Next level of retirement....

This is a discussion on Next level of retirement.... within the General Discussions forums, part of the Community Boards category; Well, it's looking like I might soon be doing one of two drastic things... A) Giving up a 30 year ...

  1. #1
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    Next level of retirement....

    Well, it's looking like I might soon be doing one of two drastic things...

    A) Giving up a 30 year hobby of writing small but handy programs.

    B) Taking my computers back to Windows XP.

    Despite all it's really groovy eye candy, Windows 7 is a total nightmare both from the user's and the programmer's standpoint. A significant part of my day is filled with corrupted flash drives, incomplete downloads, slow networking and a miriade of random problems. From a programming standpoint it's like pulling teeth --involuntarily!-- every programming session leaves me feeling beat up and disappointed. Even the simplest things --like making a file association-- have been complicated to the point of no return... and quite frankly I'm thinking about not coming back.

    On XP it was so easy... fire up the box, download some stuff, copy it to flash drives... load up the compiler and tap out some code for my own amusement... and it all "just worked".

    To give some idea of the problem... I ran a single installation of Win2000 from late 1999 to mid 2005 (I put it in, did a little tweaking and then just used it) then used a single installation of XP until mid-2010... I've now reinstalled Windows 7 for the 5th time in less than a year and it's still acting up...

    Interestingly, some of the companies I used to do service for are telling me the same thing... Win 7 is just too unstable for commercial use. A couple even offered me money to backdate them to XP...

    So, rant aside... has anyone else had this or similar experiences?
    Last edited by CommonTater; 02-08-2011 at 09:54 AM. Reason: typos

  2. #2
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    It must be some hardware issue, dunno. I'm still using the RTM installation I did in August (September?), 2009. Just so you can have an idea.

    As for the advice you've been getting, be careful. Windows 7 certainly has been seeing a lot more adoption from the enterprise market than Windows Vista could ever hope for. While displacing Windows XP (possibly their best OS since the MSDOS 5.0/Windows 3.11 combo) will be a many years task, don't lock yourself out from potential customer that intend to migrate to newer versions of the OS. Especially when Windows 7 gives you tight integration with Windows XP applications through XP Mode.

    I do full-time programming in Windows 7 and use all sorts of applications. I confess Windows 7 stability gives me the exact same feeling of confidence I had with Windows XP SP3. I'll be missing XP certainly (especially because Windows 7 didn't really bring anything new and meaningful. It's a rip off). But unfortunately, technologies are being developed that are purposely locked out of Windows XP. You don't use Windows Vista or 7, you can't program for them.
    Last edited by Mario F.; 02-08-2011 at 10:19 AM.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    It must be some hardware issue, dunno. I'm still using the RTM installation I did in August, 2009. Just so you can have an idea.
    In the process of this last over-the-weekend reinstall, I stuffed in XP for just that reason... downloaded, read/wrote thumb drives, did all the stuff that gives me headaches ... XP did it no problem, AND, it did it faster -- by easily noticeable margins!

    As for the advice you've been getting, be careful. Windows 7 certainly has been seeing a lot more adoption from the enterprise market than Windows Vista could ever hope for.
    But it's still way less than 50% market share... Granted it's already left Vista in the dust, but that's no big trick with Vista's constant --and undefeatable-- nagging... "Do you want to allow this?" Answer: "Yes... yes now... and yes the other 50 times you asked!" No wonder that went noplace fast. In fact, there was a time when a significant bit of my income came from stripping Vista out of brand new machines and putting in XP.

    While displacing Windows XP (possibly their best OS since the MSDOS 5.0/Windows 3.11 combo) will be a many years task, don't lock yourself out from potential customer that intend to migrate to newer versions of the OS. Especially when Windows 7 gives you tight integration with Windows XP applications through XP Mode.

    I do full-time programming in Windows 7 and use all sorts of applications. I confess Windows 7 stability gives me the exact same feeling of confidence I had with Windows XP SP3. I'll be missing XP certainly (especially because Windows 7 didn't really bring anything new and meaningful. It's a rip off). But unfortunately, technologies are being developed that are purposely locked out of Windows XP. You don't use Windows Vista or 7, you can't program for them.
    Hense my title "second level of retirement"... Being only a few months short of the big six oh, my plan was to while away my retirement years producing bits and pieces of freeware, like the one currently on my webspace ( HTPC Remote Control: Remote Media ) It's just C code at the WinAPI level, no fancy stuff involved or planned. Also, there is no profit motive now --although I am a long way from rich-- it's just me filling in the hours... So, I'm a lot less concerned about new technologies and stuff nobody needs than I used to be.

    For now, I'm dual booting until I get to the root of the problems and for a good comparison... XP is my primary... so we'll see where that goes.

    But there's still the matter than Win7 is a programmer's nightmare...

    One simple example... File associations... On Win2k/xp ... make two quick keys in HKCR and you're off and running... On Win7 there are at least 8 places in the registry where a file can initiate a program launch and the api that's supposed to tell you which one is active rarely takes you to the right place.

    Toss code signing, side-by-side, gadgets, autoplay and a bunch of other useless crap into the mix and my hobby does little more than drive up my Excedrin bill...

  4. #4
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Sorry, but I don't see that many problems. Get online with Windows Team Blogs and Channel 9 to brush up on Windows 7 development. File associations in Windows 7 got an overhaul. Not only have they been integrated into security interfaces, but there's also added or changed functionality (preview handlers, jump lists, or association arrays come to mind). However for every task the development path is pretty much straightforward and unique. You just need to know how to do it. There's even a file type verifier that comes with the Windows 7 SDK that lets you check your file associations to every little detail.

    I won't deny there are issues (although the only ones I faced so far had to do with taskbar programming). But really, let's not get carried away by our love for XP and just forget how we got whgere we are today; XP itself required 3 service packs to become what it is today. Windows 7 minus SP is already worlds away from what XP used to be all the way up to XP2 (a piece of crap!). And XP is exempt of programming idiosyncrasies either. It's not that the Windows API is a paragon of clean, intuitive and well documented code.

    EDIT: Also http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/libr...=VS.85%29.aspx
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

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    Believe me Mario, I have no grand love of XP ... this is more out of disgust with Win7...

    They did some really cool stuff in 7. I REALLY like the Aero UI but some of the other stuff just undoes the whole thing... Like loading Task Scheduler up with spyware... that was NOT cool. Whatever they did to the multimedia subsystem was equally uncool... It won't even play MP3s on my dual core Atom based HTPC system, and forget AVIs or FLACs; hearing the audio go BRRRRRAAAAP every few seconds seriously detracts from the enjoyment. But XP is totally flawless on that machine...

    There are still many areas where XP is the OS of choice... most prominently in Home Theatre systems where lower DPI latency leads to noticeably better sound and video quality; noticeable even on the most "high end" of systems. Many medium large offices in this area are still using XP for workstations and 2000 for servers... systems that have been stable for years.

    It's true the Windows API and SDK documentation is beyond disastrous. But it's just as true that large parts of windows are (deliberately) far more complex and convoluted than they need to be. Going back to file registrations as my example... I could have done a better job of that in 1/10th the registry space and with a lot less BS to make it work...

    Code:
    HKLM_Associations
      .mp3 
        Open = (media player command line)
        Play   = (media player command line with different options)
        EditTags = (tag editor command line)
        ...
    Really... it doesn't need to be more complex than that... and like so many other things in Windows, I rather suspect the complexity is reflective of some programming group hoping to keep their jobs...

    I dunno... maybe my age is finally catching up to me... but it seems that since switchting to Win7 all I've really done is find stuff I can't do... and can't make sense of.... and for a 30 year experienced electronics technician, this comes as something of a surprise.

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    I think You guys are typing too much in a single Post !!
    I cant read them completely. make it short guys.. :-)

  7. #7
    the hat of redundancy hat nvoigt's Avatar
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    So, rant aside... has anyone else had this or similar experiences?
    Not at all, Beta and Production versions were rock solid. You are the first to mention any real problems aside from the normal "doesn't look the way I liked it" people.
    hth
    -nv

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    When in doubt, read the FAQ.
    Then ask a smart question.

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    Im with nvoigt on this one. I went from XP to linux, stuck with linux until i got a new laptop that had various issues with linux i couldnt figure out to my satisfaction and after about 5 or 6 installs of various distros and the problem still emerging i just gave up and just started using the windows 7 version it came with. Have been pleasently surprised. I love the new startmenu where i dont have to locate an icon to do anything..open it up and type whatever program you want to start (just like i did in linux btw, just with xterm) and off i went and so on.

    Some things i find a bit hard to find and that you have to go through "complex" ways to get to them but overall i like it ALOT more than vista and have had pretty much no stability issues with it

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gaurav Singh View Post
    I think You guys are typing too much in a single Post !!
    I cant read them completely. make it short guys.. :-)
    Enhance your calm... perhaps work on that reading comprehension a bit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shakti View Post
    Im with nvoigt on this one. I went from XP to linux, stuck with linux until i got a new laptop that had various issues with linux i couldnt figure out to my satisfaction and after about 5 or 6 installs of various distros and the problem still emerging i just gave up and just started using the windows 7 version it came with. Have been pleasently surprised. I love the new startmenu where i dont have to locate an icon to do anything..open it up and type whatever program you want to start (just like i did in linux btw, just with xterm) and off i went and so on.

    Some things i find a bit hard to find and that you have to go through "complex" ways to get to them but overall i like it ALOT more than vista and have had pretty much no stability issues with it
    I share your linux experience... never did get a copy of linux to run well enough to learn from and found their version of support to be: "What you don't know how to.... ???"

    I hate that I'm thinking of backtracking like this. I used to be far more adventurous but it just seems like all I do anymore is bang up against problems. In win2k and XP I would write stuff in a day that now takes me several weeks in win7...

    However; the stability issues are not unique to me... I know several people from my previous customer base are having problems too...

    Your reassurance is taken... but perhaps with a grain of salt.

  11. #11
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gaurav Singh View Post
    I think You guys are typing too much in a single Post !!
    I cant read them completely. make it short guys.. :-)
    I think you took a left instead of a right on your way here. Tweeter is that way -->

    But let me put it to you in the words of Benjamin Franklin; Sorry if our posts are too long. We lack the time to make them shorter.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  12. #12
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    I've been running Windows 7 for about 4 months now on 2 different computers. Not a single issue with stability or performance. No stuttering multimedia, nothing. I love it. I also do all of my development under Win7. No issues there either.
    If you understand what you're doing, you're not learning anything.

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    You're 60?! Dude, this just destroyed my whole mental image of you... I was thinking ~20 and still in college...

    I'm a really bad at telling who people are by there internet persona, apparently.

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    Quote Originally Posted by User Name: View Post
    You're 60?! Dude, this just destroyed my whole mental image of you... I was thinking ~20 and still in college...

    I'm a really bad at telling who people are by there internet persona, apparently.
    Well, in all truth I am 20 ... but for the 40th time. LOL... Yep... 60 in August.

    Old puzzle...
    You have 7 jars of marbles containing 21, 17, 43, 12, 78, 41 and 11 marbles.

    How many of those containers have 6 marbles in them?

    Answer: They all do.

  15. #15
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommonTater View Post
    Answer: They all do.
    Hmm... actually it will depend if the jars are closed or not.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

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