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Why are they so good?
Rather than some designer’s flashy vision of the future, Windows 98 icons made the operating system feel like a place to get real work done. They had hard edges, soft colors and easy-to-recognize symbols. ... Maybe its nostalgia, but I still prefer the classic icons of Windows 98 over the shiny, drop-shadowed icons of later years.
Eric Lundgren is an environmental hero, whose California business diverts literal tons of e-waste from landfills, refurbishes it, and puts it in the hands of people who can make good use of it. Read the rest
Five years ago, Steve Ballmer said "we can make Windows devices once again the devices to own." Last week, Microsoft announced that Windows will no longer be a standalone unit at Microsoft, ending a division dedicated to personal OS that started in 1980. Via Ben Thompson at Stratechery: Read the rest
This is too much fun. As he writes:
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Ah yes, good old paint. Not the one with the ribbons or the new skeuomorphic one with the interface that can take up nearly half the screen. And sorry, not the even newer Paint 3D.
Windows 95, 98, and XP were the golden years of paint. You had a tool box and a color box, a foreground color and a background color, and that was all you needed.
Things were simple.
But we want to undo more than three actions. We want to edit transparent images. We can't just keep using the old paint.
So that's why I'm making JS Paint. I want to bring good old paint into the modern era.
Pippin Barr (previously) created a game that presents itself as a Windows 3-ish desktop from about 25 years ago. Mash away at each task in It Is As If You Were Doing Work until you win promotions and break time, wherein Breakout may be played.
“I positioned It is as if you were doing work in the context of the apparently near future of automated work (I read Rise of the Robots by Martin Ford recently in this vein). Thus the game poses as an application that humans who have been put out of work by robots and AI can play as a way to recapture the sense they once had of doing work and being productive. It’s a kind of semi-condescending service offered by this new world to those of us who can’t deal with it.”
Have you ever looked up at a small window in your Craftsman home and thought to yourself, "well, that's nice, but it'd be better if it had the golden arches of the McDonald's Restaurant logo on it?" Well, a Craiglist seller in Pittsburgh has the olive and burgundy transom of your dreams.
I purchased this window at an auction over 30 years ago in Meadville PA after the restaurants underwent a restoration. It is stained glass with a wood frame. They were used as dividers between the booths. Excellent condition -- has always been indoors.
The window measures 36" x 17" and priced at $150. Read the rest
Microsoft gives away (ie forces) upgrades to Windows 10, and the price (ie reason) is that it is now "infested" with advertising, writes Tom Warren. Ads in the file explorer. Ads in core apps. Ads for Microsoft's browser that pop up as system notifications when he uses Chrome.
Microsoft added a notification center to Windows 10 for a reason. If it feels the need to blast its loyal users with irritating prompts then these should be channeled into that notification center, not wedged into the File Explorer or on top of the task bar. You shouldn't have to dig deep into a settings panel to disable these; they shouldn't be there in your File Explorer in the first place. Microsoft already had to walk back its aggressive Windows 10 upgrade prompts last year, so hopefully the company will come to its senses and rethink these annoying ads and bloatware in Windows 10.
Also, Mac nerds angrily switching to Windows was the computing equivalent of voting for Trump. The sick, sweet schadenfreude of watching the results gives me no pleasure. None at all! Read the rest
Windows 10 takes one of the most hated aspects of Microsoft operating systems -- forced, sudden software updates and reboots -- and elevates them to a sadistic art, with Win 10 machines suddenly announcing that it's update time and rendering themselves inoperable for up to an hour, wiping out unsaved work and locking users out of their computers while they're onstage, or in the middle of large file uploads, or livecasting, or completing a live test for college admission, taking notes during an interview, etc. Read the rest
This gallery of public Blue Screen of Death crashes on screens is a great reminder that, as Vice's Rachel Pick says, "life is a farce." Read the rest
Odlanor is Windows malware that targets users of Pokerstars and Full Tilt Poker, and exfiltrates information about their cards to their competitors. Read the rest
Kirk writes, "This weekend we upgraded my 14-year-old son's laptop from Windows 8 to Windows 10. Today I got a creepy-ass email from Microsoft titled 'Weekly activity report for [my kid]', including which websites he's visited, how many hours per day he's used it, and how many minutes he used each of his favorite apps." Read the rest
If Microsoft designed the world's greatest toaster, it would put full-bore Windows on it and call it the Oxidizing Thermodynamic Energy Transfer Platform for Bread Pro. CNET's Luke Westaway:
Only a third of the available storage on Microsoft's Surface Pro tablet will be available to customers, with hefty software clogging up the upcoming tablet's hard drive. The 64GB model will in fact contain just 23GB of useful space, CNET reports. ... Why do you get so much less space? It seems that Microsoft's built-in software is hogging gigabytes, while a recovery partition is also blamed for taking up hard drive capacity.
40GB! iOS and Android are what, 1GB? It's as if Microsoft just can't see a particular color in the spectrum of business, and the thing killing it is that color. Read the rest