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Glurp
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Topic # 239676 29-Jul-2018 16:20
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Just read Nunz’s blog on cloud services and while it doesn’t directly relate to anything in my world, some parts of it definitely struck a chord. Especially the bits about upgrades. This is a particular pet peeve of mine and I have ranted about it before.

 

I rarely leave anything the way it comes out of the box. Often, I run into programmer assumptions that irritate me or don’t do what I think they should and I end up customising or hacking a lot of the software I use. These are generally minor modifications. I no longer possess the know-how to make big changes but I am pretty good at improvising workarounds.

 

More often than not, this means something will break when an update comes along. Even if it doesn’t, my overall experience with updates is that they often remove functionality I like and depend on (Nunz’s point), or just change things in ways that make life harder for me. Updates are supposed to be improvements, and sometimes they are. Much of the time, though, they don’t make my life better. Usually they just cause problems that I then have to try to find new solutions for. How is this supposed to make things better?

 

In general I don’t like updates and I try to avoid them. If I have something that works perfectly satisfactorily for me, why would I possibly want to ‘improve’ it? I have no need or desire for the latest and greatest. If something really is dramatically better, this knowledge soon filters down through sites like Geekzone and I will give it a try to see what it does for me. This has always worked well for me.

 

So what updates have I rejected recently? Well, the latest Windows 7 updates turned my machine into a BSOD graveyard, so I got rid of them and everything works fine again. Fortunately I had past experience to draw on. Pity the poor user who doesn’t have that advantage.

 

I just received a forced Shield upgrade from Nvidia. This changed the Home page layout, which wasn’t a bad thing for me, but it also rammed the truly terrible latest Android version of YouTube down my throat, with no option (any more) to roll it back. With the previous version I was able to replace the YouTube mess with the older version 1.3.11, which was still acceptable. Now I cannot. Fortunately the one that comes as a Kodi add-on is infinitely better for my purposes so I have made a shortcut to that instead and disabled the awful Shield one (it can’t be removed altogether).

 

Another ‘improvement’? Without a word of warning or explanation Nvidia decided to dump the screen recorder. I am not the only one who didn’t appreciate this. For something that costs as much as the Shield does, they sure don’t seem to give a crap about their customers. I use the Shield because the hardware is better. But the software and the thinking behind it is just arrogant sniffing dismissiveness. My workaround here is not to use their interface at all. I have the device set to load Kodi on start-up and I do everything from there with Kodi favourites and a great add-on called Simple Favourites, as well as some other apps. I have also learned my lesson and disabled the upgrade function.

 

While I was thinking about all this and reading Nunz’s blog, I realised what it is that actually annoys me so much. It is not the endless pointless ‘improvements’. It is not the forced upgrades. It is the simple lack of flexibility. Things now come pre-installed with no or only very limited options to change them. Like the interface design itself, these options are restricted by the imagination of the programmers who create them. Simple, obvious things, like the ability to just f-ing turn something off. You can change recommendations to suit different tastes but you can’t just say no thanks. Quiet, uncluttered, blank screen areas seem to be beyond the comprehension of today’s programmers, though I do at least give the Shield credit for that. Unlike the previous version, this one does allow you to clear most of the clutter, though they don’t make it easy. Youtube is another matter. You can’t just turn something off any more. If you get rid of one thing the screen immediately fills with some other rubbish. Just try picking out your actual subscriptions from all the irrelevant crap. Is this some kind of millennial defect?

 

That is all I want. I can live with the upgrades and updates if I have to, but give me the flexibility to adjust things the way I want them, not the way Google thinks I should have them, and for godsake let me just turn things off if that is what I prefer. How hard can it be?





I reject your reality and substitute my own. - Adam Savage
 


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  Reply # 2064639 29-Jul-2018 17:49
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Ignoring updates is a risky pastime. However if you want full control of updates I suggest Linux would be better for you.




Mike
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  Reply # 2064665 29-Jul-2018 19:10
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Windows is for all intents and purposes now Windows as a Service, and many other things are rapidly heading that way too. Embrace that, or pick alternative platforms (e.g. Linux as suggested).





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  Reply # 2064667 29-Jul-2018 19:25
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I do foresee a time when I will probably have to move to Mint but my rant is not only about Windows. It is about upgrades that place unnecessary limits on flexibility.

 

 





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IcI

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  Reply # 2064705 29-Jul-2018 22:09
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Lias: ... or pick alternative platforms (e.g. Linux as suggested). 

 

Sorry to say, but your suggestion really isn't useful in any way.

 

     

  1. Android is a flavour of Linux
  2. Windows Mobiles are dead
  3. What? Change to iOS? The even more walled garden?
  4. Possibly the Roku could be an interesting alternative to the Shield

 

The point of the OP is that upgrades should

 

     

  1. respect current settings
  2. not change settings back to default installation settings
  3. Don't change functionality and/or the look of something just for the sake of it. Just so that the masses out there know that a new version is released.

 

 

 

I've been doing IT for thirty years now & I think the OP is unfortunately fighting a loosing battle.

 

     

  1. It would be great if updates were separated into 

     

       

    1. functionality and
    2. security updates
    3. but they aren't!

     

  2. I don't think current developers have gone through the update cycle enough while trying to maintain current systems. Shiny, new object syndrome. It's 'sexier' to work on something new than try to maintain something.
  3. Our instant satisfaction society says if something doesn't work to your liking to simply by the currently new & hot item instead.
  4. New features are constantly added and old settings / functionality deprecated. Somewhere along the line, developers have to say 'we will not support X any more'. You then have to decide if you want to stay with the old & working for you or go with the new. Sad thing is, eventually you will be forced to go with the new because you have to buy a new / replacement box.

 

I've done many installations & customisations for others. They rarely notice & when it changes they complain and ask me to make it look / work the way it used to. By leaving things at defaults, if they go to another system, it will be the same there, if it changes I can absolve myself & pass the blame to an unknown / uncontactable org. If they then complain that something doesn't work to their liking, I tell them that it possibly can be changed at a cost & with lots of time. Most are not willing to pay the cost to me or by learning themselves how to do it.

 

 

 

Wow, I think this is my longest post here in GZ and it doesn't even have pretty pictures.


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  Reply # 2064752 30-Jul-2018 07:32
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IcI:

 

I've been doing IT for thirty years now & I think the OP is unfortunately fighting a loosing battle.

 

 

I've been working in IT for 23 years, and I KNOW OP is fighting a losing a battle. There will always be fringe alternatives, particularly on the OSS side, but the reality is that almost everything is rapidly moving away from the model he desires. I don't particularly think it's a bad thing myself, particularly with updates.. we've seen the giant security mess caused by expecting end users to update themselves, and to stop using end of life products. In an always on , networked world it's FAR better that they are forced to update, and the products are bricked at end of life than the alternative.





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  Reply # 2064792 30-Jul-2018 09:16
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I think Apple does it best with iOS.

 

Its what other manufacturers are trying (and failing) to copy. If Microsoft & Google could do it like iOS, I think most of the moaning would stop. Maybe the OP should get Apple stuff if they want easy to maintain 'appliance' type devices (with the downside they wont be especially cheap, or customizable)

 

OS X/macOS not so much. Its got a horrible tendency to break compatibility with applications I've purchased.


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  Reply # 2064794 30-Jul-2018 09:20
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When talking desktop in order of best to worst for update process in my flawed opinion is...

 

Chrome OS, Linux, MacOS, Windows 10...…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..Windows 7





Mike
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The views stated in my posts are my personal views and not that of any other organisation.

 

 It's our only home, lets clean it up then...

 

Take My Advice, Pull Down Your Pants And Slide On The Ice!

 

 


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  Reply # 2064823 30-Jul-2018 10:08
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Some of the quirks of updates are just low-level irritating. 

 

A recent update to my Gear S3 re-installed the awful track "Over the Horizon" that comes preloaded on the watch.  The update was able to detect and retain all the songs I had on my watch which was great.  But it also added the song I had deleted.  So I had to delete it again.  (I wonder how may people keep that song?)

 

This is small potatoes really, but it's also a PITA because it take up memory on small device and I have to go in and delete it again.  Also I didn't notice it had been added and it came on right in the middle of an interval run.  Grrr.





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  Reply # 2064843 30-Jul-2018 10:27
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I think the reality is, whilst I don't disagree with the OP's gripe per se, it's just not possible now to provide updates that will in every instance, and respect settings that have been customized locally. The process of keeping track, disabling any update that infringes on this due to a change in functionality and still keep the system secure, is nigh on impossible.

 

The number of configurations that MS needs to keep track of and provide compatibility is literally mind boggling. If they included full release notes on the impact of every change to every configuration that might be available, the documentation would be 30000 pages long.

 

There are however, changes I don't believe fall into this category. For example. Each update, my default output sound device changes from my sound card, to the non existent speaker on my monitor! I have been reporting it since Windows 8. Nothing. I see people griping about this all the time.

 

 

 

 


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  Reply # 2065038 30-Jul-2018 16:02
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Rikkitic:

 

I do foresee a time when I will probably have to move to Mint but my rant is not only about Windows. It is about upgrades that place unnecessary limits on flexibility.

 

 

resistance is futile, you will be assimilated ...

 

Changes to the Windows UI are most annoying.

 

Something simple to put the PC to sleep or power off now needs a mouse / trackpad action.

 

In the past, it was Winkey, right arrow, enter.

 

Win10, no such luck - you get the list of applications, and no easy way to navigate to the power off button.

 

 

 

Another crazy thing - users this time.

 

Windows logon screen - enter the password, and users will then use their mouse to click on the OK button.

 

I show them you just need to press enter after entering their password - they were never aware that they could do this.

 

 





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  Reply # 2065111 30-Jul-2018 17:17
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new shield/android tv homescreen, i love it.  a million times better than the old one.  my apps are at the top, and below that are recent videos/suggestions in the apps I use.  No longer do i get shield suggestions or 2 sets of applications.  

 

windows updates, 7 is pretty old, windows 10 is pretty rock solid and latest version == latest patches/security fixes.  using an old OS that barely works and breaks when an update happens suggests you are using something that is old and end of life.  chances are this is a 3rd party hardware device or something.

 

if you dont like windows forced updates, sure go with linux.  only issue i have with linux is bad wifi support on many laptops.

 

if you dont like nvidia shield tv, go with a Vero box, it runs kodi.




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  Reply # 2065125 30-Jul-2018 18:05
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Different things work for different people. I was just providing some examples to illustrate my point, which is about forced upgrades and (unnecessarily) inflexible settings options.





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  Reply # 2065233 30-Jul-2018 19:58
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Love the Shield update - have been a user for a couple of years now and fully utilise the Shields capabilities (bar smart home stuff).

 

More customisable - faster - stoked.

 

 

 

 




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  Reply # 2065276 30-Jul-2018 20:35
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Glad you like it but it just gets in my way. The only good thing about it is I can now turn everything off. Kodi gives me the control and feedback I want. The Shield does not.

 

 





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  Reply # 2065316 30-Jul-2018 22:26
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As someone that supports users over the phone it never ceases to amaze me the changes that come out in devices now. I’ll be on the phone remotely looking at someone’s screen going oh what where did THAT button come from?

Same for mobile phones. You spend five years giving people the same instructions then next minute it’s oh hold up while I check where they moved that function using my own phone ... oh what you haven’t updated yet? Oh sweet hold up I’ll grab my OTHER phone ...

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