Jump to content
Strawberry Orange Banana Lime Leaf Slate Sky Blueberry Grape Watermelon Chocolate Marble
Strawberry Orange Banana Lime Leaf Slate Sky Blueberry Grape Watermelon Chocolate Marble

MSFN is made available via donations, subscriptions and advertising revenue. The use of ad-blocking software hurts the site. Please disable ad-blocking software or set an exception for MSFN. Alternatively, register and become a site sponsor/subscriber and ads will be disabled automatically. 


  • Content Count

  • Donations

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by NoelC

  1. I sure do miss my window borders. Don't get me wrong, I love translucency, but to me the biggest improvement I've felt from Big Muscle's software is to be able to create compositing resources that include a visible border. There is no substitute for visually finding the window border for resizing, etc. I can't tell you how many times I've been frustrated by trying to grab the corner, no, inside the corner, no just outside the corner, only to have a window underneath jump up unexpectedly or something. -Noel
  2. I'm lucky to have three powerful WIndows Workstations and one server at my disposal. I'm happy to be able to continue to run Windows 7 on one, Windows 8.1 on one, and Windows 10 on two of them, because I believe that gives me perspective. And finally I'm additionally fortunate to be able to make a number of virtual machines, because there's where risky testing can be done, with near zero consequences. In the past week I brought two of my hardware workstations up to Windows 10 v1909 build 18363.900 (June updates) and things are going pretty well I guess. It's still more a pleasure to use the desktop on my Win 8.1 system, frozen at a December 2017 update level (and measurably more efficient than the Win 10 systems at doing the same things). I also brought a VM up to Win 10 v2004 and that actually was a pretty smooth process, and it runs OK I guess, though it is more bloated than ever before and has more tendency to contact online servers (as detected by my non-standard firewall setup) via some new services. I sure wish I had some confidence that the engineering of Windows was going in the right direction. But from the most superficial (desktop appearance) to the murky, geeky depths (online comm observations, Explorer quirks, and a number of other things) it honestly just doesn't look like it's going anywhere except in a spiral around a whirlpool. Sigh. -Noel
  3. Microsoft bashing is... Sometimes warranted. Ignoring their own "desktop consistency guidelines" to what, try to make it look "different"? Just bad policy. Show me someone who honestly thinks desktop usability is "new and improved". I love the system Windows is based on. I've been a Windows afficionado since the time of NT. Second to none the kernel is. Dave Cutler's design was so many decades ahead of its time and is still better than any version of Unix, IMHO. But it is not open and it is starting to look like we have already seen the best it could become. Today Windows development appears to have become about hanging all kinds of things on that solid kernel and calling them operating system improvements, because "perception is reality". Truth be told, even as a software developer I don't need cloud-integration. But Windows is no longer a system for developers. Microsoft envies Apple, and that is a very, very bad thing. -Noel
  4. Months have gone by and I've had to do without Aero Glass for Win 8+ on several work machines. I thought that as long as I made the Title Bar size a bit smaller I could get used to it, and it IS usable but... Ugh, I can't tell you how many times I've clicked the wrong chrome to get to a window that's partly behind another one, just because I can't differentiate one window from the other. Microsoft has made Windows ugly and basic, and by outlasting people who want otherwise have forced it on us. Microsoft will get no love from me for turning something nice into something stupid. Sure, if they had another new system available that would do it all better - but they don't, and they won't. The desktop metaphor with keyboard, mouse, and monitors was - and is - actually very good still for getting work done. But those who understood how to optimize it have fallen by the wayside and now we have Marketeers whose prime function is to "reduce expectations" in charge. Kind like how you can't buy a car that's not a shade of black or earth tone any more. -Noel
  5. Wow, I thought I could get used to not having Aero Glass in time but without it I just keep losing windows over the top of other windows. Not only that, but some window chrome looks different than others. We know that'll be the case with Apps vs. Applications, but I'm also seeing it e.g., with the Pale Moon browser vs., e.g., a CMD window. The former has a dimmer single line of blue pixels around it than the latter when the window is current. Why is it so much to ask just to be able to see where the window edges are? I hate mediocrity. -Noel
  6. To each his own, but why would you want inactive windows to carry the same coloration as active? Do you not often have multiple windows open on screen to choose from? Just curious. -Noel
  7. FWIW, I've built the same multi-monitor layout on 3 different desktop systems so that I don't have desktop reorganizational issues when I RDP from one system location into another. Still to this day sometimes Visual Studio will swap its panels from the left to the right side monitor. With Windows 10 usually the icons end up okay, though, on the central (larger) monitor. Honestly, I think Microsoft should have delayed or just canceled Win 10 2004 and kept working on stabilizing and tuning 1909. This all-too-often 6 month turnaround that breaks everything that's not vanilla Microsoft, like Aero Glass for Win 8+, is just ludicrous. -Noel
  8. I have the distinct impression Microsoft breaks things in the UI on purpose just to keep control. They don't want us making it look better. They're trying to herd us into accepting less of their software. There is no other explanation for Windows being made actively worse and worse. Thanks for your work in bringing back a little elegance to the Win 10 UI, Big Muscle. -Noel
  9. Not saying I definitely want to do an update, because up to now I've had no problems after having stopped Win Updates at December 2017 on my Win 8.1 system, but I'm just pondering... If I should want to bring it up to date is there a relatively simple, direct way to use the updates you've curated here to do that? Or is this all just for 8.0? If you tell me to "read the whole thread" I'll go do so, though seeing that there are 26 pages is a bit daunting. Also, if it IS possible, are there trap doors? In other words, if I should discover performance has been wrecked or something goes wrong that didn't used to go wrong, is the "Uninstall Update" going to be available? I do have System Image backups I can drop back to in a pinch of course. -Noel
  10. 1.5.13 installed on v1909 VMs and working without messages at logon. Thank you for making Windows 10 palatable for another 6 months. Just sent you another 20 Euro. Hope it helps make your holidays brighter! -Noel
  11. Throughout time, the number of processes to support my empty desktop, with my favorite tweaks and "to work" software: XP: High teens. 100 MB. Vista: 30 or so. 800 MB. Win 7: 34. 1 GB. Win 8.1: 42. 1.2 GB. Win 10: 120. 4 GB. 3x the processes prior versions had to rock, just to get anything done. Says it all right there. No wonder it really doesn't seem to run any better on modern hardware than prior versions did on the best hardware of 7 years ago. And you can't really trim it down any more, for several reasons. Back when we thought Vista, Win 7, and Win 8.1 were bloated, we simply didn't know what True Bloat was. -Noel
  12. Sigh. End of an era I guess. Thank goodness for developers like Big Muscle who gave us Aero Glass for 10 years longer than we could have hoped to have it. I'm not quite ready to take my systems to v1909 yet, but it's inevitable. -Noel
  13. Repairable doesn't make profit from selling new ones. Competition tends to pressure everyone to make better, higher quality products, but when EVERYBODY notices that if they ALL "save a little bit" on their manufacturing costs and lower quality, they sell more product. It used to be possible to actually TELL if a product had higher quality. Nowadays making things bright and shiny and still cheap is a science. Light bulbs, for example... In the latter part of the 20th century it wasn't uncommon to still find incandescent light bulbs that had remained working and in service since the early part of the 20th century. Ever notice that lately - before the era of CFL and LED bulbs - incandescent bulbs would last EXACTLY the number of hours listed on the box (i.e., usually a few weeks to a few months of use). That's not coincidence. It's engineered-in. We'll skip CFL bulbs, but then LEDs came out, promising tens of thousands of hours of service. We all bought the ones that were 10x as expensive as an incandescent bulb thinking, "Gee, maybe I won't ever have to replace this again!" Ever notice how you're now replacing your LED bulbs WAY sooner than you thought you should have to? Sigh. Don't get me started on plumbing and faucets. Same deal. Our parents (or grandparents if you're a young whippersnapper) loathed the idea of planned obsolescence. They didn't want us to have to live in this world where our $#!+ just breaks all the time and is unrepairable. Imagine what we could do with the world if we had the time to think instead of fixing stuff that shouldn't be broken. Another thing they worried about, and which came to pass anyway: Paying by the month for things, instead of just buying them once and owning them. We still worry about software subscriptions, but make no mistake: We're already there or well on our way there for just about every piece of tech we use, INCLUDING software. -Noel
  14. Pretty much since I cut the legs out from under the Microsoft security suite (using WinAero Tweaker) I've stopped seeing Aero Glass getting trashed. And no, I don't think it's a crash count disablement thing. Windows Reliability doesn't show failures, and I'm not accumulating mini dumps. -Noel
  15. Win 10 v1909 essentially IS v1903 with some run time switches thrown. Same underlying OS build. As those of you who have been through the upgrade have seen, it was only a minor install that didn't take long to download nor restart. Not an in-place upgrade at all, but just another update. I admit NOT swapping out the OS underpinnings is perhaps the first impressive thing Microsoft has done with Windows in a long time. Hurrah! It would be awesome if BigMuscle would rebuild an optimized version of Aero Glass for Win 8+ that loosened the compatibility check and allowed v1909 just the same as v1903, without the dialog, though we can of course hit the [Cancel] button for now as a workaround. Let's hope he still has the interest to continue to develop Aero Glass for Win 8+. BigMuscle, if you're listening, it would also be cool if you'd add a version check circumvention based on a registry entry (assuming you don't already have one) just in case something like this amazing continuation of Windows compatibility should ever happen again. Thanks! -Noel
  16. Some marketing goon said "thinner is better" and for some reason people listened. Now we have laptops, tablets, and phones that have gotten so thin you can hardly use them or even hold them. So thin a keyboard can't possibly be ergonomic. So thin you drop them (after which of course you have to buy a new one). And let's not forget that the keycaps can get snagged and pulled off requiring no less than the replacement of the entire device. Not long ago I got a heavy, thick Cat S61 phone with grippy rubber and raised edges that doesn't try to slip out of my hand or pocket every chance it gets, and if it DOES crash to the ground it survives. The battery lasts most of a week. Turns out it wasn't just a frivolous thought that extra thin, slippery devices are optimizing for something decidedly different from usability, and that when someone makes usability a design goal it actually CAN be achieved. And yeah, there are only USB-C ports on new MacBook Pros (not sure about other models). I have a nice little short female USB-A to male USB-C adapter cable that has saved my bacon a few times. As a society we're not only not learning from the past, but the folks who seek to sell us stuff over and over are actively changing things away from stuff that worked just fine. And here we are applauding and rewarding those who make such changes by buying even more crap from them. Kinda seems like we consumers ought to try to be smarter about what we throw our money at, eh? I think that would entail never listening to any Marketing info - something that's clearly impossible. -Noel Welcome, my son Welcome to the machine What did you dream? It's alright, we told you what to dream -Pink Floyd
  17. I've found that disabling most of the "gee whiz" new features tends to make Windows more pleasant to use. That being said, my Taskbar on my v1903 system now flickers when I type into the Open Shell search box. Sigh. My icons go to weird places intermittently about every month or so when I connect into a multi-monitor system from another multi-monitor system with the same monitor layout. Aero Glass just goes away after a week or two and that ugly flat stupid Windows look returns. Aero Glass has to be reinstalled. I presume it's being scrubbed out of the system by Microsoft in the name of "security". What hare-brain came up with the idea that stuff has to get worse and more irritating to use as time goes on? -Noel
  18. Change is inevitable. Necessary. We have increasing needs for tech. Embracing change is not what this is about. Creating incompatibility to suit business goals is not right. Our parents were appalled at planned obsolescence. Now we're told to accept it. Embrace it. Our tech becomes obsolete even before it can wear out the batteries! Using Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt in the name of "security" as a way to herd people into doing what they would not do is deplorable! Yet for the most part we find ourselves powerless, because people who predicted this and warned against ceding control were marginalized. Ridiculed. Pushed aside. -Noel P.S., the latest incompatibility I've noticed: RDP from an older system into a Windows 10 v1903 system and your mouse jumps around when the cursor graphic is changed. It didn't do that remoting into v1809. The protocol has been good enough - indeed excellent - for decades. It doesn't have to change. Aero Glass just gets shut off and requires regular reinstalls, even though it works fine. Presumedly because some jerk inside Microsoft wants us NOT customizing our Windows look, because that goes against their current Marketing direction. Who the &%$& do they think they are? We could talk about the atrocities Apple is pushing on people... No more 32 bit programs. No more putting things where you want them on your disk. Can't reach your Documents area even though you've shared it? Oh, right, that's security. P.P.S., I'm typing this on a perfectly good Digital LK250 keyboard circa 1985. And there isn't a better one built today. Stuff doesn't HAVE to go bad just because it's tech.
  19. For figuring out what's multi-threaded and how well programs use the available resources, I like Process Hacker 2, but even regular old Task Manager will show you a decent heat map of actual CPU usage. A program could make tons of threads and not really use them effectively. Don't look at counts as any kind of real indication of goodness. If a program cranks up all the cores (and hyperthreaded logical CPUs) so they're truly busy when it's cranking through your data, then you know it's doing actual (and hopefully effective) multi-threading. Traditionally well-threaded applications I can think of off the top of my head, include Photoshop's Radial Blur filter, Visual Studio when building big projects, MalwareBytes, my own Photoshop plug-ins... There are I'm sure a few others I'm forgetting. Oh, I guess Passmark Performance Test will crank up all the CPUs when testing. Windows itself does a decent job of taking advantage of multiple threads. One thing I've always noticed is that with in excess of 12 logical processors you can really open lots of windows without feeling the load too badly. If you have a really busy computing day this can be very handy. On the other hand, closing 50 windows before leaving at 5 may mean you leave at 5:30. :) -Noel
  20. Yeah, sure - but that only accounts for maybe 30 of them. There's still another 20+ to go. -Noel
  21. I'm pretty sure that's a given with Windows 10 - i.e., it's built in to the window compositing softare and you can't get around it. I've just decided to get used to the buttons being the same size. I'm very pleased to say I'm able to get Aero Glass to work now with v1903, and the same theme atlas I had put together a long time ago still works pretty darned well. -Noel
  22. On the subject of performance, it's funny... At this point I have two Dell Precision workstations I switch back and forth between to do development work: My personal workstation, a circa 2012 Precision T5500 dual Xeon system with 12 total cores, 1333 MHz DDR3 RAM, an SSD array capable of 1.6 GB/second throughput, and a modest 3 year old nVidia Quadro P2000 graphics card. This one runs Win 8.1, updated to December 2017 (i.e., pre-Spectre/Meltdown hooey). My office workstation, a new circa 2019 Precision T7820 single Xeon system with 6 cores, 2666 MHz DDR3 RAM, an M.2 flash array capable of 4 GB/second throughput, and a rompin' stompin' new nVidia Quadro RTX 5000 graphics card. This system runs Win 10 v1809, fully updated. Both systems are tweaked and trimmed as best I can to do engineering work - within the constraints of what each OS will stand for maximum leanness and performance. Windows 8.1 stands up to FAR MORE such tweaking than Windows 10. For example, when quiet my Win 8.1 setup has about 42 processes running to support an empty desktop. My Win 10 setup has to rock 100 processes just to sit there idle (and that's down from some 130+ out of the box)! Friggin' bloatware. Since most software is still single-threaded and dependent on I/O speed and RAM speed, you'd think the MUCH newer system, even with fewer cores, should really run rings around the 6 year older system, right? It is not so. Using them interactively, frankly - and surprisingly - the two systems actually feel about the same to use. While neither is a slouch, for the things that benefit from more cores the older system even feels smoother and more responsive. It doesn't "load up" as easily nor feel as sluggish when I fill up the Task Bar with work. Conclusion: Windows 10 and all this Windows redesign by patching BS done in the name of "Security" has soaked up and erased 6 years of computer performance advancement. Seriously. -Noel
  23. Seconds release for v1809 seems to work perfectly. Haven't had a DWM reset since installing it. Thank you for making Windows a little more tolerable. -Noel
  24. I replaced aerohost and DWMGlass with those from the .7z and all seems well so far. Haven't seen a new crash after the update. I did see several related to Taskbar Live Previews with the prior revision. -Noel
  25. I'm making the best of the situation I have been dealt; I have to have Win 10 on my office workstation. Not surprisingly, all the efforts I've put into training Win 10 to be a decent workhorse are paying off. I'm not delirious; it's actually possible to derive some value from Win 10. It's bloated and not my first choice - but it's not really worse than a lot of past versions. With the For Workstations variant (and Pro) the local group policy editor can be used to set it to install updates only when you want them. There are decent sites on the web that seek to inform whether the current crop of updates is "good enough". One I like is AskWoody.com. -Noel
  • Create New...