Different take on customers; for the love of God learn how to use it

Why does this program ask me this? What is this message that Windows is showing me? Why can’t my phone do this? Why can’t I tweak my Mac for better performance? Why is there a virus in my computer? Why won’t this computer work? These are questions that I’ve heard too many times, especially the last one.

Self-repair manifesto
is something I expect everybody to follow to a limited extent. The idea of can’t fix it myself, can’t own it is a bit extreme for the common folks out there, but it has the correct core in there. While I agree that some things are beyond the repairs of a mortal man and better left for fixing gods at your local shop, I’m truly expecting people to know how their devices and household items work. A surprisingly small amount of people know how their vacuum cleaner or microwave oven works, and that’s a bit alarming. In cooking, if you know how stuff works and what they do, cooking becomes both easier and much entertaining in its own rights. Then again, cooking for one isn’t the most riveting thing to do. Trust me on this. 

I recommend everybody to open some of their devices and just take a look inside what they have and just take a look at what they have inside and familiarise yourself with it. See where the power switch is, what kind of chip is attached to it, what things are in the way and how they’re all connected. Using a reference guide on what certain parts are helps a lot. For example, knowing what is a capacitor and what it does helps on the long run. If one blows up, you might want to learn how to solder in order to replace one and fix the device by yourself. Soldering isn’t hard to learn, but just like everything else, it takes some training to get the idea and become good at it.

With computers in the software side I can only blame people who never wanted to know how their system works and just want to use it without anything getting in their way. Windows Vista’s infamous security system which asked if you really wanted to do something was a direct result of people not understanding what they were doing. If something is made foolproof, it seems that its utility is almost completely lost. This in most cases also prevents the user from making tweaks and adjustments for the device as they see fit and modify it as they like. It’s pretty stupid to think that the more simplified systems get, the more text and holding the users’ hands we get, which just pisses other people off.

Windows 8 is actually a good example of this. Where Microsoft wanted to go with Windows 8 was to have it more open for the common folk who were using tablet, but what they designed was one of the worst interfaces I’ve seen in a long time. It’s a horrible GUI (look it up), even for tablets. But no, certain groups within Microsoft thought that it was best idea to make everything more simple and easier to understand, which ended up with the version we have. Honestly, Windows 8 is horribly designed, especially in home PC use.It’s just so awful to use, switching between two views and neither is completely supported. Microsoft really dropped the ball here.

And you know the reason why Microsoft thought Windows 8 was a good idea? Because there is a bunch of stupid people who just don’t want to learn how to use the goddamn operating system. In other words, the customers are stupid enough NOT to want to get into what they’re using.

I’ve said that I’ve got nothing against Apple products, I just don’t like how closed they are. But for the love of Quantum conductor, they are not any better than the competing product. You’re just too damn inept to learn what to do with them. Most Apple products, like the Macintosh PCs, are a good example of decent balance between openness and closed system; you really can’t do anything to change or tweak it, but on the other hand everything works just fine most of the time. If something goes wrong, then you’re screwed and need to contact Apple services for help. Oh but with PCs everything just crashes all the time. First, I hope you realize that Macs are PCs as well. Second, no they don’t if you know what the hell you’re doing. No buts.

Things just get more closed and stupider the more the customers refuse to understand what they need to learn in order to use different products. It’s insanely grating to think that we used to pop in a VHS cassette and press play. That worked. Now we pop in a DVD and I hear people asking how they can get into the movie. There are DVD menus that are clearly telling you what to do, and I still get a call every single week from selected people asking me how they get proper subtitles. [What in the name of fucking god. Even I never did that.Edit] It was so easier with older media. Modern media, for better or worse, asks the user to get into what the hell they’re doing.

Then again, people still don’t know the universal markings for PLAY and PAUSE. For the love that 00-Unit has for us, please learn those at least. Standardised markings exist for a reason, and that reason is to make your daily life easier.

But no, when customers are dense motherfuckers who refuse to acknowledge that there’s something wrong in them, the shit hits the fan harder than a G-Bomb. And we’re supposed to design these people a product that would be easy to use. Existing products WOULD be easy to use you would just read that one damn comprehensive manual and apply that knowledge to other similar products with little effort, trying and research. I will continue to develop and design better products for your use, but you need to meet me half-way and put some effort in there as well. Otherwise don’t blame me when I design you a house that works like 1984 police state and dictates everything you do and how you do it in order to ensure that things work as intended.

I hate that analogy. A product should be something we all can use as we want. Misusing a product or using it wrong is customers’ fault and nobody else’s.

Then again, we have shitloads of free information on the Internet and in the libraries for t people to use, and it feels like nobody is doing any goddamn research.

Wii U’s not looking good, SONY’s junk and Microsoft is…

… in pretty damn deep trouble it seems. For some time now I’ve said that Microsoft should concentrate on their strengths on PC and allow XBOX to be their tertiary objective or abandon it altogether. Because Microsoft has done the same thing SONY did ie. concentrating on the damn video games rather than on what they know to do well, their nightmare might come true. Or rather, it might already be in some form.

Let’s go point-by-point.
Are the pads eating the PC markets? Yes, but only if we assume that the iPad and other smart devices are something else than PCs. Pads and smarthphones are not some sort of magical thing of their own, they’re as much PC as laptops. The proper way to put this would’ve been that non-Windows based PCs are eating away from Microsoft’s share.

Are employees really converting away from Windows based PCs? I’ve discussed this with people who work on government facilities, and they do admit that there’s iPads for certain purposes, but majority of the work is still made on machines that have actual keyboard. As such, while iPad is certainly taking its place in the work environment, it’s way too early to say whether or not it will completely replace Windows. Perhaps a sort of paradigm shift is happening, where we are going towards more LACRS devices from Star Trek.

I wouldn't really oppose those, but there will be a lot of people who will never get used to the lack of tactile contact
I wouldn’t really oppose those, but there will be a lot of people who will never get used to the lack of tactile contact. There’s also the position where you type, most of the time is awkward if you’re using two hands

Now the third point is completely true and Microsoft can only blame themselves. The GUI of Windows 8 has got a lot of hate for a reason. For one, it abandons a lot of functions that users expect from Windows. it doesn’t help that Microsoft has emphasized on the touch-screen function a lot, and if you’re a home PC users this functions becomes more or less completely useless. When I gave the retail version of Win8 a throughout testing, it was clunky, rather horrible and felt that everything sank beneath something. Microsoft should have looked back what worked and not remove whatever they liked. Will Windows 8 replace Windows 7 like all other versions have done previously? It’s hard to say, but I’ve heard rumours that this wouldn’t be the case in every institution.

Windows 8 is also the reason why loyal developers are moving away from Microsoft. Technically this point, and all other up to point seven, can be crunched into one sentence that sums it all up; Microsoft dedicated too much of their attention to XBOX and 360 that they forgot where their true business and strengths were. Because of this Windows’ development has taken a hit and clearly the company has lost their sight on what the hell they’re doing. You can see that a lot of Windows’ properties has changed since the XP for worse, thou there are truckloads of improvements as well. Still, we all can agree that something was never right with Vista or 7, and we call agree that as light and efficient as 8’s core might be, it’s functionality is pretty damn awful (unless you train religiously on it.)

It’s no surprise that as Microsoft is losing in their main front, the XBOX series is also suffering. XBOX doesn’t bring in any money and only spends whatever Microsoft has made in the 90’s and early 00’s. There has been some reports about Microsoft making loss with every 360 sold, so if Microsoft would lose their main pillar, ie computer OS monopoly, the company would be in very deep trouble.

If Microsoft won’t get their business together, the worst possible scenario is that Windows loses its place in the work environment and the next XBOX will bomb worse than the PSVita. It’s their third time trying it, and I really hope their get it right. However, the blowing winds tell me that this won’t be the case.

However, while we certainly can judge MS and SONY at this point, the earliest point we can say anything about the Wii U’s success is after the holiday season. I’d put that somewhere around February or March.

Sometimes just ten minutes is enough

My mother’s faithful computer that we bought for five euros some two years ago finally went dead. Sure, it was built from old parts and was beyond due date some month after use, but it just kept rollin’ and rollin’ and rollin’… until yesterday when the motherboard went all bonkers.

So we went into a local gigantic electronics store that had a decent Packard Bell laptop for 333€. Sounds decent for your normal everyday machine that isn’t meant to run anything more powerful that Word or Fallout 2. Fallout 1 didn’t want to run, because it’s a 64-bit Windows 8.

And dear readers, Windows 8 is pretty bad. After the initial ten minutes I had enough of it. It’s clunky and slow even after you learn how to use effectively. It’s not pretty to look at, the panel layout that you need to use to an extent is just an unfriendly interface even with a touch screen function. Sure, Win8 has much lighter core but that doesn’t help when it’s garbage. It’s horrible design from ground up.

No wonder it’s less popular than Vista.