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You Can’t Beat the System

The operating system that is.

I guess everybody who, like me, runs Windows 7 has been reminded regularly that we can all upgrade to Windows 10 – FREE! Despite dismissing these reminders out of hand, a small part of me thinks “Should I get it?”

I must confess to never even having tried W10. However the reviews are good “Best Windows Yet” being a common opinion. Reviewers, I suspect are impressed by clever features. They tot up these features, see how well they all work and deliver a verdict.

On the other hand, I spend all day every day at my computer. Do I need fancy features or do I just need something that gets the job done and doesn’t slow me down.

What do I need from and O/S

Ignoring the hype – lets consider the basics. Here’s a list of what I actually need.

  • Quick Boot Up. I want my computer to wake up before I’ve finished my first coffee.

  • Development Tools. I use a lot of them – native windows, cross platform and micro-controller. Including some legacy. And I need them all to work.

  • Web Browser. Needed to try to find out why I can’t get the development tools to do what I want them to.

  • Email. For explaining why I haven’t done what I said I would do because I couldn’t get the development tools to do what I wanted them to.

  • Documentation. Includes writing blogs! Always seems to be too much of it. I currently use LibreOffice to do it.

  • Arty Stuff. I’m not rich enough to pay someone to do web site development or design user interfaces so I end up having to do quite a lot of graphics and image manipulation.

  • Ahem. Oh yes, there’s solitaire and free cell – see my games blogs for interesting stuff about games.

Operating Systems Past & Present

Perhaps a quick glance at Windows versions past might help to assess the merits of the new version?

95 / 98 I used to have a box file containing all the installation disks and a crib sheet. I could reinstall Windows 98, all my applications and all my data in half a day. The bad old days.

2000 & XP. The former was stable and the latter improved on it. XP is the best version of Windows in my view – I’d still be using it if I had my way.

Vista. The OS from hell. No matter how much RAM you had or how carefully you worked, it would run out of memory. And my Vista desktop crashed completely the first week I had it.

7 What happened to 4, 5 & 6 eh? Pretty much like XP in look and feel and it works reliably. It’s what I’m using now.

8 & 8.1 Why take an OS that everyone gets on with and replace it with an utter pain in the behind? A huge sigh of relief that I’ve mostly managed to avoid W8.

So What’s on Offer

What is W10 offering us to justify the hassle of upgrading. After some not too extensive research, here are my pros & cons.

Ford Cortina MkIII

OK Cortana not Cortina – I couldn’t resist!

Pro: Cortana. – {META2} I seem to spend a lot of time looking for things amongst masses of data – who thought 2TB disks were a good idea. It (she) any faster – really inteligent? We shall see.

Con: Cortana. Don’t fancy her chances of hearing me above Django Django!

Pro: Task view. Like this – I don’t have room for a second monitor and I end up running lots of applications.

Con: Learning time. The pace things move on these days, I seem to spend half my time learning new stuff. Do I really want something else new to learn?

Pro: Start menu. Back and expanded so, unlike W8, it looks like you can find your way around easily.

Pro: Disk Space. My OS lives on an SSD so this is important. W10 promises a smaller footprint but if you want to be able to revert to your previous OS how much space does the back take up?

Other Stuff. W10 offers face recognition for login but this requires a “depth” camera and I certainly don’t have one of those. Xbox integration – great idea, but what about solitaire?

A Word to the Smug

Finally, a word to all you MAC OS & Linux users. Looking smug? Just goes to show it is possible to produce a modern operating system without completely changing it every few years!