• Who are you? (2024 edition)

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    EDITORIAL By Will Fastie Here are a few things we learned from this year’s reader survey. First, many thanks to the very large number of readers who t
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    • #2639440

      Very interesting results this year, just as last year.

      Some random thoughts:  was there any Linux representation in your OS question?  I’ve started looking into it due to Microsoft’s forced obsolescence of several otherwise strong machines in my house and I like what I see.  Not enough to go over to the dark side completely, but enough to play around the edges!  🙂

      Had the abysmal “improved” Notepad been foisted on us in time for your survey?  I’ve forced it off all my machines and replaced it with NotePad++.  If NotePad++ is what MS was aiming for, it failed completely.  If not, MS still failed completely.

      By all means, keep doing the survey!  If I knew any youngsters, I’d refer them to AskWoody!

       

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      • #2639505

        I was most interested in the results, thank you.

        Please repeat for 2025.

      • #2640248

        Not enough to go over to the dark side completely,

        Not enough to go over to the dark side move away from the dark side

        FTFY ;-D

        the abysmal “improved” Notepad

        Yeah, gotta keep the kids busy, but sure wish they’d opted to work on WordPad instead (e.g., code base, security audit, backwards-compatibility with/support for *.doc file format), and just left Notepad alone.

        I mean, seriously, when using Notepad who has ever thought “Gee, Notepad clearly does an acceptable job as the basic text editor it was always intended to be, but goshdarnit, I really really hope that some day Microsoft integrates Notepad with Copilot!“… anyone? anyone at all?

        Hope this helps.

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    • #2639441

      Very interesting results!

      Please keep doing the survey.

       

      (Perhaps adding a question to determine who uses SSDs vs HDDs as their main drive would yield interesting results)

      My Rig: AMD Ryzen 9 5900X 12-Core CPU; ASUS Cross Hair VIII Formula Mobo; Win 11 Pro (64 bit)-(UEFI-booted); 32GB RAM; 2TB Corsair Force Series MP600 Pro 2TB PCIe Gen 4.0 M.2 NVMe SSD. 1TB SAMSUNG 960 EVO M.2 NVME SSD; MSI GeForce RTX 3090 VENTUS 3X 24G OC; Microsoft 365 Home; Condusiv SSDKeeper Professional; Acronis Cyberprotect, VMWare Workstation Pro V17.5. HP 1TB USB SSD External Backup Drive). Dell G-Sync G3223Q 144Hz Monitor.

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    • #2639472

      was there any Linux representation in your OS question?

      Yes, Linux is used on the primary device by 2% of the readership, as noted in the article. That’s been steady in the four annual surveys we’ve done, with only minor fluctuations that do not allow us to establish a trend.

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    • #2639478

      Perhaps adding a question to determine who uses SSDs vs HDDs as their main drive would yield interesting results

      Frankly, it never occurred to me. SSDs, at least for the boot drive, strike me as inevitable.

      I’ve got five PCs at the moment, all of which have an SSD as a boot drive. One came that way, two I built that way, and the other two were upgraded several years ago. It’s hard – not impossible, but increasingly rare – to buy a PC off the shelf that does not have a boot SSD.

      And except in Apple’s case, they’re getting less expensive all the time.

    • #2639481

      I appreciate the statistical info presented. Please keep doing the surveys. I’ll also recommend your site to others (and younger ones too) Rich

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    • #2639560

      Yes, keep doing the surveys. Interesting to me and useful to you.

      A comment on the age distribution. Several organization to which I belong all have this same problem: aging membership. Apparently, in my experience, the under forty group only wants to strike it rich as a money manager on Wall Street, party, focus on their smart phones, and play violent video games on a high powered computer. They do not seem to have any interest in developing manual skills or gaining in-depth knowledge. I hope that my observations are for a rarely encountered sub-group and not the norm!

      As to computer use, most of mine is on an Android tablet. I use it to track my investments, keep up on the news, watch a movie infrequently, read ebooks (more than 250 over the years), and, yes, read “AskWoody” each week. I use a Windows 10 desktop computer for serious typing of business and personal letters, accessing financial accounts, storing copies of tax documents (1099’s and the like), and for typing comments in this “Forum”. Typing on a tablet is awkward to put is tactfully and on a phone, even worse.

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    • #2639489

      Yes Will, I found the annual survey results to be interesting. Thank you for publishing them.

      I’m in the non-professional group, but I do help others. I’m almost 81 years old, but I didn’t know our group was as old as the survey shows. My experience is that when you get to the 80-years-old group, many people are either really bad with computers, sort of afraid of them, or just don’t use them at all. I’m the electronic communications person on our high school reunion committee, and about 1/3 of our classmates don’t have email.

      Larry Bothe

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      • #2640443

        Lol, I went to my 55th HS reunion last fall and was given the task of hooking up a laptop to the venue’s projection screen so we could Zoom with some West Coast classmates.
        Well, I had never bluetoothed anything, despite having been in the PC service biz for 20 years. I was stumped, one of the highschool aged waitresses had it working in 3 minutes! 😉

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    • #2639504

      Please continue the survey.  I find it interesting.  I look forward to each weeks newsletter.  None of my systems are compatible for Win 11 so I’ll be buying a new Windows PC next year.  Of the 6 PCs I have 3 are running some flavor of Linux.  One is a low end Lenovo laptop I use for browsing(like right now).  The other 2 are even older laptops.  I use them to run either Folding@home or Boinc for primarily cancer research computing.

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    • #2639593

      Very interesting survey, and believe that everyone is being as accurate as possible. I for one, am in the aging, old geezer club. Not quite an official geezer, but slowly treading that way. I’ve always been intested in what the “weekly newsletter” has to say and it’s helped me quite a few times. Just reading is interesting. Knowledge is power, they say, so give me more!

      Building my own systems for 40yrs. I can say I’ve learned a bit, but having the many “experts” here are the best! Mine are all PC’s with Win 10 (SSD boot drives) and at some piont will upgrade, but I always want to see the pitfalls of new systems first. I’m also in the desktop main area, but use the laptop and tablet for ease. Having the mobile computer (phone) is also handy. We live in a tech world but care needs to be taken as well.

      As mentioned, the younger group I know, doesn’t seem to worried about the “why’s and how’s” of computing, as long as it works. I wish more would take an interest in keeping up and learning the “why’s and how’s”. That’s the parental side of me, plus being in the service industry my entire life. Thanks again, and keep it up!

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    • #2639600

      They do not seem to have any interest in developing manual skills or gaining in-depth knowledge.

      At the dawn of the PC age, everything was a desktop. The skills we developed at that time were applicable to personal and business use.

      I hope that my observations are for a rarely encountered sub-group and not the norm!

      It does seem to be

      I use a Windows 10 desktop computer for serious typing

      That’s why we asked readers to distinguish between devices used for serious purposes, not necessarily the device they used most often. My wife uses her phone for everything now, but when she’s shopping or emailing, it’s the laptop.
      a generational thing.

    • #2639601

      80-years-old group

      All the 80 or older folks I know have a smartphone. They may not use email, but they almost all text.

    • #2639604

      I used to be a Windows user, but switched to a Mac four years ago and have not looked back.  I still read and use the Forum, but it seems to have one Windows disaster story after the other and very little Apple input.  I wish Ask Woody would do more to follow Apple, eg Mac updates.   I think that would do a lot to increase readership.  Right now we’re dependent on Apple users like PK Cano and Alex 5723 to report relevant Apple news.

      iPhone 13, 2019 iMac(SSD)

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      • #2640378

        The upper part of every patch watch is about the Apple platform.  I try it make it a point to pull out a relevant Apple tip in every one of my articles.

        Susan Bradley Patch Lady/Prudent patcher

    • #2639605

      the younger group I know, doesn’t seem to worried about the “why’s and how’s” of computing, as long as it works.

      A lot of folks have no idea how a car works, only that it does. Same for refrigerators. Air travel. Gravity. Brain surgery.

      There are many humans who know a lot about a lot of things but, in my experience, none that know everything. That’s okay – I don’t need my airline pilot to know brain surgery, just to be a top-flight expert in aviation.

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    • #2639609

      I wish Ask Woody would do more to follow Apple, eg Mac updates.

      Susan has expanded her coverage of updates to include the Apple ecosystem, especially as it relates to the Microsoft ecosystem. And I follow Apple news, as you know.

      But less than 4% of our audience uses an Apple device as the primary. Furthermore, we asked if readers were considering changing their platform, only 1% said they would switch to Apple, half as many who said the same thing two years ago.

      We’re clearly going to focus on what our readers expect and pay for. And we’ll continue to be watchful.

       

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    • #2639621

      IMHO the results of the survey and the wonderful advice given on AskWoody lay waste to the common trope about us seniors needing our grands to help us with tech!

      May the Forces of good computing be with you!

      RG

      PowerShell & VBA Rule!
      Computer Specs

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    • #2639620

      Wow, didn’t realize most of us are retired. Good survey.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2639634

      Yes, I found the review interesting and useful. Please continue to repeat the survey yearly. And thank you!

       

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    • #2639643

      Yes, I found the review interesting and do hope you continue to offer it annually. Thank you!

      I’ve had a desktop for 30 years, retired at 74 and expect I will always prefer a desktop, waiting until I replace this one to switch to 11, this is 10 Pro, 16GB Ram, 1 tb drive, 2 TB external drive.

      I did have a MacBook but never got comfortable with the command structure, so sold it. I’ve had an iPhone since the 4 and do quite a bit on it, I’ve also got an iPad Pro, 12.9 screen that doubles as a laptop, the functionality being much the same only through apps, rather than programs. But for anything heavy duty I prefer the desktop with my 32 inch HD monitor, older eyes have trouble with small screens. I use the iPhone when out and about, don’t really need to carry a wallet given its features, my whole life is in that thing address book, banking, and more. I use the iPad for evenings when I’m in my living room not my upstairs office where the desktop lives and I am looking forward to the big changes coming to it this year, I use it with the Apple case/keyboard, so typing on it is as easy as on my desktop, the smaller screen is what keeps me from using it more – and that annoyance that Apple does not allow extensions that I find invaluable on my desktop on any browser but Safari.

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    • #2639651

      Enjoyed the report.  Please repeat for 2025.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2640004

      Thx! Pls do keep up the surveys! (I missed taking it to add my almost 60 yr voice).

      I discovered AW 7 yrs ago. Deep gratitude for every moderator, every poster, every replier. So much so, I became a Plus member! Stellar contributors on every level: You share, you dig deep for solutions. Working as IT for firm in ‘80’s (yup old 8” literal floppy’s), never did I expect, as a simple home consumer NOW, to face the huge bewildering issues we all face on both Windows & Apple monthly!! AW helps more than any repair shop. And I try and help others. Much younger than me!

      I so hope the younger gen’s lend their voice here: The speed of change needs their astute input too. What is ‘rote’ to them in their fast-paced tech age is not necessarily so for everyone, even those in their own age group:)

      ‘Giving back knowledge for the good of all’, rather than dismissing this site…don’t just glean for answers, but ADD to topics! What may appear as mundane to you, with unstated possible insight, or skipped over as ‘not worth my time’ seems to have been missed by the latest gen? Sure hope I’m wrong:) The many ‘pedestrian’ issues aren’t always so easy now. We aren’t ‘aging out’, we’re aging In! All voices matter. IMHO. The team & newsletters are amazing! TY!

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    • #2640155

      At 75, and frequently the “young kid” in my social group, I find that desktop usage is highly dependent on the whether they were early adopters of the technology.  If they were, they still appreciate the flexibility and control a desktop provides, be it Windows, Mac, of Linux.  If not, they like the relative simplicity of a phone or tablet.  Interestingly, while the techies still use email, Skype, etc, they are perfectly reachable via text messaging services.  The reverse is frequently not the case.  As others have noted, once you hit “US Presidential Age” the number of never adopters increases rapidly, with communications frequently limited to surface mail and landline phones.

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    • #2640371

      Keep the durvey!

      Moderator Note: You mean survey?  🙂

    • #2640395

      I find that desktop usage is highly dependent on the whether they were early adopters of the technology.

      That’s a good point. An older person who has never used a PC will certainly find them less approachable than most touch devices.

    • #2640441

      IMHO the results of the survey and the wonderful advice given on AskWoody lay waste to the common trope about us seniors needing our grands to help us with tech!

      Indeed.  I recently speced out a new Dell laptop for my granddaughter.  After she received it, I spent two+ hours setting it up on Anydesk, sharing and installing software, etc.

    • #2640866

      Hi my bad for not participating in the survey this year, which I blame on (it’s been a very busy January) getting to the end of the Newsletter and running out of time.  A suggestion, a separate email with the survey link would have, at least for me, increased the chance of me having it in my inbox and clicking on it when I managed to find a moment.

      Otherwise, congrats and look forward to participating next year.

      Take care,

      IT Manager Geek

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    • #2641486

      I’ve helped many friends, neighbors, relatives, and ‘customers’ over the years with Windows machines and I’m still an avid Windows user myself.  But I stopped at Win 7 and now highly recommend Chromebooks when helping out seniors.  They are MUCH less hassle than Windows and easily satisfy 95% of the folks that I assist.  I’m kind of surprised that Chromebooks weren’t queried in the survey.

    • #2641521

      At the risk of going OT, the title of this thread put me in a mind to go here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24wWxeywfZo

      🙂

       

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    • #2641522

      put me in a mind

      I’ll shoot for a more plebian title next yest.

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