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Windows 8 preview
OICW
Member #4,069
November 2003
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The way I see it, there isn't really much that can be improved on the desktop until there is a substantial voice control interface.

Reminds me of this video:

video

_Kronk_ said:

What is that? I'm assuming Linux right? What distro?

Yep, Linux using Fluxbox or some similar desktop.

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Karadoc ~~
Member #2,749
September 2002
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Apparently Windows 8 still needs quite a lot more work.

An important things I still haven't figured out how to do: how to close "metro" based apps (without having to kill them through the task manager)?

I couldn't work that out either.

Short version: you're not supposed to be able to. They run forever.

Surely not. I opened the control panel to see what was there, and now I'm stuck with it until I restart my computer (or go through a complex and hidden procedure to get rid of it)?

IE apparently crashed, and I couldn't close it. It was just a completely white screen, no address bar, no nothing. I could still switch to other "apps", but I couldn't close the apparently broken IE.

I think it's pretty confusing to have this distinction between metro apps and non-metro apps. It's like there are just apps and windows flying around everywhere, and its pretty easy to just lose track of stuff.

A lot of people here seem to hate the old start menu; but I don't think its so bad. I manually keep it organised so that it isn't too painful to browse. I've got folders called games (with sub categories), development (for stuff like Office, Notepad++, Qt Creator, etc.), network (firefox, chrome, skype, etc.), and so on. It's pretty annoying that every damn thing I even install just spews crap all over the place; but it's not hard to just drag something into the appropriate folder when I see something out of place. Even still, usually I don't browse it anyway. I just type the first couple of letters let the search thing find it for me. - I suppose that's how it's meant to be used these days.

Meanwhile, in Windows 8, the 'start menu' takes up the entire screen - which I think I'd find quite disrupting if I was actually trying to seriously use the OS. And although I can drag stuff around on the metro screen, I can't work out how to add new things, or delete things, or put things in sub-folders. In Windows 7, I like to drag stuff from one window into another. For example, I'll drag a picture or a web link from chrome and drop it in a folder on my desktop. With metro... I don't see how that would work; and with some stuff in metro and some not in metro, not only would it not work, it would be somewhat confusing.

But while I drag the window to the edge of the screen, W7 thinks this means I want to maximise the window.

I reckon those new dragging features in W7 are really great. Well... not so much the one you just mentioned. That one's ok; but it isn't much easier than the just double-clicking the title bar - so I could live without that. One that I could not live without is that you can drag maximized windows from off the top, and they stop being maximized. That feature is super-awesome, and I reckon I'd just die without it. :-X --
There are a few things that I dislike in Windows 7, but overall I think it's much better than XP.

I hate that W7 doesn't have an "up" button in the file explorer (for doing the UI equivalent of 'cd ..'). I really miss that button even now that I've been using the new system for ages. Also, I think it's pretty strange that my preferred settings for the task bar are not made available. I mean, I had to screw around with the registery to get "Never combine, hide labels". I would have thought that would be a really popular setting. Can't they just include that option so that non computer experts can have it?

Windows 8... looks pretty bad so far. Lets just hope it improves as it gets closer to completion.

[edit]
I really think the metro screen should auto-scroll when you move the mouse to the side of the screen.

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Arthur Kalliokoski
Second in Command
February 2005
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Lets just hope it improves as it gets closer to completion.

Why would we do that?

The only way Trump is going to be involved in a landslide is if the land surrounding the White House collapses into the Earth's core. -- bamccaig

Matthew Leverton
Supreme Loser
January 1999
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Quote:

Short version: you're not supposed to be able to. They run forever.

Surely not

There's a thread on one of Microsoft's sites about this very issue. The official response was: while you can currently use alt-f4 to close a metro app, that is not something that will be in the final release.

You are supposed to press the windows key or use some touch gesture to switch to another application. Of course, I expect that you'll still be able to shut them down via the task manager, there is not (currently) any plans to expose such functionality to the end user.

Mark Oates
Member #1,146
March 2001
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A lot of people here seem to hate the old start menu

Quote:

Meanwhile, in Windows 8, the 'start menu' takes up the entire screen - which I think I'd find quite disrupting if I was actually trying to seriously use the OS

Think of that as a start page, rather than a start menu.

I would much prefer that my "launch location" be a feature-rich, full-screen something-er rather. Since the first days of the Start menu, it feels like they've been trying to pack a bunch of stuff in there... but no it still has to be menu :o.

Why?

I also can't stand the taskbar. That obnoxious application-status-hud thing has to go. If I want to access that information then I'll do something like press the windows key, otherwise get off my screen. And no, "hiding" the taskbar isn't an option either. Then it just jumps in your way when you don't want it too.

Basically, anything that's persistently on my screen can GTFO. Design everything around what I'm working on and get rid of everything else.

Quote:

I hate that W7 doesn't have an "up" button in the file explorer

I agree with you on that.

Matthew Leverton
Supreme Loser
January 1999
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I also can't stand the taskbar. That obnoxious application-status-hud thing has to go.

It's beautiful and gives a sense of organization. >:(

Oscar Giner
Member #2,207
April 2002
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Think of that as a start page, rather than a start menu.

I would much prefer that my "launch location" be a feature-rich, full-screen something-er rather.

Well, if it at least was feature-right... but it isn't. They managed to implement a fullscreen piece of shit that has much less features that the old small start menu :P

Prior to re-enabling the start menu, I wasn't even able to launch notepad (since it's not on the metro screen). There's no "Run..." command either. So all that I could thing of was launching the "developer console" and type notepad there :P. Now tell me that's not a piece of crap.

bamccaig
Member #7,536
July 2006
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I also can't stand the taskbar. That obnoxious application-status-hud thing has to go. If I want to access that information then I'll do something like press the windows key, otherwise get off my screen. And no, "hiding" the taskbar isn't an option either. Then it just jumps in your way when you don't want it too.

GNOME 3 (with sufficient graphical processing power) has gotten rid of its "taskbar". Now you only see the currently focussed application. If you want to switch to a window that you can't see (and I always maximize every window) then you have to move your mouse up to the top-left corner, which switches to a transparent screen with smaller versions of all of your windows tiled on it to choose from. That same screen is also where they've moved multiple desktops. It's also where they moved the traditional menus (e.g., sort of like the start menu in Windows). They used to have 3 main menus: Applications, Places, and System, IIRC. Now the default is to tile a brainfuck of all icons. You can filter them by picking an option on the far right. I honstly didn't even notice that until now and I've been using GNOME 3 off and on for months... >:( That is horrible UI design. But this is why I spend most of my time on the command line. For the most part, the changes made are very few, and they are always optional and productive. They don't change it just to do something "new" or "fresh". :P They only change it when they come up with a new feature that you actually want, and that feature typically won't break what you already do (and if it does they'll likely have an option to disable it). With graphical UIs, changes are always experimental. They don't know if it's a good idea and just have to develop it and see. And since it took a team of developers 6 months or a year to develop you're damn right they're going to push it to production, and try to force you to use it so they can see if it worked, instead of letting users ignore it. ::) This is because the graphical UI itself is a bad idea. :P

Matthew Leverton
Supreme Loser
January 1999
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There's no "Run..." command either.

Just start typing with the start page open.

Quote:

GNOME 3 ... bunch of stuff I didn't read ...

GNOME 3 is terrible.

Arthur Kalliokoski
Second in Command
February 2005
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bamccaig said:

This is because the graphical UI itself is a bad idea.

That's what <i>you think, Mr. Knows-How-To-Type!

The only way Trump is going to be involved in a landslide is if the land surrounding the White House collapses into the Earth's core. -- bamccaig

Karadoc ~~
Member #2,749
September 2002
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I would much prefer that my "launch location" be a feature-rich, full-screen something-er rather.

I'd prefer it to be unobtrusive - to do what needs to be done with no fanfare, and as little interruption as possible. So for me, the W7 start menu is better than the XP start menu because the W7 menu doesn't expand when more sub-menus are opened; and the W8 menu is worse, because no matter how trivial the task is I have to have a screen-full of shiny buttons to do it. I think that would break the immersion of whatever I'm doing. I think it would be distracting. (I'm saying "I think", because I've barely looked at W8. I'm just trying to imagine what it would be like to use it day-to-day.)

Quote:

I also can't stand the taskbar. That obnoxious application-status-hud thing has to go. If I want to access that information then I'll do something like press the windows key, otherwise get off my screen.

Maybe it's just because I'm so use to it, but I think of it the other way around. I like the taskbar to be there, because I use it to switch between window frequently, and I use it to drag stuff out of one window into another, and stuff like that. So for me.. the taskbar should be there by default, and if I don't want that information then I'll do something to activate "full screen mode".

Why would we do that?

Well, not all of us might want it.. but I would want it - because it's quite likely my next computer will have W8, and so I'll probably be using it for a couple of years. I'd like it to be as good as possible.

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SiegeLord
Member #7,827
October 2006
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Think of that as a start page, rather than a start menu.

We already have one of those. It's called the desktop.

Quote:

I also can't stand the taskbar. That obnoxious application-status-hud thing has to go. If I want to access that information then I'll do something like press the windows key, otherwise get off my screen. And no, "hiding" the taskbar isn't an option either. Then it just jumps in your way when you don't want it too.

Basically, anything that's persistently on my screen can GTFO. Design everything around what I'm working on and get rid of everything else.

I couldn't disagree with you more. Taskbar is essential for my workflow. Still, there should be choice. I am glad that the windows manager I use, KDE4, allows this choice. You can remove all the panels if you want. You can add several panels if you want. Customizability should be the future, not someones deranged vision of how GUI's should work being pushed onto everyone.

"For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increases knowledge increases sorrow."-Ecclesiastes 1:18
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Mark Oates
Member #1,146
March 2001
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SiegeLord said:

We already have one of those. It's called the desktop.

The desktop is just a glorified folder.

As far as the taskbar, I only use it for the start button (which I substitute with the win key or a bottom-left screen click) and to drag-drop into other programs (which could be done with something better).

Other than that, it's just a task manager that won't go away. I couldn't care less about what programs are running, I couldn't care less about what's in the tray, I couldn't care less about the time or date. It's like... I know, I get it, you're a computer, you're keeping track of the time and shit. Golly gee! It's like I'm using a real computer! Can you throw in some beep-boop-bloop sounds too? :D

What I'm getting at is why would you have:

  1. a program shortcut on your desktop

  2. another shortcut on your quicklaunch/taskbar

  3. another shortcut in your start menu

  4. another shortcut/menu in your All Programs menu

  5. another contextual shortcut/menu in your tray

What the benefit of having so many convoluted locations and options in the first place? It was designed by a tech-head and it's like having a slide ruler pocket, a pager belt-clip, a pocket protector for your pens, a smart-phone pouch, and a fanny pack. Everything's ready to go!

SiegeLord
Member #7,827
October 2006
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a program shortcut on your desktop

Convenient for starting an application upon turning on the computer/logging in.

Quote:

another shortcut on your quicklaunch/taskbar

Convenient for starting an often used application while the desktop is hidden.

Quote:

another shortcut in your start menu
another shortcut/menu in your All Programs menu

Convenient for for starting a less often used application, especially that you don't remember the name of.

Quote:

another contextual shortcut/menu in your tray

Useful for applications that don't need windows to remain useful.

Quote:

It was designed by a tech-head and it's like having a slide ruler pocket, a pager belt-clip, a pocket protector for your pens, a smart-phone pouch, and a fanny pack. Everything's ready to go!

Stop trolling, troll.

"For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increases knowledge increases sorrow."-Ecclesiastes 1:18
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Matthew Leverton
Supreme Loser
January 1999
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Now Mark is in his gloriously delusional form. :'(

Mark Oates
Member #1,146
March 2001
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I just wish my dad could use a computer, instead of sitting mindlessly in front of a tv, watching ads, breathing through his mouth. :'(

Matthew Leverton
Supreme Loser
January 1999
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What would he do in front of a computer that is so different from sitting mindlessly, watching ads, and breathing through his mouth?

Karadoc ~~
Member #2,749
September 2002
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Other than that, it's just a task manager that won't go away. I couldn't care less about what programs are running, I couldn't care less about what's in the tray, I couldn't care less about the time or date. It's like... I know, I get it, you're a computer, you're keeping track of the time and . Golly gee! It's like I'm using a real computer! Can you throw in some beep-boop-bloop sounds too?

Mark, I've written a program for you. (This is pretty much the first time I've used the win32 API, so it might not be the best way to do it; but it works well enough.)

#SelectExpand
1#include <windows.h> 2#include <process.h> 3#include <Winuser.h> 4 5void ToggleTaskBar(void) 6{ 7 RECT rectWorkArea; 8 RECT rectTaskBar; 9 10 HWND TaskBarHandle = FindWindow("Shell_TrayWnd", ""); 11 12 if (!TaskBarHandle) 13 return; // failure. 14 15 SystemParametersInfo(SPI_GETWORKAREA, 0, (LPVOID)&rectWorkArea, 0); 16 GetWindowRect(TaskBarHandle, &rectTaskBar); 17 18 if (IsWindowVisible(TaskBarHandle)) 19 { 20 // Hide 21 ShowWindow(TaskBarHandle, SW_HIDE); 22 23 rectWorkArea.bottom += rectTaskBar.bottom - rectTaskBar.top - 1; 24 SystemParametersInfo(SPI_SETWORKAREA, 0, (LPVOID)&rectWorkArea, 0); 25 } 26 else 27 { 28 // Show 29 ShowWindow(TaskBarHandle, SW_SHOW); 30 31 rectWorkArea.bottom -= rectTaskBar.bottom - rectTaskBar.top - 1; 32 SystemParametersInfo(SPI_SETWORKAREA, 0, (LPVOID)&rectWorkArea, 0); 33 } 34} 35 36int main(int argc, char *argv[]) 37{ 38 ToggleTaskBar(); 39 return 0; 40}

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Don Freeman
Member #5,110
October 2004
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Tried with virtual box and it continually dies for me. Any suggestions? ???

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Mark Oates
Member #1,146
March 2001
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What would he do in front of a computer that is so different from sitting mindlessly, watching ads, and breathing through his mouth?

I just find it disturbing to see people so disconnected from thought. A friend of mine mentioned his dad was the same way. People just sit in front of the TV and let it guide them. It flows masterfully between excessively attention-grabbing morsels, empty calories, where every segment has the same formula, uses the same language, expects the same audience, and talks to you like a bottom-of-the-barrel idiot.

And it's loud.

I don't enjoy watching anybody get pumped with that. [Insert slightly humorous antic relating with hypnosis thread].

It's a well known fact that computers suffer from an accessibility problem. For the love of Christ, let's try to understand why. Enabling people with a computer and the internet engages them in the world, helps people with problems, and liberates countries. Feeding people TV doesn't.

Edgar Reynaldo
Major Reynaldo
May 2007
avatar

Disclaimer :[1]

A friend of mine mentioned his dad was the same way. People just sit in front of the TV and let it guide them. It flows masterfully between excessively attention-grabbing morsels, empty calories, where every segment has the same formula, uses the same language, expects the same audience, and talks to you like a bottom-of-the-barrel idiot.

I've pretty much sworn off TV altogether these days, except that I still find the same odd assortment of TV shows enjoyable.[2] enjoyable. But other than that, I don't care about TV at all.

Now if I had Skin[3]-e-max, there might be a different story....

References

  1. Guess what , I'm drunk again.
  2. I like NCIS: Los Angeles, The Mentalist, Fringe, etc...
  3. cinemax
torhu
Member #2,727
September 2002
avatar

Other than that, it's just a task manager that won't go away. I couldn't care less about what programs are running, I couldn't care less about what's in the tray, I couldn't care less about the time or date. It's like... I know, I get it, you're a computer, you're keeping track of the time and . Golly gee! It's like I'm using a real computer! Can you throw in some beep-boop-bloop sounds too?

Mark, I've written a program for you. (This is pretty much the first time I've used the win32 API, so it might not be the best way to do it; but it works well enough.)

The taskbar can actually be set to autohide. ::)

Karadoc ~~
Member #2,749
September 2002
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And no, "hiding" the taskbar isn't an option either. Then it just jumps in your way when you don't want it too.

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GullRaDriel
Member #3,861
September 2003
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Quit drinking Ed. It's not a solution for you as for me.

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OICW
Member #4,069
November 2003
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bamccaig said:

GNOME 3 (with sufficient graphical processing power) has gotten rid of its "taskbar". Now you only see the currently focussed application. If you want to switch to a window that you can't see (and I always maximize every window) then you have to move your mouse up to the top-left corner, which switches to a transparent screen with smaller versions of all of your windows tiled on it to choose from. That same screen is also where they've moved multiple desktops.

Gnome 3 and Unity are main reasons I've switched to XFCE and I think I'm gradually sliding towards Fluxbox 8-)

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"Final Fantasy XIV, I feel that anything I could say will be repeating myself, so I'm just gonna express my feelings with a strangled noise from the back of my throat. Graaarghhhh..." - Yahtzee
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