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Obituary: The File System 1973—2011

2011 saw the passing of the file system as an end user-visible feature within mass market computing devices. Ask someone with an iPhone or an iPad how they work with files on their device, creating, opening and saving them and chances are that they will look at you quizzically. You may get a response that mentions saving photos sent in an email or perhaps syncing documents via iTunes, but files? We don’t need no files.

Happy Birthday Windows

Microsoft Windows is a quarter of a century old today. It seems hard to believe that Windows 1.0 was finally released in November 1985 after being formally announced as a product named “Windows” (when the project started it had the less inspired name “Interface Manager”) two years previously.

A Switcher’s Thoughts On Windows 7

As today sees the launch of Windows 7, I thought it would be interesting to write some thoughts on Microsoft’s latest blockbuster from the perspective of a so-called switcher. Although I use Windows XP in my day job, I've used Macs exclusively at home for the past three years. Nevertheless, I've been a Windows user for four times as long as that, having first used it in the distant days when you started Windows by typing “win” at the C: prompt.

Paul Thurrott’s Hallucinating Again

I just don’t understand Paul Thurrott. Although I now prefer Apple’s products, I occasionally visit his site because I’m still vaguely interested in the latest news from Microsoft. Much of what Paul writes is balanced and fair, but sometimes he comes out with some complete tosh!

Wacky Windows

A comic strip that shows that if you use the keyboard to rename the “My Recent Documents” menu item in Windows XP, it reverts to its default name but the new name is stored in the registry and survives reboots.

Joel On Power

Joel Spolsky is bang on the money when he writes about the confusing new Windows Vista Start menu controls for controlling your login session. The Power icon is particularly problematic.

Still Learning

I learned something new about Windows today. “So what?” you may ask, but I thought it was slightly interesting because if I had to categorise what sort of Windows user I was then I’d probably plump for the expert category. And that means that learning something I didn’t know about using Windows is noteworthy for me.

109 Steps To Windows' Nirvana

I treated my computer to two upgrades for Christmas, neither of which has exactly worked out how I’d hoped. What follows is an abridged account of nearly three weeks of personal computing misery. It all begins with those upgrades…

Unfinished eXPerience Reloaded

This is the third in a series of two articles in which I deconstruct the Windows XP user interface and show some areas in which it’s lacking or is just plain unfinished.

Reality Metaphor

I've just had a strange thought. Imagine what it would be like if you took the desktop metaphor popularised by MacOS and Windows and turned it inside out and applied it back to real life.

Microsoft Installer And RunAs

I recently installed the ActivePython IDE from ActiveState. Yes, I'm playing with Python but more on that in a future blog entry. Being a good Windows citizen, the installer for ActivePython is a Microsoft Installer (*.msi) file.

Event Log Paranoia

As a user of the Windows NT flavour of Windows since 1996, one of the things that I've got into the regular habit of doing is checking the event logs for anything untoward.

Unfinished eXPerience Redux

Windows superstar Raymond Chen has provided explanations for a couple of the Windows XP user interface oddities that I wrote about previously.

Unfinished eXPerience

When Microsoft launched Windows XP in late 2001, they made a big deal about the changes to the user interface, which were the biggest revamp since Windows 95. I found it surprising, coming barely a year after the mature and evolved Windows 2000 interface.

Windows Into The Past

I have a slightly seedy secret. That's not easy to say or admit to. The secret is this: I'm fascinated by the development and history of Microsoft Windows. There. It's out in the open, a secret no more.

Not Having A Blast

The MSBlast virus has been in the news this week as Windows users across the world have been heard cursing Microsoft. So who's to blame?

Broken Windows

I don't know about you but I'm getting fed up with patching Windows XP. I usually visit Windows Update once a week to see what's new, and barely a week seems to go by without there being a new fix or update to download.


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