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  1. #1
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    Win8 lessons: Touch-and-swipe on the desktop




    WINDOWS 8


    Win8 lessons: Touch-and-swipe on the desktop


    By Tony Bradley

    The venerable PC mouse was fine in its day, but smartphones and tablets have made most personal-computer users (at least) comfortable with touch-and-swipe.
    But learning to love touch-and-swipe navigation on the desktop required experimenting with various input devices.

    The full text of this column is posted at windowssecrets.com/windows-8/win8-lessons-touch-and-swipe-on-the-desktop/ (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.

  2. #2
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    Thumbs down Tony Bradley is more than welcome to [his] touch interface.

    Sorry Tony, but this is the biggest pile of [unmentionable] I've read in quite a while. It's fine with me if you happen to like touch interfaces, however to excuse what's arguably the clunkiest OS our pals in Redmond have ever regurgitated, by dint of your having learned to finger swipe is nonsense. Microsoft began screwing up and dumbing down their UIs with Win 7 and Office 2007. They've stayed that course in spades ever since. Face facts, touch interfaces are nothing more than an accommodation for a generation that's benumbed their brains with 'smart phones'.

    Perhaps some day you'll have an inquisitive child with filthy fingers who'll not only smear your touch screen but also leverage it as the perfect vector for colds, flu and stomach viruses, gifts to the entire household. Sometimes innovation is a huge step backwards. Innovation for its own sake certainly is. Also, don't overlook the fact that Win 8x is widely disliked. I'm including countless users who use Win 8 only because Microsoft inflicted it on the manufacturers of their systems. I don't think a proven, widely-adopted paradigm (the mouse) should undergo enforced obsolescence, just because some suits at Microsoft decided to fire another dud.
    Last edited by wb66; 2013-09-26 at 03:27.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Ouch



    Please, lets stop calling smart phones and tablets computers. All they are is the equivalent of modern day idiot boxes with a chip.
    They're all sugar and no meat. And that's not the direction I believe [real] computing is going.

    I'm not quite ready to give up my wired mouse even for a non wired one, but reaching over to finger my 27 inch monitor
    is just not gonna happen.
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  4. #4
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CLiNT View Post
    Ouch



    Please, lets stop calling smart phones and tablets computers. All they are is the equivalent of modern day idiot boxes with a chip.
    They're all sugar and no meat. And that's not the direction I believe [real] computing is going.

    I'm not quite ready to give up my wired mouse even for a non wired one, but reaching over to finger my 27 inch monitor
    is just not gonna happen.
    CLiNT, these devices are in my opinion just as welcome to call themselves computers as my laptop is welcome to call itself a PC. That is definitely not my issue with this article. Read my next post.
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  5. #5
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Microsoft and this Author Just Do Not Get It

    My eventual solution to touch-and-swipe at my desk was a wireless touchpad. It’s placed to the right of my keyboard, where the mouse normally sits, within comfortable — and ergonomically correct — reach.
    In what universe is this actually the way Windows 8 Apps (like Office 2013) and "true" Metro Style Apps operate?

    The gymnastics used in the article to force Windows 8 into submission reflect exactly what I had been going through with my non-touch laptop, but in sort of a mirror-image. (Adapting mobile devices with peripherals to get desktop applications to work is the mirror-image of trying to use peripherals to adapt a non-touch laptop to the Metro Apps.)

    All of this expense and jury-rigging is ridiculous!! It may be ergonomical, but it is NOT economical!

    The future of Windows is obvious, not from the remaining ability to use the "deprecated" dektop, but rather in the new Metro Apps which Microsoft is ramming down everyone's throat as if the Mouse were a carrier of the Plague.

    This Microsoft arrogance and refusal to listen to customer demands is what has driven me away from Windows 8 and into the waiting arms of GNOME-Ubuntu Linux 13.04. Now I can use the right OS for the right device. Linux for the desktop and Android for Mobile Apps. Problem solved -- without gymnastics and peripherals.

    And a good riddance! (Of Windows 8 and Micrtosoft's arrogance.)

    And no, the installation and configuration of Linux on a Toshiba Satellite laptop has NOT been easy. But it has been worth it.

    If I can't get something to work in Linux, it's usually some entertainment application (e.g, certain streaming video players), which can just as well be used on a large Android Tablet. Android Tablets of reasonable capabilities are coming down in price rapidly. Amazingly to me, very few things I would ever want to do can't be done in either Linux or Android. YMMV.

    Is this [the Logitech Touchpad] the death knell for the classic PC mouse? Hardly. Many users will stay stubbornly attached to the original pointer. But given our addiction to various mobile digital devices, touch-and-swipe is here to stay — Microsoft has charted the right course for its nearly ubiquitous operating system.
    Here in the Lounge, I am not noted for being a stubborn person who doesn't adapt to changes in software interfaces or input devices. But let's face some facts: Tablets are where Touch belongs and works very well. But NOT the Jekyll-Hyde Windows 8 Metro Touch implementation. And the desktop is where a mouse and keyboard are still the best way to interact with applications.

    For non-touch PCs and laptops, there are OS alternatives to trying to squeeze the last lifeblood out of the dying MS Legacy Desktop.

    Windows XP is not forever, and "upgrading " to Windows 8 is not inevitable. (Don't get me started on why not go over to Apple!)
    Last edited by bobprimak; 2013-09-27 at 17:22. Reason: clarify a semantic distinction
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  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobprimak View Post
    In what universe is this actually the way Windows 8 Metro Apps (like Office 2013) operate?
    There isn't an Office Metro app (yet).

    Bruce
    Last edited by BruceR; 2013-09-26 at 13:14.

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    Where do you PUT this touchpad? Touch gestures are fine on a device that's sitting right in front of you, but at my desktop system I use a full-size keyboard, so a touchpad placed to the right of the keyboard would be sitting a good two feet to the right of the H key on my keyboard. Having to constantly reach that far to the right is an ergonomic nightmare, and a gesture like pinch-and-zoom would require ludicrous contortions.
    Last edited by 6502coder; 2013-09-26 at 13:27.

  9. #8
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceR View Post
    There isn't an Office Metro app (yet).

    Bruce
    Technically true, but for the end-user experience, false.

    From a user perspective, I disagree. Office 2013 is on the Metro side of Windows 8 and 8.1. Especially on RT Tablets. The distinction between this presentation and a "true Metro Style App" is mere semantics. This is a tech forum, not a debating society.

    Who cares what API Office 2013 is using? It still embodies the worst of the Metro style of visual presentartion already, and it looks like it's only going to get worse.

    All the more reason to ditch Microsoft and go Open Source (LibreOffice), even if you stick with Windows as your OS.
    Last edited by bobprimak; 2013-09-27 at 17:26.
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  10. #9
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 6502coder View Post
    Where do you PUT this touchpad? Touch gestures are fine on a device that's sitting right in front of you, but at my desktop system I use a full-size keyboard, so a touchpad placed to the right of the keyboard would be sitting a good two feet to the right of the H key on my keyboard. Having to constantly reach that far to the right is an ergonomic nightmare, and a gesture like pinch-and-zoom would require ludicrous contortions.
    Exactly!
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