Friday, November 22, 2013

Windows 8 Sucks

(see also updates below,  in chronological order)

A warning for you all:  do not (I repeat DO NOT) buy any sort of PC equipment with a Windows 8 operating system!

Update 6-22-16:  Windows 10 is just as bad if not actually worse.  See below.

Windows 8 is absolutely the worst version of Windows I have ever seen,  and I have seen them all since the very first one.   The 8.1 update does not (I repeat DOES NOT) fix this.

Their fundamental mistake is so egregious that I have difficulty expressing myself precisely without profanity. They wanted non-touch screen devices to look like touch screen devices,  even though that concept is completely pointless.

The operating system bogs down a stop,  with all the useless touch screen stuff running in the background. Internet things quit loading completely,  even though an older machine does fine,  in a side by side test on the same local area network.

Please,  all of you,  boycott Microsoft until they withdraw this worthless product,  and tell them why you are doing it.  It is THAT bad!


PS -- update 12-19-2013:

The Windows 8 operating system sacrifices usability for style.  It looks like the Apple-based smart phone and game devices they are trying to compete with.  But,  it sacrifices utility and access to do that.

Microsoft completely forgot about its real customer base coming up with this abortion:  the working stiffs like me who really have to accomplish nontrivial tasks in word processing,  data handling and calculation,  and results presentation.

The Apple-type devices are simply inadequate to nontrivial tasks like that.  For one thing,  their keyboards (if they even have one) are very clumsy transitioning from alphabetic characters to numeric characters,  and back.  That's just one reason why we working stiffs buy PC-type equipment instead of Apple-type equipment.

Now Microsoft has screwed-up their advantage with Windows 8.  It takes more keystrokes to access what you need to do your job,  and the stuff you want to use is hidden in more arcane places (way harder to find).  Doing that to an otherwise loyal customer base,  just to add a few more customers from a different market,  is the very height of management idiocy.   The two product lines should have been kept separate,  the new dual-mode tablet/laptops notwithstanding.

Recent Microsoft executives are thus demonstrably (by their new product decisions) far less competent than we customers have every right to expect from a company that big and established,  especially one in such a near-monopoly position.

Shame on you,  Microsoft.  The Bill Gates that I knew of (from the old stable DOS days) would not (and should not) be proud of you.  I wish he would come back and set things to rights again.

Update 1-3-2014:

I have figured out how to turn off most of the Apple-like “app” crap that I don’t use.  I had to figure it out for myself,  there was no effective help from the store where I bought it,  in spite of the service agreement that I bought.  Turning off many resident programs did greatly improve my internet connectivity,  but didn’t wholly “fix” the problems. 

Turning off unneeded programs reduced the resources being used in the computer,  but more importantly,  reduced the in-the-background internet update activity.  This freed up internet data transfer capacity enough where I could actually function on the internet.  Out here in the country,  my internet comes over a cell phone tower.  It’s way better than dial-up,  but way slower than the high-speed stuff available in the cities.  That somewhat-slower internet service is why the unneeded programs using internet were so intolerably vexing to me,  specifically.

By the way,  the store where I bought this laptop lied to me about that issue.  They told me none of these resident programs used internet.  But I could see the images and data in the icons on the screen updating (which requires internet),  and turning these things off did actually make a substantial difference.  I really don’t like being lied-to by store tech geeks.  So I probably won’t ever buy anything from that particular store again.

Turning unnecessary crap off helped a lot,  but did not “fix” everything.  I still have erratic connectivity problems far too often.  These take the form of incomplete page loads that require 1,  2,  even 3 refreshes before getting a complete load.  Sometimes I get the little spinning-circle “busy” signal,  sometimes not.  Photos failing to load on web pages or in emails is the most reliable indicator,  and it still happens about half the time.  That’s way,  way too often.

Internet connectivity still fails completely,  however,  about every 2 to 3 days.  It shows up as getting the “busy” circle “forever” instead of getting even a partial page load.  By “forever” I mean as many minutes (minutes not seconds !!! ) as I have the patience to endure.   I do not have the patience to see if it goes on like that for an hour or more.   And,  when this begins to happen on the internet,  I also start to see spinning-circle “busy” signal delays just opening programs while NOT on the internet.  That has to be the Windows operating system corrupting itself,  and maybe the effects of more in-the-background Apple-like “apps” that I haven’t yet found and turned off. 

When this problem happens,  the only “cure” I have found is a complete cold shutdown and restart.  If locked-up this way while on the internet,  quite often there is no way out except to push the power button to kill the computer.  Nothing else works!  And unlike all previous machines and versions of Windows that I have had,  sometimes the little lights indicating internal activity won’t go out,  even when you kill it with the power buttonMeaning,  it didn’t really shut down,  it just wants you to think it did.  And THAT just doesn't fix the corrupted-Windows operating system problem.

I get a more reliable power-button “kill” if it is unplugged from the charger – why that should be,  I absolutely cannot understand,  unless it is using something none of us know about,  coming in over the electric power grid (I know,  that sounds like a conspiracy theory).  But,  getting a more reliable “kill” when off the charger is empirically true (I dare anyone to explain THAT).  If the lights persist “on” after I go for cold shutdown,  the only option available is to “kill” it again with the power button,  however many times it takes,  until all the lights stay off.  And that is quite exceedingly ridiculous!

These problems that I fix by cold shutdowns have to be something traceable to the Windows operating system,  precisely because it is a fresh copy of Windows that is drawn from memory upon restart.  Everything else depends on the operating system.  I’ve seen this before,  with other versions of Windows,  but the time scale between restarts was several days with versions like 98,  even weeks with very early versions like 3.1,  not two lousy days with 8/8.1!  Windows 8/8.1 is quite apparently an unstable disaster,  because of how very quickly it corrupts itself.   And THAT is atrociously ridiculous!

The tech geeks at the store where I bought this laptop also lied to me about installing Windows 7 versus Windows 8.  They said Windows 7 could NOT be installed on this model,  and repeated that assertion when I questioned it.  So I called the actual maker of the laptop:  there are 3 (and only 3) different drivers required to use Windows 7 instead,  all available for free download from the maker’s website.  As best I can tell,  this model laptop came with Windows 7,  before Microsoft released Windows 8 and then bullied everybody into only offering computers with Windows 8 on them.

Windows 8 is a very flawed product,  and absolutely the wrong product to be on any non-touch screen device.  Shame on you Microsoft for abusing your non-touch screen customer base this way!  If there were a viable alternative,  I would never buy another Windows product,  but Microsoft is a de-facto monopoly,  and certainly behaves like it. 

I see by the statistics that a huge number of people have seen this posting.  Bill Gates,  are you listening?

Update 1-7-14:

These slow/incomplete page-load problems are compounded by out-and-out lies the operating system tells me.  Quite often it tells me that it "can't display this page" when an older machine on the same wireless network and internet service is having no troubles at all,  or at worst shows that Google is just running a little slower than usual.

When it starts behaving like this,  the Windows 8 machine does not spontaneously improve,  no matter how long you wait.  The older machine running side-by-side has no such similar problems.   The only "cure" is a cold shutdown and reboot,  and it doesn't last very long (maybe 2-3 days).  The biggest trouble with restarting is that the Windows 8 machine will actually fail to fully shut down,  even with a power-button "kill",  and actually tries to hide that fact!

I have,  on more than one occasion,  found it running "live",  after I thought I had turned it completely off!

Since the menu shutdown option and the power button "kill" are quite evidently not reliable ways to shut down and restart a misbehaving Windows 8 machine,  I have taken to physically removing the battery to "kill" the thing.  I unplug the charger,  and then pull out the battery.  That "kills" it,  and forces a proper reboot.  So far,  it has worked,  but I don't know (1) how long this will continue to be effective, or (2) what damage this may be doing.

It is absolutely unconscionable of Microsoft to force us to use a product this flawed with their near-monopoly market position.  Windows 8 is more evil malware or virus than it is any kind of an operating system on a non-touch screen device.

If Bill Gates will not come back long enough to clean up the mess Microsoft has made of its Windows business,  then I wish the government would bust them up with the antitrust laws.  One way or another,  the current situation is completely intolerable.

Update 1-9-14:

Functionality interval between shutdowns is now down to 12 hours.  Side-by-side comparison still shows slightly-slow Google on the older machine when this one says the web page is unavailable.  Lies!  Lies!  Lies!

It is time to take this POS back to the store and demand that they make good on it.

Update 1-17-14:

Boots with internet light showing are largely unsatisfactory.  Cure seems to be pulling battery pack until it boots without showing internet light.  Then it seems to get better results,  by-and-large.  Today it took 5 battery pack-pull "kills" during reboot,  before it behaved acceptably.  I started with a normal menu shutdown,  but it did not work right:  told me things I knew were lies.

I am getting the most bizarre "hot key" effects that I did not ask for,  as I type at more-than-minimal speeds.  That's one of the things I really hate about both this operating system,  and this keyboard (which has keys too small for my old,  fat fingers,  and which has a reduced spacebar length,  for no purpose I can understand).

Microsoft,  you should have found this posting by now.  I have seen nothing acceptable from you in the last decade.  Nothing since Windows 98 has been in the least acceptable in terms of usability,  and no version of Windows since the beginning has been stable.  

Toshiba,  I hope you are aware of this post by now.  I have alerted you to it,  in the on-line customer feedback to you.  Fix your damned keyboards.

I would rather go back to DOS than use this f***ing Windows 8.  I hope you lose immense amounts of money on this,  Microsoft.  It would serve you right.

Update 1-25-14:

This has to be the very most unstable version of Windows that Microsoft has ever produced.  Absolutely the worst.  None of them since the beginning have been stable,  but this version makes even the infamous "millennium" version look good.

Basically,  to keep it from bogging down on the simplest task,  I have to restart the computer from a cold shutdown every single day.  Note:  this intolerable trouble isn't malware or virus effects,  I run my anti-malware and "crap-cleaner" software every time I restart.

Otherwise,  without a from-cold restart,  it runs very slowly (interminable spinning-circle "busy  signal") and repeatably fails to load even the simplest internet pages fully.

That last requires multiple refreshes to get a page to load,  not just one refresh.  And,  when it gets like that,  it's past time for a shutdown.  I have learned that.

Problem is,  if you don't recognize this BS in time,  you cannot get it to respond to the keys or mouse for a normal shutdown.  Once that happens,  the battery-pull shutdown is the most reliable method,  not the power button.

It sometimes keeps running and tries to hide that fact from me if I just use the power button.  Because of that weird behavior,  to me,  this operating system resembles a virus more than it does a real operating system.

If anybody out there knows a real human contact at Microsoft,  make that person aware of this customer's extreme dissatisfaction,  would you please?  They do a really good job insulating themselves from their customers.

They no longer do even a creditable job developing useful software.

Update 1-31-14:

One thing I have noticed,  doing side-by-side comparisons between my Windows 8 laptop and my wife's earlier-Windows laptop,  is an unwarranted sensitivity to internet slowness.  Out here in the country,  we have internet service via radio link from a cell phone tower.  Inside the house,  we have a local wireless network.

The wireless network inside the house is just not a problem.  Sometimes the cell phone tower internet bogs down to slow speeds,  and I have complained to the provider about this.  But the point is,  the two computers respond differently to it in the side-by-side comparison,  running the same browsers to the same sites.

I can see this internet slowdown as slower-to-load pages on my wife's machine.  On my Windows 8 machine,  I get very erratic performance,  ranging from "page cannot be found" to "host refused connection" to loading text but not images.  None of these 3 outcomes provide any useful service,  of course.

Images that fail to load usually will not load with a refresh,  either.  And if you keep trying to force the image load with refresh,  the software will lock-up,  requiring a shutdown and reboot.  Odd that the older,  supposedly less-capable machine has far less trouble,  isn't it?

I must therefore conclude:  it ain't the chip in the machine (all of those are pretty fast now),  it's the operating system.  Windows 8 just does not work as well as earlier versions.  Given the size and resources of Microsoft,  and the longevity of the basic Windows operating system concept,  there is absolutely no excuse for the problems I am experiencing with "unusable internet",  when older machines still function.

And that is what I am complaining about.  That is what I object to most of all.  That is why I say that Windows 8 sucks!

Update 2-3-14:

The most effective,  least risky procedure I have so far discovered is cold shutdown after no more than 24 hours of continuous operation.  I do this from the normal menu with the charger unplugged,  but,  after it shuts down,  I pull the battery pack to make sure it really stays shut down reliably.  I leave it cold like that for several minutes to several hours,  just to make sure everything internal has fully discharged.

This procedure seems to work reasonably reliably,  although on occasion I have to do it twice before I get a "good" boot-up.  A "bad" boot-up shows up most distinctly as very erratic operation of the browser,  before one even tries to open pages on the internet.  That's very definitely a software problem inside the machine,  not anything to do with internet service connectivity.

If Microsoft had done their job properly developing and de-bugging this Windows 8 operating system,  I would not be experiencing these problems.  I would just merely be pissed off at useless and unfamiliar screens trying to make my laptop look like a touch-screen Apple device.  If I had wanted a touch-screen Apple-like device,  I would have bought one from Apple.

Microsoft has been a de-facto monopoly in non-Apple operating systems for a long time now.  They certainly act like it,  too.  Does anyone else wish Uncle Sam had broken them up?

Update 2-5-14:

So far so good with the procedures adopted per my 2-3-14 update just above,  except:  sometimes Google Chrome very most definitely fails to load in a working condition,  upon reboot.  It takes another cold shutdown to correct this!

That has to be fundamental software incompatibilities between Windows 8 and the Google Chrome browser.


Microsoft's forte was always supposed to be its connections to the internet,  its ability to make browsing easy.  This is especially supposed to be true with the new tablet/desktop hardware and Windows-8 operating system that is supposed to compete with Apple.

Looks to me like it's actually a failure.  At least,  for ordinary non-touchscreen laptops like mine.

Update 5-7-14:

If there's anything I hate worse than Windows 8 (and the above text indicates the EXTREME depth of that hate!!!!),  it's my internet service provider of the last few years: Skybeam.  They had a monopoly out here in central Texas,  and they certainly have acted like it.  I have NOT received the service I have PAID FOR,  for the last several months,  at least.  

That's theft!

These bastards have been a monopoly out here in the boonies of central Texas,  until recently,  and they have certainly acted like it.  I am firing them in favor of the ONLY other provider who has showed up in the last several months,  a provider who guarantees connectivity without "data capping".  

If anybody else has had any sort of experiences with Skybeam,  I really encourage you to comment on this article! An awful lot of people visit this site!  It WILL be seen!

My experiences with Skybeam,  since about a year or so ago,  have been uniformly,  and very egregiously,  bad! Dial-up is faster and more reliable than Skybeam!  If you are served by these charlatans,  I recommend firing them!  As soon as you possibly can!

The more folks fire these bastards,  the sooner they will get the message to transform into a customer-oriented business.  They are so very clearly NOT that kind of business right now.  Money talks.  PLEASE fire them!

All else I can say is this:  if you can possibly avoid doing business with Skybeam,  then avoid it!  DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH SKYBEAM!  You will be sorry,  if you ever do.

Skybeam sucks!  Worse than Windows 8 sucks! 


Update 5-15-14:

We fired Skybeam yesterday,  and hired Air Net as our new service.  Their service is far better,  for only a little more price.  It's nice to have a choice.  Monopolies are bad.  


Update 6-22-2016:  

The new internet provider Air Net has given us far better service than Skybeam ever did.  Sometimes it fails in a storm,  but service is usually restored within minutes to hours.  And it's always much faster.  

My Toshiba laptop died of old age mechanically.  The hinge connections failed.  Plus,  the labeling wore off all the keys.  It's hard to type when you cannot see what key it is you are striking.  I had just replaced its battery pack when this unfixable crap with the hinge occurred.  That pretty much settled it.  

I replaced it with an ASUS laptop originally intended for my wife.  The new laptop works OK,  except that it cannot in any way tell me when the caps lock key has been hit.  No light,  no indication on the screen,  nothing.  It is a very irritating problem.  

What this new laptop lacks is a way to pull the battery to get a certain "kill".  I REALLY do not like that!  The battery is utterly buried within somewhere.  So far,  the power switch "kill" has worked when I need it,  but I would really and seriously prefer to have a battery-pack "kill",  as I fully expect this thing to learn how to ignore a power-switch "kill" the same way the old Toshiba did.  It already ignores me if the charger is plugged in,  just like the Toshiba.  

This thing came from the factory criminally mislabeled:  its label says it's a Windows 8 machine,  but after considerable looking around,  I was able to confirm it is really a Windows 10 machine.  Microsoft really hid the descriptions that tell you what your OS is.  I hate them for that,  forever!

Bottom line:  Windows 10 sucks even worse than Windows 8!!!

There is nothing about it that is in the remotest-sense stable,  and it is even less compatible with other Microsoft products than was Windows 8.  It will not even boot-up correctly about half the time!  And I am clogged and bogged-down with touch-screen crap that I cannot use!  Almost useless.  DOS was far better,  as hard as that was to use.  

This thing randomly bogs down and refuses to "see" keystrokes or mouse clicks,  unless I hit the devices really hard,  which greatly shortens their lives.  I have the worst problems with Microsoft Office 2007 (which is what I had available to load),  but I have seen it do the same idiocy in non-Microsoft software.  Just not as often.  

My typing speed is reduced to 1 single character every second or two when this occurs.  I have to hold the key down for most of that time,  for the keystroke to "take".  Whatever is going on,  there's no indications on the screen or anywhere else.  This is just totally unacceptable.  

Microsoft:  incompatibilities like that are unconscionable and proof of criminally-negligent incompetence.  I wish someone would "nuke" you.  

I will never,  ever buy another IBM-clone PC that runs on Windows.  

I don't know anything about Apple.  Makes no sense to me at all,  never did.  Maybe Unix?


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