Why has Windows 7 Been Rendered So Unusable?

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

  1. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

  2. etp777

    etp777 Active Member

    Open Computer
    Hit alt-t, choose folder options, click on search tab. Select "Always search file names and contents"

    And there are several packages of GNU utilities for Windows. The aforementioned cygwin is my favorite
  3. DWise1

    DWise1 Well-Known Member

    Finally found it (why didn't he say that to begin with?). And thanks for the clue of getting around Microsoft's hiding the main menu from us (why do they keep playing that game with us?). Still doesn't say how to tell search what file content you're looking for.

    I'd always been reluctant to try CygWin, since everything I read indicated that it set up its own environment on your computer. Overkill, in my opinion, because I had the GNU utilities installed able to run just like any other command-line executable ... until 64-bit Win7 came along.

    And now I have to learn yet another shell (YASH) with long-winded and convoluted syntax? Wonderless!
  4. DL

    DL Well-Known Member


    Macs are Unix at heart since the introduction of OSX. Grep is available from the command line.

    If you try a Linux distribution (Ubuntu is currently fashionable), you'll also get grep.

    Windows options include PowerShell (which I thought was included by default in Win7, but I might be wrong), and Cygwin (which actually was not hard at all to install when last I tried it).

    If all of that's still unacceptable, I can only suggest that you find a copy of Solaris x86 somewhere before Oracle expunges it from history.

    After that, I don't know what to say. Technology is always moving, software fastest of all. Sometimes we might not like it but as a practical matter it is what it is. As the new arrives it will never be perfectly 100% compatible with the old for all use cases for all users. The economics simply aren't aligned to provide that for the mass market.
  5. DWise1

    DWise1 Well-Known Member

    Progress == destroy essential functionality and utility

    Got it!


    I just downloaded a grep that seems to work. Had to go with a third party.
  6. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member


    I'm glad you seem to have found something that works for you, D. :-D

    I've come to the conclusion that they play the hidden files game with us because there are far more people who would be dangerous with that knowledge than there are who would be able to use it effectively. Maybe I'm just being a snob, but I don't think so. A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. *shrug*
  7. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    I find windows generally okay except when it updates then it f***s up the printer settings and then autocad freezes. it also deletes shortcuts off the desktop......
  8. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    I don't care for Windows' tendency to update at will on its own timetable, rather than mine. Hint: Installing the latest updates when I'm running late for work and just want three minutes to print out a field-trip permission slip for DS? This does not work for me.

    Other than that, whatever. I've done enough programming and hardware junk to fix basic things and know my limitations. I have no ambition to do much more.
  9. Zhena

    Zhena Well-Known Member

    I love DF. I don't know why, but when there's a conversation that's completely above my head (like this one), I love it that OTHER people are communicating and getting value.

    [... This appreciation applies to technical discussions of dancing where all I know is that I'm not at a level to comprehend the question, let alone the answer ...]
  10. DWise1

    DWise1 Well-Known Member

    Well, yes, though the need MS feels to keep its users away from the main menu is beyond me.

    Still no clue how to get Win7 search to search for specified content. The radio button option doesn't do it; all that does is select whether to restrict that search to indexed files. Even our IT manager is at a total loss as to how to specify the file content to be searched for, something that is clearly provided right up front in WinXP.

    It was stated that everyone else here has no problem doing it (eg, "no problems here...pebkac?", "Because none of us has been able to replicate the problem you describe."), so it would seem odd that a simple request for that procedure should go unanswered.

    Yet again: those of you who claim to have had no problems accomplishing the task of search through files for specific content, how exactly did you accomplish the task successfully?
  11. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Sorry, D. When I posted that, I didn't realize what you were asking. I think you were asking how one would search for specific content inside multiple files. What I thought you were asking was how to find files that you know the names or approximate names of. Two different things.


    No idea how to do what (I now realize) you want. I wish I knew. *shrug*

    And yeah, MS has dumbed a lot of stuff down. This is spoken from the perspective of someone who still remembers a little assembly language lol. My how things have changed!

    All in all, annoying or not, I think that the whole Windows approach is probably best for most people, overall. A big PITB (yes, even in acronyms, I euphemize. lol I know that's not a word.)

    I can only imagine my 80-year-old Mom accidentally deleting a critical .exe file from one of those hidden directories. I suspect that's what the folks at MS are getting at. Eh. *shrug*
  12. etp777

    etp777 Active Member

    Checked radio box, put the content I was looking for in the search window in top right of explorer menu. Nothing beyond that for it to work here
  13. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Yep. You're right, etp. That does work for me. The difference may be the age of the file, though, thinking back to what DL was saying. The computer I'm searching is less than two years old. It's unlikely that file format would be an issue. All the files on this computer are way younger than what D is talking about. *shrug*
  14. DWise1

    DWise1 Well-Known Member

    Which led me to consult help, in which I had so far been unable to find anything, using the keywords, search filter. Lots of hits that didn't address the issue, except for Advanced tips for searching in Windows.

    So now instead of a dialog, the user has to learn arcane rules for piecing together a search filter, with the added benefit that instructions on writing a search filter are sparse and difficult to locate. As that help page says: "Search filters are a new feature in Windows 7 that make searching for files by their properties (such as by author or by file size) much easier." Yeah, right!

    While it can be said that grep's regular expression are even more arcane, at least there is no scarcity of instructional materials describing how to construct a regular expression.

    Is MS succumbing to the smartphone mentality? There aren't any instructions on how to use apps; heck, most of the time you aren't even told what an app is supposed to do. You are expected to just start using it and figuring out from that how to use it -- eg, the other day while displaying a photo, I stumbled across a menu option for displaying the location where that photo was taken (a gaping security hole for our servicemen snapping photos of their outposts to show family what it's like, and for the photos you take and post on Facebook of your car or what you have in your house).

    For that matter, have you heard yet one of the plans for Windows 8? Turn the desktop into a smartphone interface. We just went through that when we tried to use Google Earth on my niece's iPad; with no menu, nor toolbar, nor right-click context menus, most of its functionality had been stripped away. Guess MS doesn't want us to get into trouble by using that right-mouse-click; they're already hiding the main menu from us.


    At least now the mystery of the hamstringed help has been solved. I'll forward my findings to our IT guru. Thanks.
  15. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    I thought it was just me! Yes. I would actually like to have an instruction manual, in the unlikely event I want to know how to do stuff! :lol:

    No such luck these days.
  16. DWise1

    DWise1 Well-Known Member

    I really stubbed my toes on that when I bought my iPod Nano. They threw a lot of features into that thing. But in true Apple fashion, they only gave the most rudimentary instructions for the most basic functions, but absolutely no instructions for those extra features (eg, video camera, sound recorder, pedometer). I had to Google to find some third party instructions to find out how to delete a video recording; that was something that you just could not have found by fumbling through the menus. I know because I had tried.

    It wouldn't/shouldn't be too bad if Apple software weren't so frustratingly un-intuitive. I had a helluva time trying to figure out how to do anything in iTunes. And trying to play a video file on a flashdrive plugged into a brand-new Mac? And that's not counting the fact that it refused to recognize an AVI file.

    As long as the manufacturers persist in neglecting us customers, Google's just about our only friend.
  17. This.

    And this.

    I would caution against trusting Google too much, either. Google is notorious for being unresponsive to customer complaints, feature requests, and bug reports for their products, especially for some of their offerings that have been around for a long time, such as Gmail and Google Calendar.

    It all comes down, in my belief, to Pyg's earlier statement about "dumbing" technology down in recent (i.e. the past 15) years (not just M$, but all large high tech companies in general). This is to lower the barrier of entry into the consumer tech world, so that, for example, Pyg's 80-year-old mother can even use Windows to begin with. By necessity, it must become simpler for novices to use. Lowest common denominator effect, basically.

    On a small side note, for those of you who are so inclined, I would recommend reading Geoffrey Moore's "Crossing the Chasm". It was one of our required reading books in one of my classes in college.
  18. DWise1

    DWise1 Well-Known Member

    Of course, you are complaining about the products and services that Google has been expanding into while I was referring directly to the search engine for which Google is best known, such that Google has become a verb. It's like Xerox as a company having established itself for "dry photography" (the very basis of the company's name) but then having diversified into other products (eg, the development of GUIs, laser printers, and Ethernet at Xerox PARC, which the company then gave away to Apple and 3Com), but we daily use the company name as a verb whenever we "xerox" a document.

    As long as companies refuse to tell us how to use their products, especially the extra features that they advertise and present to customers as the reason to buy their product and not the competition's, we have no alternative but to Google for that information. Without that ability to Google, we are lost; Google'ing is our only friend in this ridiculous situation.

    Not Google'ing, as you inadvertantly advocated, is to embrace ignorance as a way of life. Which to me has always been a definition for stupidity -- "To be ignorant is human; to embrace ignorance is stupid."

    Yes, making it simpler to use does make the product more accessible. But when you add features and offer the user no instructions on how to use or work with those features, then how does that make it easier for the user to access those features? That such tactics instead have the opposite effect of making it much more difficult, impossibly difficult for most, should be intuitively obvious to even the most casual observer.

    For example, the main menu is very helpful for the novice to be able to look for a way to do things in the application. So then how does it make using the application easier for the novice when you hide the main menu from him/her? And offer only a secret keyboard shortcut (Alt-t) to display it; keyboard shortcuts being the tool of advanced users and not of novices.

    Another tool to make things easier for novices is the dialog box. In WinXP and before, search offered a dialog box for setting up the search. That dialog box would even hide the advanced search features so as to not confuse novices, but still made access to those advanced search features obvious for those who wanted them. Now in Vista/Win7 there is no dialog box at all and all users must use a cryptic and complex search filter which still does not provide any apparent way to differentiate between file names and content. Do you really believe that that makes searching easier for the user? If so, then there's a bridge in New York City that I'd like to sell you.

    Would you care to provide us with a summary? Or at least the thesis?
    Including where the author advocates keeping the user ignorant of how to use the features that you had advertised and for which they had bought it?
  19. etp777

    etp777 Active Member


    Yes, actually I do. Again, this is aimed at the main users, lowest common denominator, etc. Normal users store all their files in indexed locations, they don't need to specify anything else. They can just put in what they're searching, it will already be indexed and return both content and filename results, and they'll get exactly what they're looking for. Any options more than that just confuse the regular user. Again on Windows explorer. They can map drives, get into control panel, access all their drives, that's all 95% or more of users need. Leaving the menu bar accessible just confuses them or gets them into places where they break things.

    Is it ideal for you? Maybe not. Is it ideal for the vast majority of Microsoft's customer base? It sure is. My users have all been thrilled with the change to Windows 7, with the computer illiterate ones being some of the happiest
  20. DWise1

    DWise1 Well-Known Member

    Without the menu Windows Explorer lets you map drives and get into the control panel? How? Where? Be specific.

    And you want to allow users to gain access to the control panel? You don't even want to trust them with a main menu, which is fail-safed by not allowing them to do anything but what the GUI wants to allow, so why give them any control at all? You don't think that the control panel gives them far more ways to break something than an app main menu would?

    You don't trust the users and you don't want to confuse them. So the solution is to not allow them to do anything. Tell them all kinds of cool things the computer can do, but don't allow them access to those features. They're happy because they can brag about their new toy's features even though they can't use them. Idiocracy comes to mind.

    And when they do want to actually use a feature, then they go to their computer literate friend for help. And the poor guy goes half-crazy trying to figure out where the frak M$ has hidden that key feature this time, or how they've FUBAR'd it yet again.

    Current issue: I cannot get Win7 to associate Word .doc files with Word. It keeps insisting on either Microsoft [doesn't] Works or XML converter. Word is not an option. So now I need to install Word 2000 to be able to associate .doc files with that.

    Thank you very much, Bill! May I have another one please?

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