Windows 8.. I just don’t get it…

First the caveats:

  • Remember I said Apple iPad… I just don’t get it… Then promptly went out an bought one. I now use it most days for surfing and checking my emails from bed. 🙂
  • Windows 8 is pre-beta, so hopefully a lot will change between now and then.

I totally understand the concept of the new front screen and the whole Metro thing. Trying to keep a consistent experience between a Windows phone and a Windows touchpad is sensible. Just like the iPhone and iPad. What I don’t like is the fact the tiles are massive and take up loads of space. It just seems a bit silly to me. Why make me sideways scroll when all the initial options could be seen on my 24-inch monitor anyway? From a desktop computing perspective, it is so much worse than the Apple Launchpad (which I also despise) or the GNOME3 Activities screen.

Since I’m running it on a desktop machine, my biggest concern is getting a regular desktop to work with. I can do this by clicking the “Desktop” tile. The resulting desktop is basically Windows 7, which is fine, *except* there is no regular start menu. Clicking the Start button takes you back to the crappy tiled front screen, or hovering in the bottom-left corner presents you with the new menu. What is on this new menu? Bugger all of any use! The search screen is like a really bad GNOME3 “Activities” screen. It requires so many clicks and mouse moves to get where you want to go. It’s wretched. If I were a regular user I think I would probably pin a whole bunch of apps to the taskbar and maybe define a few folders on desktop containing useful shortcuts. Surely the ability to run the old Windows 7 menu would be a welcome addition for the vast majority of users!

Every dialog now has a ribbon instead of a toolbar or menu. This may prove useful for the newbies as it displays functionality that may have been hidden in sub-menus, but for me it is a disaster. The top inch of very window is filled with a bunch of crap that I don’t care about most of the time.

Typically the early releases have lots of tracing code enabled, so I don’t expect the production release will be as slow as this developer release.

So what is the future of the desktop computer? The rumors are that the next iteration of Macs will be essentially running iOS. It looks like the next generation of PCs will be running Windows 8. Although both these OSes seem fine for phones and touchpads, neither of them seem appropriate for a desktop computer. Now I realize that I am by no means a typical PC users, so maybe the vast majority of the PC users of the world will be happy with these changes, but I for one think it is a massive step backwards. It is starting to look like the future of desktop computing is Linux. 🙂 Luckily, I’m already there.

Let’s hope a little sanity returns between now and the production release of Windows 8. If nothing else, just give us a proper menu, or fix that God awful search screen.

Update: Check out these hacks to restore the Windows 7 style menu.



PS. Let’s see if I end up contradicting everything I just said in a few months time. 🙂

Windows Vista gets a new theme called Windows 7…

Let’s see:

  • The install seems no better than Vista.
  • The usage doesn’t seem much different to Vista.
  • Doesn’t seem any faster than Vista.
  • It does look a little different to Vista though.

OK. Now I see. Vista is getting lots of bad press, so let’s put on a new theme and install IE8 by default and tell everyone it’s a new and exciting product.

Amazing. Can’t wait until I can pay cash for it… Not…



Update: Just got back from a mates house. He was running Vista with a Windows 7 theme and it was a struggle to tell the difference. 🙂

Oracle 11g RAC on Windows…

I guess you would have to be in a coma to not notice that Oracle 11g is now out for Windows 32-bit.

To celebrate this release I’ve done an 11g RAC on Windows 2003 article, which is an update of my 10g RAC on Windows 2003 article. With both installations, if you get the networking stuff sorted, the installs are a breeze. Miss any steps out and you’re in for a world of hurt. 🙂



Vista is dead. Long live CentOS…

I’ve been using Vista on my Laptop for a few months, and I’ve tried hard to like it, but the truth is it annoys the hell out of me. This weekend I wiped off all traces of Vista and installed CentOS 5 (x86_64). At last some calm has returned to my world. There will be a couple of applications I will miss, but for the most part it feels like I’ve returned home.

Just for the hell of it, I’ve installed a Vista virtual machine, but I doubt I’ll use it much. If I’m ever forced to use a Windows application I think I’ll run it on an XP virtual machine and avoid the constant barrage of, “Are you sure?” questions.



Oracle Database 10g for Windows Vista…

I’ve been on holiday for a few days, so this latest release passed me by.

Oracle Database 10g Downloads



PS. Please don’t ask me for help installing Oracle on Vista. I’ve never done it and I don’t plan on trying. Instead I would advise you use VMware Server or Virtual Box to run Oracle on Oracle Enterprise Linux. A much neater solution in my opinion.

WordPress, Karate and other stuff…

WordPress 2.1.2 is out. It fixes a big security flaw. Upgrade now!

On Saturday I went on my first Karate course since the knee operation. It consisted of a 1.5 hour session, an hour break, then a 2 hour session. I wasn’t exactly a superstar, but I survived and the knee is still intact. Onwards and upwards.

Kevin Closson’s blog post on Quad-Cores and Oracle licensing is thought provoking, especially the line, “could it be that SE will start to be the preferred multi-core edition?” I’m sure there are plenty of people out there using Enterprise Edition when they could get by with Standard Edition. Perhaps this will swing the decision in the short term. Only time will tell.

Windows Vista is still making people say WOW for the wrong reasons (Falling into the Vista trap). Of course, Slashdot readers have the sort of unbiased reaction you would expect to this article. 🙂



Fame, Fortune and Random Things…

Fame and Fortune

Someone just mailed me to say I’m in the Peer-to-Peer section of the latest Oracle Magazine, with two guys nobody has ever heard of… 🙂

I’ll use this as a stepping stone to get my first movie role, then branch out into a music career, quickly followed by a clothing line and a his/hers aftershave/perfume line. Then, after becoming a billionare I’ll start to doubt my own ability and turn to drugs as a way of hiding my insecurities. During this time, I’ll probably do a little shoplifting, just as a cry for help. Finally, after making a number of failed attempts at rehab, I’ll clean up my act, do a comeback tour and win an Oscar for playing a has-been star who’s trying to kick a drug habit. And to think, it all started with one mention in the Peer-to-Peer section of Oracle Magazine…

Random Things (Like it could get any more random than the last paragraph…)

I nearly got wasted by a big white van this morning. On my way to work I have to drive through Spaghetti Junction and at one point, a sliproad merges into the main carraigeway on a curve. The white van driver obviously wasn’t looking, because he pulled right across and nearly smashed me into a concrete wall. Fortunately, I slammed on my anchors, and just before we were going to hit he noticed me and jerked back onto the sliproad. I felt like I needed a defibrilator for the next few minutes. They say you should do something that scares you every day. That’s today sorted! 🙂

I got the Checkpoint Secure Remote beta software installed on my Vista laptop. It seems to work fine, so that’s a relief.

I’ve bought Parallels as a replacement VMware Server, which currently doesn’t work with Vista. There are a couple of cosmetic things I don’t like about Parallels, but it works and it’s cheap. I don’t know if I’ll stick with it, or switch back when VMware get their act together.

I’m having a love-hate relationship with Vista so far. I’ve not spent that much time using it yet, but I can tell you a couple of things:

  • The searchable menu is great. It doesn’t just search the menu, it displays executables and sub-options of groups like Control Panel or Computer Management. Once you start using it there’s no turning back.
  • The amount of confirmation dialogs required for simple tasks is nuts. I use a login with an account type of Administrator, yet when I want to delete a folder I get the regular confirmation message, followed by one telling me I need Administrator privileges to perform this action, and asking me if I want to proceed. Finally, I get the User Access Control (UAC) confirmation, which blanks the screen when it pops up the dialog. This last one looks a bit like the machine has crashed at first. I tried turning off the UAC, but this makes the red shield appears in the task bar and bubbles constantly pop up saying “Danger Will Robinson”, so I turned it back on. It seems a little over the top. Perhaps I will figure all of this out once I use it a bit more. 🙂
  • The networking on Vista seems a little funky. Connections to Samba shares and other windows machines seem eratic, or impossible. I’ve seen some posts on the net about it, so I’ll have to spend some time reading and playing. So far, I’ve not got a connection to my NAS, which is a pain.