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  • The former head of Windows: “Mac will be the ultimate developer PC”

    Home Forums AskWoody blog The former head of Windows: “Mac will be the ultimate developer PC”

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      • #2275522 Reply
        woody
        Da Boss

        I don’t quote Steve Sinofsky very often, but he just posted this on Twitter – and it rings very true. Steve Troughton-Smith: I really hope the ARM tra
        [See the full post at: The former head of Windows: “Mac will be the ultimate developer PC”]

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      • #2275530 Reply
        GreatAndPowerfulTech
        AskWoody Plus

        Sinofsky sold Ballmer on how awesome Windows 8 would be. It would be loved by all. Convinced, Ballmer publicly stated that he “bet the company on it”. Ballmer lost, when he listened to Steve S. Sinofsky, who was very wrong then, and is possibly very wrong now. I think he might harbor a grudge from his quick departure from Microsoft, that is leading him to make this pro-Mac on ARM statement.

        GreatAndPowerfulTech

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      • #2275533 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        Touch is not necessary on a computer. A computer with touch is smudged.

        • #2275536 Reply
          PKCano
          Da Boss

          And the reach across the keyboard is awkward.

          • #2275574 Reply
            OscarCP
            AskWoody Plus

            PKCano wrote: “And the reach across the keyboard is awkward.

            Quite so, as well as potentially really bad for you: an undesirable result of a user repeatedly reaching and touching a screen could be a condition known as “gorilla arm syndrome”:

            https://www.wired.com/2010/10/gorilla-arm-multitouch/

            Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

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            • #2275583 Reply
              cyberSAR
              AskWoody Plus

              Doesn’t work well with torn rotator cuff either. Had to set my mouse and keyboard lower than normal during recovery and it still hurt.

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            • #2275644 Reply
              Ascaris
              AskWoody_MVP

              I’ve been harping on the terrible ergonomics of touch-enabled non-handheld devices since the “touch is the future!” thing started with Windows 8.  I thought I was a lone voice in the wilderness, with the rest of the world intent on cramming that round peg into a square hole (Microsoft, GNOME, Canonical with Unity, etc.).

              I never knew there was an actual name for the fatigue or RSI that would come about from using a non-handheld touch device for very long, or that Steve Jobs had come to the same conclusion.  That article quotes him as saying almost word for word what I have been saying, though he beat me by a couple of years.  I never thought of touch in a PC context until Windows 8, two years after the aforementioned article was posted.

              I’ve read a lot of stuff from people who have touch PCs and all-in-ones, and I’ve asked everyone I run into that has one about this too.  It turns out that very few of them use the touch screen on their touch PCs, and the all-in-ones only see touch used when they’re a tablet, not with the keyboard docked.

              Not only is the PC (laptop/desktop) form factor not conducive to touch, but the many UI compromises that have to be made to make touchscreens work are a really bad deal too.  A mouse or touchpad has a 2-stage point and click, so a level of precision is possible that is not with touch devices.  A 6 inch phablet with full HD screen (1920×1080) will have some six thousand pixels covered by your fingertip when you touch the screen.  Only one can be the “hot” pixel that dictates which UI element receives the tap.  Which will it be?  Only way to know is to try it and see what happens.

              Because of this, UI elements on touchscreen devices have to be much larger than they would be on a display that is used with the far more precise mouse pointer.  On a phone, where screen space is already limited by the need to fit in one’s pocket, a full set of toolbars that are the standard on many PC programs would end up taking the entire screen when they were scaled up for touch, leaving no room for the content– which, of course, is not workable.  Enter the “disappaearing UI,” which was something formerly regarded as bad, bad, bad by UI experts.  It turns out that out of sight, out of mind is a real thing, and the “information scent” of three lines or three dots is a lot less than an always-there “File, Edit, View…” menubar or a full toolbar, such that you would have seen in MS Office prior to their infection with the Ribbon.

              The 2-stage point and click of the mouse or touchpad also allows hover effects, which are very useful in mouse-oriented UIs.  These things tend to be omitted on touch-first UIs, since there is no hover on those, and that’s a real loss.  Hover effects give us a lot of information… they tell us which things on a web page are actionable, they let us know when a UI element can be dragged, or when a resize of an element is triggered.  They can give informational tooltips that can be a tremendous asset when done well.

              What all of this means is that MacOS isn’t “missing something” because it was not written to accommodate touch.  It would be missing something if it was!  You can optimize a UI for touch or you can optimize it for mouse, but either way, using it with the other one is going to be substandard.  Touch UI is substandard just by its very nature, but it’s a necessary evil on touch devices, and one that is well worth it for the level of portability you get with a phone (or a tablet, to a lesser degree).  On a device that has an actual mouse or touchpad, they’re unnecessary evils.

              This goal of trying to create one UI to rule them all has been a fool’s errand from the start, and Microsoft has been one of the fools.  Canonical threw in the towel in developing their own “Unity” desktop environment, which was named for its intended role in unifying PCs and mobile devices, just like Windows 8 was supposed to do.  Of course, they then chose GNOME 3 as their replacement, yet another desktop environment that has the same compromises to accommodate touch.

              GNOME 3 remains my choice for the worst desktop environment, and a lot of people agree… it is responsible for the creation of MATE (the continuation of the older desktop-oriented GNOME 2 that was abandoned when 3 arrived) and Cinnamon (a fork of GNOME 3 that brought back the traditional GNOME 2-style desktop UI with the advances of GNOME 3).

              I’ve long lauded Apple’s Tim Cook for stating that Apple would not be converging MacOS and iOS. He stated, “We feel strongly that customers are not really looking for a converged Mac and iPad. Because what that would wind up doing, or what we’re worried would happen, is that neither experience would be as good as the customer wants. So we want to make the best tablet in the world and the best Mac in the world. And putting those two together would not achieve either. You’d begin to compromise in different ways.

              Like Steve Jobs’ comments about the touchscreen on a PC form factor, Cook nailed it.

              Sinofsky, you were, and are, wrong about touch.  Touchscreens are not superior to discrete pointing devices… they’re a band-aid to make up for the lack of a discrete pointing device and keyboard on a handheld device, which by its very nature puts a premium on portability, at the expense of every other measure of performance and ergonomics.  Grafting one of those onto a PC that has a real mouse/touchpad and keyboard is unnecessary at best… it adds cost, weight, thickness, and complexity that does not need to be there, and it precludes a non-glare coating on the screen (a thing that has fortunately come back into popularity on newer displays).  What a touchscreen does to the UI is even worse.

              I’m a UI purist.  I want excellence in my UI, not just a minimum level of usability.  That’s why I insist on a UI that is not touch-optimized… I specifically want one that is as unsupportive of touch as possible, because that’s how I get one that is completely geared toward the superior mouse.  A Jack of all trades is master of none, after all, and I expect a masterful UI.  I’ve had those for years on the PC, ever since Windows 95.  Why should I be expected to accept an inferior UI simply because some new hardware that doesn’t really have a useful role on the PC form factor exists?

              I don’t care much that the hardware exists, as long as I still have the option to buy non-touch laptops and monitors, but when that existence makes the developers of the software I use lose their minds and start making things like Windows 8 and GNOME, that’s a real problem.  Apple’s tight coupling of the hardware and software could have any adoption of touch on the desktop rapidly degrade the entire Mac platform if Apple were to go down that road.

              Apple, don’t do it.  Pay attention to what Steve Jobs said ten years ago.  Human physiology has not changed since then, and neither has the gravitational pull of the planet, so it’s still going to be an ergonomic disaster to try to use a touch PC for more than a couple of minutes at a time.   If you recognize the poor fit between a touch display and a PC form factor, then there will be no need to wreck the UI to accommodate it.

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              • #2275659 Reply
                OscarCP
                AskWoody Plus

                I wonder, sometimes, when I have nothing better to do, if the people who design touchscreen hardware and software for computers actually use touchscreen computers, or actually use computers at all.

                Maybe they know that cellphones and tablets are, deep down, computers, and those are the computers they have, the computers they are familiar with and all the computers they’ll ever feel any needed to use. And assume that everybody else is like them. Or should be.

                Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

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              • #2276020 Reply
                BobT
                AskWoody Lounger

                ****** **** mate, absolutely spot on with the entirety of your post. I was beginning to think it was just me going mad. Everyone else seems to have an almost cult-like devotion to touch based devices, saying they’re the “future” etc. Well it would be, when that’s the only option you’re given!

                I’m HATING the loss of tool bars, the ribbons, and just general downgrading of UIs into an inferior product to accommodate a feature I don’t use, nor even have on my device!

                Why should my operating system and web browser function like that on my mobile phone, when I’m NOT USING ONE? I have no apple devices, but I respect them for their sound judgement in keeping the interfaces separate, and suitable for each device, rather than taking the lazy way out and just trying to design one, and force everyone to use it.

                On a PC I’m used to CONFIGURABILITY and OPTIONS. Sure include ribbons, but keep the toolbar as an option too! This whole thing of “you can ONLY do this one thing” smacks of holding everything else back for mobile devices.

                Moderator Edit: Language

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              • #2277461 Reply
                Noel Carboni
                AskWoody_MVP

                I’ve come to wonder whether those who tout “touch as the future” never got very good at using the many wonders of mouse/keyboard/screen desktop on a big computer system.

                In my engineering world, a big, powerful, multi-monitor (non-touch) PC workstation is at the center, and the Macbook is an extra off to the side that helps sometimes.

                And the other large mammal in the room is that the PC universe has always seemed to provide more solid business-oriented, serious computing tools than the Mac. Many good tools exist on both, but even with the sometimes significant usability degradations Microsoft has impinged on the desktop, it’s still feels like a bit more solid, buckle-down working environment. Things at the pro level like: Visual Studio Code and XCode are pretty good. Visual Studio is still better.

                A given Apple system MAY be powerful, compute-wise, as compared to a given PC system, but the PC/Windows universe affords more flexibility to build an even more powerful system if you know what you’re doing, possibly for less money. A Mac Pro cheese grater might have a (wow) 28 core Xeon. Hint: You can build a PC workstation on Xeon scalable processors with a LOT more cores than that.

        • #2275701 Reply
          anonymous
          Guest

          As a person who owns a Windows laptop that has a touchscreen, I can tell you for sure that I have never once saw any serious use for the touchscreen. Even more irritating for me is the fact that you cannot disable the touch sensitivity, so it’s always on unnecessarily using battery and waiting for feedback. The only use the touchscreen has ever had is allowing other people to take over my computer by touching the screen, because the touchscreen takes precedence over the trackpad.

          I now use a 13-inch MacBook Pro as my daily driver, and the lack of a touchscreen is a non-issue for me. In fact, MacBooks have the best trackpads I’ve ever used, and it more than adequately makes up for the experience. It makes all of the other trackpads I use feel clunky. I really wish manufacturers would focus on making great trackpads, rather than touchscreens on their laptops.

          When I’m doing work on the laptop, my fingers are on the keyboard. The trackpad is right below the keys so it’s a short reach. I can quickly move a finger over to move the mouse around. It’s fast and efficient. There is simply no reason why I would ever want to lift my wrist up to the screen to touch it, and it’s not because I’m lazy – it’s because it’s slow, unintuitive, and only smudges the screen. Great, now I have to wipe the screen. I wipe my keys regularly because I touch them a lot, but the screen? Really? (If only Apple followed that principle when they made the Touch Bar, but I digress, and a Touch Bar is better than a touch screen that I won’t even use)

          I’m in agreement with Ascaris’s comment except for the comment about touchscreens being an inherent evil. I think that touchscreens serve their purpose well on mobile devices, like phones and tablets. That’s exactly how Apple got their iPhones and iPads out initially, since everything else before either had a physical keyboard or required a stylus to use. Apple made innovations to the touchscreen technology because they were more ideal for phones and tablets. They were wise, however, not to bring it over to the Mac, because they knew it was the wrong thing to use. There’s no one size fits all. I think that should be the main takeaway: what works on one platform may be a terrible choice on another.

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          • #2275760 Reply
            Ascaris
            AskWoody_MVP

            I’m in agreement with Ascaris’s comment except for the comment about touchscreens being an inherent evil. I think that touchscreens serve their purpose well on mobile devices, like phones and tablets.

            They do indeed, but the point I try to make is that a a discrete pointing device is superior to a touchscreen, for the reasons articulated above, but is not practical on a handheld.  As such, a touchscreen is a “next best thing” solution to make up for the lack of a mouse/touchpad.

            The touchscreen is the best suited pointing device yet devised for handhelds, but is still less precise and lacks hover effects, and still requires the UI compromises that lead to less intuitive UIs.  It’s the UI compromises that are the necessary evil, not the touchscreen itself.

            It used to be one of the agreed-upon traits of a good UI that UI elements would not disappear or hide, and the growing complexity of software was one reason that the evolution of PC screens was to continuously get larger, and with higher resolution, since that permitted more always-on-screen options without taking away much of the space for the actual content. The large size of a PC screen, coupled with the precision of a two-stage point and click mouse/touchpad and hover effects, made a lot of things possible that would not be on a touch-oriented UI.

            Those kinds of UIs don’t really work on a touch device, and one of the results of that is that we expect less from phones and tablets than we would from a traditional PC, or I do at least.

            On my browser, currently Waterfox Classic, I have a setup that has a traditional title bar at top, clearly showing the title of the page I am on.  Below that is the “File, Edit, View…” menubar, amd below that, the URL bar with a separate search bar.  Below that is the tab bar, with the new tab button at the far left side (so it is always in the same place… one of those “good UI” things that has largely been dumped from modern browsers), and the close tab button at the far right (same deal).  Below that is the content, and below that is the status bar, including all of my most-used addon icons on the right side, like a system tray for the browser, so to speak.

            This setup gives me more information at a glance than any of the newer browser UIs, and certainly more than a mobile browser where the UI disappears the moment one scrolls down.  I can see the page title, the page URL, the load status of the page, whether the page has any downloadable videos on it, the number of ads that have been blocked, the number of scripts that have been blocked, whether any user scripts have been applied, or whether any downloads are complete… and all of this without seriously impacting the amount of screen space available for the page content.  Each of the addon buttons is clickable to act on the information they are giving, and because the icons are no larger than the icons in the panel (taskbar in Windows) system tray, they don’t take up much room.

            Even on the large screen of my G3 laptop (15.6 inch), the taskbar icons would be too small for reliable touch use, and the same is true for the action buttons on the URL bar.  They’re easy to hit with a mouse, but touch requires more room.  The traditional menu bar is similarly a bit on the narrow side for touch (and I have never seen one implemented faithfully on a mobile), and so are the various options within the submenu.  It works excellently with the mouse, but it would not with touch.

            When I tried Android many years ago, I found only one browser, out of all of the choices, that I thought was decent.  That was Opera, with the Presto engine, before Opera became another Chromium browser (with a UI far inferior to its predecessor).  Even “best in class” Opera presented far less information and was far less intuitive than my PC setup, however.  It was IMO the best suited of all of the offerings of the time for my small (7 inch) tablet, but for my PC, I would be severely disappointed in any browser that was only as good as Opera (Classic) Mobile.

            The compromises Opera made, that they had to make, on the mobile Opera were necessary when it came to mobile devices, but if those same compromises existed on my desktop PC browser, I would not accept it. That’s what I mean when I call the UI compromises necessary evils.

            I expect less from a mobile UI simply because it is a mobile UI, and all mobile UIs have been similarly afflicted from the start, and it is not hard to see that such is the nature of mobiles.  If someone proposes to bring those lowered expectations to my mouse-equipped, non-touch PC, well, then we have a problem!

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          • #2275780 Reply
            OscarCP
            AskWoody Plus

            Touchscreens have their uses, just not in computers and besides those in cell phones and tablets: kiosks, where the public can conduct some transactions, such as buying tickets, applying and paying for a car registration renewal, etc., by pushing the on-screen displayed buttons. Very handy, although perhaps less appealing these days, with the pandemic.

            But even less appealing on card dashboards, in my opinion: I would think one already has enough reasons to keep one’s eyes peeled when driving along heavily transited streets and roads to have the additional need to move said eyes away from what is going on outside to what is on the dashboard and then trying to hit the right button the right way on a screen with several such buttons. Old-fashioned-style dashboards’ physical push buttons were a lot easier to reach and use, and old-fashioned cars had a lot less of even those buttons there. Is not that there was an unsatisfied need for more buttons, but they went out of fashion because those older dashboard designs couldn’t be “cool” enough for the car designers and show-off owners of these days.

            Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

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          • #2275817 Reply
            Ascaris
            AskWoody_MVP

            As a person who owns a Windows laptop that has a touchscreen, I can tell you for sure that I have never once saw any serious use for the touchscreen. Even more irritating for me is the fact that you cannot disable the touch sensitivity, so it’s always on unnecessarily using battery and waiting for feedback.

            Can you not disable it in the Device Manager?

            If you’re a handy type, you might be able to disconnect the connector for the touchscreen to the motherboard, if that does not work.

            My brother inherited a touchscreen laptop with Windows 8 on it, and he never uses the touchscreen either.

             

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      • #2275537 Reply
        Elly
        AskWoody MVP

        yes a computer without touch is broken

        Really? Because of tremor, a computer screen with touch is a frustrating nusiance… and that includes use of iPads, and other tablets. I hope that touch remains something that can be ignored, or turned off.

        @Alex5723 posted about the lack of compatibility with Windows OS with the ARM development. I think that Apple’s decision to embrace Chrome with Parallels, demonstrate with Linux, but ignore Windows OS, might also limit Apple’s Mac as a developer platform.

        I believe that PKCano enjoys using a Mac base, to run virtual Windows OS, and has been able to test updating with them, and thus share updating guides for the rest of us, with great results. If the ARM processors require a complete rewrite of VMs, and Rosetta 2 (for app developers) does not support Virtual Machine apps that virtualize x86_64 computer platforms, that would put definite limits on universal appeal.

        Non-techy Win 10 Pro and Linux Mint experimenter

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        • #2275585 Reply
          OscarCP
          AskWoody Plus

          Elly wrote: “If the ARM processors require a complete rewrite of VMs, and Rosetta 2 (for app developers) does not support Virtual Machine apps that virtualize x86_64 computer platforms, that would put definite limits on universal appeal.

          Well, she beat me to it, so I can only add to that: “Very good point!”

          But definitely not being able to run Windows with a VM when the new Mac’s CPUs start to come with ARM chips is not going to do Apple a lot of good, or to Mac users that need or like to have Windows running on their VM of choice. One would hope that at Apple they (a) realize this plain and simple fact; and (b) act upon it to resolve the VM compatibility issues so Windows can be run on them in an ARM Mac.

          But at Apple they are not always quick to change something, or to do it any time soon, even when the reason for doing so is right in front of their faces. Take their hardware, for example: “butterfly” keyboards; fewer and fewer ports for a smaller and smaller variety of things that can be plugged into them; soldered and glued parts, so they cannot be replaced; a continuous and loud clamor from frustrated and indignant users… Oh well: you get the idea.

          Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

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        • #2275764 Reply
          Ascaris
          AskWoody_MVP

          If the ARM processors require a complete rewrite of VMs, and Rosetta 2 (for app developers) does not support Virtual Machine apps that virtualize x86_64 computer platforms, that would put definite limits on universal appeal.

          It would require more than a rewrite of VM software. It would require the addition of an emulator, since the CPU-level instructions are different on ARM and x86.  Hardware-based virtualization extensions in the CPU allow VMs to run at near native speed when in a virtual OS, but this would not work if the emulated machine and the host machine have different CPU architectures.

          Microsoft already has an ARM emulator for its ARM Surface device, but it comes with a performance hit, as emulators do, and there’s no real way around that.  No matter how good the emulation code, an x86 PC that is roughly as fast as a given ARM device will always run x86 programs significantly faster.  If running x86 programs is something a person wants to keep doing, in a VM or otherwise, an ARM device is not a good choice.  At best, it would be a stopgap measure, something to be temporarily tolerated while everyone gears up to use the new platform… and in Windows, that is by no means a certainty.

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      • #2275542 Reply
        Seff
        AskWoody Plus

        Sorry, but it sounds like complete nonsense to me, which is not that surprising if his track record is indeed the development and promotion of Windows 8.

        I never have really understood why so few people outside of actual users recognise that hand-held devices and desktop/laptop computers need separate operating systems so far as user input is concerned.

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      • #2275552 Reply
        cyberSAR
        AskWoody Plus

        Well my spouse, kids and grand-kids all know if they touch my monitors they lose their fingers! 🙂 Can’t stand touchscreens.

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      • #2275569 Reply
        zero2dash
        AskWoody Lounger

        You can have my keyboard and mouse when you pry them from my cold, dead hands.

        A Raspberry Pi (even a $10 Pi Zero) is just as capable at ARM software development as an ARM-based Mac. Gee I wonder which one is more likely to pass the IT budget muster.

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        • #2276391 Reply
          anonymous
          Guest

          I know AMD was launching an ARM-based dev computer a while ago.  I know because I asked them what the price was ($10,000).  I told them I’d wait until it dropped.

          The hardware inside was quite powerful, much more than any standard ARM-based device; it’s closer to a server than it is to a Pi.  I expect an ARM-based Mac Pro will be the first thing they release.

      • #2275570 Reply
        Microfix
        AskWoody MVP

        Well that’s bordering a new ‘Hackintosh Pi’ which could be feasible in the future.

        | Win8.1 Pro x64 | Linux Hybrids x86/x64 | Win7 Pro x86/x64 Offline |
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      • #2275601 Reply
        agoldhammer
        AskWoody Plus

        How many computer games are written for Mac IOS?  How many parts for Mac IOS systems can you purchase for DIY builds?  How many enterprise organizations use Mac IOS software?  How many Linux and clones of Linux are in commercial use?  Intel is big enough to be able to pivot if necessary.

        Apple will have to provide big price breaks to commercial users if they expect adoption from major companies.  Perhaps they will which will sacrifice their high margin.

        We are still at the point where you can get more bang from the buck from a PC then you can from an Apple product.

        • #2275607 Reply
          OscarCP
          AskWoody Plus

          agoldhammer: “We are still at the point where you can get more bang from the buck from a PC then you can from an Apple product.

          Not quite, at least in sweeping terms, because it all depends on who “you” are, what “you” do, where “you” do it, why “you” do it, what is for “you” “a bang” and what is for “you” an acceptable “bang to buck” ratio. You might be completely right, if “you” are only part of the consumers’ market, but not necessarily if “you” are using “your” computer to do “your” paid professional job. Then things may vary.

          For the people I usually work with, myself included, Macs are generally OK machines for getting done what we need to do – as useful and, in some respects, more convenient than Windows machines (less problems with the software, for one). As a group, we do not play games, or build our own machines to do our work with, or repair them ourselves when they break down; we get them and then use them do our work. (Linux is also OK for doing our work and many of us, myself included, use it as well.) And I know for a fact that ours is not an unusual case.

          Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

          • #2275665 Reply
            anonymous
            Guest

            I think you’re missing their point. Sure, there are reasons that some people need to use or prefer Macs. But those people are already using Macs. The topic here is the idea that, after Apple moves to ARM, tons of PC users will start moving to Mac, forcing Windows to also move to be primarily ARM to compete, destroying the i86 market.

            Their point is that, for a large portion of the market, Macs don’t provide what they need or want. They’re already bad at gaming, and moving to a new architecture will make it worse since PC games won’t be so easily ported over. So PC Gamers won’t move. And then there’s the price-conscious consumer who wants to spend as little as they can to get what they need. And Apple absolutely does not cover that market. They cover a higher end market, and you pay at least a bit of a premium for it.

            That’s not to say it’s a bad move for Apple, or even that ARM won’t become bigger in the laptop space if it succeeds. But it’s unlikely to completely supplant x86 entirely, any more than PowerPC did.

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            • #2275672 Reply
              OscarCP
              AskWoody Plus

              Anonymous: I do agree with everything you wrote, except what you seem to believe was my point.

              Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

              • #2276181 Reply
                anonymous
                Guest

                It’s possible I misunderstood your point. However, I can’t know that since you didn’t tell me what you think I misunderstood. It’s possible that you misunderstood my point. (Or even that we’re both misunderstanding each other.)

                It sure seems to me that your point was that there are some people who get more value out of Macs than PCs. My point, thus, is that this is irrelevant to g0ldhammer’s argument. You appear to have missed their point.

                Their point is not that absolutely no one more “bang for the buck” out of Macs. They are pointing out that those people are rare. The point of their post is to argue against Sinovsky’s prediction that PC will have to move to ARM to prevent Macs from taking over, and that i86 will be gone in two years.

                I added to that argument by saying that all of the people who get more value out of Macs are already using Macs.

                I believe that agoldhammer would not disagree with anything you said. They would just argue that it is irrelevant to the point they were making.

                It definitely seems that way to me.

            • #2275681 Reply
              Ascaris
              AskWoody_MVP

              The topic here is the idea that, after Apple moves to ARM, tons of PC users will start moving to Mac,

              What about an ARM Mac would make it more appealing than an x86 one for the customer?  If Windows users haven’t migrated to a Mac that can run BootCamp and thus use all of their existing Windows software in addition to its own, what about an ARM one that cannot do that would sweeten the deal enough to make all of these people move to the new Mac?

              forcing Windows to also move to be primarily ARM to compete, destroying the i86 market.

              Again, that doesn’t make any sense to me.  How would switching the Windows PC to ARM make the platform so much more appealing to Windows users?

              In large part, people use Windows because of its extensive software library.  One of the keys to Windows’ success has been its backward compatibility, and that has always been a priority for MS.  Moving to ARM would make a lot of people’s software obsolete overnight, and that would mean the competing x86 PC models would still hold a lot of appeal.

              Unlike Apple, Microsoft does not control all of the hardware that Windows runs upon, and MS can’t unilaterally decide to change to a new hardware platform for anything beyond their own Surface devices.  Microsoft’s direct customers for OEM Windows are the hardware vendors, and if the hardware vendors want to keep producing x86 hardware, MS will have a hard time telling them ‘no.’

              As such, there can’t be a hard and fast switchover date with Windows the way that there can be with the Mac. The ARM models, if OEMs chose to make any, would have to compete head to head with x86 models that can run far more software.  MS is already offering Windows on ARM with one of its Surface models, and it hasn’t come close to ruining Intel. If the premise is that ARM would be so good that x86 would not stand a chance… I just don’t see it.

              Apple wants to move to ARM because it would eliminate reliance on external CPU vendors for their own products and allow them vertical integration, much as they already have in the iDevice market. Moving to the ARM hardware platform lets Apple design their own chips and have them made at whatever fab they wish, and if one can’t get what they need done, there are others.

              There are also some potential benefits for Apple being the designer of the CPU and the operating system that it will run.  A move to ARM in Windows wouldn’t make that happen, since the maker of the OS would still not be designing the hardware upon which it runs.

              I think Sinofsky is wrong on every bit of this.

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              • #2276182 Reply
                anonymous
                Guest

                Yep. Sinovsky is wrong. I pointed out what his argument appears to be, then argued that he was mistaken.

                It is not surprising that the guy who didn’t understand why Windows 8 was poorly received doesn’t understand why people use Windows. The guy who tried to pivot Windows to ARM and touch is out of touch with what most PC users want.

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              • #2276447 Reply
                Ascaris
                AskWoody_MVP

                Guess he isn’t one to learn from mistakes. Probably a good thing he’s not in charge of Windows anymore, not that it seems to have improved Windows 10 any yet.

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      • #2275647 Reply
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        This is from the man behind the Windows 8 interface, the worst way to attempt to interact with your machine ever imagined – and I use W8, with Classic Start Menu.

        cheers, Paul

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      • #2275708 Reply
        Simon_Weel
        AskWoody Plus

        My first experience with a touch screen pc was on a HP 150 in 1984, running DOS 2.11. With the simulated Rolodex software provided, this worked quite well. Not so with other software like Lotus 1-2-3 and WordStar; the default Office programs of the time. Keyboard turned out to be much more efficient in those cases.

        Anyway, If Your Only Tool Is a Hammer Then Every Problem Looks Like a Nail. Luckily, we have far more tools nowaday. So it’s a little weird to say every pc needs touch. Like there was a time every pc needed a trackball. And a light gun. And a trackpad. And… etc. IMO, you should choose the tools best suited for a particular job. There’s no one-solution-fits-all.

        As for Apple taking over the PC market in the years to come – I doubt it. Clairvoyants are proven wrong most of the time. Apple’s move should be a development incentive for Intel , however.

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      • #2275721 Reply
        glnz
        AskWoody Plus

        This guy was in charge of Office?

        I’m a hard-working transactional lawyer, and Word is the all-time worst garbage I have used in my long career.  WordPerfect in 1996 was orders better than every single version of Word I have ever seen.  But because of MS’s monopoly position, in 2002, we had to ditch WordPerfect and go to Word.

        And I’m very good with all the technical garbage in Word — I’m much better with Word than any secretary or any other lawyer I have ever worked with.

        Using Word is like having a crippling nerve disease.

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      • #2275768 Reply
        RetiredGeek
        AskWoody MVP

        The team over at the Full Nerd has a different take. See here.

        HTH 😎

        May the Forces of good computing be with you!

        RG

        PowerShell & VBA Rule!
        Computer Specs

      • #2275778 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        Who cares about the underlined OS, eventually everything will be run on a browser.

         

        • #2275818 Reply
          Ascaris
          AskWoody_MVP

          Eventually isn’t now, though, even if that is true someday.  Not every PC is connected to the internet all the time, and they don’t need to be for many things.  I think the “everything will be in the cloud” or “everything will be a WebApp” things are much like the “everyone will leave the PC and move to phones” trope.  A lot of people did, but by now, those of us who remain on the PC platform (Mac included) are here for a reason, or several reasons.

          The OS still matters now, and we can’t know what the future holds until it gets here.

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        • #2276282 Reply
          rc primak
          AskWoody_MVP

          I think you mean in the Cloud.

          Cloud Desktops and how we will connect to them will determine what hardware we will need on our local devices and mobile devices. A Cloud Desktop is a way different thing from connecting through the web browsers as Chrome OS does.

          The problem is, the more our computing activities move toward the Cloud, the less we can do offline or when the Internet Connection is down or misbehaving. Our local devices risk becoming so anemic and atrophied that they won’t be able to run enough software and access enough locally backed up data to work offline during network outages, or from remote locations with poor connectivity.

          As for touch, it’s the only way to point to anything on a small screen. I also have used touch screens on tablets and small laptops without any issues with having to reach in awkward ways. But I am not a touch-typist, so I don’t rely on keeping my hands on the keyboard.  I’ve also used touchpads, and they are generally clunky compared with just reaching out and touching the screen itself. I keep wiping cloths and cleanup solution handy to deal with screen smudging. (Just like for my eyeglasses.)

          Have you ever tried to use a touch screen device when typing anything longer than a Search Keyword?  (OK, maybe a short Text or Tweet.)  A nightmare! Onscreen keyboards are no substitute for the real thing!

          As for Unity and Ubuntu Linux, Lomiri is the new fork of Unity 8, and it is alive and well. Beats Gnome 3, and with X-org, beats Wayland cold. So many things get broken when Gnome-Wayland is introduced! And I mean basic things like showing desktop icons and using desktop launchers. Even the Launcher sidebar is a clunker under Gnome 3. The Unity Launcher Bar is much smoother!

          Apple would be well-advised to maintain x86-64 compatibility and not go hog-wild for ARM architecture. Linux may no longer be limited by ARM issues, but Windows is limited. And so are even the Windows Store Apps. A truly Universal platform is still not possible due to competing business interests.

          As for Sinofsky and Windows 8, I guess I should thank him and his team for their development work there. That’s the OS version of Windows which finally convinced me to become a full-time Linux user. I have never regretted the change I made. And it was all thanks to Sinofsky’s UI design for Windows 8.

          Even for a Chromebook, I chose an Intel based model, and I immediately converted it to run both Chrome OS and Linux. That Chromebook still runs Fedora 32 most of the time.

          And even with Linux, I use touch screen features, trackpad features and keyboard functions, shortcuts, hotkeys and even some Command Line typing. So touch is not my nemesis. It just is not the be-all and end-all for me.

          -- rc primak

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          • #2276449 Reply
            Ascaris
            AskWoody_MVP

            As for Unity and Ubuntu Linux, Lomiri is the new fork of Unity 8, and it is alive and well.

            It was still dropped by Canonical, though. That’s the neat thing about open source… a project does not have to die if its developer decides to “go another way.”

            Beats Gnome 3,

            Ugh, but what doesn’t?

            and with X-org, beats Wayland cold. So many things get broken when Gnome-Wayland is introduced! And I mean basic things like showing desktop icons and using desktop launchers. Even the Launcher sidebar is a clunker under Gnome 3. The Unity Launcher Bar is much smoother!

            I still haven’t moved to Wayland either. Not in any big hurry for it to happen either, as Xorg works just fine for me.

             

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      • #2275827 Reply
        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        I doubt that I will ever be doing my paid work, processing data from NASA missions, with a browser. NASA will send assassins to take me down, no doubt about that. Assuming one could do anything like that with a browser. Which I very much doubt, unless the browser = the operating system of the computer. And even then, I expect that no browsers will be allowed to run such jobs in government computers, for as long as those in charge of them are also sane.

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

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      • #2275829 Reply
        Cybertooth
        AskWoody Plus

        But even less appealing on card dashboards, in my opinion: I would think one already has enough reasons to keep one’s eyes peeled when driving along heavily transited streets and roads to have the additional need to move said eyes away from what is going on outside to what is on the dashboard and then trying to hit the right button the right way on a screen with several such buttons. Old-fashioned-style dashboards’ physical push buttons were a lot easier to reach and use[…]

        That’s one big reason I haven’t bought a Tesla: love the power and acceleration, but on the Model S the controls are off down and to the right on a touch screen. It’s an accident just waiting to happen. The more reasonably priced Model 3 is even worse, in that there is no dash display at all and you have to look down and to the side even to check your current speed.

         

        • This reply was modified 6 days, 10 hours ago by Cybertooth.
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        • #2275892 Reply
          Ascaris
          AskWoody_MVP

          That’s one big reason I haven’t bought a Tesla: love the power and acceleration, but on the Model S the controls are off down and to the right on a touch screen. It’s an accident just waiting to happen.

          I rented a car a couple of years ago so I could take my cat to the vet in the heat of the summer without having to roast in my AC-less car (which is now repaired).  It was a Chevy Sonic, and the car radio was completely touch operated.  What a pain it was to use… because it’s a touchscreen, it requires a good deal of attention to use compared to my old-school half DIN car radio in my own car, which I can operate by feel, only having to glance at the display briefly, after which I could use what I had seen on the display and do the rest by feel.

          I can also do the same with my cell phone, glancing at the display briefly, then doing the rest by feel, as each button is an actual button and has its own tactile feel, with no touchscreen.  I could do it all by feel if I used it enough to actually get a feel for using it blind.

          Of course, my ‘ancient’ phone was made during a time that people thought phones were for making phone calls, not for watching cat videos, playing games, or texting.  People did text on feature phones, but I was never one of them, and I am still not.

          The idea that a PC without touch is broken is part of the same sentiment that brings manufacturers of cars to put in touchscreens, even though they demand undue amounts of attention to use in an environment when your eyes should be elsewhere.  No, every display on any device does not need to be touchscreen!  I don’t need one in my washer/dryer, stove, or refrigerator either, any more than I need the things to be wifi enabled or have any other “smart” features.  I just need things that work efficiently at their given task, not that impress my friends and make them think I am George Jetson.

           

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          • #2276096 Reply
            cyberSAR
            AskWoody Plus

            HaHa! I totally understand! My wife’s car talks to me. I keep yelling shut up, but the lovely female voice keeps droning on and on.

            I like my old truck. She needs a bit of paint but other than that she does what I expect a truck to do and all the parts are where I expect to find them. Best of all it doesn’t aggravate me to death  🙂

            • #2276107 Reply
              OscarCP
              AskWoody Plus

              CyberSAR: Are you referring to an application that (I think) uses the car radio to warn about problems with traffic ahead, including dangerous ones? It is based on contributions phoned in by drivers that have gone already by and spotted them. It is spoken by a female voice with a British accent (in my experience, if I understood it correctly, this is one of several choices.) That is one of the very few “cool” innovations in cars’ cabin equipment I have found to be positively useful, particularly when driving at night down winding hill roads where you cannot tell what awaits past the next turn. I do not have that in my 30-year old car, but I have been the passenger in some of my friends’ that have this and am well-impressed with it.

              And one can turn it off, if feels like driving in silence. Unlike a touch screen in dashboards that one needs to use to turn on and off the heating/air conditioning, choose radio stations, etc., etc., as cybertooth has already explained, was the main reason for not buying a supercool Tesla.

              Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

              • #2276114 Reply
                cyberSAR
                AskWoody Plus

                Not sure. It yaks all the time it seems like. Maintenance schedules, phone calls and text messages when my wife’s phone is near. I finally found a button on the steering wheel to turn the volume down.

                Heck the backup camera alone bugs me. If I don’t cut the grass for a week it beeps when in reverse. Been backing up boats and trailers all my life with rear and sideview mirrors and I find that camera discombobulating.

                I sound just like that old neighbor we used to mess with as kids! 🙂

            • #2276283 Reply
              rc primak
              AskWoody_MVP

              Don’t get me started about interfaces where you have to talk to your devices to get them to work! That is to me a far worse sin than using touch-only to interact with the device. Not to mention totally inefficient for long strings of detailed instructions or commands (known to Alexa as “skills”).

              -- rc primak

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      • #2276088 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        Yeah right. When Apple lowers their prices to reality.

      • #2276102 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        I never have really understood why so few people outside of actual users recognise that hand-held devices and desktop/laptop computers need separate operating systems so far as user input is concerned.

        Simple. It’s marketing. They don’t actually care about the OS so long as it move big new, fancy, shiny hardware that they can charge a premium for.

        • #2276154 Reply
          Ascaris
          AskWoody_MVP

          I read a blog by a UI expert some time ago (can’t remember which it was, and it is not turning up in a quick search) where he opined that Apple’s UI had, as best he could tell, been designed to appeal to people playing with the devices in the Apple store, not to those who bought the things and actually used them.  A very simple looking UI can be appealing to a new user who has no idea what any of the toolbars, status bars, buttons, etc., mean, and reducing the newbie’s apprehension about “this is too complicated!” is a great way to get them to buy the thing in question.

          To those people who are not complete newbies, though, that same display looks like a lot of important stuff is well hidden.  How do I do [x] or [y]?” they might ask, since (unlike the newbie) they are aware of the need to do [x] or [y].  A sparse, simplistic display is not comforting to someone who knows what information has been left out… but those people would not be looking at the offerings at an Apple Store while trying to figure out if they would be able to use it.

          Microsoft seems to have adopted that strategy.  Most everyone has a cell phone, so making a UI that looks like a cell phone might inspire confidence in a prospective buyer of a given Surface device, or any Windows-bearing PC.  As with the Apple example, it’s more about making the sale than making life easier for the user.  Once you’ve bought the thing, they’re more concerned about the next buyer, not you.

          Microsoft has been pulling some form of this since Windows Vista.  In the XP era, I never bothered with themes… I simply disabled the Themes service in services.msc and was done with it.  The appearance reverted to the Windows 2000 classic appearance, and that was what I was after.  I could set all of the colors to whatever I wanted, and that was the second thing I would do when setting up XP.

          When Windows Vista came out, it had a new feature, called the DWM, or Desktop Window Manager.  It’s a compositing display manager, which allows a lot of new things to be done, like vsyncing the entire display for tear-free scrolling, display of real-time screen thumbnails for programs in the background, Aero Glass effects, and many other things.  All modern OSes have them,  and Microsoft’s implementation is quite decent.

          The only problem I had was that if you wanted to use DWM, you had to use an “Aero” theme, and Aero themes did not let the user set the colors (and they still don’t).  They let you set only the accent color and a few other things, but not each color of each element individually as they had from my earliest experience with Windows in 1990 until then. You could still use the “classic” non-composited theme, but unlike the classic theme in XP, where all themes were non-composited, there was no hardware acceleration if you didn’t use DWM, so the visible screen tearing was horrendous, whereas in XP I had never noticed it in ten years of usage.

          The obvious solution to the DWM themes that do not allow color changes, for someone like me who cannot tolerate the retina-searing white backgrounds that MS had hard-coded into all of the Aero themes, was to download another theme from the web.  Microsoft attempted to block this by requiring that all themes have a Microsoft signature, and those that did not would be ignored, the OS pretending they do not exist.  Even kernel drivers on the 64-bit editions of Windows only had to be signed by a reputable certificate authority, but themes had to be signed by Microsoft itself… and they did not offer that service.

          The goal was to prevent anyone from theming their Windows in a way that Microsoft had not specifically approved.  The only reason for this would be concerns about branding… namely, any Windows PC had to “look like Windows,” whatever that meant at the moment.  It didn’t matter to Microsoft if the white backgrounds made using Windows into a literally painful experience, as long as someone who looked over my shoulder would see something that was serving Microsoft’s branding efforts, and in the process, their wish to sell more Windows PCs.

          It’s an industry-wide affliction now, and it goes beyond the things we traditionally think of as computers, since now IoT is a thing, or is a lot of things.  Devices are designed to appeal to a person who plays with it a couple of minutes in a store, not to the people who will own and use the thing for years in their home.  Touchscreen car controls are one such thing… they seem really cool and modern while the car is parked on the showroom floor, and what happens beyond that doesn’t much matter.  Actual individual buttons that one can feel and use without looking?  How 20th century!

           

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          • #2276159 Reply
            OscarCP
            AskWoody Plus

            For the last three and a half years I’ve been using a Mac and haven’t noticed anything the matter with the GUI it came with. It seems to me quite similar to those of Windows and Linux (but with the round  buttons to maximize, minimize and close the windows bigger and easier to click on than those of Linux’s.) Well, I am going to try to find the comment Ascaris has mentioned, to educate myself further on this matter.

            As to glaring white backgrounds: I have experimented with applications that make the background either black, gray or beige, but it turns out, for me at least, the white background, with the screen brightness turned down a bit, not a lot, works better as far as eye fatigue goes. It has something to do with the contrast between text and background. In conclusion: we are all different.

            Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

            • #2276208 Reply
              Ascaris
              AskWoody_MVP

              It seems to me quite similar to those of Windows and Linux (but with the round buttons to maximize, minimize and close the windows bigger and easier to click on than those of Linux’s.) Well, I am going to try to find the comment Ascaris has mentioned, to educate myself further on this matter.

              Linux doesn’t have a GUI, per se. Linux is actually the name for the kernel upon which everything else runs, the GUI included. There are a lot of them for Linux, including GNOME, Cinnamon, MATE, Xfce, KDE Plasma, LXQt, Budgie, and many others.  Within the scope of any given desktop, there are scores of themes that can change the appearance. If you want to have the Mac-style stoplight on the left side of the title bar, you can have that.  In Linux, you can have anything– the sky’s the limit.

              I tried messing with the brightness, contrast, and gamma settings in Windows, but I never could hit upon a combination that dulled the white glare of the LCD panel without making darker elements and images fade into blackness.  It had been so easy in previous Windows versions!

              I ended up using one of several aftermarket patchers to remove the MS signature requirement.  Fortunately, MS never acted to break the effectiveness of the patchers, so a flourishing Windows theming community exists in spite of Microsoft’s efforts.  It’s harder than it needs to be, and even then, you’re stuck with whatever colors the theme author used, or else you’d have to edit the theme yourself, which is what I eventually did. It was more difficult than it had to be, as the only editor I know of is an extremely buggy one, though it worked well if you pushed through the crashes and glitches.

              Now, in KDE Plasma, I can set the colors using a UI and color picker that’s reminiscent of Microsoft’s, except that the granularity of control is an order of magnitude greater.  I have every color just as I want it, in any theme, and none of them need a signature. No reason it shouldn’t be that way if you’re not trying to use my PC to sell your OS instead of serving my needs as the owner of the hardware.

              The blog I read was something like “Tag on UI” or something like that, where the first word was an abbreviation of the guy’s name.  I wish I could remember it, but the lack of success I have had searching for it suggests that it might now be gone.

              One of the things I’ve cited as evidence of the terrible state of GNOME 3 is the lack of a text entry box in the file load dialog.  There’s a secret shortcut (CTRL-L)
              to make it appear, but there is no option for it in any of the menus, nor is there any other visual cue of its existence. GNOME 2 had a button to toggle between the text entry and the path bar, much as Windows has, but the developers have adamantly said that they would never add it back in GNOME 3, and that the text entry field for the location/filename is more of an Easter egg for those “in the know” and not a core feature.

              How can something as obviously necessary as a text box be not a core feature?

              Since then, though, I’ve learned that MacOS, also, lacks a text entry box in the load file dialog. I’ve read about ways to make it appear there also, but I don’t remember them, as I don’t have a Mac. If I have gotten this wrong, please let me know.

              There’s simplifying to the greatest degree possible given the circumstances, making all of the available options as easy to find and utilize as possible, and then there’s just going too far, deleting often-used and necessary features for the sake of new users, who may be intimidated by anything but the most simple UI. The problem with that approach is that new users are only new users for a short time… after they gain a small amount of experience, they’re no longer new users, and the sparse UI that they thought so unintimidating initially will soon be stiflingly simplistic.

              For all its faults, Windows 10 does not assume that you will always want to use the mouse to laboriously click through all of the folders, one by one, then locate the file you want and click on that. That should be an option, but not the only one for people who didn’t think to search the internet for a secret control key combination to make it appear.

               

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              • #2276241 Reply
                Cybertooth
                AskWoody Plus

                I remember the first time I saw an iPad. Guess it was about ten years ago, some friends of ours got it.

                We were visiting and at one point they and my wife went into the kitchen and I asked if I could play around with the iPad. Having received permission to explore, I went at it. It was open to some website on a browser. I managed to scroll up and down the Web page… and that was it: there were no menus and no discernible way to figure out how to do anything on the thing.

                “What a sorry piece of cr*p”, I remember thinking. “Why would anybody buy this??”

                Yeah, I like menus–they give me ideas as to what I can do.

                 

              • #2277527 Reply
                wavy
                AskWoody Plus

                Still seems that way to me, and no back button!!

                🍻

                Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
              • #2276285 Reply
                rc primak
                AskWoody_MVP

                One of the things I’ve cited as evidence of the terrible state of GNOME 3 is the lack of a text entry box in the file load dialog.  There’s a secret shortcut (CTRL-L)…

                We could probably have a whole discussion thread about Gnome 3 and Wayland. But not here.

                I too have found Gnome 3 very limiting. I have over 30 Gnome Shell Extensions just to manage these limitations. Which is, by the way, exactly what the Wayland and Gnome 3 developers want us to do — use Shell Extensions and not the GUI itself for most features.

                I do hope Apple will not become this limiting. But Sinofsky sounds as if this is exactly the direction he wants Apple to go.

                -- rc primak

              • #2276303 Reply
                OscarCP
                AskWoody Plus

                Ascaris: Thanks for explaining about the Linux GUI. That is something important and worth being known in detail.

                I skipped that part to save space and keep my main point from getting lost in the undergrowth.

                Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

              • #2277569 Reply
                OscarCP
                AskWoody Plus

                Ascaris wrote that there is something missing in the Mac GUI: “a text entry box in the load file dialog“. What is that?

                I have been using a Mac for the last three years and change, and have already upgraded to a new version of macOS installed on it since then.

                Nothing I need or care to use, and was also available in Windows 7, is missing there, at least that I’ve noticed. So what is that’s missing there, again?

                Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

          • #2276284 Reply
            rc primak
            AskWoody_MVP

            I have had no difficulty theming my Windows devices. Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10 all have this ability. Even web browsers like Google Chrome and Firefox can be themed fairly easily. There are tools to further customize almost every detail in Windows or these web browsers. You just have to take the time to learn how to use the tools and where to get them.

            -- rc primak

      • #2276316 Reply
        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        Back on the theme of the future of the Mac’s market presence after switching from Intel to ARM CPUs: There has been some comments here making points in favor and against the possible shift in personal computer market dominance, of the mass market one in particular, from MS to Apple because of their choices of CPUs (and one MS is not as free as Apple to make, as MS does not make computers, so any changes are ultimately up to the makers of the hardware Windows runs on).

        I don’t know what the future may bring, but as to its roots in the present, I have what I think is a question not asked so far here:

        Why would Apple be concerned, or even interested in greatly replacing Windows — which is what “greatly increasing its PCs market share” inevitably implies — unless the mass market  presence for Windows somehow collapses as a result of very bad upper management decisions at MS (and “keeping Intel” is not necessarily one of these for that market), only then opening wide an opportunity to take this market over that is too good for Apple’s management to resist?

        Apple is already a surrealistically wealthy company, just like MS, so it is doing pretty well for itself as things stand right now, and probably for at least some years more, if it keeps playing its cards wisely, which it has been doing so far.

        Apple’s Macs have its small, but not insignificant share of the PCs market that is considerable enough to be worth keeping, from a financial point of view, and it still has a faithful following by users that will keep using Macs for as long as Apple’s management does not loose its collective mind and foists on them the equivalent of Windows 8. I cannot rule out that ever happening, but the indications are that, while Apple has committed and continues to commit some blunders (butterfly keyboards, lack of ports and of ports variety, etc), those are more annoying than likely to make people that like Macs swear off using them for ever. And, if I am right so far, then there is no big incentive for Apple to lower prices, either.

        Perhaps more importantly, Macs are no longer the main source of income for Apple, so it can afford to keep its relatively small, but lucrative, hold of the mass market of PCs as it is now or only increase it modestly, without having to engage the now dominant MS in a battle that it does not need right now, or maybe ever.

        If Apple keeps on playing its cards wisely. In my opinion.

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

        • #2276346 Reply
          anonymous
          Guest

          > Why would Apple be concerned, or even interested in greatly replacing Windows

          Mo’ Money!

          More sales => more revenue => more stock price appreciation…
          might possibly factor into executive decision making, no?

          • #2276366 Reply
            OscarCP
            AskWoody Plus

            Anonymous: “More sales => more revenue => more stock price appreciation…
            might possibly factor into executive decision making, no?

            Maybe, I don’t think so, for the reasons i have already explained. By I have no crystal ball…

            Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

      • #2276361 Reply
        LoneWolf
        AskWoody Plus

        Steven Sinofsky.

        The same Steven Sinofsky who said Windows 8 should work the same whether on a phone, a tablet, or a computer, and was proven wrong (Phone? Awesome. Tablet? meh. Computer? GETITAWAYFROMME). That Steven Sinofsky?

        The same Steven Sinofsky who tweeted in the last two years that Windows 10 had crashed on him for the nth time that day, when he was part of the direction that eventually produced Windows 10 (albeit after he left)? That Steven Sinofsky?

        Yeah. I look on him as yet another “visionary” type. Crystal-ball readers don’t always get things right, especially because they often ignore the nuts-and-bolts and their vision doesn’t always match the way everyone else works -case in point, “everything touchscreen”.

        Phone? Well, yeah.

        Tablet? A lot of the time, until you need applications that involve typing.

        Computer? Not for anyone serious and capable of typing 70wpm or higher.

        I have yet to see anyone serious in the computing industry who can eschew a keyboard completely for a touch interface.

        As for the Mac-to-ARM bit, I see Apple’s profit margin going up if their sales stay the same. I see their usability in the enterprise networking environment going down even further, and the walls of the walled garden becoming a domed half-sphere, locking in app sales. I see the Mac becoming even less of a computer that I’d want to use than the butterfly-keyboard models, and I see virtual machine capability going to zero. Machines for individuals, but not for work; and I see C-levels who Apple didn’t tell this fact to going to their IT departments and expecting them to make it work.

        We are SysAdmins.
        We walk in the wiring closets no others will enter.
        We stand on the bridge, and no malware may pass.
        We engage in tech support, we do not retreat.
        We live for the LAN.
        We die for the LAN.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2276370 Reply
          OscarCP
          AskWoody Plus

          LoneWolf: You enumerate the worries many of us have concerning where Apple might be going. However, what is happening with the move to ARM and the Pro workstations seems to run against that, when it comes to the “Enterprise” market, because of the investment there in number-crunchers, even while laptop design developments give valid grounds for concern to pretty much everyone using Macs.

          Overall, I don’t think the situation is anything like cut and dried already. Time will tell if my expectations or yours are the correct ones, or if neither is. And I am in no hurry to find out, or about to start worrying about what might be. But I think chances are not all that bad that I might be guessing right.

          Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

      • #2276465 Reply
        UncleRemus83
        AskWoody Lounger

        Seems like I’ve heard that next year would be the year of Linux or Mac for the past 25 years now.  As much as I despise Windows 10, Mac’s aren’t going to be taking over the world, ever.

        • This reply was modified 4 days, 7 hours ago by UncleRemus83.
        • #2276487 Reply
          OscarCP
          AskWoody Plus

          Even if Macs won’t be taking the world, ever, they’ll be sticking around, probably modestly increasing their share of consumer and Enterprise markets. What Apple is definitely interested in, I believe, is dominating the markets for cell phones, tablets and other things that, as Apple brands them, begin with “i”. That is where they make most of the money and put more of the effort and resources. If they wanted to take over the world with Macs, they will be showing some indications of that already. Innovations such as switching from INTEL’s CISC  to ARM’s RISC CPUs look to me more like a move intended to consolidate and increase their share of the high-end laptops, desktops and workstations segment rather than to grab a bigger share of the mass market. That could well happen and if it does, Apple’s managers and investors won’t be complaining; it might even be a consideration, but I don’t think it is the main goal.

          Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

      • #2276558 Reply
        AngryJohnny75
        AskWoody Lounger

        Sorry Woody, I have to disagree.
        Steve Sinofsky was wrong to cause Windows to evolve the way that it did under his reign.
        And Steve Sinofsky is wrong about most of this, too.

        Will ARM develop a processor in 1-4 years that will have enough computing power to supplant an i9 or a Xeon (or whatever Intel or AMD develops in the next 1 to 4 years)?
        Will macOS on ARM in 1-4 years be as feature rich as Windows is on x86/x64?

        There will be a niche for macOS on ARM but it will be just that – a niche.

        • #2276593 Reply
          Ascaris
          AskWoody_MVP

          Will ARM develop a processor in 1-4 years that will have enough computing power to supplant an i9 or a Xeon (or whatever Intel or AMD develops in the next 1 to 4 years)? Will macOS on ARM in 1-4 years be as feature rich as Windows is on x86/x64?

          Apple designs its own CPUs based on the licensed ARM design. Thus far, they’ve all been mobile designs, optimized for power savings, but they don’t need to be.  Apple’s designs have led the ARM field in performance thus far, so it’s quite feasible that they will be as powerful as a given Intel design from the start, or maybe more so.

          There’s no reason to think that MacOS will have any fewer features than the current version. Apple has the source code to all of it, and they can compile it on any platform they want to. Of course, it will take substantial tweaking to get everything working as well as it can, but it’s not unbelievable by any means that it could be much as it is now (if Apple wants it to be) from the start.

          There is no real question technically that an ARM-based MacOS can be the equal of their current offerings.  The question I have is why Mr. “a PC without touch[screen] is broken” Sinofsky thinks that the Mac, a platform that has thus far eschewed touchscreens, is going to run the table with this new platform, overtaking the x86-based Windows 10 he helped design, which has been touch-oriented for 8 years now, and that holds ~90% of the market.

          In two years there will only be ARM hardware, and in four Intel will just be an ancient memory.  That’s just absurd, and the first thing that crosses my mind is that he left his Twitter account signed on somewhere and someone decided to play a little joke on him by tweeting something so absurd on its face. If he really does believe this, it’s not hard to see how he steered Windows into the ditch. What’s harder to see is why Ballmer let him.

          Intel’s very much present now, and even if it disappeared tomorrow, it would not be “ancient memory” in four years… a lot of the current hardware will still be in service then.  I expect to still be using my G3 and Swift then, and there’s a good chance my Sandy Bridge desktop motherboard will still be in use too.

           

          Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.19.2).

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2276643 Reply
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        Will ARM develop a processor in 1-4 years that will have enough computing power to supplant an i9 or a Xeon (or whatever Intel or AMD develops in the next 1 to 4 years)?

        The new fastest supercomputer runs on ARM CPUs, so it has enough computing power now.
        Current Apple’s CPUs build on ARM are as fast as many Intel PC CPUs.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2276664 Reply
        mn–
        AskWoody Lounger

        If running x86 programs is something a person wants to keep doing, in a VM or otherwise, an ARM device is not a good choice. At best, it would be a stopgap measure, something to be temporarily tolerated while everyone gears up to use the new platform… and in Windows, that is by no means a certainty.

        Well yeah, but possible.

        https://sourceforge.net/projects/pi-qemu-wine/ on running Windows/Intel applications on Linux/ARM: “performance on a pi3 is 300Mhz pentium level” … and that with no commercial support worth mentioning, I believe.

        Now, remembering what happened with Itanium… it was about the same early on but I’m told the performance of PA-RISC binaries on Itanium did eventually catch up, with sufficient design and hardware assist in later hardware generations.

        I’m sure it’s not impossible that Apple might manage to buy that technology research… and ARM does already have a supporting market so it’s not likely to just die off like Itanium.

        And yes, there are many reasons why the x86 architecture continuum is less than optimal for today’s workloads, so I’m not at all surprised if there should be another attempt… by someone. It’s just, Intel and HP just botched what was otherwise in principle a good idea, with Itanium… and everyone got scared.

        • #2276665 Reply
          Alex5723
          AskWoody Plus

          Forget Windows running on Mac ARM. The Mac kit with the cellular A12Z utilizing 4 cores (out of 8 cores) is faster then Microsoft’s Windows 10 Surface X on Qualcomm cx.

          • #2277451 Reply
            mn–
            AskWoody Lounger

            Right, running full Windows/ARM on a hypothetical ARM Mac is just silly, especially when Qemu-Wine can already run single Windows/Intel applications on Linux/ARM… and both Qemu and Wine already run on Mac.

            I mean, IF Apple really is doing this, then having someone port and enhance Qemu-Wine for them should be a no-brainer, MacOS being a Certified UNIX(tm) so all the library interfaces should be there already.

            That should help the cases where there’s one or two critical Windows/Intel applications that just need to be accessible.

            • This reply was modified 20 hours, 56 minutes ago by mn--. Reason: Fixed formatting
            • #2277452 Reply
              PKCano
              Da Boss

              I have been running full Win installations (many versions, including Insiders), not just Win applications, in Parallels VMs for testing purposes and ability to help Users. I am concerned where this will go with the conversion to ARM. Nowhere, it looks like at the moment.

              1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2277454 Reply
        mn–
        AskWoody Lounger

        Hm, I wonder where my post went… mentioning that single application compatibility with Wine-Qemu or something equivalent would be a no-brainer if Apple really is doing this.

        • #2277455 Reply
          PKCano
          Da Boss

          You got caught in the spamcan on edit (edit/submit/edit too fast). The system can’t keep up with your speedy fingers 🙂

      • #2277525 Reply
        wavy
        AskWoody Plus

        No, every display on any device does not need to be touchscreen! I don’t need one in my washer/dryer, stove, or refrigerator either, any more than I need the things to be wifi enabled or have any other “smart” features. I just need things that work efficiently at their given task, not that impress my friends and make them think I am George Jetson.

        The touch screen in the car has got to be THE stupidest move the car industry has done in recent years. ( I also think the loss of the little window in the front of the car is one of the tragedies of out time,so what do i know 🙂 ) A million accidents waiting to happen. Now a screen for the backup camera OK!!

        🍻

        Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
        • #2277603 Reply
          Paul T
          AskWoody MVP

          I love my reversing camera, It’s super easy to see where the parking bay markings are. And the touchscreen is great, although I tend to use voice commands.

          cheers, Paul

        • #2277617 Reply
          Alex5723
          AskWoody Plus

          I love the touch screen in my car’s multimedia system. How else can I scroll 30,000 songs and 200 Video files ?

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