My Nitpicks

Ok, here are some quickies for now until I get more time:

Computer Organization
My Computer, My Documents, My Pictures, etc.

I detest the whole My X craze. Detest! I want to control My Computer, store My Documents where I see fit, and enjoy My Pictures from a folder that was not preordained by Microsoft!

Program Files

Another Microsoft yuck -what the heck is a program file!!?! I mean, I've heard of programs, I've heard of files, but program file?!? What the heck!?!

Game installations

Okay, I'll leave Microsoft alone for a bit - but they have a hand in this too. A big hand. It goes like this:

Games belong in C:\Games\. Period. It's bad enough that every single diddley-squat program ever written after Windows 95 came out wants to live in Program Files, but games...!?! C'mon, people! Get it right!

The Start Menu

Okay, don't get me wrong - I like the Start menu. It's always there, handy - yet unobtrusive. But it has one fatal flaw. "Hmmm... okay, I want to open up that program I installed yesterday, let's see:

"Start -> Programs -> AAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!"

Now I don't know about you, but I have all my programs in the appropriate categories directly under the Start button: Tools, Graphics, Audio, Games, Internet, etc... is this so hard to think of? But now the only problem with that is if I uninstall a program that invaded the Start -> Programs -> menu upon installation, and which I promptly switched to it's rightful place, it will try to remove it's icons from Start -> Programs!!

Computer Hardware
Handy keyboard buttons

Now don't think that I'm talking about the nice "multimedia and web buttons" that some keyboards have - I think that's great. But when my new keyboard moved the 2x6 block of INS-DEL-Home-End-PgUp-PgDn down so that the End key was flush with the Up arrow, and then joined the Print-Screen-ScrollLock-Pause keys down to join them, I thought it was bad enough. Nooo... what was placed in the newly available area next to F12? Super-handy buttons for making my computer go to sleep, wake up, and even a key that near-instantaneously turns the computer off! How handy! Especially for those poor chaps whose computer is 10 feet away (even though the mouse cable is only 4 feet long...), as they can now turn their computer off without having to get up! So now what, they turn their computer off from their seat and then just sit in front of a monitor with a blinking orange-yellow light?

But that's not the worst of it all! The handy-dandy power-off key is as easy to press as any other keys, as it is the exact same kind of button in every manner. But does Windows recognize it? Is there even a feeble attempt to save all your work and shut down programs properly before the computer turns it self off? No, of course not! Those keys are appearently wired directly to the BIOS, so once I press the "off" key, I have about 1.5 seconds of hesitation before anything happens. "Did I press THE BUTTON?!? Maybe it was a light brush..." CLUNK! Fans and drives slow to a halt, speakers give off that typical "pop", and "click" goes the monitor. Yellow, orange, yellow, orange...

Thoughtful speaker systems

Ok, granted I only ran into this problem in one of my 3 speaker sets I have owned, but still...

The company is Yamaha, quite respectable. The object of complaint is one of their 3-piece speaker sets, 2 satelites and a woofer. Quite a heavy and powerful woofer, too. However, that is absolutely no justification for having the headphone jack situated in the woofer. Which is on the floor. Which is about 2 feet beyond the comfortable range of my arms and back. Which is why I got a Logitech SR-30 4.1 system. Which has the front and rear volume dials, as well as the power button and a headphone socket, in a nice wired remote that sits next to my mouse pad. :D

3.5" diskettes

In an attempt to oust the diskette from it's long-occupied position of last line of defense for messed-up Windows installations, Microsoft announced that they would do away with the option of booting from a floppy drive in the next Windows. Which promptly caused their servers to be flooded by angry emails from people who know exactly how reliable any given computer is at booting from a CD.

While I do not agree with the methods, I agree with the goal. 3.5" floppies are old, unreliable, small capacity, etc. They need to be replaced by a new standard that will be as reliable as a hard drive. Microsoft should have evaluated the situation between all the different competing "mega-floppy" standards, chosen one, and thrown their considerable weight behind it. But nooo.... that would ruin their carefully cultivated bad image... :p