Winders Gripes

Just so you know, those of us who live just South of Dallas refer to that operating system from Redmond as Winders. No real reason, we just think it sounds vaguely countrified and is just plain funny.

So as I discussed yesterday I’m back using Winders and I’m not happy about it. Last night I aired the causes which compelled me to the separation from Linux. The support in Winders is better for certain issues common to laptops, like WPA-PSK encryption, sleep and hibernate and others. But just because it supports those things does not mean all is well.

Some of the things I dislike about Winders:

-Windows Media player. It seems more interested in selling me music than in making it easy to play and catalog the music I already have on my system. It is not nearly as clean and elegant as Amarok, simply the best music player.

-Its hard to customize. You need to download, install and (worst) pay for a program to theme your desktop, and even then you can’t pick the windows decorations from one theme, the task bar from another, and the style from yet another like you can in KDE. Even the things you can customize are hard to get at, Icons aren’t just png files, they are embedded in dlls and to add insult to injury there’s always …

-The registry. Its not human readable. The text configuration files in /etc in Linux were numerous and could be confusing, but at least you stood some chance to read them and understand what a configuration means and most are commented so you can figure out how to change it.

-Nothing, and I mean nothing, is free. Want a decent program to make another program sit in the tray while running, that’ll be 19.95. Want virus protection (not a problem in Linux), that’ll be 39.95. Want a defrag program that works at a speed greater than that of a creeping glacier, that’s another 39.95. It would not be hard to wind up with more money in software than hardware.

-Its closed, closed, closed. They don’t want you messing with the system so that it works like you want. It’s not a bad as Apple (no you may not have a task bar and the apple menu will always be on top because we’ve studied usability and even if you don’t know it, that’s how you want to work) but its much harder to fiddle with than Linux.

Next some free to cheap ways to make Windows work at least mostly like you want it to.