Game:

The Spam Club

» The Spam Club - Life, The Universe and Everything - Software Galore - Windows XP newbie problems
ReplyNew TopicNew Poll
» Multiple Pages: 12

Windows XP newbie problems

Posted at 02:02 on October 28th, 2003 | Quote | Edit | Delete
Avatar
Admin
Reborn Gumby
Posts: 8411
I'm just using Windows XP (according to the login prompt the 'Professional Edition') for the first time in my life. No, not at home, I'm not that stupid. They're forcing me to use it for an exercise at university :pain:

The first thing I noticed is that it's even uglier than all the screenshots I saw suggest. I've never seen such a tasteless combination of colours! All buttons (top right of each window, 'start' on the bottom) are way too huge. The 'start' menu with its two colums (common apps and links to common directories?) looks awful. Being forced to choose 'All Programs' before getting a list of the installed stuff is as user-unfriendly as it gets.
And the worst thing: It's the most unresponsive OS I've ever used! After I logged in, it showed all the fancy GUI stuff immediately, but I was unable to click on anything for more than a minute - simply nothing happened! Of course I thought I had done something wrong, so I tried double-clicking on the icon again. Again, no reaction. Tried clicking on the 'start' button... no reaction. Then, when I already wanted to ask the guy sitting next to me if I had broken something, all of sudden all the clicks I had committed before were executed at once. Launching the same program twice, opening some strange dialog (presumably because I had also tried right-clicking) and so on. Even now, after it has apparantely fully loaded, it still reacts extremely sluggishly to all mouse clicks. Is it supposed to be that way? Before you ask: I have no idea what's in this computer, and I have no idea how to find out.

Now to another problem which I'd really like to have changed. Looking at this forum, part of the fonts of the 'bigger' type are displayed way too huge! The smaller ones are ok, it's the difference which bothers me. For example the 'New Topic' and 'New Poll' buttons have line breaks in them because of the huge fonts! Changing any browser settings doesn't help at all. Are there any 'global' font settings I could check and modify?

Conclusion: We need a puke smiley! :angry:

Edit: Another unsolvable problem. Using the command line (which is again something I have to do in order to do the exercise), I want to change to a directory called "My Documents". No, I didn't give it that name. I tried the following commands:
cd My Documents
cd "My Documents"
cd My Documents
None worked. How the fuck do I get into that fucking directory? :angry:

Edited by Mr Creosote at 10:10 on October, 28th 2003
-----
Now you see the violence inherent in the system!
Posted at 07:13 on October 28th, 2003 | Quote | Edit | Delete
Avatar
Member
Dr Gumby
Posts: 267
The slowness is probaly a network problem, I encountered the same problem at work under all sorts of windows versions. It is indeed very annoying. Why the pc would be slow once it reacts to your input, probably insufficient HW for XP.

Quote:
Edit: Another unsolvable problem. Using the command line (which is again something I have to do in order to do the exercise), I want to change to a directory called "My Documents". No, I didn't give it that name. I tried the following commands:
cd My Documents
cd "My Documents"
cd My Documents
None worked. How the fuck do I get into that fucking directory?


The My documents folder is located at C:documents and settings<user>

So to change to that folder you put yourself on the C: and then cd documents and settings (no need for qoutes or capitals.
-----
Lets make this a beefy place
Posted at 07:17 on October 28th, 2003 | Quote | Edit | Delete
Avatar
Member
Dr Gumby
Posts: 267
Quote:
Now to another problem which I'd really like to have changed. Looking at this forum, part of the fonts of the 'bigger' type are displayed way too huge! The smaller ones are ok, it's the difference which bothers me. For example the 'New Topic' and 'New Poll' buttons have line breaks in them because of the huge fonts! Changing any browser settings doesn't help at all. Are there any 'global' font settings I could check and modify?


Strangly enough, I don't have that problem on my Xp machine, have you tried changing the text sise in the menu? View > Text Size > Normal
-----
Lets make this a beefy place
Posted at 07:25 on October 28th, 2003 | Quote | Edit | Delete
Avatar
Admin
Reborn Gumby
Posts: 8411
Slowness: I'll try another of the many computers standing around there tomorrow. That should get problems with local hardware out of the picture. It wasn't a very crowded time, though, that'll be the reverse tomorrow. Should be telling ;)



Directory: Actually the directory is located on a network drive and not on the local drive. The full path is H:My Documents. In any case, are you sure it should work with spaces in the directory's name? Because when I typed "cd My Documents" (without the quotes of course), it said something like 'one argument too many: Documents'. It apparantely thought I wanted to change to the directory "My", while giving "Documents" as an additional argument.

Text size: Didn't find this menu, but will try this tomorrow as well :) It wouldn't surprise me if they have some weird default settings there at university...
-----
Now you see the violence inherent in the system!
Posted at 07:30 on October 28th, 2003 | Quote | Edit | Delete
Avatar
Member
Dr Gumby
Posts: 267
It should change to that directory (tested this on a win2000 just now) once you are on your H: drive, but putting it between " can't hurt.
-----
Lets make this a beefy place
Posted at 07:37 on October 28th, 2003 | Quote | Edit | Delete
Avatar
Admin
Reborn Gumby
Posts: 8411
Uh... I thought I was on H:.... but it was in the early morning, right after a little nap in a lecture which was anything but refreshing... ;)
-----
Now you see the violence inherent in the system!
Posted at 07:53 on October 28th, 2003 | Quote | Edit | Delete
Avatar
Member
Retired Gumby
Posts: 964
Okay, a couple of things...

First of all, I agree that WinXP is a piece of shit, as far as user interface goes. The functionality is way below what I'd like as well. If I wasn't too lazy to back everything up and hunt down all my software drivers, I'd dump it from my home computer a long time ago. Anyway, to some of your questions.

System is unresponsive. Microsoft has long been criticized that it takes forever for their operating system to start. So what they implemented now is that the screen comes up immediatelly, but the system still takes a while to start. Just listen how the hard drive is spinning even a minute or longer after you get your normal desktop screen. That's a "feature", not a problem, according to Microsoft ;)

Interface is awful: If you log in yourself, it means that your settings will be different from everybody else's settings. As such, it is safe for you to change the interface (that is, if you are allowed to do so). Right-clicking on the Start button, you'll be able to switch to the "Classic" mode (looks like Win98), and even determine whether you want the menu to slide up or materialize, like it does now. Right-clicking on the desktop will allow you to switch to Classic View as well, and the same goes for all folders.

My Documents: First of all, I'm surprised you actually used "cd My Documents". Everybody knows that in DOS you need to do "cd mydocu~1" ;) Anyway, WinXP indeed stores it in c:documents and settings$user The problem is that WinXP stores much more there. For example, when I install software at work, I need to install some of it under each user name, and in some cases, only the last install is valid. As such, we abandoned the idea of every user having his own login, and instead have a common login for all computers. Yet another great example how Microsoft is promoting security :pain:

Font size: This is unconfirmed by any official sources, but from other people I talked to, everybody has this "feature". The point here is that Microsoft expects you to have a 19" or bigger monitor with monster resolution. So whereas everything looks huge on a 800x600 or even 1024x768 resolution, higher resolutions are fine. I ran into this problem with my own Web sites where I set a certain letter size, and I get people complaining thet it's too tiny, even though it's just comfortable on 800x600, the resolution I design the pages for.

Anyway, I really feel your pain here.
-----
NetDanzr<br />
-The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog-
Posted at 07:56 on October 28th, 2003 | Quote | Edit | Delete
Avatar
Member
Retired Gumby
Posts: 940
Quote:
The first thing I noticed is that it's even uglier than all the screenshots I saw suggest. I've never seen such a tasteless combination of colours!

The Microsoft programmers have always had a weakness for psychedelic colours. Ever seen the animations of Windows Media Player? :o

Quote:
After I logged in, it showed all the fancy GUI stuff immediately, but I was unable to click on anything for more than a minute - simply nothing happened! ... all the clicks I had committed before were executed at once.

One of the Windows classics - it's the same in older versions. As intuitive as clicking on "Start" to switch off the computer. :P

Quote:
cd documents and settings

How about

cd the place where i put my documents and my aol buddy list and my crappy windows media player

Or why not start talking to your monitor right now? :pain:
Posted at 08:14 on October 28th, 2003 | Quote | Edit | Delete
Avatar
Admin
Reborn Gumby
Posts: 8411
NetDanzr: Thanks for your detailed answer, too :)

Unresponsive system: I couldn't really hear the hd, because as I said, I was in a room with thirty other computers and just as many other people. But now that I know it's a feature as opposed to a problem, I'll try to appreciate it ;) I knew Windows has the agenda of loading graphics first and crucial system data afterwards, but I've never experienced it that extremely - not even on the Windows 2000 computers we're running in the student offices.

Interface: Right-clicking on 'start'.... that's really well-hidden I must say! Another thing to try out tomorrow. Knowing my luck, I'll probably not have the right to change anything...

Directory: MS-DOS doesn't allow more than 8 characters, and when I was using Windows 98, I never got above that mark, either. Not to mention I've never used a space in any file or directory name :pain: Now that you mention it, I remember these ~1 names... but simply cutting out a space from a name? That's really the single most unintuitive thing I've heard :pain: I would have thought they'd be over with such crap by now and had introduced real 'long file names' at last!

Fonts: It was actually a 19" monitor I was sitting in front of there, and the resolution was 1280x1024 I think. The fonts were still off.
As for font sizes for websites in general, I'm sorry to tell you, but as a Linux user, I have some problems with this as well. Sizes given in pt differ significantly from what I was used to in Windows - it's all way smaller. The smallest readable font size (measured on common Verdana) is 10pt on my system, regardless of screen resolution. That is why I set that value as minimum font size in Firebird. You might notice this forum uses smaller fonts, so yes, all fonts in this forum are the same size on my home computer. That's a compromise I made for the vast crowd of Windows users, for whom the defined fonts sizes are good (I think).

Tapuak: I'll try the 'talk to your monitor' proposition out as well ;)
-----
Now you see the violence inherent in the system!
Posted at 10:08 on October 28th, 2003 | Quote | Edit | Delete
Avatar
Member
Retired Gumby
Posts: 964
WinXP actually allows to use spaces in command prompt, but I know that under Win 95 and 98 they were always dropped, and only the first six characters followed by ~[number]. Still getting into your documents folder is now a major pain. To make the situation worse, if you go throuhg "my computer -> c -> Documents and Settings" and so on, you'll have to always click on "show files and folders". By default, going through "My computer" shows all files and folders as "hidden", for "your own protection".

As for the font size, that's still something I'm working on. I'm wondering whether there's an easy way to set the font as a percentage of the resolution. I still use 800x600, and so all my font looks really tiny on the new monster monitors in MSIE. Still, I'm trying to please the lowest common denominator - me.
-----
NetDanzr<br />
-The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog-
Posted at 12:41 on October 28th, 2003 | Quote | Edit | Delete
Avatar
Member
Dr Gumby
Posts: 267
Just tried the cd my document on win xp, it does work and if you are using a ntfs filesystem, you are using true long filenames.

To configure your desktop, ... just select Configuration on the right hand side of your start menu. Then from ther on you should be able to configure almost anything (unless you are restricted)
-----
Lets make this a beefy place
Posted at 12:45 on October 28th, 2003 | Quote | Edit | Delete
Avatar
Admin
Reborn Gumby
Posts: 8411
I'm not sure about the file system behind it. It's probably ext2. Any way to check this under Windows?
-----
Now you see the violence inherent in the system!
Posted at 14:52 on October 28th, 2003 | Quote | Edit | Delete
Avatar
Member
Dr Gumby
Posts: 267
If you have access to the control panel then (and you have de default control panel layout), you can select System Management, then Computer management Then under storage you'll find all of the disks, how they are formatted, ...

Note: I translated the names of dutch so they may be a bit diffrent on your system
-----
Lets make this a beefy place
Posted at 15:10 on October 28th, 2003 | Quote | Edit | Delete
Avatar
Member
Retired Gumby
Posts: 936
You can also go to My Computer then select the disk (One click) and it will show up on the left sidebar.
Yeah, Windows is hell.
-----
Keep your stick on the ice
Posted at 04:18 on October 29th, 2003 | Quote | Edit | Delete
Avatar
Admin
Reborn Gumby
Posts: 8411
Ok, sitting in front of another Windows machine right now.

Slowness/Responsiveness: A little better (still far from what I'd expect, though), and it's currently a peak hour of activity, so I guess it was a problem with the hardware not being fit for this OS yesterday.

Interface: Switched start menu to 'classic' style, that's already a lot better :) Right-clicking on the desktop and choosing 'properties' only results in a message that I'm not allowed to do this, though :( None of the other mentioned links to configure anything are visible.

Directory on prompt: "cd mydocu~1" did the trick :D Just typing it with the space didn't work again. According to "My Computer", it is an NTFS. Strange, but I won't let that bother me anymore. As long it works somehow, I'm satisfied.

Font size: They're all off, again, so it wasn't a specific setting of the computer I used yesterday. The browser is definitely set to normal font sizes (text zoom = 100%). Anywhere I can change this on OS level? Presumably not, with my restricted rights :(
-----
Now you see the violence inherent in the system!
Posted at 05:04 on October 29th, 2003 | Quote | Edit | Delete
Avatar
Admin
Reborn Gumby
Posts: 8411
After some cumbersome working, I've now run across another problem: The Mozilla settings seem to be saved locally on each computer, not in some profile directory on the network. That means I have to make the settings basically every single time I sit down in front of any computer here. How stupid is that? :pain:
-----
Now you see the violence inherent in the system!
Posted at 07:27 on October 29th, 2003 | Quote | Edit | Delete
Avatar
Member
Dr Gumby
Posts: 267
Thats not stupid, thats bad configuration, eighter the network admin hasn't set up the profiles correct or Mozilla doesn't write the files in the correct location, I'm geussing the first.
-----
Lets make this a beefy place
Posted at 12:01 on October 29th, 2003 | Quote | Edit | Delete
Avatar
Admin
Reborn Gumby
Posts: 8411
Yes, I think so, too. The problem doesn't exist in the 'student net'.
-----
Now you see the violence inherent in the system!
Posted at 13:59 on October 29th, 2003 | Quote | Edit | Delete
Member
Prof Gumby
Posts: 336
Straight out of the box XP will appear crap, especially to a user such as yourself. If I were you, I would clear your mind of any preconceived ideas you have about MS and their OS and embark upon the project as though it was your first Linux install having never heard of MS or Windows before - there's a learning curve you need to go through to get the best from it.

IMO - NT4 was a very good OS, I'll happily argue that point until I'm blue in the face. XP is nothing more than the NT4 kernal with improved interoperbility and, sadly, 272 layers of glossy furry bits. Remove the glossy furry bits and you have the very stable NT4 that plays games - no bad thing.

If you put as much time/effort into tweaking XP as you did installing your first Linux distro, you never know, you may even grow to like it.

I dont think any of the following points are relevant to your issues exaclty but you should do them all the same. This is a good place to start -

http://www.monroeworld.com/pchelp/xptweaks.php
Posted at 14:55 on October 29th, 2003 | Quote | Edit | Delete
Avatar
Admin
Reborn Gumby
Posts: 8411
Quote:
If I were you, I would clear your mind of any preconceived ideas you have about MS and their OS and embark upon the project as though it was your first Linux install having never heard of MS or Windows before - there's a learning curve you need to go through to get the best from it.
This is so true! That's actually what I always tell people the other way round ;)

The problem is just that I'm forced into this learning experience. I have no personal interest in it at all! Try to imagine my situation: I'm perfectly happy with the HPUX terminals we have at university, and I also find my way around the Windows 2000 machines in the offices. Now, in my third year there, they're forcing me into this - and even without any proper reason! It's a regular programming job, but they insist I'm using the 'development environment xy' which runs only on these Windows XP machines - how silly is that?

Taking this situation into account, I'm really trying my best. Sure, I have lots of prejudice against this OS, but most of the things (such as spyware and all) don't matter in this case, since it's not my own computer. I also still don't believe it's a good OS, but that's for another day to discuss. I'll just say that it would be impossible to tweak it as much as Linux, because of some obvious facts, such as forced choice of DE and WM, as well as UI. But even using it is not exactly made easy, for the reasons mentioned above. I'll add one more: How am I supposed to work on a big project requiring many, many things to be open at once when I have only one desktop? :pain:

If I could tweak the interface a bit more (as I said, this 'classic mode' already helps tremendously!) and also could get away from this horrible look, most of my problems would already be gone! And that's where it gets really frustrating: As it turned out, I don't have the rights to do that! All I get is this ridiculous message about contacting my administrator when I try. So as useful the site you linked to may be in general, it's of no use to me. I'll still be stuck in this world of huge boulder-like icons drawn in clashing colours :(
-----
Now you see the violence inherent in the system!
» Multiple Pages: 12
ReplyNew TopicNew Poll
Powered by Spam Board 5.2.4 © 2007 - 2011 Spam Board Team