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About JasonGW

  1. Now they're chopping up the Start Button's bones

    I work professionally as a systems engineer. I design and deploy networks and PC's to my customers, thousands of them each and every year--and I frankly love Windows 8. I think that for the first time in YEARS, Microsoft is doing amazing work. The flat, clean graphic design, uncluttered by glossy visuals and thick window borders sporting "chrome" effects, is a welcome break from the Skeuomorphism of Apple's awful design. It frees system resources for USERS to get their work done, reduces complexity and makes the OS run smoother and faster than ever before. I'm already buying at least 30 upgrade licenses for Win8 for my business, and I'll be buying Windows 8 tablets for field service work. I've already planned and spoken with customers about migrating to Windows 8 this fall, including replacing older PC's with newer models sporting UEFI. Before the year is out, I'll have transitioned just over 1,000 users to Windows 8 PC's, and next year I'm aiming for 10,000. I'm actively encouraging people to upgrade their home PC's or buy new PC's and tablets with Windows 8. I've liquidated my Apple inventory except for my current late 2010 model Macbook Pro, which will be replaced by Surface Pro once that ships. I've been in this business 16 years, friend. I was trained on Windows 3 and DOS, and I was a beta tester for Windows 95 and NT back when the consensus was that those OS's, and the start menu/taskbar paradigm were new, would fail and be buried by Linux. It never materialized. In the time since, MS has made some tragic mistakes (WinMe, Vista) and had some great successes. Frankly, I believe the Windows 8 and Server 2012 product families are the best thing to come out of Microsoft since XP SP2 and Server 2003 R2. I'm behind them all the way, and just like it's been every time a major change has come from Microsoft, all you people who are throwing tantrums because "ZOMG, things are changing!" will be left behind for a few years until you realize your mistakes and join the club. Change is sometimes for the best, and Windows 8 is a great example of that. J
  2. Windows 8 - Deeper Impressions

    Vista is hideously ugly, with excessive and garish visual gloss that does nothing but eat memory, processor and GPU time. Those UI's--those stale, boring, archaic UI's--are wasteful, ugly and pointless.
  3. Windows 8 - Deeper Impressions

    The "strategy" with Windows 8's graphic design is actually really simple: flat colors without garish visual effects like glass and chrome, or the hideous skeumorphism of Apple products, use fewer system resources and make for a lighter, faster OS that's more able to "get out of the way" and let you focus on the applications you use. That's the mark of solid design, and I think it'll be a smashing success Wow, if that's their strategy, it would be remarkable for its sneakiness. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that this did enter into their thinking (even if it wasn't the main reason for degrading the looks of the windows). BTW, in addition to the flatness, note another similarity between Win1 and Win8 -- the squared-off corners. --JorgeA
  4. Windows 8 - Deeper Impressions

    And just what's wrong with Windows Phone? I switched from an iPhone to Windows Phone last year, and I'm glad I did--it offers a superior user experience that's faster and more useful. I recently sold my iPad and, when Surface Pro launches, I'll also be selling my Macbook Pro to buy one. I've been a Systems Engineer for 16 years, and I'm certainly no shill. Nobody would say that Vista was the second coming of anything but catastrophe for Microsoft. It was a bloated pig of an OS, cobbled hastily together after multiple stops and starts with failed technologies, and released to a world whose hardware was barely adequate to run the OS even at the higher end of the spectrum. Vista was TERRIBLE. But for as awful as it was, Vista actually was a positive thing to happen to Microsoft. Why? Because its failure and unilateral panning made them wake up and realize that the path of bloating up each iteration of the OS is a catastrophic mistake that can't be sustained, and it forced them to change directions. The other major catastrophe that benefited Microsoft was the emergence of iPhone and Android as the new "super" phones. They showed a new path forward, one which ultimately pointed Microsoft themselves in a new direction where they have, in many ways, outperformed their competitors in developing new and innovative ideas in the time since. The first product to show their new direction was, of course, Windows 7, which corrected virtually everything wrong with Vista--except for the Apple-esque tendency toward glossy UI elements. It was smaller, faster and much less bloated than Vista, and has generally made both home and business users very happy. Windows Phone 7, though it's struggled to find an audience as a consequence of Microsoft's prior reputation (Windows Mobile phones, of which I owned several, were stagnant, hard to use and lagged YEARS behind the competition, even in 2007), but it's actually a terrific product. It's light on its feet, more efficient than any other mobile OS from Apple or Google, and finally has a deep library of apps (well over 100,000, which yes, is still behind Apple and Android, but is nevertheless more than plenty for any average user and will only grow further after the "8" OS's unify Microsoft's ecosystem). One needn't be a "shill" to appreciate what Microsoft has managed to pull off in the last few years, they only need to have *paid attention*. Those of us who've worked with Microsoft's products for the better part of 2 decades, if not longer, see the full scope of Microsoft's failures and successes, and their new direction is a very positive, very welcome change. Will users struggle with adapting to Windows 8? Probably to some degree, yes. Will they refuse to do so en masse and cause Win8 to be a massive failure? Not likely. Even Vista, which we all acknowledge as a failure, sold over 400 million copies. Windows 8 will fair even better. As people learn to see all the benefits of Live Tiles and Deep Linking, not to mention the incredible speed and stability of the OS, especially when coupled with new UEFI hardware that makes things more secure than ever before, the synergy between Windows 8, RT and Phone 8, to say nothing of Xbox 360 and Xbox-whatever-the-next-one-is, will elevate both the reputation and the sales of each. The deep backward compatibility with existing Windows infrastructures and apps will carry the system forward, too. Make no mistake: Windows 8 will sell, and it'll sell lots. In year one it will outsell every Mac system ever produced. The only question is how long it'll take to overcome Windows 7, and because corporations tend to live on long OS cycles, that's harder to predict. Either way, they've got very little to really fear . J
  5. Aggressive Update Function in Win8

    Actually, that's not correct in the slightest. Windows update works extremely well and has for a decade . But with that said, I don't see what the OP's problem is with sending back anonymous telemetry about the OS's functioning to Microsoft. This kind of low-level data helps developers to identify key areas where the OS can use some improvement or is prone to certain kinds of failures or shortcomings, and allows them to create fixes proactively. This is a GOOD thing. Personally, I ALWAYS opt in to sending anonymous software statistics to the developers, because I selfishly want them to make the software I've bought and paid for better J Correction : jaclaz
  6. cryengine 3 and the next crysis

    CryEngine 3 is interesting, I think, in that it's designed such that it's not really as powerful as CryEngine 2, but can be more efficient on less resources (it was built primarily to target 360 and PS3, neither of which is powerful enough for CryEngine 2). Most of what I've read states that CE3 is "about equivalent to CE2 on Medium settings". Not a bad place to be, but a little bit of an *odd* place to be, considering the usual evolution of game engines.
  7. Windows 7 Classic Start Menu.... is here.

    For those who want the ancient start menu this seems like a decent option. However, as a 15+ year IT veteran, I agree with you. The old Start Menu was a broken, poorly designed turd of a navigational method and 7's is FAR superior and easier to navigate. I think you'd have to be nuts to go back. That said...there are a lot of nuts people out there, and I'd rather see them happy than giving me the stinkeye
  8. I just recently started at a second round of college, and this time around have gotten a lot more involved with campus extra stuff, one of those being ASG (Student Government). Suffice to say, budget cuts have hit everybody really hard, and so ASG is looking for ways to raise some funds for various student programs (not the least of which is the Student Newsletter, which at present has no funding whatsoever). So, I had a thought that is going to be a lot of work but may pay off if I can get a fair number of permissions, so I thought I'd start here since my idea largely depends on WPI. The idea is basically this: Use WPI to create a custom disk, themed to ASG for my college, load it up with freeware apps (asking appropriate permission from all sources, of course, with nothing disallowed being included), and then let ASG sell copies to students for maybe $10 apiece. It'd be a great deal for students on a budget, who could have freeware alternatives in an easily accessible format, and great for ASG because the cost of duplicating CD's is dirt cheap so the profit margins are very high. If it's disallowed, no problem, I'll suss out something else, but I appreciate the feedback on the idea anyway Thanks! Jason
  9. I was planning to reuse my existing Promise Fasttrak SX4000 RAID controller, but it's not compatible with Server 2008, much less the x64 edition. Consequently I'm looking for a card, either PCI or PCIe x1, that has support for RAID5 up to 4 drives. Ideally something not *too* expensive, but there's a little room for flexibility. x64 compatibility is a must! Thanks! Jason
  10. Media Center in XP Professional

    Go to the MCE forum, it's actually fairly easy. You'll find a file called "add_mce.exe". Download it. Copy the files from CD2 of a legit Media Center edition CD to a folder in your hard drive. Burn those files to a new CD, with the "add_mce.exe" file at the root of that CD. The rest of the file system structure should be identical to the original CD2. Pop that CD into your XP pro box's CDROM drive, run "add_mce.exe", sit back and wait. Takes about 10 minutes to install, it will reboot your system and change your default theme to that glossy Luna thing, and then you're done. Enjoy. I think the title of the actual post is something like "Ultimate Windows XP" or some such thing.
  11. How to: Change your DEFAULT Boot.ini settings

    Same hard drive, same partition, but two completely separate sets of folders with two completely separate pagefiles and 2 completely different boot.ini entries. Obviously the main boot files are shared, but that's true even of multi-partition/multi-drive dual boot setups, so you haven't lost anything
  12. How to: Change your DEFAULT Boot.ini settings

    You're exactly right except for one thing: You only modify the TXTSETUP.SIF on the stripped-down *gamer* version of XP. I agree that often most geeks would prefer to have separation on two drives, but sometimes these days with drives as big as they are--and let's face it, most machines have a single drive standard--that this would be a good way to achieve the same separation level while only using on drive Oh, and yes, of course the list will populate first and second depending on which order you installed them, but remember that you can easily edit that order from within Windows (either one) no problem.
  13. How to: Change your DEFAULT Boot.ini settings

    jaclaz I thought it was fairly obvious. If you change these settings on your Windows XP install source, it will be reflected in your boot.ini *by default*, at installation. You might want to read it again. Or, you know, *at all*
  14. How to: Change your DEFAULT Boot.ini settings

    Sorry guys, txtsetup.sif is located in the i386 folder of your Windows XP installation source. Also, with this configuration, both copies of Windows are located on C:\, in completely separate sets of folders with completely separate pagefiles and boot entries to reflect each version. nLite's tweaks section (or might be options, I forget) will let you specify your system folders. In this case I have: STOCK Documents and Settings Program Files TEMP Windows PageFile.sys GAMER EDITION GamerDocs Game Files GamerTemp GamerXP GamePage.sys Enjoy! Hope that helps!
  15. So I wanted to setup my XP Gamer Edition CD to be 100% separate from my Windows stock(ish) install, but the trouble was that when you booted they both showed as "Windows XP Professional". Which is which? Well as a geek *I* knew, but my gamer friends aren't all necessarily that adept. Of course, it also changes depending on whether you installed Gamer Edition first or second. Anyway, so here it is, it's stupidly simple. You need to edit a couple lines in i386\TXTSETUP.SIF, as follows: BEFORE: AFTER: Just name it whatever the hell you want to call it in your source and badda-bing, badda-boom, you're good to go. Thanks to this process, and of course nLite, RyanVM and others who contribute updates I use, I have a Gamer Edition of XP that's 100% separate and 100% clearly identifiable at boot. Yay! Enjoy! Jason