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  1. #1
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    Interesting view of nondesktop-centric use of Windows 8.1

    http://techland.time.com/2013/06/27/...g-the-desktop/

    Just a different view, which I found quite interesting.

    I think we can gain from reading from those who think differently, without necessarily having to agree with them. No need to start a holy war...
    Rui
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  2. #2
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    I totally agree with your closing statement but was less than impressed with the article. I can't really see using half of your monitor screen space just to track Email and Twitter. Desktop new mail alarms with a minimized email client is much more efficient. I don't use Twitter but I assume it must have a similar capability. Otherwise, i would think periodically checking it would be more efficient.

    He also seems to be dependent an Web apps (and the cloud) which I also dislike although I agree they can be useful to those that collaborate or use multiple deices to access the same data. I fear this is the direction of the future but it doesn't mean I like it.

    Jerry

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    Quote Originally Posted by jwitalka View Post
    I totally agree with your closing statement but was less than impressed with the article. I can't really see using half of your monitor screen space just to track Email and Twitter. Desktop new mail alarms with a minimized email client is much more efficient. I don't use Twitter but I assume it must have a similar capability. Otherwise, i would think periodically checking it would be more efficient.
    Jerry
    Twitter is rather different from email. You do get warnings, but if you follow many people (which is the case with most users), you will get much more tweets than email messages. I can understand why the choice is having twitter open like that.

    Twitter can be quite disruptive. I close it down when I need to concentrate on something or when I am working.
    Rui
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    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    As an old codger, I just don't see the need to be immediately informed of someones Tweets. Checking once or twice a day, which is what i do with Facebook, seems sufficient. But we all have different needs.

    The other thing I don't like about the Modern UI is its chromeless UI. I like menus (and even the ribbon) to click on program features rather than having to hit special keys or perform some mouse magic to call them up. The author somewhat alluded to this with his use of the browser and kludging around the lack of tabbed windows by opening up multiple instances of the browser. Call me not impressed.

    Jerry

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    I don't see myself without a desktop, Jerry, but I think our computing habits will change as the operating systems change. I really thought I had no use for a smartphone, until I got one. Now I have two .
    Rui
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    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    RUI, you very well could be right. I never thought there would be any use for a tablet until I got my wife an Ipad. She hasn't turned her PC on since.

    But you're still talking to someone who doesn't understand the fascination with texting when you could just make a voice call and save all that messing around with a tiny keyboard. I'd probably look at a smartphone but I don't think I'd get enough use out of it to justify the cost of a data plan. I only have a $7 a month no contact cell phone that I rarely use. I'll probably have the last land line available.

    Jerry

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    Competition for last land line, I enjoy nothing more than not having a smart anything when I'm out and about. I spend such an infernal amount of time on computers as is that its pure joy not to be interrupted at all.

    The article makes a good push for the simpler things to do as long as they are all within arm's reach. That combination still seems to limit touch quite a bit. Replace an iPad, sure, but I don't think the complexities of desktop interaction can be touched. The more I look the more it seems like two fundamentally different interaction "lifestyles," if you will. There will be overlap of course, but not replacement, because it doesn't matter how fine tuned touch gets, it'll always be too big and bulky for detailed work and always needs to be within the scope and command of one's digits.

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    WS Lounge VIP access-mdb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwitalka View Post
    RUI, you very well could be right. I never thought there would be any use for a tablet until I got my wife an Ipad. She hasn't turned her PC on since.
    Jerry, you've probably hit the nail on the head. I suspect that a large proportion of people don't do much more than use Twitter, Facebook, a browser, perhaps an email program and not a great deal more. For them a tablet or smartphone is ideal, whereas a desktop is well overkill. Even laptops are a bit over the top for those sorts of people. You can get used to touch screens very quickly (I have on my Google Nexus 7 and I've surprised myself). But when I want to do real work, then it's the desktop for me (not even a laptop!). I wonder if the slump in desktop sales is due to this rather than W8 per se. I'm keeping my landline (so I'll be the last one!). Until of course, it becomes cheaper to use mobile broadband for my wife and I.

    Just to change the technology, I'm amazed at what TVs can do now and with PVRs who needs VHS or recordable DVDs! What else will we old codgers say is too new fangled and then get bowled over by the rush of many (most?) others scrambling to get the new technology?

  9. #9
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Let me begin by declaring that I will have the last landline. My broadband is DSL, and I know the phone repairman on a first name basis. In Florida we sometimes have hurricanes, lots and lots of thunderstorms, and cable sometimes goes out, but the landline is (almost) always there. After Hurricane Charlie, we were without power for ten days, but the phone never quit.

    I need a cell phone for work, but a smart phone is just too much (and bigger than I like) for what I need in a phone, and not enough for what I need in a PC - it would just be a waste of money. My cell phone has a touch screen and a slide-out qwerty keyboard, and I can use text and email if need be. My hands are often busy and/or muddy, and I have my cell phone programmed with distinctive ring tones so that I can know without looking whether a phone call needs my immediate attention.

    But at work, I don't really need the internet for anything. I use Excel quite a bit (after my field work), and I just don't see anything less than at least a laptop being capable of what I need. So I have a cell phone that fits my needs well, a desktop for major storage (3TB, and no, I don't want to store any of my stuff "in the cloud"), a NAS (3TB) for drive images, and a laptop for portability. A tablet would only be a toy, and I'm just really not interested in that sort of toy.

    Where texting comes in handy for me is in sending/receiving information of some gravity but no immediacy, with the added bonus of acting like a sticky note, a reminder. For more immediate communications needs, I make a call.

    I don't foresee any operating system or hardware changes in my lifetime that can have any real effect on my needs or change the way I do things.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
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    There is one big reason for me to use smartphones, which is also about communications, although free ones: Skype. I have been using Skype more and more, on the go and it is quite useful. Without a smartphone, this wouldn't be possible.
    With Windows Phone 8, Skype is a first rate citizen. Skype calls are just as other calls, skype contacts are part of the People's hub (similar to Windows 8), so that's a very big advantage for me. Just for that single aspect, a smartphone is very much worthwhile, but there are other things of interest for me, of course.
    Rui
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  11. #11
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    My cellphone plan is a family shared plan, has 1400 minutes/month plus rollover, unlimited text, unlimited (non-smartphone) internet, free mobile-to-any-mobile calling, free long distance, with my rollover balance currently at just over 14,000 minutes. There are 5 phones on the plan at $278/month, or roughly $56/phone, which includes damage/loss insurance.

    I've had this particular plan for over 10 years (started with 3 phones, added 2 over the years), and in all that time I had to pay overage charges only one month for text messages (teenagers) and immediately upgraded to unlimited texting. Communications are not an issue for me. A smartphone would not in any way be an advantage for me, and undoubtedly more expensive.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

  12. #12
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    I use Skype for international calls, mainly. Very few plans account for that and the ones that do are rather expensive.
    Rui
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    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruirib View Post
    I use Skype for international calls, mainly. Very few plans account for that and the ones that do are rather expensive.
    Of course that would be an advantage for you, and I'm not saying smartphones are a needless expense for everyone, just that for me, communications are not an issue, and that together with those other reasons leaves smartphones off the table. There are simply too many of us with too many disparate needs in technology for a one-size-fits-all solution.

    The great equalizer in Windows is its tremendous flexibility, and trying to squeeze the 'square' PC world into a touch-centric 'round' hole borders on laughable to me. Not in my lifetime, anyway.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

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    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwitalka View Post
    RUI, you very well could be right. I never thought there would be any use for a tablet until I got my wife an Ipad. She hasn't turned her PC on since.

    But you're still talking to someone who doesn't understand the fascination with texting when you could just make a voice call and save all that messing around with a tiny keyboard. I'd probably look at a smartphone but I don't think I'd get enough use out of it to justify the cost of a data plan. I only have a $7 a month no contact cell phone that I rarely use. I'll probably have the last land line available.

    Jerry
    Texting is very useful if you're trying to communicate with someone who can't take a call at the moment, for example, if they are in church or in a class.

    It's also very useful for keeping in touch with your kids, who generally prefer texting to talking.

  15. #15
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by access-mdb View Post
    Jerry, you've probably hit the nail on the head. I suspect that a large proportion of people don't do much more than use Twitter, Facebook, a browser, perhaps an email program and not a great deal more. For them a tablet or smartphone is ideal, whereas a desktop is well overkill. Even laptops are a bit over the top for those sorts of people. You can get used to touch screens very quickly (I have on my Google Nexus 7 and I've surprised myself). But when I want to do real work, then it's the desktop for me (not even a laptop!). I wonder if the slump in desktop sales is due to this rather than W8 per se. I'm keeping my landline (so I'll be the last one!). Until of course, it becomes cheaper to use mobile broadband for my wife and I.

    Just to change the technology, I'm amazed at what TVs can do now and with PVRs who needs VHS or recordable DVDs! What else will we old codgers say is too new fangled and then get bowled over by the rush of many (most?) others scrambling to get the new technology?
    Recordable DVDs have their use -- you can record stuff at home, then easily take it with you to another location.

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