Posts tagged ‘Windows’

2010-02-20

Windows Restarting Automatically

Really? Still? Are you serious?

O.K., I’ve been using Windows since just before Windows XP came out, and Windows XP had this thing called “Automatic Updates”. This concept is brilliant, and is used these days in many, many popular, more or less advanced pieces of software. One example is of course, as mentioned, Windows XP. Other examples include Mozilla Firefox, with its incremental updates that can download automatically; Mac OS X has security updates and major version updates to the operating system itself and accompanying software, such as iTunes, Safari, etc; and Ubuntu has free updates to all of its software packages, and the operating system itself upgrades to major new releases, just as most other free (GNU/)Linux distributions.

One huge gripe I always had with Windows XP, which was never resolved—not that I know if it was even considered a problem by anyone else but me since it was never fixed—was that once updates had been installed, it pretty much ALWAYS required me to restart the machine. The keyword here is “me”. Or rather, isn’t, but we’ll get to that. (Yeah, you bet we are!) And not only this constant restarting of the machine whenever there was an update, there would always be a notification stating this fact, asking me whether I wanted to restart Now or Later. I always chose Later, because for goodness’ sake, it’s not like I sit down in front of the computer just to restart it again while I’m in the middle of my work. But this damned notification keeps popping up at regular intervals, incessantly driveling about the same stupid question! NO I DO NOT WANT TO RESTART AT THIS POINT IN TIME, IS THAT NOT AN ACCEPTABLE ANSWER? If it’s not an acceptable answer, why ask the question in the first place?

We-e-ell, isn’t that an interesting question. In fact, if you didn’t keep answering the same question over and over, and just let the dialog sit there for a while, Windows XP would start asking itself the very same question, and it would actually RESTART ITSELF, without permission! RIDICULOUS behavior! This brings us back to present day, not only because this is still a problem with Windows XP, but because I’ve now moved on to Windows 7 and the problem is still as blatant as ever! Thank GOD that isn’t my only operating system and I only boot into it every once in a blue moon.

So today I was just minding my business, playing Counter-Strike: Source, when suddenly the game just shuts down and even Windows says “shutting down”. It wasn’t a crash and it certainly wasn’t an error on my part where I accidentally hit a key combination that would minimize the game and shut down the operating system. No, what had happened was that Windows received information about an update it could install, downloaded the update, installed the update, and just threw me out. Past the curb and straight under the bus! Stupid Windows design flaws, get it right for once in ten years! EVERYBODY ELSE KNOWS HOW TO DO IT.

There was absolutely no way that I could have spotted any potential warnings Windows would have given me about the reboot just because I was running a full-screen game—although considering the circumstances I doubt there even was so much as a little icon in the task bar letting me know what was going to happen. Yet other times, ironically, the game just minimizes for no reason and I’m met with an empty desktop.

I don’t know what Windows’ problem is. I’m guessing those geniuses at Microsoft are thinking “if the user isn’t around anyway, it’s probably safest to just install this update and restart the computer so that the computer will be updated and ready to go when the user comes back. Or something? NO THAT IS A STUPID DESIGN. I KNOW WHAT I’M DOING, I JUST. DON’T. WANT. TO INSTALL THE UPDATE. ATTHISPOINTINTIME. IS THAT A CRIME? There’s just no excuse. I mean what if you’re a speaker at a huge conference or something, or you’re running a program that displays something on a public screen in the middle of the street or your store window? All of a sudden it just decides to restart automatically, just because you’re not monitoring the screen every second, un-maximizing all of your full-screen applications to see if there is an update, and when there is spend all day clicking Restart Later until closing time of your store.

THE CONSEQUENCES COULD BE MAJOR LOSS OF IMPORTANT DATA. Which in turn could mean loss of revenue, and lack of food on the table. STUPID. I could’ve been a professional computer-game player, playing an extremely important match of Counter-Strike: Source against my arch rival team or something, and I was the last surviving player on my team! IN THE FINALS OF A CHAMPIONSHIP. And all of a sudden, Windows 7 just bombs out on me. WOW. YOU SUCK, MICROSOFT. AND YOU SUCK, WINDOWS. What a piece of crap product and operating system just for this problem alone. Take a lesson from Ubuntu and Mozilla Firefox and just about every other piece of software that has automatic updates. Ask the question once. And when we answer “No”, all you say is “Don’t want to install it now? Alright, I won’t bother you again, sir/madame. Have a good session and I will install updates upon your next reboot.” AND BE DONE WITH IT.

I loathe Windows.

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2009-07-18

Open-Source Calculus

I’m (re(re))taking the second course on calculus during the summer at the university. It’s going much better this time around, which is a good thing.

I did have problems with one problem (har), and I couldn’t make sense of it on my messy notebook, and I didn’t feel like doing the entire problem over again. The only thing wrong with my solution is that the answers in the back of the book said term1 – term2, while I kept getting term2 – term1 in my notebook, so I wasn’t too far off but still couldn’t get it right — couldn’t find the erring minus sign. All I really felt like was doing some programming, which I enjoy, but what would I code if I have no software needs?

Then I thought: I need to get a more structured view of this problem. Why not write it up in LaTeX and make it into a nice, good-enough-to-print, PDF solution. That way, I will get some practice writing LaTeX documents (it’s been a few months, sadly), and writing LaTeX is pretty much programming in a way, so I get to practice LaTeX, scratch my coding itch, and maybe find out where that offending minus sign went.

Sure enough, it worked pretty well.

Solution to problem 6.2.9 in Calculus, A Complete Course (Sixth Edition).

I want to point out that this PDF was produced entirely using Free and Open-Source Software (FOSS):

  • texlive LaTeX distribution (tex->PDF compiler: pdflatex/pdftex)
  • GNU Emacs as the LaTeXt editor
  • Ubuntu Linux to run Emacs and tex compiler
  • Totem to play music while writing up the solution
  • Grip + oggenc to rip CDs to Ogg Vorbis
  • Ogg Vorbis media container format
  • libVorbis 1.2.0 used by oggenc (darn you Ubuntu for not updating libVorbis since 2007)
  • and so forth.

It works, folks!

2009-02-25

Thank you Microsoft

Microsoft has done it again! I continue to be safe from something that wasn’t a threat in the first place. (Or was it?)

Windows terminated an application to protect my computer. However, an interesting question is: Which application?

irony

My version of Windows XP is Swedish, so I will translate:

Titlebar: Data execution protection [I guess]
In bold: This application was terminated to protect the computer.
Name: [The] Explorer
Publisher: Microsoft Corporation
Button: Close the message
Below horizontal line: Data execution protection helps protect against harm from viruses and other threats.
Link: What should I do?

Apparently Windows thought Explorer was a threat and terminated it accordingly. Explorer shut down after giving me a message that it had terminated in an “unexpected” way, but of course, Explorer being Explorer, it started right back up again. But Windows was not complaining this time.

And all I wanted to do was to shut down the computer. Do you think you can handle that, Windows?