Bit Cannon


At various points in my Finding an Alternative to Mac OS series I've made promises about trying Windows and writing about the experience. This is as close as I'm going to get to that post:

Regarding Windows, I should say that I am strongly biased towards *nix style operating systems and find it unlikely that I'd be happy using Windows full time. However, in the interests of keeping an open mind I will give it a try in the next few months. I have backed the Eve V campaign. The Eve V is a 2-in-1 laptop tablet that will come with Windows 10. For now Windows is off the table.

Finding an Alternative to Mac OS X — Part 2 (Jan 2017)

It took a lot longer than expected, but the V finally arrived in February 2018. I backed the campaign in December 2016. I've been getting a feel for what a 2-in-1 Windows machine with a pen has to offer. I still can't see myself making Windows my primary OS but I will keep exploring. I've been tweeting my adventures with the #wesonwindows hash tag. At some point I'll attempt installing Linux on it too.


I'll post more about the V and Windows in the future.

A Year Away From Mac OS (Mar 2018)

On and off over the last year or so I have spent some time in Windows 10. Mostly with the Eve V, but also on my XPS 15. I have found the experience pretty terrible on many occasions. The hostility and lack of respect towards the user shown by Microsoft and some Windows software developers is egregious and angers me every time I encounter it.

I'm aware that the vast majority of computer users manage to use Windows but I've concluded it's not for me. I find it unpleasant to use, slow, full of junk, and offensive to its users. I'm not going to spend any more time entertaining the idea that it's a viable alternative to BSD, Linux, or Mac OS for me.

I will end this post with a series of screen shots, each taken with a degree of incredulity when the situation was captured. These culminate in the Windows install being broken on the Eve V for unknown reasons.

Periodically a notification appears asking, “How likely are you to recommend this PC to a friend or colleague?”. Clicking it launches the, "Feedback Hub". As the tweet above shows I was astonished the first time I got this notification.

How likely are you to recommend this PC to a friend or colleague? Not likely at all now.

Initially every time I logged in I got a nice notification from OneDrive. A service I did not install, nor need. I had to remove it from the auto-started applications to make it stop.

OneDrive: Finish installing sync icons notification.

Not long after the first boot of my XPS 15 I was shown this lovely train wreck. You could argue that the McAfee thing is Dell's fault for pre-loading it but we don't see this crapware on BSD, Mac OS, and most Linux systems.

Get to know your new PC notification atop a horrid McAfee notification window thing.

More needy notifications, this time from Edge. Not captured here is the pleading that takes place when you change the default browser to something other than Edge. Please just let me use my computer how I want!

Microsoft Edge showing a popover: Enjoying this app?

Windows support for HiDPI displays seems less complete than Mac OS and GNOME.

This Open dialog is very confused by the HiDPI scaling. The whitespace around the image was part of the window.

It's less obvious but this dialog spawned from the settings app was smaller than the rest of the UI on the actual display of the Eve V, seemingly ignoring the scaling setting.

Poorly scaled handwriting recognition dialog.

Lastly the death loop the Eve V is now in. After multiple attempts to install updates (or do something?) with spinners of unspecified reasoning and a complete lack of visible progress for large stints of time, it remains in this broken state.

C:\WINDOWS\system32\config\systemprofile\Desktop is unavailable.

I enjoyed watching this spinner for nearly 10 minutes. No progress information. Not even a hint as to what I'm waiting for.

Then we move on to more waiting:

This might take several minutes. What might take several minutes?

Leave everything to us... What other choice do I have? BSD and Linux!

Goodbye Windows.