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Do you think computers are still a major pain in the ***?

Hi. I have a topic for discussion. Why are computers still a major PITA ? Computers have been mainstream for about 25 years. Why are they still crashing? They still freeze. When I update, the circle keeps spinning and spinning till I have to manually force shut the computer. One thing doesn't recognize another. This and that gets corrupted. It gets slower and slower. The help tab is still useless. It says it was not able to update because a driver was missing. And on and on and on. So, what gives? These metal boxes are still archaic and still a major frustration. Why can't these computers use some of that computing power to figure out what's wrong with itself and just fix itself? Thanks.

--Submitted by: Claude D.

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Not since I switched to Linux Mint
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Mint is the viagra of computers?

In reply to: Not since I switched to Linux Mint

No doubt that Windows is problematic, and the more simple design of Linux enhances its reliability. Bur back in the days before Microsoft tarted up Windows for the consumer marketplace, lean and mean Windows 2000 had a similar track record to yours. So Windows jumped the shark.

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Mint and XP

In reply to: Mint is the viagra of computers?

I started using Linux about a year before XP support ended. Still have XP on a hard drive and 'fire it up' sometimes to play old games (pre-2000).
I found out the hard way you can't have Ubuntu and Mint on same hard drive and expect them to work but otherwise, dual boot Mint and Windows works fine (except for Win 10 since last October) Windows tells me I have a computer problem, unfortunately I don't believe it as I'm using laptop with Mint 18 (64bit) just fine

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Windows 10 Update Wipeout

In reply to: Mint and XP

That Windows 10 update wiped only two desktop office computers. Pricey update for me.

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Not since switching to Linux Mint

In reply to: Not since I switched to Linux Mint

I use sata selectable hard drives. One PC has 3 hard drives with Win XP , Win 7 and Linux Mint. Back when Win 10 came out I tried to update to Win 10 and lost my DVD Players , Audio and USB ports. I rebooted to Win XP or Linux Mint it worked fine. I rolled back to Win 7 and my only computer that is on Win 10 is my laptop which has switched to the Spinning Circle of death for hours at a time. I use my Linux Mint most of the time because it is virtually trouble free. Only once did I have to roll back a kernel update to clear a trouble.

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Mint is better than Microsoft or Apple

In reply to: Not since switching to Linux Mint

Linux Mint is more stable than Win 7, 10, OSX 10.10, 10.11, 10.12, and especially 10.13. I can understand some of Windows problems because it has to work on so much different hardware. Sine Apple makes their own hardware they don't get that break.

If you don't have to use a piece of software that need Windows or OSX your a fool to be running either - just load Linux Mint.

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Linux vs. the two big OS offerings

In reply to: Mint is better than Microsoft or Apple

The nice thing about running MacOS is that for the most part, you don't need Linux - and you can still have common commercial software products because major hardware vendors make MacOS versions of their software (which is quite spotty for Linux).

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Linux Mint and other software

In reply to: Linux vs. the two big OS offerings

I posted this before. If you want to use a windows based program them get a program called Crossover which is written by codeweavers. You can port many programs into either a Linux environment or a Mac environment.

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That Last Sentence is Important

In reply to: Mint is better than Microsoft or Apple

Business has always rallied around MS products to the point that they may have 1000's of .NET programmers all professionally trained. That is not to say there are no jobs out their for UNIX and/or LINUX or even Apple. But, take a look at job listings and see how many LINUX jobs there are especially for big companies. I think that should be the deciding factor, for many. MS makes most of their $$ from business. When you buy a PC, part of what you pay goes to the licensing of Windows but the OEM's get a good deal on that. Companies (at least where I worked) go for VOLUME licensing. Especially when the useful life of the equipment gets moved to the 2-digit number of years.

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Linux Mint

In reply to: Not since I switched to Linux Mint

I have often wondered who uses Linux and what are they running for software? I have tried Linux in its various forms and I found it lacking as I use Photoshop and Linux doesn't run it. I have a Linux machine with Mint and Ubuntu but really just for browsing the net as most of the programs I use don't work with Linux. That is my point if all I can do with Linux is use freeware than why bother, just use a Chromebook.

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Needs AMD or Nvidia graphics to work in Linux

In reply to: Linux Mint

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GMIP

In reply to: Linux Mint

Unless your a professional you cound use GIMP for better than 90% of the features that Photoshop has. I don't know from experience but I do know from talking to semi-professional people who use it. I've been told it has some features which are better than Photoshop but is too 'complicated' for simple stuff like adding text ?

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Linux Mint

In reply to: Linux Mint

There is a pay program called Crossover by codeweavers https://www.codeweavers.com/products that ports many Windows based programs to be used in Linux. Their people get all the libraries together so you just create a "bottle" for each program you want to run then just run them.

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My brother and I work his office needs.

In reply to: Do you think computers are still a major pain in the ***?

We used to have troubles but over the years worked out which machines were trouble and moved them out. We've yet to encounter any of the problems you read in the news about Windows updates or versions.

However there are a lot of PCs I do see and the reasons for the troubles form a very long list. From old CMOS batteries to owners the never were told they needed to keep the vents, fans and heatsinks clean.

So for us, no troubles at all.

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Still a major pain because...

In reply to: Do you think computers are still a major pain in the ***?

If you are using Microsoft Windows like the other 90% of the people in this world, Windows was, is and always will be the most complex and complicated operating system ever. With complexity come more and more unintended consequences that create software problems for supposedly minor changes in a single small module. In other words, Microsoft's design and architecture of Windows are downright awful, so we all suffer with Windows problems.

Second point is that Windows (and other operating systems, too!) does a horrific job of on-the-fly detection of hardware problems, the most common being a hard drive in a failing state. Many name brand companies disable SMART data collection for hard drives in the system BIOS. This means that the monitoring of the state of a drive by the drive itself is disabled, and one has no true idea of the condition of the drive. So, take your pick. Either the manufacturer or Microsoft or both are culpable in failing to tell you about the most frequent reason for computer failure. And, yes, people bring me computers with failed or failing hard drives all the time.

I guess you could say that Microsoft collectively is a pain in the ***.

Other causes of failure are more obvious. An electrical power spike hits (usually when the electric utility turns power back on) and fries the computer power supply and maybe the motherboard. Some boards fail because they use substandard components. In the past, there was a rash of system failures because some company on the Pacific Rim made capacitors that were substandard. The capacitors leaked, swelled up or even exploded and poof! That was it for a computer. Computer memory rarely fails. Graphics cards and other system elements fail when they overheat because dust and dirt accumulate inside the computer, and nobody bothers to clean out the dust bunnies.

So the quick summary is that computers themselves are not a major pain in the ***. PEOPLE are a pain in the ***. The people who design the hardware and software sometimes do not do a high quality job, so they are a pain in the ***. If you do not care for your computer properly, you are the pain in the ***.

Do not blame inanimate objects for being a pain in the ***. People are to blame.

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Agree

In reply to: Still a major pain because...

I just posted about this, and you say it much better! Wink

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Are computers still a pain

In reply to: Do you think computers are still a major pain in the ***?

First off Windows 10 does not have the library of device drivers like the previous versions of Windows. That means if you look at system devices and a driver is missing you don't get the yellow question mark like you used to. If Windows 10 does recognize the device by having a valid driver Windows 10 does not check for the latest and greatest device driver like the previous versions of Windows did. Download the free version of Drive Booster and you will find out you have a lot of devices that Windows has not checked or updated like previous versions of Windows has. In fact they announced a long time ago that unless a device driver causes a critical problem with Windows 10 they will do nothing to them. You might want to try another program called Advanced System care which you can get the free version also. Run a test and see how many errors you again get because Windows 10 does not do a lot of checking on registry errors or files left behind.

We refer to it as SCOD when the PC sits there with the "Spinning Circle Of Death" that can go on for hours. You will hear from a lot of users that will tell you Windows 10 is the greatest thing since Sliced bread and the two programs I mentioned are Spam. I'm running 3 desk tops and one lap top. I'm running Windows XP , Win 7 and Win 10 plus Linux Mint. I can tell you first hand that if I select the Windows 10 sata hard drive I get intermittent troubles especially after an update and yet using all the same hardware but switching to my Linux Mint sata hard drive everything works fine. It's not the PC but the OS that often causes the trouble.

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Re: Are computers still a pain

In reply to: Are computers still a pain

This is exactly the same as I feel. The hardware side of a computer is rarely the cause of such frustrations. The hardware is just there, dumb, doing what the software tells it to do. All operating systems have their pros and cons, and, as many others have pointed out, some are more flexible, stable and reliable than others. I, personally, have little experience with Windows 10 having used it only at my job where our IT department maintains it.

My computer at home is happy dual booting with Windows 7 Enterprise and Slackware Linux 14.2. With Windows I was always careful installing updates, reviewing the lists to avoid any that were known to be problematic. When MS changed the update style for 7/8 to cumulative I turned my updates off. I know it is a security risk but I am willing to trade that for stability.

As long as the hardware continues to function the computer can still work and the stability and reliability continues to depend on the operating system. I still have a circa 1997 computer with AMD 233MMX, 128MB memory, and 4MB S3 Virge that runs MS-DOS 7.1 and Windows 3.11. It is fast and works great for playing DOS games.

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Not with Mac

In reply to: Do you think computers are still a major pain in the ***?

Microsoft and Windows continue to release products that are frequently a PITA. I switched to an iMac because of it.  My Macs have not had problems with freezing up or crashing. My in laws PC with Windows 10 is nothing but a PITA.

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Hmmm I don't have issue with my machine running Windows 10 .

In reply to: Not with Mac

Macs are not trouble free, they have their fair share of problems as well. I would say less issues, but far from being trouble free. Macs have less issue because their main hardware and OS are built by the same manufacturer so they are built in harmony to work with one another. Windows OS not so much as it has to be compatible with so many different manufacturers. The more manufacturers the more likely things will have issues.

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But MACs Have Vulnerabilites and Other issues

In reply to: Not with Mac

Go look up Flashback. You do know that you are supposed to patch the MACs too, right? Go check with Apple. You are probably missing a shipload of patches.

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But MACS Have Vulnerabilities

In reply to: But MACs Have Vulnerabilites and Other issues

Have always installed all updates and patches. Few and far between compared to Windows.

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Change to a mac

In reply to: Do you think computers are still a major pain in the ***?

I have had my mac book pro and iMac both for 4 years and never had a problem even when updating to new operating systems each year. I believe Apple products are far better, yes I know you pay a premium but you don’t have the problems either like you explain or others that I read about on here some weeks. It’s true “they just work”.

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I’ll second that!

In reply to: Change to a mac

I read the OP and thought the same thing. Why not switch? We did after our last PC crashed about 11 years ago. Now own an iMac, MacBook Pro, and ipad, trouble free. Still have the original iMac and MacBook Pro, updated the ipad 2nd gen to an iPad Pro. They might have cost us more, but I’d never look back now. I worried about losing our guru son’s expertise with PC’s, but happily (for all of us) we haven’t needed it.

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Me too

In reply to: I’ll second that!

After many years of Windows frustration including many show stoppers, I moved to Apple... have a 2012 iMac that has gone thru several operating system updates ( Mountain Lion to High Seirra) and many upgrades and never had a show stopper. I have a MacBook Pro, an iPad Pro an iPhone and can say the same thing for them. More expensive.. yes...compromise in some apps .. yes, but not an issue for me. Run Office for Mac, Adobe Acrobat all without issues and I’m good. Have had an ocassional “spinning beach ball” along the way and have had to use Apple support a couple of times... (which beats MS Support by miles). Overall Apple has been a far superior experience.

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They are incredibly complex systems

In reply to: Do you think computers are still a major pain in the ***?

Old joke: There are 256 million computers in the world, and 255,999,998 of them have unique configurations. (There are two in Marion, Iowa that are identical.)

Fundamentally, when you get into systems of this complexity, it is literally impossible to make them perfect. And, when they screw up, they are mostly beyond the capability of current expert/AI systems to diagnose. It still requires a human brain with knowledge and experience. It really is kind of amazing that they work at all.

I've seen where mathematicians have done the math and shown that it is literally impossible to prove any non-trivial program is error-free. That's not saying that it is impossible to create the perfect program. But, that it is impossible to prove that it is without error. And, therefore, as a practical matter, every piece of software very likely does contain errors and oversights.

And that leaves out all the other sources of potential issues. It could be flaky hardware, in any of dozens of components. Malware. A naive user blindly clicking on things. It could be as random as dirty power. And, the occasional cosmic ray does, in fact, flip a bit that turns out to be important.

But, the main thing is just general complexity. If you want a device that does just one thing, we could build those. For example, we used to build dedicated word processing machines. We could have kept doing that. And, over the course of a few more years, those word processing machines probably would have been really rock solid. But, if you wanted to lay out a brochure, you would have had to buy a separate machine from the word processor. And, if you wanted to use a spreadsheet program in your business, you would have had to buy a separate spreadsheet machine. Etc.

Each one would have likely become pretty robust in its assigned task. But, if you needed to transfer data between them, you would have started building up the complexity towards our modern computers. At many times the cost.

Since the underlying hardware of each of those devices would be largely identical, it makes obvious sense to use a small number of general purpose devices that can do all of those tasks and more. At a much reduced cost, you can have a machine that will be able to do things years from now that you didn't expect to want to do when you bought it.

Windows is a bit of a victim of its own success. It has to deal with by far the widest range of software and hardware. Which includes the widest range of quality of those hardware and software products. Given the sizes of the markets, a lot of hardware and software is never made compatible with Linux or Macs. Those users have a much smaller pool to choose from. That reduces complexity, which usually increases reliability, which can be a great feature all its own. But it also reduces choice. So, sometimes they have to learn to do without. Depending on what it is and what they need it for, that could end up being a deal breaker.

If you want flexibility, you are accepting complexity. And that makes computers difficult, sometimes.

Drake Christensen

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Microsoft once had an excuse...

In reply to: They are incredibly complex systems

Back in the day when there were numerous manufacturers of motherboard chipsets, graphics cards, network cards, sound cards, etc, Microsoft could make the legitimate excuse that the hardware world was a difficult one to write software for. No more.

Today, there are two motherboard chipsets for Intel CPUs and for AMD CPUs. There are three surviving graphics chip manufacturers, Intel (integrated into some CPUs), AMD, and nVidia. For Ethernet, there are Intel, Broadcom, and Realtek. For wifi, there are Intel, Broadcom, Agere, one or two Pacific Rim chips. For audio, Realtek and any graphics chip that supports HDMI or DisplayPort. Folks, there are not that many combinations of chipsets for each CPU generation. Hardware ports and PCI ID information are now standardized across hardware vendors. The Linux world supports the same hardware and it plays well together.

So forget Microsoft's excuse about all the permutations and combinations of hardware that needs to be tested. They also have WHQL driver testing and certification for a price. The problem with Microsoft plain and simple is with the other-world complexity of its software AND the ever-changing supposedly improved software development platforms, which change all too often, breaking software in the process. Finally, the Windows Registry is a royal pain in the *** for everyone including software developers, due to its inordinate complexity.

Given a choice of how to implement software, the easy way or the hard way, Microsoft routinely takes the difficult path. So once again, Microsoft is a pain in the ***. And don't get me started on how its Windows 10 updates are not even close to being 100% certain, bricking systems, but now insisting and forcing you to install the updates. Well, forcing is not 100% accurate. If you know your way around, you can stop the updates, but it's not a simple easy Control Panel click. So Windows 10 updates are a pain in the *** that make me some money fixing systems when the software breaks them.

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Drivers for Linux

In reply to: Microsoft once had an excuse...

If what you said were true, then Linux would support every piece of hardware that Windows does. And, yet, it is still a truism that one must show care when choosing hardware if they expect to run Linux. And, conversely, if you already have the hardware, you may not be able to find Linux drivers for some components.

Because of those facts, it is correct to say that Windows does still provide more flexibility in hardware choices than Linux or Mac.

And, again, please stop using the word "brick" for a corrupted Windows installation. Those are still two different things. It grates on the geek in me every time I see that. If the machine really were bricked then it would be impossible to install another operating system on it and continue using the computer.

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Bricking a system.

In reply to: Drivers for Linux

If a user has not done a backup in the last hour and their PC goes to SCOD "Spinning Circle Of Death" that goes on for hours and nothing happens then in fact their system is bricked. If and I repeat IF they know how to do backups and have an original system OS to go with a system backup plus they know how to switch around the boot up sequence to get to that media to get it to load they might be able to recover their system. First and foremost even brand new systems no longer come with the install media as a package. It is all on the HD and you have to pay $45 to the vendor to have them cut a set of disks with the right SN on it. If your work is on that computer and it locks up or crashes and you can only get it back by doing a fresh load from scratch then it is bricked. That was the primary complaint about Win 10 doing updates while you were working on your computer and that caused the user to lose hours or days of work. In secure environments you shut down your computer when not in use.

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The term "brick"

In reply to: Bricking a system.

The term "brick" was popularized as a verb by cell phone users and router users who attempted to install new firmware onto their devices. In attempting to do that, there is a reasonable chance of grabbing the wrong firmware image, or missing a step in the process, which leaves the device in a state where it literally cannot boot up enough to install the correct image. The device is useless. It's a paperweight. A brick.

The same *can* happen on a PC, when messing with a BIOS upgrade. But, that is far less common.

And, again, that is different than an OS update corrupting a particular Windows installation. It is different than a user who has not backed up his system. A naive user may not be able to figure out how to put a new OS on it. And, even an expert may not be able to get that particular machine to run the latest version of Windows 10. But, it is still usable as a computer. It is not a just a door stop.

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