• Who are you?

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    #2537505

    EDITORIAL By Will Fastie Here are a few things we learned from this year’s reader survey. First, many thanks to the large number of readers who took t
    [See the full post at: Who are you?]

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    • #2537539

      Your poll results were interesting; I had not recalled that you hadn’t published them in previous years. I hope you will continue to do so in the future. The age and professional status of the respondents don’t seem to be totally surprising. I’m surmising that, on the whole, the AskWoody contributors’ ages are somewhat analogous to those of the subscribers’.

      There are a number of questions that could be asked, but the one I’m most curious about is “Where is this all going?” Several decades ago when I was just starting out, I heard that “the computer field is a young man’s (I guess that would be person’s nowadays) game” and of course I never gave much thought to it, since I was one at the time. But now, as I see some of my clients begin to retire (and even die-off, in some unfortunate cases) I’m really starting to wonder what the future of “personal computing consulting” actually is. I’ve subscribed to this publication since its earliest days, as much for professional reasons as personal, and the survey results tend to indicate that this is the case for many others as well. Since the PC remains ubiquitous, at least in the workplace, I also wonder where the “younger consultants” are going for their support information? (I don’t know of any other newsletter of the AskWoody caliber out there, although there may be 1 or 2) I also wonder what the state of the Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer program (or whatever they’re calling it these days) is. Plus, back when I was taking my certification classes (compliments of Electronic Data Systems), the hardware side was hardly ever mentioned, and that’s obviously still a huge part of the equation. I’d like to see an article (hopefully sometime soon) dealing with both the current and future state of small business personal computer consulting from the peer-to-peer network, hardware and Windows software perspective. Even if smartphones and tablets are proliferating, somebody has still got to take care of the “legacy” systems as the people “our age” start to retire (or otherwise fade away), along with our client base. In other words, when it comes time to “pass the torch”, to whom are we going to be passing it? At any rate, keep up the good work and I hope some of the younger generation will jump on board; they’ve got to go somewhere for their backup resources and professional development. Oh, and I trust that the current publisher, editor & staff will keep on producing the excellent and informational AskWoody Newsletter for a long time yet to come!

      9 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2537515

      Hi Will,

      I think it would be of interest to run the survey again next year.

      Mark

      5 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2537587

      … next year the Windows 11 population will rise to about 38%. Thus the three-year progression will have been 10%, 23%, and 38%.

      Anyone would call that a rather slow burn.

      That slow burn may well be attributable to Windows 11 hardware requirements.  Some folks may not be ready to chuck out good older hardware for new Windows 11 acceptable hardware just for the OS upgrade.

      My NAS is still running Windows 10 Professional because of the hardware requirements for Windows 11.  For its use (NAS) Windows 10 is perfectly adequate, and I don’t yet justify chucking that good-running hardware just for the sake of the upgrade to 11.

      Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
      We were all once "Average Users". We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do with our systems, we don't need anyone's approval, and we don't all have to do the same things.

      7 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2537598

      I agree with prev. posts. I liked the survey and would appreciate an annual review.  Interesting info for ref. in using this venue.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2537607

      Hello Will,

      I find the survey to be interesting and informative. I have enjoyed reading the previous survey results and hope the survey’s will continue.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2537621

      Surprised at the average age, I would have expected younger, like 40, although I am 76, I have been a member since 61 years old.   Thanks for all you do and this interesting survey.  I do offer your newsletter to my children and other younger people.  Keep supplying us with great info. I must admit, I was a dedicated Windows User, until my wife got feed up with the Blue Screen of death.  She went Apple MacBook Pro, and I switched a month later.  Here is the funny part, I have an iPhone, she has a Samsung Android, you figure it out.  Any additional Apple stories are welcome.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2537631

      Thanks for providing the survey, crunching the number and presenting the results. Much appreciated.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2537656

      Thanks for the summary, Will.

      One question occurs to me, and it is directly relevant to the issues of how significant the survey responses are and whether it should be repeated, as well as the significance of any comparison with the previous year’s survey. Please note in advance of putting the question that it does not relate to how many followers the site has, nor how many of them subscribe, the average size of the donation, nor the total revenue received – none of which is any of our business! Nonetheless, how reliable and worthwhile these surveys are does depend – as with any survey or poll – very much on the answer to the simple question:-

      How many responses did you receive, and how does that compare to last year?

      Even if you feel able only to give a broad range and generalised comparison, it would enable us to put the results into a meaningful context.

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    • #2537657

      Good reading; both your survey summary and the comments, above.  I’m in agreement with all the expressed wishes for continuation.  Much appreciated here, as well.

       

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2537663

      I appreciate the survey and the results.  Please continue to do so.

      Thank you.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2537666

      That slow burn may well be attributable to Windows 11 hardware requirements.

      That’s true, but as time passes those requirements are less of a burden. 8th-gen Intel processors were discontinued at about the same time as Windows 11 became available to the market and at that point were four years old. This means that almost any Windows purchased after September 2021 met the requirements. I realize that the full momentum of 7th-gen and earlier systems had not quite dissipated, but they were certainly fading.

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      • #2537705

        8th-gen Intel processors were discontinued at about the same time as Windows 11 became available to the market and at that point were four years old.

        I’m posting this reply from my NAS running Windows 10 Pro 22H2 (OS Build 19045.2604) on ten year old hardware.  It’s doing everything I want it to do, so why should I bin this hardware and replace it with new hardware just to run Windows 11?

        I skipped Vista completely because of hardware requirements and XP Pro running just fine.

        Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
        We were all once "Average Users". We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do with our systems, we don't need anyone's approval, and we don't all have to do the same things.

    • #2537673

      … how reliable and worthwhile these surveys are does depend very much on the answer to the simple question: How many responses did you receive …,

      Not quite. Reliability depends on the percentage of responses received, not the absolute number. The higher the percentage, the more reliable the results. In the direct mail business, 0.5% was considered acceptable and statistically valid; 2% would have put the marketers in a swoon.

      … and how does that compare to last year?

      With that said, I won’t reveal counts because the size of our subscriber base is not a public matter. But I will share percentages.

      • Year over year, our Plus subscriber base grew by 6.9%, for which we are grateful.
      • In 2022, 10.3% of the readership responded to the survey.
      • In 2023, 11.3% of the readership responded.

      Statistically, that makes the results rock-solid. Golden, even.

       

      7 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2537679

        Thanks Will.

        You’ll note from my previous comment that I specifically wasn’t asking about subscriber numbers, I was asking about the size of the survey sample, and not because I questioned the reliability of the results but in order to assess the meaningfulness of the conclusions  that can be drawn from those results.

        I respectfully beg to differ over the primary importance of percentages over response numbers.  10 votes out of 20 responses represent the same percentage as 1,000 votes out of 2,000 responses, but the latter makes for an altogether more meaningful result. The size of the sample really matters in any survey or poll, not least when comparing one year’s results with another’s.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2537678

      “Where is this all going?”

      Well, that’s the question, isn’t it?

      I’ve based my observations of the market on a concept I mentioned to the chairman of the board and the owner of the company for which I once worked, Ziff-Davis publishing. Bill Ziff wanted to know why the magazine he had hired me to edit, PC Tech Journal, was going to work. My pat response was, “Because systems issues never change.” He was an extremely bright man but he was not a computer type, so he asked me to explain. I had to put on my computer science hat.

      At the time, there were three classes of computers – mainframes, minicomputers, and microcomputers. But there was only one difference between them – scale. They were all based on von Neumann architectures (in simplified terms, program and data in the same memory space). They were all programmed in the same way, notwithstanding the difference in programming languages employed. Systems employing these classes of computers were built in the same way. And those system classes looked very much the same.

      And today? 40 years after my chat with Bill? The same. If you were starting from scratch with today’s hardware, you’d evolve software in the same way. Everything is bigger and faster, but fundamentally the same as von Neumann postulated 80 years ago.

      As long as that’s the case, people will have the same fundamental questions about how things work, scaled up to deal with the fantastical speed of things and the overwhelming amount of data involved.

      Will this change?

      I’m not sure I see that event horizon just yet. So until then, we’ll continue to plod along, sharing as much knowledge and providing as much help as we can.

      4 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2537680

      I don’t know of any other newsletter of the AskWoody caliber out there, although there may be 1 or 2

      Thank you.

      But you’re wrong. We’re the only one.

      (I’m paid to say that.)

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2537682

      10 votes out of 20 responses represent the same percentage as 1,000 votes out of 2,000 responses

      That’s correct.

      But my lips are sealed. Note that our budget would not be possible with a small readership. We’re not the Wall Street Journal, and no one is getting rich here, but we’re solvent. The audience is large enough to support that.

      I won’t ask anyone to take my word about this, but I’ll say it anyway. The results are statistically valid, with a sufficiently large response from a sufficiently large target audience.

      Let me add one little story. I’ve not mentioned the results from our 2020 survey. That’s because it was not statistically valid. The questions were not asked as well as they should have been, and there were too many opportunities for respondents to choose “Other” and write in an answer. I mention this because we were completely overwhelmed with data that we could not possibly correlate. Just reading all the “Other” answers to one question took hours.

      That’s all I can say about our audience size.

      3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2537722

      … why should I bin this hardware and replace it with new hardware just to run Windows 11?

      I’m certainly not suggesting you do that, and Susan’s official position is that existing, capable PCs not migrate to Windows 11, at least not yet. There’s certainly a lot of time left before Windows 10 reaches end of life.

      We didn’t ask readers whether the decision to move to Windows 11 was based on purchasing a new PC, which was probably a mistake. My uninformed opinion is that new PCs account for a lot of the growth of 11.

      By the way, my primary backup PC is a Windows 10 system. It’s running on an old OptiPlex that won’t run Windows 11, but I intend to keep that PC going until well after Windows 10 comes to an end.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2542834

        I haven’t binned very many “newer” windows computers. My first computer was a Heathkit H89 running CP/M (ca. 1983). Much to my wife’s chagrin, I have 4 Win XP computers, and one Win 7, still operating but not connected to the internet. I need the Win XP computers because they have software that operate some of my electronic test equipment. It doesn’t run on Win 7 and up.

        My current computer is a Win 10 capable of running Win 11, and I will hold off going to Win 11 as long as there are updates available for 10. As I recall, there were three additional update years available for Win 7, which just recently went unsupported.

        I framed the motherboards from all 12 of my oldest computers and they are hanging on the wall in my Lab.

         

    • #2537749

      Thank you. But you’re wrong. We’re the only one. (I’m paid to say that.)

      I am generally glad that overconfidence has never been a problem. 🫥

      Though the legacy systems and the nonconsistent and nonexistent overlap(s) to the present-always-better generation are a real todays problem i.m.h.o..

      * _ being 20 in the 70's was fun _ *
      • This reply was modified 1 year ago by Fred.
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    • #2537660

      Hi!!!

      The survey is a good tool to gauge where the readers interests lie.

      I am curious like Travasaurus where are the young user support folks getting quality information or is quality in their work going by the wayside.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2537772

      That slow burn may well be attributable to Windows 11 hardware requirements.  Some folks may not be ready to chuck out good older hardware for new Windows 11 acceptable hardware just for the OS upgrade.

      I’d go a few steps further: I’m sure a LOT of the resistance to Windows 11 is Microsoft’s hardware diktats but also in the equation is that people just don’t like Windows 11.  I had a support session with I client just today and asked her when she bumped her machine up to Windows 11.  “I got tired of being nagged about it but I do not like it at all”.

      I think the real firestorm over the hardware diktats has not happened yet, and won’t for another year to 18 months.  This is about the time it will become real to small businesses, not to mention schools, churches, nonprofits and all the other entities for which buying a computer is a significant cost item in the budget, let alone replacing their fleet.  Oh, and how long was it before various government agencies at all levels were still running Windows XP when Microsoft pulled the plug on it?

      I’m well aware that there is an industry article of faith that computers should be replaced every three years, four years at the most.  There may be organizations that have the budget to actually do this but how many are there – really?

      Nevertheless, when a huge segment of the economy starts raising “concerns”, the media will take up the cause because it makes great news: “Mighty Microsoft Is Killing Small Businesses”; the environmental lobby will join the din over the number of otherwise perfectly good computers headed for landfills (even after stops at the electronics recyclers); and, neither last nor least, Congress will conduct investigations and hold hearings.  Yep, there will be fun for all.

      To be sure,  Windows 11 on certified hardware is more secure than Windows 10, and there are places where security is close to a “spare no expense” priority.  But is Windows 11 on “old” hardware not also more secure than Windows 10 on the same hardware?

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      • #2537890

        I’d go a few steps further: I’m sure a LOT of the resistance to Windows 11 is Microsoft’s hardware diktats but also in the equation is that people just don’t like Windows 11.

        I don’t necessarily agree “that people just don’t like Windows 11.”  In its OOBE, maybe not, but the start menu is easily changed and the overall UI can look very much like Windows 7.  I use StartAllBack (which also takes care of File Explorer).  I quite like Windows 11.

        “Mighty Microsoft Is Killing Small Businesses”; the environmental lobby will join the din over the number of otherwise perfectly good computers headed for landfills (even after stops at the electronics recyclers); and, neither last nor least, Congress will conduct investigations and hold hearings.

        In my experience, that ain’t gonna happen.  “Windows 10 Home and Pro , Jul 29, 2015 — Oct 14, 2025.”  This is February, 2023.  A lot can change between now and October 14, 2025, including small businesses updating hardware, Microsoft extending support for security updates, etc.

        But is Windows 11 on “old” hardware not also more secure than Windows 10 on the same hardware?

        Indeed.  And there are numerous ways of installing Windows 11 on unsupported hardware, if one should so desire.  There are options available, and no “official” need to upgrade to Windows 11 until October 14, 2025 rolls around.

        My NAS is DIY, and I could spend ~$500 to upgrade to Windows 11 level hardware.  But I don’t need to.  My ten year old motherboard/CPU is still running just fine.  I’m much more likely to need to replace failing HDD’s than motherboard/CPU.  Plenty of time to budget for a Windows 11 upgrade.  I could upgrade the OS to Windows 11 on it now, using a simple deception in the installation routine, but it is Network Addressed Storage, and Windows 10 is handling that duty with aplomb.

        Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
        We were all once "Average Users". We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do with our systems, we don't need anyone's approval, and we don't all have to do the same things.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2537773

      This means that almost any Windows purchased after September 2021 met the requirements.

      I think you may be underestimating the refurbished/off-lease market.  An i5-6 gen system with 16 GB of ram and an SSD can be had for under $200 today and even i3-3 gen machines are still viable for a lot of work.  As long as the computer is waiting for the user and not the other way around, the computer is fast enough.

    • #2537774

      The age spread was a tremendous surprise to me. I subscribed to the LangaList for years before it had a paid option, not to mention before it began its gestation into Ask Woody. So, yep, I’m one of the more senior fossils… 🙂

      That said, I wonder how the age skew impacts other results. I watch my late-30-something offspring living on cell phones to an extent that is astounding to me. How does anyone get any work done on a screen the size of a bar of soap? And they have smartwatches as well. Those make cellphone screens look positively, well, big.

      I do have a theory about where the “youngins” go for information: Google. I’d be surprised if it (or Bing or Duck-Duck-Go or some other search engine) were not just about everyone’s go-to for immediate answers. But that’s as far as they go. They don’t see the value in developing the deeper understanding that Ask Woody provides.

      My granddaughter started work at a large legal firm, was issued a very nice Surface laptop, and came to me to actually get her VPN working and set up RDP on her office computer. This stuff should have been set up and tested before she ever saw the machine but it wasn’t.

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      • #2548686

        I feel you on this one. My 20-year-old daughter could not care less about “deeper understanding.” She wants info and she wants it now. Zero concerns about infosec in general, privacy, data security, backups, VPNs, and all the things that keep me awake at night. She is happy to drive down the road and flash her phone at every store that takes Apple Pay. RFID? Who cares? Backups? Who needs ’em? I can always find it on iCloud. Encryption? Why bother? I cannot understand such promiscuous computing. Even the concept of balancing her bank account is foreign. “The bank does that for me.” I’m afraid we have raised a generation of sheep being led to slaughter.

      • #2548688

        About computing on a bar of soap: I was a student of user interface design back in the 1990s and Donald Norman, author of “The Design of Everyday Things” was my guru. Everything about the smartphone interface, beginning with the touchscreen and drilling down into the inscrutable prompts and menus, violates everything I learned about user interface design. Yet smartphones have been hugely successful. The least technically-inclined seem to be the most anxious to embrace them. I just don’t get it. I find smartphones devilishly difficult to use, riddled with bugs and security issues, and generally not worth the effort necessary to understand their functionality. I finally got rid of a Samsung Galaxy in favor of a Sunbeam flip-phone designed by Mennonites in Missouri.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2537777

      go-to for immediate answers. But that’s as far as they go. They don’t see the value in developing the deeper understanding that Ask Woody provides.

      That “deeper understanding” really is quite a standard to live up to, and there is only one website that provides this level? as Will Fastie stated in #2537749 ?

      3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2537795

      go-to for immediate answers. But that’s as far as they go. They don’t see the value in developing the deeper understanding that Ask Woody provides.

      That “deeper understanding” really is quite a standard to live up to, and there is only one website that provides this level? as Will Fastie stated in #2537749 ?

      Not one that I have come across, no.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2537839

      I think you may be underestimating the refurbished/off-lease market.

      There’s definitely a market there and has been for a long time. But I think it’s slightly depressed at the moment, accounting for the extremely low prices.

      The reason is Windows 11. It’s the first version of Windows in a long time for which the hardware requirements are at a higher level. Previously, one could buy a refurb machine and pretty much count on its upgradability. That’s not so right now.

      If you need a computer today, are you going to buy one (new or refurbished) that will not run Windows 11, when support for Windows 10 expires well before the expected end-of-life of the new computer? I think not.

       

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2548682

        Using Rufus, I was able to create a Win11 (22H2) bootable flash drive that installed without incident on an 11-year-old Dell Latitude E5530 with an Intel Core i7 “Ivy Bridge” processor. TPM 1.2 was turned off. No secure boot. No UEFI. MBR/BIOS install.

        I did it to see whether I could. Thus far, I hate the interface and would much appreciate articles about making Win11 look more like Win7. I’ve got Win10 beaten into submission using Start10 and Winaero Tweaker, but it appears it will be slightly more difficult to fix Win11.

        The Win11 interface looks almost as foreign to me as the first time I booted a Linux machine. Change for the sake of change without any significant benefit to the user, only more confusion. Another reason I am looking long and hard at Linux.

        • #2548697

          Try StartAllBack. It fixes the Menu/Taskbar to look like Win7/8,1 or Win10 and other things MS messed up with File Explorer and oter context menus. There is a 90-day free trial before you have to fork out a big $5 if you want to keep it.

    • #2537840

      The article mentions passing the word about AskWoody to our younger friends, but it occurred to me that I don’t know how. For example, I have a former ESL student who moved to the States to work for a major tech company who might be interested but I’m not sure how to send him a sample free newsletter. It would obviously not be right to enter his email into the Get newsletter form, so what are my options?

      Assuming many of us oldies have younger friends and relatives who might be interested enough to become paying subscribers, how about some instructions for spreading the good word and/or a permanent link to the free newsletter in each issue for sending via email or copying into Skype or WhatsApp or whatever else is usable.

      3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2537841

      How does anyone get any work done on a screen the size of a bar of soap?

      Well, they do. An Amazon driver has a device (called the “Rabbit,” I think) that is about the size of a smartphone, and it is used throughout the day to conduct business. My plumber took payment using his smartphone. Insurance adjusters don’t use cameras or paper any longer – it’s all on the phone. And I pay at Starbucks using the app on my phone (despite being a “fossil,” as you put it).

      But I can’t be productive that way. Whether coding or editing this newsletter, I need the screen real estate and a decent keyboard. So do most folks who work in offices. My smartphone is handy for dealing with my clients, but I can’t do their work on it.

      4 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2537843

      I’m not sure how to send him a sample free newsletter.

      This is an easy question to answer! Just send them to the site: AskWoody.com. They will see all the blog posts on the home page and they’ll see the newsletter article “stub” posts that are available to the free audience.

      In addition, they can click the Newsletters link in the top menu to see the list of all the published newsletters and alerts and click through to view the entirety of any free issue. If they go back to 2020, they can see all content before June of that year. If you think there is a specific free newsletter that might interest them, you can send them that specific link. For example, the link to the most current free newsletter is:

      https://www.askwoody.com/newsletter/free-edition-a-bunch-of-free-ram-testing-tools-most-called-memtest/

      And, of course, anyone can read the Forums. With registration, all can participate in them.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2537855

      Hi Will.

      I was very interested in the survey’s results.  They are fascinating, don’t you think?  Yes, please do a new survey next year….and publish the results!

      thanks,

      Henry

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2537857

      But there could/should be a link to the free newsletter at the bottom of the Plus edition

      I’ll take that under advisement. We do a lot to promote the free newsletter on the site and in the free newsletter itself. However, I’m sure you can understand our preference for promoting Plus.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2537913

        The free version is by definition a teaser to attract Plus subscribers. As far as I can tell, copying the url of the Plus version to send to a friend doesn’t work. Maybe my buddy didn’t scroll down to it, but I don’t think he could read past the RAM article to see the ChatAI article I wanted to share. I’m guessing the Plus version is somehow linked to my logging in and can’t be forwarded, which seems fair enough.

        Anyway, the point is having an easy link available in the Plus version to send our (younger) friends and acquaintances.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2537866

      But I can’t be productive that way. Whether coding or editing this newsletter, I need the screen real estate and a decent keyboard. So do most folks who work in offices. My smartphone is handy for dealing with my clients, but I can’t do their work on it.

      My point exactly.   Those little buggers are everywhere, including within your readership, but they aren’t where the real work gets done.  Or are they?

      I think, possibly because of the age distribution, your survey is not really reflecting what folks are really using, particularly younger users who have more or less grown up with the little things.    We love what we’ve grown up with, more or less, and 30-somethings and below have grown up with cell phones and tablets.  And, frankly, they still have eyes that can comfortably see the little screens.  🙂

      It’s been interesting to watch the race to extremes  – smartwatches at one end, “phablets” and 30″ and bigger monitors and the other.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2537869

      If you need a computer today, are you going to buy one (new or refurbished) that will not run Windows 11, when support for Windows 10 expires well before the expected end-of-life of the new computer? I think not.

      New, no, because it’s close to impossible to find a new machine that does not run Windows 11, but I have clients who would rather get  – and need – two (or even 3) machines now much more than they need a machine that will officially support Windows 11  in 2½ years.  They are well aware of the “end-of-time-as-we-know-it” but they need those machines now to be in business in 2½ years.

      Also, Windows 11 has been shown to work just fine, albeit with less security, on “unsupported” hardware, and part of me thinks there will be so much pressure brought to bear on Mirsocoft in the last 6-12 months before Oct 2025, that it will relent and allow Windows 11 on machines that do not meet all the hardware diktats.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2537870

      Or are they?

      No, they aren’t. We specifically asked our readership what their primary device was – not the one used most often, but the one that was most important to them. 98% said desktop or laptop.

      I tried to word the question carefully by writing “We are interested in which one you use for the most serious work, not necessarily which you use most often.”

      A younger person working in, say, an Amazon warehouse will be using the company’s computing infrastructure to perform their duties. Those won’t necessarily be full-sized PCs (desktop or laptop); it will more likely be systems dedicated to specific tasks. But outside work, I’m sure that group spends most of its time using pocket devices.

      And our focus is not on them. Their use of technology is more of a lifestyle thing than a technical thing. Here, we talk tech.

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      • #2539049

        I tried to word the question carefully by writing “We are interested in which one you use for the most serious work, not necessarily which you use most often.”

        Ah! For my most serious work, I use a laptop. My desktop is all but mothballed these days, with my Xenia 15 acting as a desktop with my external keyboard, mouse, and display (a 48″ TV) plugged in. But right now I am in the bedroom on my XPS 13.

        As for which I use most often… also laptop.

        I use the two of them each day, quite a lot.  My phone? It’s basically a glorified alarm clock. For checking the time or setting an alarm, I use the phone. If I am out in a store and need to use the calculator to check prices per ounce or some other thing that doesn’t display on the shelf, I use the phone. If I need to call a tow truck because of car trouble, I use the phone. Only the alarm clock bit happens anything close to regularly, though. Mostly I carry it around and ignore it.

        But outside work, I’m sure that group [younger people] spends most of its time using pocket devices. And our focus is not on them. Their use of technology is more of a lifestyle thing than a technical thing.

        Well, for a lifestyle thing, I use… my two laptops.

        As was mentioned earlier in the thread… I am of an age where presbyopia has set in and I can no longer hold the screen twelve inches from my face and expect to see anything (unless my contacts are out, in which case twelve inches is too far to get a clear picture, but I am basically never without them while awake). Computer displays kept getting bigger and bigger, including for us younger (back then!) folks. I loved having a 17, then a 19 inch display in the turn of the millennium era, even as I was in the last years of my 20s and first years of my 30s. Everyone wanted the biggest display they could get… until one day people gave up their 23 inch displays in favor of (initially) four inch phones, which have now grown to ~6 inhes.

        Even with my reading glasses on, even for light web browsing, I find phones so inferior that I can’t imagine people not having at least a small laptop for most things.

        Meanwhile, my brother, a scant three years my junior, uses his phone constantly (even though he has several laptops). He once asked if I had a data plan on my phone, since I pretty much never use it. I do, and most of my data allotment goes unused.

        He uses the phone to navigate to places he’s been to 100 times and could drive to while asleep. He uses the phone for browsing while his laptop is within arm’s reach. He brings the phone into the bathroom, which I never knew was a thing until I read about it in the humorously captioned stock images that are often miscalled “memes.”

        You would think it was a generation gap if we were not only three years apart.

         

         

        Dell XPS 13/9310, i5-1135G7/16GB, KDE Neon
        XPG Xenia 15, i7-9750H/32GB & GTX1660ti, KDE Neon
        Acer Swift Go 14, i5-1335U/16GB, KDE Neon (and Win 11)

        2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2537875

      … it will relent and allow Windows 11 on machines that do not meet all the hardware diktats

      On that point I do not agree. I think Microsoft is done with extended support. It may do something at the enterprise level, but even there I think Microsoft has given fair warning by the way in which Windows 11 was announced. I don’t think it’s going to offer extended Win10 support for small businesses and certainly not for consumers.

      If I was making the decision at Microsoft, it’s the way I’d handle it. Extended support is inevitably a low-margin, diminishing market.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2537903

        So this is where Will and I disagree.  I think they will do ESU for Windows 10.  They MAY however tie it to those with Microsoft 365 licenses.

        Susan Bradley Patch Lady/Prudent patcher

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2537876

      And our focus is not on them. Their use of technology is more of a lifestyle thing than a technical thing. Here, we talk tech.

      But are you not at risk of setting your own end-of-life as a result?  Those dedicated tools you mentioned that are, effectively, data capture devices, are indeed increasing everywhere.  But it’s the tech that many people see the most and use the most.

      I don’t claim to have the answer, an answer, or even a coherent suggestion, but the fact that the readership is so weighted towards folks at the end of their careers (or retirement for that matter – a scary thought!) would not seem to bode well for Ask Woody’s future.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2537879

      I don’t think it’s going to offer extended Win10 support for small businesses and certainly not for consumers. If I was making the decision at Microsoft, it’s the way I’d handle it. Extended support is inevitably a low-margin, diminishing market.

      Nor do I, but that is not the same thing as allowing Windows 11 on what is currently unauthorized hardware. That’s the place I see Microsoft backing down some.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2537880

      But are you not at risk of setting your own end-of-life as a result?

      What? I’m dying?

      Forty years ago I switched physicians. Nothing against the previous guy, who was excellent, but the new guy was (and still is) better. After his exam I returned to his office and asked, “How am I doing?” He replied: “Well, you’re dying. But not anytime soon.”

      But more seriously, yes, we’re aware of our demographic and have been since Susan acquired the business. We have been taking steps to deal with that, which I believe is reflected in the 6.9% increase in Plus membership year over year. We will continue to do that.

      So help us get the message out. Tell someone younger than you about us! Now!

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2538372

        Groucho Marx once said to Dick Cavett, “Don’t cry, young man. I’m not going anywhere anytime soon… Unless you know something my doctors don’t!”

        -- rc primak

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2537881

      … allowing Windows 11 on what is currently unauthorized hardware …

      I don’t see that happening, either.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2537900

        … allowing Windows 11 on what is currently unauthorized hardware.

        I don’t see that happening, either.

        Microsoft doesn’t have to “allow” installing Windows 11 on unsupported hardware.  It’s already possible and not all that complicated to do.  I upgraded the hardware on my desktop June, 2022.  I had been running Windows 11 Pro on its unsupported hardware since October 4, 2021, getting all the Windows 11 updates just as if it was running of supported hardware.

        Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

         

         

        Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
        We were all once "Average Users". We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do with our systems, we don't need anyone's approval, and we don't all have to do the same things.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2537960

          Not only do I have Windows 11 Pro running on no less than 3 elderly Dells, both desktops and laptops (& 1 newer “compliant” one, for a total of 4), but they do all have i7 CPUs and 32GB of RAM in common. The kicker is that they’re all members of the “Windows Insider Program” on the “Release Preview” flight. I’ve experimented with them on both the Beta and the Dev Channels and they seemed to work there too, although I do get periodic reminders that the hardware isn’t qualified but I’ve yet to miss a Windows Update thus far! Now granted, Microsoft could “flip the switch” on me at any time, but so far, so good and they all run acceptably fast. No driver problems either. I don’t mind the risk of being “unsupported” because, among other things, I always keep a good backup handy. And it sure beats the Heck out of buying several new computers…

    • #2537885

      … allowing Windows 11 on what is currently unauthorized hardware …

      I don’t see that happening, either.

      One of us is right.  Soon enough we’ll know!  🙂

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2537888

      So help us get the message out. Tell someone younger than you about us! Now!

      Yes, sir!  🙂

      There have been a number of posts asking for ways to do this.  Here’s another suggestion: gift subscriptions.  Not like magazines do this, where they make it your obligation to renew those gift subscriptions, but a one-off way to sign someone up – after getting their permission! – and pay for the first year.  If the recipient likes the newsletter, they’ll renew on their own.  If not, you’re no worse off than you are now.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2537893

      gift subscriptions

      We do that. Gift Certificates! And that link for that is at the top of every newsletter, Plus or free.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2537908

      Microsoft doesn’t have to “allow” installing Windows 11 on unsupported hardware.

      No, but Microsoft will feel no need to support such situations.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2537916

        No, but Microsoft will feel no need to support such situations.

        In my experience, they did support my shoehorned installation fully.  Having driver updates blocked via Group Policy, the update routine (it appears, at least) did no polling of hardware, just the Windows 11 installation.

        In other words, it would seem that Microsoft would have to code specifically for checking hardware and popping up some sort of warning about “Unsupported Hardware—No Updates Available”.  Microsoft’s desire for the Windows 11 market share to grow leads me to believe that if it’s running on a PC, they will leave it running on that PC and continue to support it.

        Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
        We were all once "Average Users". We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do with our systems, we don't need anyone's approval, and we don't all have to do the same things.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2537909

      So this is where Will and I disagree.

      Uh oh. Maybe I spoke too soon about job security.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2537919

      As far as I can tell, copying the url of the Plus version to send to a friend doesn’t work.

      No, it doesn’t. The Plus version is behind the paywall, so those without a Plus membership can’t get to it, even with the URL in hand.

      Anyway, the point is having an easy link available in the Plus version …

      We’ll think about it.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2537943

      Where are those 20-30 years old geeks Lurking ? on Twitter ?

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2537948

        they have better things to do such as online gaming with friends/teams on dedicated consoles, sporting activities, R&R, a life… to name a few 🙂

        Win8.1/R2 Hybrid lives on...
        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2539131

          they have better things to do such as online gaming with friends/teams on dedicated consoles, sporting activities, R&R, a life… to name a few

          If they consider non-geek things (and yes, gaming on a console is a non-geek thing) to be “better things to do” or even “having a life,” then they are obviously not the 20-30 year old geeks Alex was asking about.

          There are younger PC/tech enthusiasts who enjoy things like building PCs, gaming on PCs, overclocking, and getting their hands dirty in terms of both hardware and software… and discussing all that stuff online. They are talking about doing this stuff… just not here.

          It is not hard to speculate why this site is not popular with the younger geek set.

          Susan comes from a business background, and it looks like a business-oriented site when you start reading the articles. That is not a bad thing… there is a need for that info, and the site provides it. It’s just not the kind of thing that is going to grab the attention of someone who is not interested in business computing, whose main concern is not keeping the PC up and running when updates come in. They see that MS-DEFCON banner, figure out what it means, and it immediately just does not look like a site that they would be concerned about.

          Even if there was an active community of younger geeks here in the forum, a lot of people that happen upon the site through a search (which turned up a result in one of the blog articles) probably would never get beyond that first page to be in a position to see the forum.

          If there was an active community of younger geeks posting about topics of interest to that demographic, though, they would be indexed by the web search engines, and anyone searching on those topics could be directly brought into the forum. If the discussion was to their liking, we just may have a new user. The landing page won’t matter at that point.

          I have searched the web for topics of interest, only to find one of my posts here within the search results, on many occasions. Of course, it is obviously true that the topics that interest me (as the searcher) are the ones that also interested me (the Askwoody poster), but it underscores for me how a general search can pull someone into an existing forum discussion.

           

          Dell XPS 13/9310, i5-1135G7/16GB, KDE Neon
          XPG Xenia 15, i7-9750H/32GB & GTX1660ti, KDE Neon
          Acer Swift Go 14, i5-1335U/16GB, KDE Neon (and Win 11)

          2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2537982

      I don’t mind the risk of being “unsupported” because, among other things, I always keep a good backup handy. And it sure beats the Heck out of buying several new computers…

      Ah, there’s the rub: risk.  What we do in the privacy of our own computer dungeons is known only to … Microsoft?  Do you have a payroll riding on those machines?

      For organizations, this same level of risk could be getting pretty close to betting the business.

    • #2537986

      Microsoft would have to code specifically for checking hardware and popping up some sort of warning about “Unsupported Hardware—No Updates Available”.

      Ah, the code is already written.  It’s what tells Windows 11 not to install on unsupported hardware.  To be sure, there are multiple ways to get by these checks at installation, but there’s no guarantee that Windows Update will continue to be fooled by them.

      • #2538005

        To be sure, there are multiple ways to get by these checks at installation, but there’s no guarantee that Windows Update will continue to be fooled by them.

        Windows Update can be fooled in other ways.

        However be aware that I wasn’t offered the 22H2 feature release on my unsupported Windows 11, I had to once again use the iso method to install it. You download the full ISO to the computer or a flash drive and then run it. It will install just fine.

        Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
        We were all once "Average Users". We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do with our systems, we don't need anyone's approval, and we don't all have to do the same things.

    • #2537987

      Microsoft doesn’t have to “allow” installing Windows 11 on unsupported hardware.

      No, but Microsoft will feel no need to support such situations.

      Indeed!

      • #2538006

        Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
        We were all once "Average Users". We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do with our systems, we don't need anyone's approval, and we don't all have to do the same things.

    • #2537988

      … allowing Windows 11 on what is currently unauthorized hardware.

      I don’t see that happening, either.

      Microsoft doesn’t have to “allow” installing Windows 11 on unsupported hardware.  It’s already possible and not all that complicated to do.  I upgraded the hardware on my desktop June, 2022.  I had been running Windows 11 Pro on its unsupported hardware since October 4, 2021, getting all the Windows 11 updates just as if it was running of supported hardware.

      Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

       

       

      I am curious if your machines have been offered Windows 11 22H2.

      My supported Win 11  machine has had it pretty much since it came out.  My unsupported one doesn’t even know 22H2 exists.  No fuss, no notices, no nothing, but also no 22H2,

      • #2537990

        Unsupported hardware will not be offered Windows 11.  That doesn’t mean you can’t go around the block and install it.

        However be aware that I wasn’t offered the 22H2 feature release on my unsupported Windows 11, I had to once again use the iso method to install it.  You download the full ISO to the computer or a flash drive and then run it.  It will install just fine.

        (note this is offtopic to this thread but just being accurate)

        Susan Bradley Patch Lady/Prudent patcher

    • #2537995

      I’d go a few steps further: I’m sure a LOT of the resistance to Windows 11 is Microsoft’s hardware diktats but also in the equation is that people just don’t like Windows 11.

      I don’t necessarily agree “that people just don’t like Windows 11.”  In its OOBE, maybe not, but the start menu is easily changed and the overall UI can look very much like Windows 7.  I use StartAllBack (which also takes care of File Explorer).  I quite like Windows 11.

      “Mighty Microsoft Is Killing Small Businesses”; the environmental lobby will join the din over the number of otherwise perfectly good computers headed for landfills (even after stops at the electronics recyclers); and, neither last nor least, Congress will conduct investigations and hold hearings.

      In my experience, that ain’t gonna happen.  “Windows 10 Home and Pro , Jul 29, 2015 — Oct 14, 2025.”  This is February, 2023.  A lot can change between now and October 14, 2025, including small businesses updating hardware, Microsoft extending support for security updates, etc.

      But is Windows 11 on “old” hardware not also more secure than Windows 10 on the same hardware?

      Indeed.  And there are numerous ways of installing Windows 11 on unsupported hardware, if one should so desire.  There are options available, and no “official” need to upgrade to Windows 11 until October 14, 2025 rolls around.

      My NAS is DIY, and I could spend ~$500 to upgrade to Windows 11 level hardware.  But I don’t need to.  My ten year old motherboard/CPU is still running just fine.  I’m much more likely to need to replace failing HDD’s than motherboard/CPU.  Plenty of time to budget for a Windows 11 upgrade.  I could upgrade the OS to Windows 11 on it now, using a simple deception in the installation routine, but it is Network Addressed Storage, and Windows 10 is handling that duty with aplomb.

      With respect to users liking/not liking Windows 11: Adding a third-party program to get an acceptable interface proves my point about the Windows 11 native interface. If users found it usable, things like StartAllBack or Start 11 would not be necessary.

      As for the future, in about 3 years, we can come back to this discussion and who had better crystal CRT.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2538008

        Adding a third-party program to get an acceptable interface proves my point about the Windows 11 native interface. If users found it usable, things like StartAllBack or Start 11 would not be necessary.

        Not caring for the UI does not equate to not liking Windows 11.  The UI is trivial to replace.  Do your machines have no third-party utility software at all?  The next survey Will does needs to have the question, “Do you use any third-party utility apps installed in your Windows environment.”  I would imagine most answers would be positive.  Deanna McElveen brings us something new with every newsletter.

        I have never liked the “Special Folders” in File Explorer, so I rip them out root and branch.  That doesn’t mean that I don’t like Windows 11.  I ripped them out of Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, and Windows 7, too.  My point is that Windows is highly customizable outside of Microsoft’s intentions for us all, even if some folks aren’t fully aware of it.

        Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
        We were all once "Average Users". We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do with our systems, we don't need anyone's approval, and we don't all have to do the same things.

    • #2537999

      Unsupported hardware will not be offered Windows 11.  That doesn’t mean you can’t go around the block and install it.

      However be aware that I wasn’t offered the 22H2 feature release on my unsupported Windows 11, I had to once again use the iso method to install it.  You download the full ISO to the computer or a flash drive and then run it.  It will install just fine.

      (note this is offtopic to this thread but just being accurate)

      Neither was my non-compliant machine. I remember you asking readers to let you know how they faired with 22H2 being offered.

      That said, I think your comment is on topic because the topic has veered into dueling opinions on what happens to old equipment between now and October 2025. The fact that 22H2 is not being offered to noncompliant hardware is informative since keeping Windows, whatever version up-to-date is a basic rule of security.

      Now all I have to do is remember the hack I used to install Windows 11 in the first place…

    • #2538050

      Not caring for the UI does not equate to not liking Windows 11.  The UI is trivial to replace.

      You made a specific statement that users did not dislike the native Windows 11 UI and then proceeded to negate the argument by stating you replaced it with a third-party program. Well, DUH!, if you don’t see a problem with the native interface, why did you feel compelled to replace it?

      • #2538236

        What you read:

        You made a specific statement that users did not dislike the native Windows 11 UI

        What I wrote:

        I don’t necessarily agree “that people just don’t like Windows 11.” In its OOBE, maybe not, but the start menu is easily changed and the overall UI can look very much like Windows 7.

        That is not a specific statement that users did not dislike the native Windows 11 UI.  I also dislike the native Windows 11 UI.  Changing it is a trivial matter.  In my experience, it makes no sense to pretend to be stuck with something one can easily change.  It makes even less sense to judge an entire OS on the UI alone.  It’s the stuff under the hood that matters, and where the judgement should be made about whether or not there are improvements to be had.

        Through the years there have been many things about Windows that I don’t care for, but rather than complain endlessly about them, I have gone about discovering how to make changes in the OS or UI to eliminate them.  So far I’ve been successful, to include installing Windows 11 on unsupported hardware.

        Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
        We were all once "Average Users". We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do with our systems, we don't need anyone's approval, and we don't all have to do the same things.

    • #2538260

      What you read:

      You made a specific statement that users did not dislike the native Windows 11 UI

      What I wrote:

      I don’t necessarily agree “that people just don’t like Windows 11.” In its OOBE, maybe not, but the start menu is easily changed and the overall UI can look very much like Windows 7.

      That is not a specific statement that users did not dislike the native Windows 11 UI.  I also dislike the native Windows 11 UI.  Changing it is a trivial matter.  In my experience, it makes no sense to pretend to be stuck with something one can easily change.  It makes even less sense to judge an entire OS on the UI alone.  It’s the stuff under the hood that matters, and where the judgement should be made about whether or not there are improvements to be had.

      Through the years there have been many things about Windows that I don’t care for, but rather than complain endlessly about them, I have gone about discovering how to make changes in the OS or UI to eliminate them.  So far I’ve been successful, to include installing Windows 11 on unsupported hardware.

      We will have to agree to disagree.

      • #2538273

        We will have to agree to disagree.

        Let’s agree to not to interpret each other’s posts into implications rather than what has been written.  That, I would much prefer.  I’m not at all bothered by people disagreeing with me.  What I don’t care for is having my words misconstrued into something I have not written.  I think most everyone can agree with that.

        I use post quotes a lot in my replies in order to avoid misunderstanding.  I quote my own posts for the same reason.  My specific statements are readily and easily available in the thread.

        Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
        We were all once "Average Users". We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do with our systems, we don't need anyone's approval, and we don't all have to do the same things.

    • #2538342

      We can’t be sure whether that will hold true — but if it does, next year the Windows 11 population will rise to about 38%. Thus the three-year progression will have been 10%, 23%, and 38%.

      Windows 10 market share skyrockets, while Windows 7 market share nearly halves

      ..

      According to Statcounter’s latest information, Windows 7 usage nearly halved in February 2023. The operating system’s market share fell from 9.55% in January 2023 to 5.34% in February 2023.

      Similarly, but at a smaller scale, Windows 8.1’s market share dropped from 2.28% in January 2023 to 1.14% in February 2023.

      The big winner is not Microsoft’s newest operating system Windows 11, but Windows 10. Windows 10’s market share jumped from 68.86% in January 2023 to 73.31% in February 2023. Windows 11’s market share increased as well, but only by 1.01% to 19.13% in February 2023

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2538387

        0.9% offline use for Win7 and Win8.1 and/or moved to Linux using that device?
        Wow! Win11 is a shining nugget, congratulations MSFT excelled once again eh /s
        fools gold springs to mind..

        Win8.1/R2 Hybrid lives on...
      • #2538579

        Windows 7 usage nearly halved in February 2023. The operating system’s market share fell from 9.55% in January 2023 to 5.34% in February 2023.

        Windows 10’s market share jumped from 68.86% in January 2023 to 73.31% in February 2023.

        Could be a correlation here; I’m not saying causation.  I wonder how much of Windows 10 market share increase is due to folks leaving Windows 7, but not having hardware capable of running Windows 11.

        Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
        We were all once "Average Users". We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do with our systems, we don't need anyone's approval, and we don't all have to do the same things.

    • #2538390

      Windows 10 market share skyrockets, while Windows 7 market share nearly halves

      But not in our readership.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2538404

      Our readership is ~70 years old yet embrace Windows 11 more than the younger generation ?

      • #2538415

        There’s something to be said about knowledge and experience.

        Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
        We were all once "Average Users". We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do with our systems, we don't need anyone's approval, and we don't all have to do the same things.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2538419

      Our readership is ~70 years old yet embrace Windows 11 more than the younger generation ?

      Of course. We’re experts, with more experience.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2539187

      You would think it was a generation gap if we were not only three years apart.

      I am the eldest of my parents’ three children. We were almost perfectly spaced at 3.5 years. There was not much of a generational gap between us when we were children, but once we reached our teens things started moving very quickly, such that our experiences during that period were very different.

      However, it’s a very personal thing. My wife and I are the same age. I use my “big” PCs for 99% of everything I do, both for work and entertainment. My wife uses her phone for 90% of everything she does and her nice laptop for the rest.

      I used to take a laptop when I went mobile so I could keep work at hand. Now I can do so many of those things on the phone, and that’s the only thing I carry when mobile.

    • #2539194

      It’s just not the kind of thing that is going to grab the attention of someone who is not interested in business computing …

      I believe, but cannot (yet) prove, that it is a question of attention span. We are a long-form publication, not USA Today. The younger generations are very much short-form kinds of folks, raised on a diet of Twitter and Facebook.

      So, I don’t think it’s business vs. consumer.

      We’re in a position to inform, educate, and assist those who tend to use their computing equipment for serious purposes. I’m sure that doesn’t resonate as well with 20-somethings, although we’re delighted to have them in our midst. But I’ll take 50-somethings any day because they are much more likely to see the value in what we do, just like all of you here.

      3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2541545

        I believe, but cannot (yet) prove, that it is a question of attention span. We are a long-form publication, not USA Today. The younger generations are very much short-form kinds of folks, raised on a diet of Twitter and Facebook.

        There is that, and it certainly is a large contributor to the poor quality of a lot of internet content.

        I made a comment the other day how ten-second long “Tik Toks” are often encumbered by huge laughing emojis that remain directly over the content the whole time, along with the caption reading, “Wait for it,” in a ten-second video. I can only conclude that the makers of these things know their audience, and that they know that even a few seconds’ worth of an establishing shot would have their viewers moving on if they hadn’t been told that something funny (as denoted by the laughing emoji) was coming.

        That is a very sad state of affairs. But that’s Tik Tok, a site I have never visited, but that I have (unfortunately) been made aware of by the inclusion of Tik Tok clips into content compilations elsewhere. Yes, I admit, I am a partaker of the main purpose of the internet… funny cat videos! So many of them are taken from Tik Tok, and it has only increased my revulsion for anything related to Tik Tok.

        Having everything available on demand clearly has not allowed the attention span of younger individuals to develop, but these hyper-short form videos just turn that up to eleven.

        Perhaps the paucity of younger adults here is not primarily about the business-related stuff. It could well be that the key factor in AskWoody’s readership skewing older is evident in the survey question where nearly all respondents (something like 97 or 98%) noted that their PC was their primary computing/browsing/etc. device.

        With the younger crowd, that’s probably the percentage that would have said it was their smartphone. Even those interested in PCs (and there are some; PCs are incredibly useful and interesting things) likely still don’t consider them primary computing devices (like an internet appliance of sorts). If the younger individuals use PCs at all, it is because they are enthusiasts, and their priorities differ from those of people who do see their PCs as appliances.

        This site puts a lot of emphasis on keeping hardware working and topics like that. This is what the existing viewership presumably comes here for, and there is value in that, certainly. It just is not likely to be what the younger “geeks” (as it was put in a previous message) are looking for.

        I would say that probably the largest holdout of PC-using younger adults is in the gaming market, and that is decidedly not the focus here. Other “geek” topics that younger PC users might find of interest, like discussing PC builds and hardware stuff, are a little closer, but still, not the main focus here. Neither is overclocking, which is another thing some younger people are interested in. There are also a number of software devs who are younger, and that’s actually a “serious” use of hardware as opposed to gaming or overclocking, but software development is well afield of the focus here too.

        Even if the lack of younger readers is not about the (relative to other sites) business orientation of AskWoody, I still think it’s still about the site’s focus not overlapping with the topics that are of interest to younger PC users. It takes a particular set of circumstances for a younger individual to want to use a PC for anything, since for them the default is the phone, and the site is oriented toward those of us who do use our PCs as primary devices.

         

        Dell XPS 13/9310, i5-1135G7/16GB, KDE Neon
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    • #2539461

      I believe, but cannot (yet) prove, that it is a question of attention span. We are a long-form publication, not USA Today. The younger generations are very much short-form kinds of folks, raised on a diet of Twitter and Facebook.

      I suspect you’re dead on. Not to mention reading the newsletter take a lot of vertical scrolling… 🙂

    • #2539462

      However, it’s a very personal thing. My wife and I are the same age. I use my “big” PCs for 99% of everything I do, both for work and entertainment. My wife uses her phone for 90% of everything she does and her nice laptop for the rest

      Indeed it is. My wife and I both have smartphones and we them for quick tasks (content consumption, very few inputs) but we also have i7-based 15″ HP laptops we take on the road.

    • #2539471

      You would think it was a generation gap if we were not only three years apart.

      Think technology generations, perhaps?

      My brother-in-law worked for a university for most of his life in user support. He observed that keeping up with the technology (hard and soft) was roughly comparable to getting a Master’s degree even three years, over and over again.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2541324

      Thanks very much for survey data – certainly enlightening as is the discussion. Most of the young ones I know, do not tend to write words or more than one syllable, unless condensed. A legacy of the small screen.

      Many of our university students here, are not English scholars.  They cannot spell very well and often use the wrong word (malapropism UK). However, they may have brilliant minds in the fields they are studying.

      Maybe you could hire one for their insight on how to attract the younger techies?

      Yes please for continuing publication of the surveys.

      • #2541555

        Maybe you could hire one for their insight on how to attract the younger techies?

        I don’t think that’s feasible without changing what AskWoody is about. It’s not really about a lack of marketing to younger folks that prevents them from coming in greater numbers. It’s that the way they are interested in tech is not the way that the existing readership here is interested in tech.

        The younger set pretty much universally uses phones as the primary computing device, but even then, few are actually interested in the tech itself. Contrary to what a lot of people seem to believe, younger people are not all tech experts by virtue of being “digital natives,” as they used to be called. Most of them know very little about the tech that makes their “fondleslabs” work. It simply does not interest them.

        It’s similar to the difference between someone who has a car, drives it daily, and who may really like that specific vehicle, but who has no idea or interest in how any of its various systems work, and a “gearhead.”

        “Gearheads,” like their PC-enthusiast counterparts, are interested in the actual hardware (and software, if any) and knowing how it all works, and it is often the case that working on or modifying the thing is as much or more fun as actually driving it. I am that way with cars and computers (and many other things). It is my guess that younger individuals who are interested in PCs are of this type, and this site’s not really about that.

        Dell XPS 13/9310, i5-1135G7/16GB, KDE Neon
        XPG Xenia 15, i7-9750H/32GB & GTX1660ti, KDE Neon
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        2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2541551

      Maybe you could hire one for their insight on how to attract the younger techies?

      I’m looking. Results so far have not been encouraging, but I’ll push forward.

    • #2541554

      I still think it’s still about the site’s focus not overlapping with the topics that are of interest to younger PC users.

      If you own and drive a car, your age doesn’t matter. You still must deal with loans, insurance, and upkeep.

      Likewise, the user of a PC must deal with the reality of it. What we do can help.

      We welcome anyone, of any age. But I’ll be happy to get more 50-somethings in our readership.

      • #2541568

        If you own and drive a car, your age doesn’t matter. You still must deal with loans, insurance, and upkeep. Likewise, the user of a PC must deal with the reality of it. What we do can help.

        Heh, I just used that analogy in this thread a moment ago. Maybe you’re reading that now as I am reading your reply to my other post!

        Lots of people use cars without being “car people,” or “gearheads” as I called them in the previous reply. Their needs, if they were to read a publication about cars, will be different than those of “gearheads,” who would want more advanced content than what “I just need to get to work” regular people would.

        There are essentially no younger people in the “regular user” category, as far as I know. If they are using PCs at all, it is because they are PC enthusiasts for one reason or another. They probably already know how to keep the PC running, and the more advanced content they would want would not serve the existing users of this site. It would change what the site is about.

        While these younger PC using people may be phone-first users where I am not, I am in the “PC enthusiast” category, and there are a lot of things that I, for my own benefit, would rather read than what is published here. But that’s not what this site is about… it is not about gaming, or PC building, or overclocking, or any of my favorite bits about PCs. There is an existing readership who would not welcome those changes, and I can’t blame them.

        I go elsewhere for those kinds of content. I’m not even a Windows user anymore! I’m mostly still here as a holdover from when Woody used to post biting commentary of Microsoft’s latest antics, back when 10 was new, back when my own outrage over what Windows (my “home” of the last 25 years at that point) had become was fresh. I wanted to see someone telling it as it is, in the hope that MS would relent.

        They haven’t. I left Windows, and now I come here mostly to help others and post about whatever computing topic may be on my mind at a certain point. As a PC enthusiast, most of what is in the newsletters or blog posts doesn’t really interest me all that much. It’s mostly stuff I already know or that is not relevant to me. But it IS useful to many people, and I would not change it if I was in charge. If you can add to it without taking away the main focus, that would be one thing, but that often doesn’t work out.

        You are right, of course, about age not really being the determining factor, but I use that as a proxy for someone on the other side of the “phone” divide. If you use a phone as your primary or only computing device, you’re “young,” regardless of age. I’m younger than the average here by a few decades, but I’m “old” in the sense that I use PCs pretty much exclusively.

         

         

        Dell XPS 13/9310, i5-1135G7/16GB, KDE Neon
        XPG Xenia 15, i7-9750H/32GB & GTX1660ti, KDE Neon
        Acer Swift Go 14, i5-1335U/16GB, KDE Neon (and Win 11)

    • #2541612

      No, they aren’t. We specifically asked our readership what their primary device was – not the one used most often, but the one that was most important to them. 98% said desktop or laptop.

      Gosh that sounded the same to me

      🍻

      Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
    • #2542826

      Yes, by all means continue the annual “Who are you” questionnaire.  Thanks for publishing the 2022 results.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2542865

      I framed the motherboards from all 12 of my oldest computers and they are hanging on the wall in my Lab.

      Computer museum stuff! I wish I’d had the foresight to do the same.

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