Windows 8.1 and the Start Button

Microsoft revealed their new update to Windows today. Version 8.1 includes a long list of minor changes and fixes and improvements. In many ways, it's in a similar fashion to how different Windows 98SE was to Windows 98.

The biggest point of contention for Windows users with version 8 has been the Start Button - or lack of a Start Button I should say. Consumers wanted their old desktop back with the classic Start Button they grew to know and love since it was introduced in Windows 95. The people want familiarity and ease of use. Microsoft has been working on ways to get rid of the button for years now.

Windows 8 did just that. They gave us Metro - which is essentially a big colorful and customizable Start Menu where you can put your most commonly used programs and get updated with information without having to open anything. Many people find it confusing - especially when they are using it on a desktop pc.

They are moving away from programs and toward apps. It's a tablet and cell phone culture now. That doesn't mean there's no longer any use for laptops and desktops. Touchscreens are convenient and small and they aren't going away... the market is going to continue to grow in fact, but desktop computers are going to be around for awhile. This is particularly true in business and publishing and design. Metro icons are a distraction and a hindrance of productivity.

Public outcry has been loud for Microsoft to return the Start Button to the desktop and allow users to disable Metro so they can get back to work. Microsoft responded by adding a Start Button back into Windows 8.1, but it's almost like a "fuck you" or a big "gotcha!" to consumers. All it does is pull up the Metro Start screen when you click it. Nothing else. That means there are now 4 ways to get to the Metro interface.

Microsoft brought it back with the thinking that novice PC users and senior citizens were having trouble navigating without the Start Button. The opposite is true as it would seem that most people who wanted the Start Button back are long-time users. I'm personally a bit offended and insulted by Microsoft's little trick. It's like they are saying, "here, dummy - here's your damn start button - it goes to Metro, LOL! Enjoy, asshole!"

I'll stick with Windows 7 until they get it right.

Start Button My Ass

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Ladders, Crates and Toilets in Video Games…

Going Up = no problems.
Going Down = fall and break legs or die

Conveniently located for cover from enemy fire or for getting to higher ground,
Melee smash giant crate until it explodes and splinters into a handful of toothpicks - the only thing inside was some pistol ammo and 2 AA batteries.

Walk up to toilet + press action button

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The Mundane Adventures of the Aging Corporate Lackey

There was a time when I would attack my public internet diary with consistency and enthusiasm. It has been months since my last post, and really years since I've posted much of anything about myself.

Who am I? What am I? Where's my inspiration?

The answers to these questions aren't really coming to me. Might have something to do with me getting an actual job as opposed to running my own business - now I have to consider how the things I say might be scrutinized by my employer should they happen upon this website.

That means, I can't really bitch or complain about work - which takes up about half of my waking life. It would be nice to be able to vent about work frustrations, but it would not look good. I should probably delete all of my old blogs as well considering the amount of soul exposure - they also don't reflect good upon me. I think I leave them there because I figure "well, they already hired me - can't fire me for being crazy a long time ago." Or can they?

Another part of it might just be that I don't really do much of anything terribly exciting or worth reporting. That's not really true though - thinking about it, there are quite a few stories from the past year or two that I would normally have been telling here. I mean, a few stories were perhaps not necessarily suitable for my employers to know about, but for the most part they were fine. That's not it either.

Why am I not writing or creating anymore? I don't write or draw or make music. I haven't been exercising my brain or my body. I've just been indulging. I've just been checking out. Consuming and coasting and generally sucking.

I know I've been writing something though - tweets and reviews of things and random forum chit chat. Nothing terribly creative or inspired. Nothing to keep my skills in tip-top shape.

Even now, I feel like I'm just writing something in hopes that no one sees it. Something to fill space. I feel like I have nothing to say, but I know I have a ton of shit to say. I just don't want to put something out there that will somehow be used against me.

I used to write to a pretty nonspecific small audience of people who were a mixture of strangers and friends - some would shower me with approval and encouragement and others were simply silent apart from adding numbers to the view count. Now, I can't even visualize who I'm writing to. This is a much more public space even though it gets less traffic than my previous home.

I used to write like I was naked - and comfortable being so... like skinny dipping with a huge group of friends and being the first bare ass to hit the water. Everyone would follow suit or laugh along with me. It felt safe and comfortable. I also didn't give a fuck who saw it or what they thought - I was just driven by the occasional encouraging comment.

Now, I feel awkward... like exposing myself here would be like being stripped down to my essence and shoved through a door into a huge auditorium filled with judgmental strangers - all random cynical high school and college kids and everyone I've ever worked with but not spoken to and everyone I've ever felt uncomfortable around - all of them going silent and staring at me... the moment before they all either burst into laughter, cringe in disgust, or ignore me completely stretches into eternity.

I need to write something though. I keep filling this space with text. I suppose I'm just practicing. Sorry this wasn't any good. Look, I'm even apologizing to whoever read this. What's wrong with me? Whatever it is, I know I have to figure it out and fix it. If I'm not improving (or at least maintaining), then I'm devolving - and I don't want that, now do I?

I can see 40 on the horizon, and it isn't a pretty sight.

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