm sure that a fresh install of Windows without any 3rd party applications runs perfectly well (as long as you keep up with the patches and have a physical external firewall and reboot daily). But that's not a reasonable use case.
Permalink Almost H. Anonymous 
August 12th, 2005
AHA:

You and I went jousted about apple and OSX last week. Remember how we speculated OSX may soon be coming to PCs everywhere? I saw this article linked to from CNET this morning:

http://wired.com/news/mac/0,2125,68501,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_1

It might be a little embarassing for Apple that suddenly OSX is faster than it ever was on Mac hardware. But dang, they should start selling an x86 version of the OS like this.
Permalink Jeff Barton 
August 12th, 2005
"I haven't had a blue screen in years."

Me neither. I used have blue-screens regularily in Windows 2000 but the blame was entirely on the crappy ATI Rage video card drivers -- but that was 4 years ago. Since then, never a blue screen.
Permalink Almost H. Anonymous 
August 12th, 2005
Windows Explorer does tend to crash sometimes. I have never figured out exactly what might trigger it.

When it happens, I just let it start again and carry on. It's not something I worry about very much.
Permalink Ian Boys 
August 12th, 2005
"When it happens, I just let it start again and carry on. It's not something I worry about very much."

Just imagine if we accepted this level of reliability from all software. Admittedly, it's nothing more than an annoyance since I explorer crashing doesn't cause any loss of data. But I'd be just as annoyed if my browser crashed constantly, or my audio player, or any other application of that sort. The problem with it being explorer is that there isn't anything I can do about it -- at least most other applications can be reinstalled (or replaced).
Permalink Almost H. Anonymous 
August 12th, 2005
The thing is, Windows Explorer is a very open application with lots of hooks, which interacts in many ways with all sorts of other things on the system including third party components. If it crashes, it isn't necessarily its fault; it could have been tripped up by something else.
Permalink Ian Boys 
August 12th, 2005
Yeah, I already made that point.

I wish it was possible to find out which component is causing the problem so I could eliminate it. It's entirely possible it's a remnant from some application I've already uninstalled.
Permalink Almost H. Anonymous 
August 12th, 2005
For the record, I wasn't ranting about Windows. It's obviously a tired hard drive in my case.
Permalink Alex 
August 12th, 2005
"But dang, they should start selling an x86 version of the OS like this."

I'll be watching this with interest. Remember that a major part of Windows' growing pains was bad drivers. Apple has had the luxury of dictating their hardware for their entire history. If they *did* try to run on commodity hardware (though I think Jobs would have an aneurysm), would they accomplish the transition gracefully? Or would everyone hate MacOS for a few years first?

Philo
Permalink Philo 
August 12th, 2005
Mac OSX available on x86 is very interesting.

Apple will definetly continue their hardware brand. I think their runaway success will make Mac branded PCc 'cool' for quite a while. And for all I know they could be contractually obligated to Intel to do so.

I was thinking they could market this as a special version of the OS. This version would have a whole new host of kinks and issues, not to mention the number of drivers that would need to be written, but I think it might be worth it for them in the long run.

In order to keep their Mac hardware appealing, this version may need to retail at a higher price. Perhaps a price more in line with Windows pricing. Maybe even including the segments (home and pro).

If things go their way they could likely leverage the increase in demand for the OS back to their hardware, too.
Permalink Jeff Barton 
August 12th, 2005
"Would they accomplish the transition gracefully?"

I don't think OS X will ever run (officially) on regular gray-box PC's. Instead, Apple will partner with other manufacturers to build "Apple" PC's (similar to HP branded iPods). These PC's will have their hardware strictly defined to minimize driver problems. There will be some room to wiggle but for the most part the PC's will have similar components from similar manufactures (ATI Radeon video cards, Intel Chipsets, SATA drives, etc). Apple will continue it's philosophy of minimal internal upgrades but lots of external peripherals (USB, Firewire, etc).

In addition to solving the OS X driver issue this allows allows Apple to control the quality and design of the products (and thus their image).
Permalink Almost H. Anonymous 
August 12th, 2005
Which is why I don't understand why this is such a big deal. Whether it's on PowerPC, Intel, or some strontium-based CPU from Tibet, MacOS only runs on Macs, which are pretty much sealed boxes.

Isn't this really much ado about nothing?
(granted, the price should drop and performance will increase; but that's a price drop and performance increase, not some massive revolution)

Philo
Permalink Philo 
August 12th, 2005
You missed my point.

Apple is the only company building PowerPC boxes. But now they have the resources of Intel, Dell, Sony, HP, etc, etc to build their wares. They will still control the process but it's still a big deal.

They want to iPod-ize the development of Macs -- very little of the iPod is built (or even designed) by Apple.
Permalink Almost H. Anonymous 
August 12th, 2005
Apple is actively courting Sony VIAO designers to work on their new laptops because they have so little experience with Intel parts. Incidentally, Sony designed the first Apple laptop.

HP is no longer selling iPods.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 12th, 2005
And I think it would be a horrible branding mistake to offer HP branded Powerbooks.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 12th, 2005
I would think that everything would be Apple branded. I'd suspect they'd have a little "built by Dell" sticker on them and that's it.

I never really understood the HP branded iPod -- I imagine there would was some kind of Apple-benefiting deal and HP wanted in on the iPod market.
Permalink Almost H. Anonymous 
August 12th, 2005
"Apple is the only company building PowerPC boxes. But now they have the resources of Intel, Dell, Sony, HP, etc, etc to build their wares. They will still control the process but it's still a big deal."

So the big deal is that Apple will get bigger profits?

I still don't see this as revolutionary the way the banners were flying and everyone was so shocked and excited. This is evolutionary, just like if Apple picked up the factory and moved it to Bangalore. The net result to the customer is the same - an Apple box with Apple software, right?

I *think* people convinced themselves that Apple was going to commoditize the hardware and make the MacOS run on grey box PC's, which I agree ain't gonna happen in the near term, if at all.

"Apple is changing the hardware spec"? Like that's never happened before. :)

I'm not saying it's completely dismissable - I'm just saying the reaction seemed a bit blown out of proportion to me.

Philo
Permalink Philo 
August 12th, 2005
If you want to prolong something, how about this email:

"Gleefully nasty and extremely funny...flings mud in all
directions with a fearless audacity. Evan Rachel Wood
brings an icy poise to her role that is entirely convincing
and a little unnerving."
— Stephen Holden, The New York Times
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 12th, 2005
"I still don't see this as revolutionary the way the banners were flying and everyone was so shocked and excited."

It's not revolutionary. It's not like NextStep.. err... I mean OS X.. hasn't run on Intel chips before. If you look at it that way, it's really nothing. On the otherhand, Mac fanatics (and Windows-bashers) have been clamering for Mac on the PC and this at least brings it much closer (like right to the door-step). Apple jumping into the general OS market is at least possible now. I suppose that's why everyone is so excited about it.

"I *think* people convinced themselves that Apple was going to commoditize the hardware"

They are commoditizing the hardware -- they just aren't opening up the platform... at least not yet.
Permalink Almost H. Anonymous 
August 12th, 2005
> I *think* people convinced themselves that Apple was going to commoditize the hardware and make the MacOS run on grey box PC's, which I agree ain't gonna happen in the near term, if at all.

Well, even if Apple remains the only Mac hardware vendor, it could be something of a big deal. If next year Steve Jobs is announcing living room boxes for all your media needs at $299 and available at any Best Buy, Circuit City, etc, I think could ride their 'cool' image up to a more substantial market share.

Of course a really big deal would be something that gets the enterprise to take notice. I don't think they have anything like that coming down the pipes, no matter who's making the boxes.
Permalink Jeff Barton 
August 12th, 2005
Apple has always been about the consumer rather than the enterprise. Computers for people, not business. I see them continuing in that direction more than anything else.
Permalink Almost H. Anonymous 
August 12th, 2005
Me too. I think they want to own the computers that are a part of your lifestyle rather than a part of your job. They have done a great job positioning themselves that way at least.

But I don't think everyone is going to want to use a different system at home that at work. In that way they may always be an alternative OS.
Permalink Jeff Barton 
August 12th, 2005
"Whether it's on PowerPC, Intel, or some strontium-based CPU from Tibet, MacOS only runs on Macs, which are pretty much sealed boxes."

Philo, read the fine article. Hackers already have it running on hardware from several manufacturers.

As for evolutionary/revolutionary, anyone remember the front page Slashdot reaction when the iPod was introduced? It ended with the word "Lame."

This opens up a lot of possible strategic directions for Apple. They can run legacy Windows apps either through Wine or VMWare/Virtual PC work alike. PC game porting to Mac should be trivial now for many games that basicly just use the OS to get booted then talk to the machine from there (and games are really the only software category that keeps home users from buying Macs).

My suggestion is that Apple make a deal with Dell or HP to sell dual boot Windows/Mac PCs but ONLY FOR BUSINESS. Since Apple is one of the world's great consumer brands but a crappy business brand, this would make sense as a way to expand market-share without sacrificing too much in hardware sales. It could also give them a transition strategy to an OS only model; they could spin off the Mac hardware division when they're ready.

But given how far ahead Apple is in front of MSFT in OS features, usability, and design right now, I'm sure Philo's overlords are following these non-revolutionary developments very closely.

What's the over-under for when MSFT tries to cancel Office for Mac?
Permalink Jim Rankin 
August 12th, 2005
"I think they want to own the computers that are a part of your lifestyle rather than a part of your job. They have done a great job positioning themselves that way at least."

http://www.snarkhunting.com/images/ilife.gif
Permalink Jim Rankin 
August 12th, 2005
"basicly just use the OS to get booted then talk to the machine from there"

That's not been true for years, probably since Windows 95. The whole lot is abstracted away now by things like DirectX... Banging the hardware is a surefire way to get yourself in a whole heap of trouble. :)
Permalink Mat Hall 
August 13th, 2005
"But given how far ahead Apple is in front of MSFT in OS features, usability, and design right now, I'm sure Philo's overlords are following these non-revolutionary developments very closely."

Usability is in the eye of the beholder and certainly furthered by Apple's closed hardware, but could someone enlighten me what OS-X's great advantages in features and design are? Because I'm not aware of any.
Permalink Chris Nahr 
August 13th, 2005
It's pretty.

But just you wait until Vista - it'll be pretty, too. :)

Philo
Permalink Philo 
August 13th, 2005
"But just you wait until Vista - it'll be pretty, too. :)"

Yes, but will it be funtional and secure?
Permalink Sir Thomas of Doubt 
August 13th, 2005
"Usability is in the eye of the beholder and certainly furthered by Apple's closed hardware, but could someone enlighten me what OS-X's great advantages in features and design are?"

Expose, Spotlight, Dashboard just to name 3.

MSFT used to tout the search features being prepared for Longhorn until the same functionality was released at least a year ahead of Longhorn in the form of Spotlight.

And notice that Philo isn't even trying to argue that Windows is the equal of OS X, just that, well, Longhorn will catch up (We Promise!) and all the features in OS X and not in XP aren't important anyway (at least until MSFT can actually ship a product that has them).

At least he has acknowledged that XP is an eyesore.
Permalink Jim Rankin 
August 14th, 2005
"...XP is an eyesore"

The theme that ships with XP Media Center 2005 is a heck of a lot less ugly, and I've, er, appropriated the font that Vista uses* so although it's not quite *beautiful* it's certainly not an eyesore either. (And if you do a bit of fiddling there are some pretty good replicas of Aqua to be had.)

* Probably illegal, and there's a primitive DRM implentation that attempts to stop you doing it, but it didn't really provide much of a challenge. :) (Trying to copy the font in Vista pops up a box telling you the font is licensed and you can't move it, but if you share the fonts folder you can copy it from another machine with no problem. Jeenyus!)
Permalink Mat Hall 
August 14th, 2005
"Expose, Spotlight, Dashboard just to name 3."

Exposé is a glorified task switcher, Spotlight is a disk search utility, and Dashboard clutters your desktop with a ton of useless data from the Internet. Those are your great advantages over XP? Silly stuff that's easily brought in by third-party apps if you're absolutely convinced you need them, for some bizarre reason I can't understand?

"At least he has acknowledged that XP is an eyesore."

I nearly fell off my chair when I read that, and then right through the floor when Matt agreed with you. When on earth did that meme come up? The default XP GUI is very pleasant without being annoying and intrusive. Are those garish clown colors of the OS X dashboard your idea of a pretty GUI?

But never mind, obviously we're not talking about any fundamental technical differences here but merely some extra apps and variations in taste. I just hope to God and Gates that Vista will at least allow me to disable any of this superfluous nonsense that they might clone from OS X.
Permalink Chris Nahr 
August 15th, 2005
"The default XP GUI is very pleasant without being annoying and intrusive."

Are you BLIND? Luna is hideous! Whoever thought that the gigantic title bars dark blue title bars looked nice or made a pleasing contrast to the (also oversized) red close widget must have been taking advice from Ray Charles. It's all fat and blobby, and looks like some sort of Fisher Price "My First Operating System" sort of thing... The silver variation is a bit more bearable (but only marginally so -- it still has the "way too big" problem) and the olive style looks like diarrhea.

Some elements -- buttons, slide bars, etc. -- look OK (although they scale badly -- there's a nasty bug that shows up once a button reaches a certain width), but they're not enough to overcome the uglier parts...

If you consider the muted tones of Aqua to be "garish clown colours" then I'm guessing you've only ever run XP in mono or something, as compared to XP it's almost impossible to be any *more* garish...
Permalink Mat Hall 
August 15th, 2005
"gigantic title bars dark blue title bars"

Gah! Not enough coffee yet. "gigantic dark blue title bars"...
Permalink Mat Hall 
August 15th, 2005
I couldn't help hearing the 'dum dum dum dum dum' of the Jaws theme when I read that about large blue...
Permalink Simon Lucy 
August 15th, 2005
"Exposé is a glorified task switcher, Spotlight is a disk search utility, and Dashboard clutters your desktop with a ton of useless data from the Internet."

Uh, yeah, cause like, no one is interested in quickly getting data from the Internet (and how does "hidden till you want it, disappears immediately after you're done" qualify as clutter?). And no one wants a wicked fast, quickly accessible, easy to use way to perform a full text and metadata search of everything on their hard drive. And no one ever switches between multiple Windows and applications, so what's the point in making that a more intuitive, efficient process?

See, this is what Apple does: they take the things people actually want to do with their computers and make them as efficient and as easy to use as possible.

I haven't even gotten to iLife, which, while not part of the OS, come bundled with every Mac and has no equivalent on Windows.
Permalink Jim Rankin 
August 15th, 2005
The tagline for iLife -- like Office for the rest of your life -- always sounded more like "it's like using Office until you die" rather than the intended "it's equivalent to Office, but aimed at other areas of your life". :)
Permalink Mat Hall 
August 15th, 2005
Well, no doubt some people will find those things useful. More power to you if you like them -- personally I found even the Task Switch power toy for XP too intrusive, I prefer the standard method without previews; and much the same regarding the other applications.

Anyway, it seems to me that OS innovation has pretty much ground to a halt if a couple of convience apps are the big differentiator between Windows and OS X. Reminds me of the situation of MS-DOS vs DR-DOS where people were reduced to arguing about the disk compressor that shipped with each of these (basically identical) systems.
Permalink Chris Nahr 
August 15th, 2005
I just had to activate XP by phone -- now THAT is a painful experience. Could they read the number out any slower?
Permalink Mat Hall 
August 16th, 2005

This topic was orginally posted to the off-topic forum of the
Joel on Software discussion board.

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