Jump to content

FINALLY got Win 10 usable again


NoelC
 Share

Recommended Posts

With each new distribution of a major build, Windows 10 has needed serious re-tweaking.  Some software - such as Aero Glass for Win 10 - doesn't work right at first and so the turning of the system into something actually worth using necessarily has to wait.

So here we are, at the end of October 2016, and I can state that just in the past couple of days I have finally gotten the "Anniversary Update" - 14393.351 - into shape to where I consider it actually usable.  What's that, 4 months after release?  This is why it's better to have operating system releases only every few years.

Well, I have to qualify that...  I still have several beta bits of Aero Glass for Win 8+ running, and beta firewall software, but it's finally acceptable to use.

Listed here are some of the things needed to achieve sufficient usability as a serious desktop system that's App-free and divorced from the cloud, yet all hangs together.  These sound deceptively simple, but the devil is in the details.

  • Tweaking to increase privacy and control of Windows Updates.
  • Disabling of UAC.
  • 3rd party software for Start menu, deny-by-default firewall, various maintenance tasks.
  • Setup of features not enabled by default (e.g., System Restore, backup).
  • Desktop usability enhancement (e.g., Aero Glass, replacement Aero 7 theme, various other small tweaks).
  • Verification that needed applications still work.
  • Removal of all but the Settings App, removal of OneDrive, disabling of settings sync, use of only a local account.
  • Removal of many unnecessary scheduled jobs.
  • Reconfiguration of browser, augmentation with custom blacklists.

Win10Desktop.png

Things that even STILL make replacing Win 8.1 with it unacceptable for my use on actual hardware systems here at my business:

  • ATI has ceased including features I need in their current display drivers (e.g., per channel calibration).  I don't know whether a Catalyst driver suite from 2015 could work with the latest Win 10, but that's what I'm using on Win 8.1 now.
  • Media playing features are reduced, though most of the media I'd like to play so far seems to play in Media Player.
  • Even with all the tweaking, the Taskbar isn't quite as usable as with an older system, since themes can't change it.
  • Microsoft disrupts compatibility and stability far too often, even with my exercising manual control over updates.  I would need to set Windows Update to the CBB (Current Branch for Business) at the very least.

I continue to re-evaluate Windows 10 to determine whether I can move "up" to the latest OS, in order to stay current, compatible, etc., but for now this one stays on a VM as a curiosity only.  I had extra hope this time around, because with Win 8, upon the release of Win 8.1 a year later I thought it was good enough to move up to (and I'm glad I did).  I keep wishing that Microsoft will ultimately release something that improves the state of the art in computing again, but alas all they really seem to be doing is hanging new apps on the old kernel and making things less and less efficient.  I fear they've lost all the people who know how to do serious operating system work.

Trouble is, it just won't be viable to continue to run an old version of Windows forever.

-Noel

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites


5 hours ago, NoelC said:

Trouble is, it just won't be viable to continue to run an old version of Windows forever.

-Noel

You can run it on a VM and use the newer host OS only for the things that the older one can't do.

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's pretty much what I have now.  At the moment it's actually better to run the older OS on the hardware for general desktop operations.  But it would always be best to have one integrated system on which everything's available and optimal.  It's most integrated that way.  But you're right, given the availability of Virtual Machines, there are no real "you can't get there from here" situations any more.

-Noel

Edited by NoelC
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/31/2016 at 11:07 AM, NoelC said:

With each new distribution of a major build, Windows 10 has needed serious re-tweaking.  Some software - such as Aero Glass for Win 10 - doesn't work right at first and so the turning of the system into something actually worth using necessarily has to wait.

So here we are, at the end of October 2016, and I can state that just in the past couple of days I have finally gotten the "Anniversary Update" - 14393.351 - into shape to where I consider it actually usable.  What's that, 4 months after release?  This is why it's better to have operating system releases only every few years.

Well, I have to qualify that...  I still have several beta bits of Aero Glass for Win 8+ running, and beta firewall software, but it's finally acceptable to use.

I continue to re-evaluate Windows 10 to determine whether I can move "up" to the latest OS, in order to stay current, compatible, etc., but for now this one stays on a VM as a curiosity only.  I had extra hope this time around, because with Win 8, upon the release of Win 8.1 a year later I thought it was good enough to move up to (and I'm glad I did).  I keep wishing that Microsoft will ultimately release something that improves the state of the art in computing again, but alas all they really seem to be doing is hanging new apps on the old kernel and making things less and less efficient.  I fear they've lost all the people who know how to do serious operating system work.

Trouble is, it just won't be viable to continue to run an old version of Windows forever.

-Noel

You and I were discussing this before.  I even quoted your post over at tenforums.com, just to see what the Windows 10 fan boys would say over there about your concerns (I guess I should have asked first, so sorry).  And please understand that you and I are in pretty much complete agreement about what we should expect from a desktop OS.  But you and I are a dying breed.  You said once something to the effect of not letting millennials decide what you should want for a real desktop (or at least a real computing solution), but they already have: a looooooong loooooong time ago. :(

First off, Microsoft cares not about your customizations or your Big Muscle Aero fixes.  They want you to leave the interface alone.  When you see a modern day screenshot of the default Windows 10 interface, that's what they want you to be acclimatized to thinking of when you create a mental image of what Windows is.  When Ford advertises a new Mustang, they don't want you to imagine a classic 1965 model.  Same applies here.  I'm almost sure (I'm just being smart-a** here, but maybe not) that if Microsoft could, they would send you a cease and desist letter to stop customizing their beautiful interface, and quit misrepresenting Windows by posting screenshots on MSFN.  I think that reflects their thinking, doesn't it?  But I digress.

You mentioned previously that you can't fathom how no one would need serious machines to do serious development and work on, am I right? or close enough?  But as more millennials and frankly middle age folks below 55 embrace mobile technology, and abandon the desktop model, less and less need exists for desktop application development.  Now there is one thing that perplexes me, I'll admit.  If Microsoft is hoping that the Modern UI penetrates the entire OS, and basically blows away the Explorer shell completely, so that Windows can becomes a completely mobile touch OS, then why did they give up on Windows Phone so easily?  Isn't that a big part of creating a mobile ecosystem that can compete with Android and iOS?

You were referring to full featured desktop solutions as "state of the art" computing, correct.  Now, a little off topic, but just go with me here.  I'm a long time hi-fi buff.  Sadly, very very few people care about state of the art any more.  Turntables have had a tad of a comeback, but most people are fine with mobile digital players (basically a smart phone component now).  Contrarily, I would think it be odd to live in a residence where there isn't somewhere I could find a pair of speakers almost as tall as I am, or a turntable for spinning tunes.  But that's because I listen to music the way I did in the 80s.  Most people think that hi-fi equipment lays waste to their home, but at one time, people were envious over it.

I rarely hear gamers looking at top-flight video hardware or overclocking CPUs anymore.  Even five years ago (maybe even just three) I still heard about that a lot.  They all use game consoles now.  Because no one uses Windows like us oldsters do (and some of these people I speak of that have abandoned Windows: they sometimes are in their forties).  My sister is 45, and never uses Windows at home.  It's her Samsung Galaxy all the way.  Need to see a spreadsheet? She can open it Google Docs, and she doesn't miss the big screen or full size keyboard.  Me?  I'd be lost, and I'd feel it was a compromise.  But again, I'm a dyin ----- never mind, I'm gonna go play a record.

:)

Edited by JodyT
  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Those who think that young people will be able to do anything more useful with mobile tech - no matter how young / flexible they feel they are by comparison to someone who they believe is old and stiff - are deluded.  I'm not old (yet).  I'm wise.  I have experience.  I know my a** from a hole in the ground.

It's not a matter of being young or old, flexible or inflexible.  It's a matter of understanding what's actually useful in the real world.  What it takes to create rather than just use.

The root problem is that people who carry around mobile technology feel they're doing important things, when they don't really even have a handle on what's important.  Or how hard you have to work to do something important.

THAT is what's going to undo everything.

Looked at another way:  Someone working at the limits of their human abilities, when aided by a top notch collection of technology is always going to outdo someone working at the limits of their abilities and aided by necessarily limited because it's mobile technology.  Limited in power.  Limited by battery life.  Limited by poorer connectivity.  Limited by small size.

What could you think of if you never, ever had to worry about battery management or never, ever lost a few hours (days) due to an ill-timed update?  Or never had to wait for the information you requested to be painted on the screen.  How well could you communicate if you didn't have to ask the person on the other end to repeat themselves so much?

That crap just makes people weary.  We don't need more weariness.

The future would be better served by people who aren't slaves to their technology, but instead are its master.  Nothing Microsoft or most others are doing right now seeks to make you more the master of your technology.

I believe I'm pretty adept at applying technology.  Hey, I'm using Windows 8.1 to advantage in a world where most others stopped on 7.  Years ago I got good things from Vista where most stayed on XP.  I haven't changed; I embrace new things and make the best of them by applying my considerable experience.  You can see from the original post in this thread that I'm no stranger to figuring out Win 10.  Every new release that's come out, I give "Apps", "The Win 10 Experience", "Cloud Integration", and the whole 9 yards a fresh new try, with an open mind.  And, unfortunately, every time I have reached the same conclusion.

It's not like I'm living in the past.    It's like Windows 10 just isn't better.

Even that - EVEN JUST BEING AS GOOD BUT NOT BETTER - I could live with, because there are advantages to keeping current.  But Microsoft increasing the ongoing cost in time and weariness to make Windows just not be worse - by releasing new alpha quality software constantly, by adopting "our way or the highway" policies, by being so arrogant that they think they know what people need better than the people themselves...  That ongoing cost is increasing, and it has become simply unacceptable.

We need things to be better, and "better" is a long way from "almost as good if you work hard and tweak like crazy".

-Noel

Edited by NoelC
  • Like 1
  • Upvote 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 hours ago, NoelC said:

Those who think that young people will be able to do anything more useful with mobile tech - no matter how young / flexible they feel they are by comparison to someone who they believe is old and stiff - are deluded.  I'm not old (yet).  I'm wise.  I have experience.  I know my a** from a hole in the ground.

It's not a matter of being young or old, flexible or inflexible.  It's a matter of understanding what's actually useful in the real world.  What it takes to create rather than just use.

The root problem is that people who carry around mobile technology feel they're doing important things, when they don't really even have a handle on what's important.  Or how hard you have to work to do something important.

THAT is what's going to undo everything.

Looked at another way:  Someone working at the limits of their human abilities, when aided by a top notch collection of technology is always going to outdo someone working at the limits of their abilities and aided by necessarily limited because it's mobile technology.  Limited in power.  Limited by battery life.  Limited by poorer connectivity.  Limited by small size.

What could you think of if you never, ever had to worry about battery management or never, ever lost a few hours (days) due to an ill-timed update?  Or never had to wait for the information you requested to be painted on the screen.  How well could you communicate if you didn't have to ask the person on the other end to repeat themselves so much?

That crap just makes people weary.  We don't need more weariness.

The future would be better served by people who aren't slaves to their technology, but instead are its master.  Nothing Microsoft or most others are doing right now seeks to make you more the master of your technology.

I believe I'm pretty adept at applying technology.  Hey, I'm using Windows 8.1 to advantage in a world where most others stopped on 7.  Years ago I got good things from Vista where most stayed on XP.  I haven't changed; I embrace new things and make the best of them by applying my considerable experience.  You can see from the original post in this thread that I'm no stranger to figuring out Win 10.  Every new release that's come out, I give "Apps", "The Win 10 Experience", "Cloud Integration", and the whole 9 yards a fresh new try, with an open mind.  And, unfortunately, every time I have reached the same conclusion.

It's not like I'm living in the past.    It's like Windows 10 just isn't better.

Even that - EVEN JUST BEING AS GOOD BUT NOT BETTER - I could live with, because there are advantages to keeping current.  But Microsoft increasing the ongoing cost in time and weariness to make Windows just not be worse - by releasing new alpha quality software constantly, by adopting "our way or the highway" policies, by being so arrogant that they think they know what people need better than the people themselves...  That ongoing cost is increasing, and it has become simply unacceptable.

We need things to be better, and "better" is a long way from "almost as good if you work hard and tweak like crazy".

-Noel

To be fair, I hope you know I wasn't citing your age as a means of questioning your ability or adaptability.  I was simply using it as a market share or demographics label.  I do think different age groups are influenced differently.  No insult intended.  :)  I can easily tell you're wise.

And no question that top-notch technology combined with greater abilities will provide superior results.  I just question whether or not superior results will be much sought after.  I think that we are already tailoring our form and function by the limits of available tech.  In my sister's example, once an Excel guru, she now just settles for quick and dirty updates on Google Docs.  So not only is she utilizing less from spreadsheet technology; there is likely less of a need to develop fancy macros for someone with this information, because the presentation of the spreadsheet doesn't really matter much any more.

Where you hit the nail on the head was when you said "The root problem is that people who carry around mobile technology feel they're doing important things, when they don't really even have a handle on what's important.  Or how hard you have to work to do something important."  That's bang on.  But unfortunately, they see what they do as already important enough.  They don't long for any better.

Notice how they ACTUALLY LIKE watching movies on their phone.  Why on earth wouldn't they want to watch programs on a high definition larger screen, relaxed on their couch?  Why would they prefer "on the run" as opposed to leisurely?  I'll never understand, but that is the way it's going.

I agree that Windows 10 isn't better.  You don't need to preach to me :).  Where we're both off the mark is thinking that most millennials even want ANY kind of windowing OS on x86-x64 architecture.  Just because it provides superior and tweakable results, doesn't mean they even want it.  Blue Ray offers superior HD video, and SACD blows away CDs.  But consumers (largely youngers folks) never turned the page to read the next chapters in those sagas.  Smartphone video and digital music will suffice, thank you.  :)

And yes, I think most vendors don't see profitability in providing programmable create it yourself solutions anymore.  I think they either want to provide you with a completed solution.  You being able to program and develop and customize doesn't allow Microsoft or Google to brand themselves with something instantly recognizable.  Customization or choice interferes with branding and image, so they can't have that.  The other thing is, an OS really is just becoming a conduit for apps and services.  So it's really no longer the product.

Please know though NoelC, I really do hear you.  :)

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I took no offense, and I wasn't responding specifically to you Jody - I know we're substantially on the same side, and that you're describing the world as it is.  In fact I'm very glad to see this subject discussed.

It NEEDS to be discussed, because the message and belief that "mobile will take it from here, you can stop with desktop computers now" will destroy general purpose computing.  Computing as a tool.  Computing that is needed by those who create technology.

We won't even be able to maintain what we already have without real computers. 

Not everyone gets to be an executive.  Someone still has to push around the details and make things work.

As with all things, balance is needed.

I don't know what the big companies are thinking...  It seems eerily along the lines of,  "someone else (the government?  Skynet?) will do the work.  We just want to make toys and profit insanely."

Maybe trying to take over the world is a natural outgrowth of insane levels of wealth.  I just don't feel like giving up control of my tech.

-Noel

Edited by NoelC
  • Upvote 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, NoelC said:

"...Computing as a tool.  Computing that is needed by those who create technology..."

-Noel

I agee completely! But the same was said 25 years ago by the constractures behind the drawing-boards, about computers. I was then, at the time, one of the fore-spokers for CAD, btw.

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On Πέμπτη, 3 Νοεμβρίου 2016 at 3:26 PM, NoelC said:

As with all things, balance is needed.

That's the most difficult. Unfortunately Microsoft is since 2015 out of balance, judging by the "telemetry" stuff, and who knows for how long...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd say the tipping point was more like just after 2009 myself, when they started working on "reimagining" Windows as version 8.  Ever since then it's been about reworking more and more of Windows to the point where it's now just not worth it to try to make what they're shipping into something that works.

-Noel

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I miss Windows 98 the first system I ever used. I dreaded the day I had to move on, however, I got my start working on 98 and a lot of the experiences help me even now. back on subject I have to say @NoelC your system looks amazing and the amount of control you have over it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.


×
×
  • Create New...