If you hate it soo much…

I was reading another article on the Internet and now I’m mad.

“What! An article on the Internet made you mad? How shocking!”

OK, actually, it was the comments that made me mad…

“WHAT! Internet commenters made you mad?! How? Where? Have you even been on the Internet before?!?!”

(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

Ok, I get it. Reading Internet comments is stupid. They’re full of flamewars, trolls, fan boys/girls, opinionated jerks, and people who are just plain rude.

But here’s the thing I came to realize in my (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻ rage.

(that’s “table flipping” for you non-internet speakers)

This particular article was about a new type of popup in Windows 10. If you don’t use the Edge browser, apparently it will pop up a little notification-bubble-like popup (like a square version of the old bubble notifications in Windows) that tells you how Edge is so much faster and you should give it a try.

Then you click the “X” and it goes away.

Will it ever come back? IDK I use Edge all the time, so it never bothers me. I’m also a Windows Insider so I get notifications all the time telling me about new features and asking me to rate them.

Apparently, however, you can turn off “suggestions” and other similar notifications in Windows 10.

But people aren’t happy about that. According to the Internet, no other software developer shows tips, hints, tricks, or suggestions upon first installing or using the software….

Right.

Even websites will show “tutorials” or “tips” when you first sign up.

But did you know that Windows is constantly communicating with Microsoft servers!

Did you also know that in order for your computer to get updates it has to?

But this guy, man, he turned off all that stuff, and the computer was still sending packets to Microsoft servers!

(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

Well, first, let’s try and go this route: Microsoft is a big company. They run servers for their own software which includes but is not limited to Windows Updates, Windows Store updates and app updates, Office, Windows Defender, Xbox services, and more.

brb I have to catch this Paras…

… I guess that was pointless, because you’re not reading me typing in real time… but, hey, I caught it!

Besides these services, Microsoft runs Azure servers that many other companies use. There might be a server out there that some program on your computer uses that technically belongs to Microsoft so it looks like your computer is communicating with a Microsoft server, when in fact it is some other program communicating with what happens to be a Microsoft server which is where their information, data, storage, or applications are stored. Not to mention that the computer could be downloading emails, sending usage statistics (that everyone collects, btw), or downloading updates that you just can’t refuse I’m sorry get over it.

This isn’t even the worst of it, though. If you don’t like Windows, I don’t care. Go to Apple, Linux, Chromebooks, or whatever. I really don’t care if you’re one of the idiots who thinks it’s OK to continue to use Windows XP; an operating system that will never get whatever security holes it still contains patched up. You do you.

But the issue is when these people whine and complain about having to use a system with so many “problems” from a company they believe is trying to control their software! How dare they?

The solution is simple: stop using Windows if you don’t want to use Windows!

“But what about all the Windows software I’ve continued to purchase for the last 20 years?”

“I’ve built up a library of programs that I can’t just move to Linux.”

“You’re a butt face!”

(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

If you don’t like Windows, and you’ve been tired of Microsoft for some time now, why didn’t you move to MAC years ago? Then you wouldn’t have this big library of software that you could only use on Windows machines…

You would have had to purchase a duplicate at some time, maybe. But if you would have switched computers when you upgraded your software, you would have successfully removed yourself from the Windows ecosystem years ago.

The fact that these people stay on Windows, even though they could purchase software for other systems (or put up with the free software you can find for Linux systems, even) tells me that they don’t really care about the OS they use.

They don’t want to move off of Windows. They just want to complain about how bad it is because it makes them feel better. And every time something so small as an unobtrusive popup notification appears, that is just as easily dismissed, that’s fuel for the flamewar.

My point is, if you hate it so much, then why don’t you divorce it?

Don’t tell me how much you think Windows sucks when you keep on buying software for Windows.

-Diggs out

P.S. – (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

Phone Storage Woes, Maybe

Read this article and then come back.

Nougat something or other, I don’t remember the article title.

Sorry… I used to be a teacher. Here, let me summarise for you:

Google is making Android updates go faster. This means less interruptions for updates. It also means more storage space is used on your phone.

“This will use more space on your phone’s internal storage.”

So, my thought? If phone manufacturers, and software developers are going to use more of our storage space, then I think they need to give us more storage space. Like, make a 64gb Nougat phone similarly priced as a 32gb Marshmallow phone. It’s not our fault the Android OS takes up so much space. Don’t tell me it’s a 32gb phone but the OS takes up half the storage space!

This has always irked me. But seeing as hard drives are generally cheap, it’s never been that big of a deal for me. Especially now with my 3TB hard drive!

The real problem with an OS taking up so much space comes into play mostly just with phones and tablets. SSD’s are still pretty expensive, so manufacturers put the smallest chips possible in their phones. The phones with more storage cost more primarily because of the storage increase. And this is a problem for two reasons:

One

Look at Apple. They have a 16gb iPhone… iOS literally takes up almost half of the storage space. It’s fairly similar for Android and Windows, but neither are so big as to render half of your storage unavailable to you. Until now. That is. Android will soon be so big (it’s going to have 2 system partitions) that a 16gb or even a 32gb storage chip will be left with only enough room for a few apps, some songs, and maybe 1 downloaded map (I’m not the only one who pre-downloads maps, right?). Bigger OS, less space for your stuff… on your phone.

Two

They’ve been playing this game for a while. There’s the technical aspect of system software needing storage space so of course it’s going to take up space on your SSD which means you won’t really have the amount of storage it says on the box because thats just how it works. But there’s also the side each one of these companies is exploiting. “The new and improved iDroid Phone, with 128gb of storage!” Only, you find out the OS, system files, recovery partitions, and backup storage takes up half of that so you only have 64gb of storage space available to you. You notice that you don’t have the amount of space you thought you were going to get and you complain. “C’mon! Every idiot knows the system files takes up storage space! Get with the program grandma!”

Three

Wait… I said there were only two. Oh well: THREE! another problem with all of this is that the industry doesn’t think of it as a problem. Microsoft got in deep water one year when a new Version of Windows was set to take up 10gb of hard drive space. With a 3TB hard drive, that’s not a problem. But with the 80-120gb hard drives of the time being normal (but quickly jumping to 320gb and beyond on newer PCs) 10gb of storage space lost to the system files was huge. Especially when mp3’s, video games, and other software quickly ate up storage. Microsoft made the next version “lighter” and has since kept the required system space as small as possible, for fear of backlash. Yet, Android is proposing a system that will take up more space on your phone. The benefit? You don’t have to wait 15 minutes for the phone to update. You know, because Android users don’t ever sleep, so the phone can’t update overnight or anything… It’s just strange that people don’t know, or they don’t seem to care about how much space Android takes up and how companies like Google just play off the ignorance of their customers. “That 16gb phone run out of space? You should upgrade to the newest phone with 64gb of storage. That’ll be $299.99. C’mon, it’s only 200 bucks. You can swing that every six months, right? 😉 

My plan has always been one that is very simple. I think what phone manufactress should do is put two SSD’s into their phones. One just big enough for the OS, system files, recovery partition, and maybe a little extra space for updates. Then the other SSD would be just for my stuff. A whole 64gb chip just for my apps, music, games, pictures, videos, and whatever else I want to put on my phone. We can already move many apps to an SD card shoved into our phone. And I can’t believe that having two “drives” in a phone would be any more difficult than doing it on a desktop. You’d just have to write the software to take advantage of the setup.

Ok. Rant over. I think that was a rant. It started out as a comment to the above article. But the app wouldn’t let me post the comment for some reason. So, WordPress to the rescue!

-Diggs out

My Fix for UWP

Here’s my fix for everyone’s issues with the Universal Windows Platform:

Don’t use it.

Oh, you want more?

Ok, stick with the way you do things already.

What? That’s not enough for you either? Who are you – my English teacher? Ok! Fine. Let’s get into this.

For clarification purposes, UWP is the Universal Windows Platform. This is where Microsoft has been working toward with Windows 10, the universal apps, and software as a service. People are upset that this closed ecosystem is going to ruin their games. But you know what….

First let’s look at Apple’s app ecosystem. It’s completely locked down. You get apps from their store. That’s it.

With MAC OS you can install any software from any developer for any reason and no one cares whether it came from an official source or the guy next door who makes kitten simulators.

This is also the way Windows works, right? Yes. Yes it is… Unless…

Before we get into Windows let’s look at Android. You have to get apps from the Google Play Store, sort of. If you want to sideload apps go right ahead. But don’t get upset if you get hacked or damage the phone. So in a sense, it is similar to Windows: you can install whatever you want. Nobody really cares.

So, Windows… specifically Windows 10. Here you have two options. You can install whatever software you get your hands on. Or you can install apps from the Windows Store. One would think you’d get the best of both worlds, and one would be right, unless one is a big baby who doesn’t understand the idea behind the Universal Windows Platform.

This platform, which I will be calling UWP from now on (which in my head I will always hear “UnderWear Protection”) is meant to be one that covers Windows 10 on PCs, Windows on mobile devices, Windows on IoT devices, Xbox One, and Hololens. There are many perks in using this platform:

  • You get featured in the Windows store from time to time
  • You can easily setup your app to run on one or all device types
  • You get to integrate your app or game into Xbox Live
  • Other perks I don’t know about because they haven’t released all the infos

The problem I keep hearing about is how people are upset that the UWP, and by extension the Windows Store, is a closed ecosystem. And yes, it is. But there’s purpose in that. If you’re just upset that your PC game won’t be able to use mods then don’t make your game a UWP app. Just keep doing what you’ve been doing. Your Xbox version can’t use mods either. You think Microsoft is going to open that up for you? Think again. And until you see Sony allowing PC versions of games running on the PlayStation to use PSN and their achievement system, quit your complaining about not being able to integrate Xbox Live unless you use the UWP. Just quit. Seriously. You’re a baby.

Now, I’m not a game developer. However, I do have both Minecraft for PC and Minecraft for Windows 10 Edition (aka Minecraft Pocket Edition running on Windows, since, you know, Microsoft owns Minecraft, so… why not?).

Minecraft for PC (which I will call Minecraft) is great. It is the original, but it is also running on a platform that is nearly universal (or at least used to be): JAVA. This allowed people to mod the game, which led to Minecraft becoming even more popular. Add in multiplayer over LAN and servers plus all those mods and plugins and you’ve got an awesome game. Then there’s Minecraft for Windows 10 Edition (or Minecraft PE, which I’ll just call MCPE). MCPE is basically vanilla Minecraft, a few versions behind, missing features, and without the ability to install mods or plugins. But you do get to use Xbox Live. So that’s a plus. However, there is the question of “What was the point?” There was already Minecraft PE for Windows Phone. They didn’t make that a Universal app, though. They made another version of Minecraft just for Windows 10 (on desktops, laptops, and tablets – not phones). All of those devices (well, not all tablets are that powerful…) can already run Minecraft (and you don’t even need to install JAVA first, anymore). If you already had Minecraft on the PC, why make a MCPE app for PC, which is different than the Minecraft PE app for Windows phones?

Minecraft for Windows 10 Edition (or MCPE for Windows 10) actually runs very smoothly, more so than the original Minecraft. It looks beautiful, runs well, and can play LAN games with MCPE for Windows Phone, iOS, Android, and of course Windows 10. It cannot run mods and plugins, but it can connect to servers which are running custom mods. So you can still play some cool games. You also get to connect with Xbox Live. Using Xbox Live you can make screen recordings to share with friends, and you get achievements. Even with all that, Minecraft for PC still exists… and it just got a new update… so…

Minecraft for Windows 10 Edition did not replace Minecraft for PC. And it won’t. So, what makes these developers think that a UWP version of their game (if they even choose to make one) would replace the Win32 version of their game? Especially when THEY ARE IN CONTROL OF MAKING THEIR OWN GAMES!

That’s the point I really wanted to make. If I was a game developer I definitely want to go where my audience is playing games. But if my game is an iOS game, then it makes perfect sense to make a Windows 10 UWP game. However, if my game has always been a Win32 application, then I’ll probably just stick with that. That is, unless my game doesn’t do anything all that special and never utilizes mods, plugins, and other customizations… Then, why not make a UWP version and prep it to work on Windows 10 tablets, desktops, phones, the Xbox One, and possibly even HoloLens?

So basically, like I already said, if you have an issue with the UWP

DON’T USE IT!

-Diggs out

Dear Internet Explorer Team

Dear People Responsible for Internet Explorer,

You suck. You have no idea how much I have tried to incorporate IE into my daily routine. You have no idea how hard I have worked to convince people that IE is actually a good web browser. You have no idea how much I want to use IE. And most importantly, you have no idea how many times IE has let me down.

I understand that some devs choose a platform and stick with it. They will pick something like the Blink engine Chrome uses, dig into Chrome and Google APIs, and incorporate other snippits and code bases that all work well together. Then, all their web apps, web pages, and other documents will be coded as such. But for the love of Pete! Why does everyone support Chrome, and only Microsoft supports IE?

I’ve run into at least 4 websites that just don’t like IE in the past week alone. These aren’t super apps or technical previews either. These are simple websites, on which something as mundane as a text field is completely useless. I click in the text field but nothing happens. I type in the text field and instead of typing in the text field, either nothing happens or the web page has a seizure. Sometimes links don’t act properly, with menus and navigations structures fluctuating or simply not working.

The thing that irks me the most is how EVERY ONE OF THESE WEBSITES WORK JUST FINE IN GOOGLE CHROME! So what the hell are you doing, Microsoft? Why does IE suck so much? If IE is based on the same web standards as every other web browser out there, why does yours suck the most? IE is on the most computers in the world! Of course, it has sucked so bad in the past most of the people with a Windows computer has replaced it with something else…

Sincerely,

Every IE user who has had to switch to another browser for at least a handful of websites

P.S. – I really do love IE. Why can’t it just fricken work?!?

My Issues With Early Adopters

Here’s something I wrote a while back…

Today, I went browsing the Internet looking for the release date for Windows Phone 7.8 for my Nokia Lumia 900. While on my search, which turned up no useful information, I once again ran into posts by people blaming Nokia for letting them down (by not allowing them to update their current generation Nokia phones to WP8). As always the commentors were furious, unforgiving, and redundant. Obvious issues with updating current gen phones and the state of OS updates and rollout schedules aside, there seemed to be a missing component to the whole argument.

Lots of people like to remind these ardent commentors of the fact that technology changes very rapidly. As such, cell phones come out which use updated software and top of the line hardware, but are shortly outdated by a new version of software which requires newer hardware. Much like computers…

I can recall a day when you would purchase a computer with the best processor, highest RAM, biggest hard drive, and most powerful graphics engine. The next week a new computer would come out which had twice as good specs but still costs about the same. And I got to thinking about all the other things which run similar cycles.

You buy the newest vacuum cleaner, they come out with one that has better suction and more attachments. You buy a new car, the next model year gets better gas mileage and has more room. You buy a TV, video game system, blender, radio, or even furniture and the companies come out with new versions and models. That is how they make money. It is also coincidentally what happens as companies do research and development on their products. These companies aren’t trying to rip us off (mostly). They are trying to out-do their competitors by releasing better products. They are trying to give consumers more choice. They’re trying to provide us with more powerful devices that hog less energy and perform more tasks more efficiently. If they just did research and development forever without releasing a device, you wouldn’t have a device to complain about anyway.

So, that’s my grief today.

Bye.

I Love Windows Phone. I Hate Having Windows Phone.

For all the great achievements made by Microsoft in the form of Windows Phone, there is one area where they have failed me.

I have a couple of devices. There’s my Nokia Lumia 900 Windows Phone, an HTC Aria Android, a Samsung Galaxy Captivate, and a couple of devices from work I am testing. The only reason I like the iDevice is because I can let it sit for a week and it’s battery has barely drained. Why this isn’t true of the other devices I don’t know. If I turn off their radios they’ll give me a week, but they’re not very useful. It really makes me mad, too, because I do not like Apple products in general. The other reason I enjoy Apple devices is the large number of apps available. The Android devices get pretty good treatment on the app side. But the devices are hit and miss, especially with battery life.

And then there’s Windows Phone (specifically WP7)… I love Windows Phone (for the most part) and I love my Nokia Lumia, but I am saddened by the lousy app selection for Windows Phone; at least for the nearly defunct WP7. Everyone puts their app on iOS, and most people also put their app on Android. But no one bothers with putting apps on Windows Phone or even Windows 8 for that matter. This just doesn’t make any sense to me. With WP8 and Windows 8, a developer can build 1 app and with a little tinkering have it run on cell phones, tablets, and desktop computers. The reach would be 3 fold of Android (technically) and twice as big as on iOS. And in the case of Instagram and YouTube, they go out of their way to stop other people from building apps for their services on the Windows platform. Yet, they don’t release one of their own.

So, I’m on an Android device and just loving the apps, the selection of apps, the way a lot of the apps work, and the ability of the apps to talk to each other and share data.

So, I’m on an iDevice and enjoying the experience in some of the apps versus the ones I can find for Android. This makes me really mad. Especially when you look at the Windows 8 OneNote app versus the iOS OneNote app, and then compare it to the crappy, obviously-made-for-a-phone Android OneNote app

Then, I look at the Facebook Beta app for Windows Phone and my faith in the brand is restored. I realize that all my grief is based on my outdated WP7 device, and remember just how better the WP8 devices are. I take a step back to judge the situation more clearly and I see that hardly any of the apps and services I can find on iOS and Android are things I need. I slap myself for falling into the iSheep crowd of the glitz and glam and “wow an app that does THAT!” I wake up to the realization that my phone is natively what I need, and the websites of the other services will suffice, since I am always at a computer anyway. My desire for a new Android phone is not a desire for function, it is a desire for popularity.

So, I guess I’m fine with my Nokia. But Microsoft better get on the ball and attract more developers with better apps really soon. If I even think I see an iceberg in Windows Phone’s path, I’ll jump ship faster than you can say “global warming.”

Windows Phone 8 and the Coming Apocalypse

I just bought the Nokia Lumia 900, a Windows Phone running version 7.5 of the Microsoft mobile OS; affectionately called Mango. Today I learned Apollo, that’s the code name for Windows Phone version 8, will not be installed on my phone. No matter how much I want it, I won’t get an update to WP8. I will however get an upgrade to WP 7.8.  What does this mean? It means I will get some visual enhancements as well as a few new features, but nowhere near the functionality of a Windows Phone 8 device. And let me tell you: I… am… furious…ly… annoyed by the idiots who keep acting like this is a big deal.

Let me enlighten you:

Every time Apple put out an update to iOS, the older models have NEVER received all the features of the newest device. NEVER! iPhone 4S gets Siri. Siri is not a hardware upgrade for the 4S. It is basically a piece of software, or app if you will, which adds a new type of functionality. Why couldn’t all the iPhone models get Siri? If they all got Siri, Apple wouldn’t have an impressive reason for people to buy the 4S. Do I smell marketing? That’s all it was. Even still, not too many people were upset about it. Even the all-powerful Woz stated that the Siri software was much better before Apple purchased it. But still, nobody cares. Even if you just bought the iPhone 4S and all of a sudden Apple shows off the iPhone 5 with all these features and functionality upgrades you wouldn’t get because you only have the iPhone 4S and there’s nothing you can do but take the phone back and buy the new one when it comes out NOBODY would care!

Why do people care when Microsoft does it?

In this article, a man writes an e-mail to Nokia’s Stephen Elop and AT&T’s Ralph de la Vega threatening to drop AT&T, Nokia, and Microsoft from his life. Why? Because his new Nokia Lumia 900 Windows Phone will not get an update to WP8. Instead, as I said before, the Lumia will get the 7.8 update. Oh, poor, poor me with my Nokia Lumia 900 with no upgrade path to WP8. Damn you Microsoft and Nokia. Damn you all to hell!

NOT!

You want to know the difference between Windows Phone 8 and Windows Phone 7.8? Here it is: hardware. That’s really it. Right now Microsoft has very strict device specs for the Window Phone 7 family. Manufacturers must keep to these or they don’t get the license for Windows Phone 7. The same holds true for Windows Phone 8. The new Windows Phone 8 devices will have different hardware specs, and as such they have the software to utilize the new hardware features. If you have a Windows Phone 7 device you wouldn’t be able to use any of those features anyway, so why would you want that software on your phone? And what exactly does this guy expect? Is Nokia supposed to take his phone, install an NFC chip, a couple or processor cores, and an SD card slot, and then give it back with that functionality? As if! Apple didn’t take people’s old iPhones and install a Retina display in them. If you wanted a Retina display, Siri, or any of the other upgrades on the newer iPhone 4S then you had to buy the newer iPhone 4S.That’s just the way it is. And that’s always going to be the way it is.

When I bought my first Android phone from AT&T, the HTC Aria, I was annoyed by the news of MUCH better phones being announced for the very near future. The HTC Evo 4G, the Motorola Droid X, etc, etc. Was I mad, livid even, to the point of yelling out in frustration at the drizzling sky while the camera backs away, spinning to show my grief and confusion about “why, oh why is this happening to me”? No. That’s what happens. You buy a car, and a better car comes out. You buy the best computer and it’s outdated in a week. You finally shell out for that awesome phone everyone is talking about and your favorite fruits release a new one. Welcome to the universe of technology! Companies make new, better devices all the time. OR would you prefer: Welcome to the world of business! Companies put out new devices to make more money all the time.

Either way, that’s how it works. You save your money, finally buy the item you always wanted, and something better comes out. The other option would be to save your money and wait. If the newer device comes out you hold off and save a little more money so you can buy the new one. But if you save and wait and save and wait you’ll never make that purchase and never get anything. You’re always going to risk ending up with an outdated device especially when making a technological purchase.

So, get over it Luke! They are giving you most of the upgrades with Windows Phone 7.8. But since your Lumia 900 doesn’t have a bigger screen, or an NFC chip, a multiple core processor, or an expansion slot for an SD card you won’t get those updates. What good would they be to you anyway? Think about it before you get so damn upset.

Sent from my Nokia Lumia 900 Windows Phone.*

A phone I won’t be giving up any time soon.

*this post was not really sent from my Windows Phone… although that would have made this more compelling, I already wrote the article before thinking about it. Oh well.