Windows 7 - A Rant

General talk. News, religion, politics, your daily life, whatever, it goes here. Just keep it clean.
Post Reply
User avatar
Vyse of Arcadia
Black Dragon Wizard
Posts: 363
jedwabna poszewka na poduszkę 70x80
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 4:32 am
Location: Auburn, Alabama, USA
Contact:

Windows 7 - A Rant

Post by Vyse of Arcadia »

Windows 7 has really been getting on my nerves. There are things going on with it that shouldn't be going on with it, especially since you have to pay so much for it. And disclaimer, I do have a degree in computer science, so I know a good bit of what I'm talking about.

My current computing setup is triple. I have a relatively modern desktop running Windows 7, a six year old laptop running Debian stable, and a five year old iMac G5 running Mac OS 10.5.

Allow me to post the basic specs of my desktop and laptop to make the sins of Windows 7 more apparent.

Desktop, "Randgriz"
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 x2 3000+
RAM: 1.5GB generic
Secondary Storage: 420 GB across two SATA 3.0 Gb/s drives
OS: Windows 7 Professional, cost, free (courtesy of the university)

Laptop, "Finney"
CPU: Intel Celeron M 1.6 GHz
RAM: 1.5GB generic
Secondary Storage: 80 GB IDE drive
OS: Debian GNU/Linux Stable, cost, free (courtesy of the open source movement)
Window Manager/Desktop Environment: Windowmaker/GNUStep

Note that the laptop is clearly inferior in every way, shape, and form. I'm going to skip the petty little differences in user interface, bash vs. PowerShell, et cetera, and get to the real meat and potatoes of what's inexcusable.

Technical Issues
Occasionally I make the mistake of trying to use Windows 7 the way I use GNU/Linux. With Finney, I find myself able to run dozens of programs, both GUI and command line, simultaneously without any noticeable performance hit. Sure, my little system resources monitor will go a bit crazy, but the system is still perfectly usable. Typically, I'm running Firefox (Iceweasel, actually) with several tabs open, mpd (music player daemon) with MPDCon, a system resources dockapp, emacs, gnus, and maybe nethack or Dwarf Fortress under wine.

In Windows 7, god help me if I try to run more than two applications simultaneously. I wish I were joking. It takes upwards of 30 seconds to launch an application in the first place, and if I have more than about three windows open, I'm screwed. The system approaches complete unresponsivity. And if I want to install a program, well, I might as well go make a sandwich, because I won't be using the computer for half an hour.

Granted, Windows has always had admittedly bad resource management. Windows can't schedule IO worth a crap. Any and all significant hard drive access will slow most Windows systems noticeably, but this is absolutely ridiculous. This leads me to the conclusion that Windows 7 somehow manages to have even unbelievably crappier resource management than any operating system I have ever used ever. And I've used more operating systems than most people can name.

Second major technical issue, crappy drivers. So, sitting inside Randgriz is an almost brand new Linksys 802.11 b/g wireless card that is completely useless. Because Windows refuses to acknowledge that it even exists. It worked just fine when I booted Linux on Randgriz. Randgriz outputs video through HDMI to my HDTV. I have never had a problem with video. But the sound craps out frequently. It would seem that about once an hour, Windows 7 forgets that the video card is also a sound card. So I have to reach behind the TV, unplug the HDMI cable, replug the HDMI cable, and suddenly sound works again! What. The. Fbadword. That should never happen in any conceivable universe.

General Evility
Microsoft is a pretty evil company. Seriously. The entry for "Unethical Business Practices" in the encyclopedia should read, "See Microsoft." As if that wasn't bad enough, they're a huge supporter of software patents, the single biggest stifler of innovation in the modern era. But I digress.

I have Windows 7 Professional. Professional. And I like to play around with languages. It's a hobby of mine. But I can't change the system language on Randgriz unless I upgrade to Windows 7 Ultimate. And even then only a measly 35 languages, unlike the dozens and dozens available on any standard Linux distribution.

Artificial feature restriction is nothing short of unethical, especially when it forces people to upgrade to the most expensive version of a tiered program for something that should be a standard feature across the board.

And that's not even going into DRM, security issues, et cetera.

-------------
I'm typing this on Finney. My duck is telling me that I'm using about a third of my RAM and hovering around 70% CPU usage with spikes up to 100%. I haven't even noticed. I'm contemplating switching the entire system to Esperanto just because I can.

I hate Windows 7 so hard right now. Thanks for reading.
Image

User avatar
Dark_Fairy
White Dragon Knight
Posts: 989
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2004 7:12 pm

Re: Windows 7 - A Rant

Post by Dark_Fairy »

I actually enjoyed that read. I never realized Windows fails that badly though. I guess I've just gotten used to how terribly slow it runs. O_o

Since you're an expert it seems like, I want to ask a few questions if you don't mind. Mainly about Linux since I want to play around with Linux.

If I'm going to ever run Linux on something, what type of OS should I choose? I know there are A LOT of different kinds of Linux OS'. I guess I should ask, what is more user friendly? I have an desktop that's 6 years old now that I did dual install Ubuntu on with Windows XP about 2 years ago, I just haven't had a chance to play around with it completely. Which, I probably need to update that here eventually too since I know it's pretty outdated...

Is Ubuntu the easiest to use? I know it's Debian based, but that's the extent of my knowledge. Is there one easier and better than Ubuntu? I might be getting another new laptop this fall considering I have terrible luck at getting decent working laptops and I was thinking of changing one of them to Linux if I decide to get another one. OR heck, I've been thinking about trying to dual install a Linux on this laptop in general because I'm sick of how slow everything runs on Windows. I say dual install because there are programs I need I can't get rid of on Windows. Also, if I do dual install some kind of Linux OS on here, is it easy to get rid of the Linux install if I don't like it? I heard it's hard to uninstall dual installed Ubuntu some time ago.

Sorry if I'm asking way to many question you might not be able to answer, I just like messing with computers and like to expand my knowledge. ^^;

User avatar
Werefrog
Dragonmaster
Posts: 2047
Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2005 5:58 pm
Location: Loch Tess, Winters

Re: Windows 7 - A Rant

Post by Werefrog »

Well with the technical issues, this is part of the problem with being an early adopter of a new OS. I remember that when I first got my laptop with Vista it wasn't fully compatible with my sound driver, so I couldn't update Windows Vista for about a year.

And this was a laptop that was designed specifically for Vista. I'm thinking that your computer has been upgraded with Windows 7. Granted, this doesn't excuse the fact that your drivers have issues, but it makes it a little more understandable.

And yeah, there are a lot of issues with running multiple programs (at least with Windows Vista). Maybe expanding your memory a bit would help?

User avatar
Vyse of Arcadia
Black Dragon Wizard
Posts: 363
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 4:32 am
Location: Auburn, Alabama, USA
Contact:

Re: Windows 7 - A Rant

Post by Vyse of Arcadia »

@Dark Fairy: Questions about Linux are always welcome! It bugs me that so many people are downright afraid of the OS. If you're just starting out, I'd recommend a more desktop-oriented Linux. On the other hand, if you want to learn a lot (but not necessarily be able to do a lot for a while,) I'd recommend something harder to use like Slackware or Arch Linux. Just make sure you have another computer with instructions you can easily access. And of course you could always try installing one of the BSDs, but they have their own issues (not a lot of drivers for common hardware, et cetera.)

The easiest is probably Ubuntu or Linux Mint (which is based on Ubuntu.) I've also had some luck with Fedora, but it tends to be buggier and more cutting-edge. It uses a lot of software that is still experimental and the like. But the absolute best thing you can do is, if you're buying a computer and you know you're going to run Linux on it, check out one of the many hardware compatibility lists (or just look at the Ubuntu forums/wiki) to see if that particular computer has any driver issues.

@Werefrog: Driver issues really aren't excusable for Microsoft anymore. 7 uses the same drivers as Vista. In fact, 7 uses the same damn Vista kernel with a snappier user interface on top. It's really quite a scam; I'm glad I got it for free.

The problem with expanding is that I'm not really fond of this machine. It's the box that the company for which I used to work produced, so I got it cheap when I was working there. It's got decent specs, but it's not worth upgrading.

EDIT: I just double-checked my specs and it looks like I'm actually running 2GB of RAM. Which only makes things all the more mystifying.
Image

User avatar
Dark_Fairy
White Dragon Knight
Posts: 989
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2004 7:12 pm

Re: Windows 7 - A Rant

Post by Dark_Fairy »

Alright, thanks for the advise! I've decided to try out Ubuntu for a while to see how I like it. I dual-installed it with Wubi so that way I can easily remove it if I don't like it, but so far I don't see that happening since I think I like it. In the future, I'm going to toy around with other Linux OS, but first I'd like to semi-master Ubuntu.

So far, I'm loving Ubuntu! Originally, I had read in 9.04 that my laptop had a few issues with Ubuntu. That didn't stop me from trying 10.04. In 10.04, I haven't experienced ANY problems at all! I was very thrilled. I like all the open source alternative programs that are available as well for Ubuntu. I might try Gimp again since it's been YEARS since I've touched it. I've been photoshopping for so long I forgot all about Gimp. It was the first graphics program I ever used.

I did have a few problems with the internet at first, and ended up poking around with command lines (google ftw). It was really cool to see something that looked very similar to DOS come up! It turns out all I needed to do was restart and it was fine. Oh well, at least I figured out some commands that might be useful in the future. ^^;

I also love the wobbly windows effect in Ubuntu. I had WAAAAAAAY to much fun dragging the window back and forth earlier. Gosh, I feel like a little kid excited about candy right now! I'm having waaaaay to much fun playing around with EVERYTHING in Ubuntu.

I also love how fast it runs compared to Vista. I went back to Windows to study for my test today, and it felt so slow after using Ubuntu. I actually started getting frustrated at Windows because it wasn't moving as fast as Ubuntu. ^^;

User avatar
phyco126
Dragonmaster
Posts: 8126
Joined: Fri Dec 27, 2002 3:06 am
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA
Contact:

Re: Windows 7 - A Rant

Post by phyco126 »

I have a question. I have a family member who wants to purchase an old desktop from me. It has the same specs as the laptop, really. Only problem is it just needs a new HDD. Since he doesn't have a lot of money, buying Windows is out of the question (and to be fair, it could barely run Vista Basic, even with 2 GBs of RAM, which is more than enough for simple tasks in Vista). In any event, I have a few spare working hard drives I can probably donate to the machine to keep the costs down as much as possible.

Anyway, the key is this, linux is free and there are many different flavors. What, exactly, will work for the computer illiterate though? I figure should be Google Chrome compatible, Open Office compatible, but a similar interface for the window's oriented. Could give me a chance to finally play around with it too. All I know of is that linux is for the people who don't want to wait for security patches and drivers, they just make their own. But now that its more mainstream, I know there are simple versions out there for use that come ready to go, no coding knowledge needed.
Image

- "Sometimes life smiles when it kicks you down. The trick is to smile back."

User avatar
Vyse of Arcadia
Black Dragon Wizard
Posts: 363
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 4:32 am
Location: Auburn, Alabama, USA
Contact:

Re: Windows 7 - A Rant

Post by Vyse of Arcadia »

I'd look first and foremost at Linux Mint. It's an Ubuntu-derivative designed to make things a little easier for the less than computer literate. Easier installs of Flash and other proprietary software, et cetera.

Secondly, I'd check out plain ol' Ubuntu. It's solid, easy to use, and has a huuuuuge userbase. Which means if you're having a problem, you can hop on the Ubuntu forums or IRC channel and your question WILL be answered.

I recommend it thirdly because I haven't actually used it myself, but a friend of mine complains about openSUSE because it's "too Windows-like." Probably because unlike (most) Debian-based distros (like Ubuntu), it's primary desktop environment is KDE instead of GNOME. KDE has a history of being more expansive in its configurability, whereas GNOME takes the more Maclike stance of "if the users don't need to mess with it, don't let them." I guess the best way to say it is that GNOME is for users, and KDE is for power users.

All of the above come on Live CDs, so you can boot and play around with all of them straight off the CD without installing them first. That way, your family member can test them all out and decide which he or she likes the most before committing 30 minutes to an install.
Image

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 23 guests