Dancers Anonymous > Why has Windows 7 Been Rendered So Unusable?

Discussion in 'Dancers Anonymous' started by DWise1, Jul 2, 2011.

  1. DWise1

    DWise1 Well-Known Member

    I know that we used to have somebody here who worked for Microsoft. Could he please enlighten us as to the reason why Microsoft has rendered Windows 7 so unusable?

    Specifically, the search utility does not work. At all. Not in the least. WinXP's search utility worked wonderfully. So why destroy that functionality? Whenever I need to search files, I have to fire up my 6+-year-old laptop. Which is not going to last much longer. After it has died, how am I supposed to do anything? I can't even get grep to work anymore.

    Why is Microsoft working so hard to drive its users away?
  2. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

    Search works fine for me... or are you talking about the command line search? The new windows search is built into the upper right hand corner of every window. You just type what you're looking for and it starts searching dynamically.
  3. DWise1

    DWise1 Well-Known Member

    Search files in a given location that contain a given string.

    Just tried it yet again. That "upper right hand corner" thing. Does not work! Does not even begin to work!

    If "search" works fine for you, then you mustn't ever look for anything.

    Why screw up something so horribly that used to work so well?
  4. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    All righty then ...

    Does Microsoft have any sort of feedback/gripe mechanism or beta-testing for future releases?

    It's hard, when you're in R&D, to envision how people actually use things. Its easy to see what they'll be able to do, and all the whiz-bang new technology that you're bringing their way. But did anyone at MS think about a scenario in which a user needs to retrieve decade-old data? Probably not. Sucky, but true. *sigh*
  5. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Oh yeah and... when I've had problems with windows (such as viruses that embedded themselves in the windows start-up files) I started up in DOS mode and navigated around to look for/do what I needed. Colossal pain in the butt, but it works. Timing is everything (Windows is fast! You have to be fast, if you want to rule the world.) but it does work, if you know what you're looking for. :cool:
  6. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    no problems here...pebkac?
  7. if you mean the little window with the magnifying glass at the side.... do not hit enter when you have finished your search string. if i accidently do it enter, it tries to access an ip address, but if i do not hit enter, it returns a nice list of results.

    hope that helps
  8. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

    Actually, data obsolescence planning is part of the industry generally. That being said, it behooves individuals and organizations to be aware of vendor policies and time frames (with it being incumbent on vendors to choose those reasonably and communicate them clearly). Preserving backwards compatibility is harder than laypeople seem to imagine and can be a serious drag on new development.

    I say all this generally and without taking any side whatsoever on how good a job MS did with this particular feature. I haven't investigated that at all.
  9. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Awesome, DL! Thanks. So, when you say data obsolescence planning, exactly what does that entail? Is it possible for existing files to age off of a hard drive, for example, which I assume would mean that the memory cells where info was stored either get over-written or become otherwise inaccessible via normal means?

    Intriguing. :-D
  10. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

    For example, file formats change over time. Eventually new software tends to stop supporting old file formats. When that happens generally tools are made available to convert old data to new formats.

    If you store your files on the same device indefinitely, you have only yourself to blame if they disappear. No software provider can save you from that. Yes, hard drives (and all other media) go bad, given enough time. Institutions that archive large amounts of data tend to know in detail, say, how long a particular CD made in a particular year by a particular vendor will last, and to have a collection of devices capable of reading the various sorts of media they archive (and a collection of computers to which it's possible to connect those devices, and a collection of spare parts).

    "Put it in the cloud" is the currently fashionable response to physical data archival concerns. Of course, it requires that you trust someone else to store and guard data on your behalf over the long term.
  11. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    That makes perfect sense, DL. Thanks for the explanation. :)
  12. DWise1

    DWise1 Well-Known Member

    Why all the talk of file-format obselescence? These are text files. Plain old text files. What idiot would design in the inability to search through text files?

    Case in point: I have the King James Bible in one directory, divided up into with each chapter its own text file. I was attempting to search for a specific reference in Genesis. Windows 7 cannot handle such a simple common computer task. I had to fire up my 6+-year-old WinXP laptop and wait a short eternity for it to boot up in order to accomplish such a simple common computer task.

    Now, if it were to turn out that ability to search for files with a given text string in them is in fact still there, but merely hidden away where the user cannot find it, then why not simply reveal it?
  13. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Because none of us has been able to replicate the problem you describe. :cool:
  14. DWise1

    DWise1 Well-Known Member

    Then how exactly did you accomplish the task successfully?
  15. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

    Pygmalion asked generally about whether industry folks considered the problem of dealing with decade-old data. My answer was a for-example to support my answer of "yes".

    Additionally, it's not as though so-called "plain text" has never suffered file format obsolescence. Just recently I had to deal with some data encoded with EBCDIC. That's not to mention the issues with migrating from various foreign character encoding schemes to unicode/utf-8 (which itself is not to mention issues with multiple proprietary uses of the private-use areas in utf-8 e.g. to implement emoji). Then there's the more commonplace issue of converting line feeds between DOS and UNIX conventions. That's just off the top of my head...

    However I of course cede your point that ASCII is a long-time survivor and, since utf-8 is backwards-compatible with it, is here to stay for the foreseeable future.

    For this specific problem, you could always download the project Gutenburg version: (plain text variant, clearly annotated with book, chapter, and verse)

    Then you could find-in file using a browser or notepad. I expect that searching through 5mb on a machine modern enough to run Win7 would be as close to instantaneous as makes no difference for human interaction.

    All that being said, I don't have a Win7 box handy so I can't offer advice on how to use it to search the contents of files in a directory.
  16. DWise1

    DWise1 Well-Known Member

    Since I already have the text files, 833 of them, that is unnecessary.

    Yes. Individually and manually open 833 files and manually enter the find command. 833 times. Close to instantaneous? Yeah, right.

    But with WinXP search, it was close to instantaneous. Each individual file manually with Win7? Not so much.
  17. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

    ok figured it out. I think.

    1. Click on the windows icon.
    2. in the search programs field, type "search"
    3. There should be an option for "Change search options for files and folders". Click on it.
    4. Under the Search tab, toggle the radio button at the top to "Always search file names and contents"

    Hope this fixes your problem.
  18. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

    I meant for a single file containing all the data, of course. I went to the plain-text link I noted and searched for several phrases in my browser window and never noticed any wait time, even with retrieving the file over the internet.

    What I suggest likely is not suitable for scholarly work. If, for example, you have a very specific edition/translation, not well-annotated except for your file schema, and you need consistent results with various careful research you've done over many years -- I guess you're stuck with the system you've got, and I still don't have any specific advice about how to implement it with Win7 (sorry).

    ...but now I see Subliminal does. :)
  19. etp777

    etp777 Active Member

    Subliminal has it. Just remember that searching nonindexed locations will be SLOW. SO enable indexing on any locations you expect to be doing a lot of content searching
  20. DWise1

    DWise1 Well-Known Member

    Do you mean the Start Button? Did that. Typed in "search". "Change how Windows Searches" was the closest I could find to the option you say should be there. The dialog that pops up, Indexing Options, has no Search tab, nor any radio buttons, let alone any mention of searching file contents.

    Still no solution in sight. Macs are too confusing and undoubtedly even more difficult to do anything useful in, I don't know Linux applications that well, and most of my work is tied to Windows. Is there at least a suite of UNIX utilities available? I'm ready to kill for grep.

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