Archive for the ‘Windows 8’ Category

A few minutes ago I deleted iolo System Mechanic 9.5.5 from my Windows 7 Professional machine because I had had it with the stupid hangs. My patience, in my dotage, is legendary (but to be honest the kids are the biggest beneficiaries of it). But, I just couldn’t take the damn hangs. So System Mechanic had to go.

I uninstalled it using the Windows 7 Control Panel Uninstall. So it was Windows 7 that did the uninstall. (Yes, later, using instructions from iolo I went and removed the iolo folder from the registry. But, that is another story. Bloody iolo.)

When the uninstall was over I noticed a ‘ghost,’ generic icon on the Task Bar where the System Mechanic icon used to be!


Clicked on it? Said that the program associated with that icon was no longer installed. DAMN RIGHT. You (meaning Windows 7) uninstalled it. Remember?

That is STUPID.

I had to now manually delete the generic icon. Come on Microsoft. Can’t you do better than this?

So the BUG: Windows 7 doesn’t clean up the Task Bar icon when it uninstalls an application.

Gee, thanks Microsoft. You guys are the best?

Thanks. Good luck. We need it.


Anura Guruge

P.S. iolo has TWO folders in the Registry under HKEY_CURRENT_USER. One says System Mechanic 5. That is encouraging when you are trying to delete ALL SIGNS of System Mechanic 9.5.5. The other one, that iolo does NOT talk about, is called TMRU Como. I deleted that too. I didn’t want anything from iolo polluting my system. Good bye and good riddance. Yes, I had a few months left on my fully paid up System Mechanic license. But getting rid of SM was well worth it. Just for the record, I was a HUGE fan of System Mechanic since c. 2002. It was just the damn hangs with Windows 7 that drove me to distraction. Sorry. Old age. Grumpy OLD MAN.

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I had flagged that Windows 7 had trouble accurately calculating “time remaining” on large file (folder) transfer … way back on November 9, 2009 … the first time I had seen this problem. Given that my Windows 7 rig has a 4 core Intel i7-920 and 12GB of memory, Microsoft cannot really claim that lack of ‘computing resources’ was hampering its ability to dynamically update the status of the file transfer — even taking into account retries and the impact of these retries on completing the transfer.

Saw this problem again, graphically and distressingly, yesterday. Now that I am using 3 machines in parallel, one Windows 7 professional and two running XP Pro, I wanted to make sure that I had a master copy of my main folders on a USB key … for safe-keeping. I have a ‘no-name,’ 4GB USB key, that I got for free from newegg.com. It was part of some ‘rebate’ deal. I don’t think it is a very good key and I am sure it is slow. But, the price was right and I was brought up never to look a gift horse in the mouth.

I went ahead to copy my ‘MY WEBS’ folder that contains the the files for all of my dozen or so FrontPage 2003 Web sites. This folder contains 15,958 files and is 1.34GB in size. Not that big, but respectable.

When I initiated the folder copy, Windows 7 … after a minute or so … said I had 30 minutes remaining … on the transfer. That sounded a lot.

But, I watched. The progress bar was moving steadily but the “time remaining” stayed the same. Then it said 26 minutes. At some later point it said 14 minutes. By now the transfer had been going on for about 4 minutes. That USB key is slow and there were probably write errors on the key — necessitating retries.

Then it shot up to 40 minutes remaining. Yes, I am willing to concede that there might have been a spate of errors that made Windows 7 pessimistic.

But, shortly afterwards, with Windows 7 still showing xx minutes remaining, it was DONE. I checked. I got it all.

It had taken a grand total of 14 minutes.

This is 2010. Most FTP clients manage to get time remaining right … though I will concede that they are dealing with slightly slower transfer rates.

I just think that Windows 7 can do better. If not, this has to be something addressed by Windows 8.

I am a great believer in Lewis Carroll’s adage that a watch that is broken (and thus doesn’t run) is better than one that is one minute late, since the broken one will display the right time twice a day, while the one that is one minute slow will never display the right time. IF, Windows 7 really has problems estimating the time remaining, I would rather, it didn’t tell me anything. Just display a progress bar. I will work it out.

Thanks. Cheers.

Anura Guruge

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The Windows 7 Graphical User Interface (GUI), despite all of the ballyhoo about its slickness, is INCREDIBLY inconsistent and leaves a lot to be desired.

I will give you an easy one first, sticky notes. The Windows 7 sticky notes violates every single GUI precept! You don’t even get a copy option … never mind a print capability. Cut, copy & print are fundamental GUI operations. Trust me. Sticky notes doesn’t give you any. I don’t use sticky notes, but if I did I would soon despair. The lack of these basic functions is like having a TV where you can’t change channels.

Now try the Windows 7 calculator … which really is the same as that which was there is Windows 98 (if not earlier). Try something really trivial. Try selecting the number displayed on the calculator. You know … put the cursor over it … and try to select it … so that you can copy it. YOU CAN’T SELECT IT! However, to be fair, the calculator does support COPY & PASTE, from the edit menu. Copy, though, selects and copies the WHOLE displayed number. You don’t have the option of selecting and copying a subset of the displayed numbers. This galls me no end.

OK. Now to even bigger holes … albeit in areas that most users will never venture.

Look at the Windows 7 ‘Update History’. You can get to it from the Control Panel or via the ever helpful Action Center.

You get a whole window of all of the installed Updates … and the date they were installed. Here is a snapshot … as ever done using the Snipper … whose GUI doesn’t have the mandatory UNDO.

Well, since this is bona fide Windows 7 window it has the obligatory ‘File  Edit  View  Tool  Help’ menu bar. Great. But the EDIT menu does NOT support COPY! Aaahhh! How is this possible.

You can’t even do a CTRL+A to select all of the entries in the window.

Basically you can’t copy the entries in that window. GO FIGURE.

I wanted to copy the entries, paste it into Excel and do some analysis. I was foiled. This is inexcusable.

Yes, I know that Windows 8 is in the works. Well, Microsoft, forget the flash. PLEASE start by getting the bare basics RIGHT. That way the Mac folks won’t continue to make fun of us. Here is an easy metaphor to help you get this right. I call it the tale of the two ‘Steves.’ One dapper. The other looks best in drag. The GUIs they are responsible for, alas, follow that paradigm. The Mac GUI is dapper. Windows 7 GUI can be a drag.

Thanks. Cheers.

Anura Guruge

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