Bob Costas -- Stupid Liberal using Jovan Belcher to pursue a political gun control agenda
Cellphone companies continue to resist FCC rules for disasters …


I am what is called a power user – someone who uses more of the capabilities of a software product than the causal user. I take the time and effort to learn the tips and techniques that makes my life easier as I create content for both professional and personal projects.

Therefore, after reviewing both Windows 8 and Office 2013 – I think I will take a pass.

About Windows 8 …

I have a significant investment in my current hardware and see no compelling reason why I want to upgrade my hardware to embrace hardware and software that makes it more difficult for me to pursue my own agenda, be it using older software products, multiple operating systems or a virtualized environment on my own hardware.

For example, the UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) which provides the interface between the hardware and software -- similar to the old BIOS method -- which allows a software vendor to lock their packaged product to the hardware, making it more difficult for me to use other operating systems or products.

I have no desire or need for an operating system or interface which is designed to support the use of the lowest common denominator and screen space of the computer chain, the smartphone, or the intermediate content consumer, the tablet. Because there is no easy way to use these devices in a “production environment,” I cannot see the need for an interface based on large, intelligent tiles that are enabled to display content in a format so small as to be unusable. That is, I do not need a continuous display of the weather, news, e-mail or any other push-driven information product.

Likewise, I have no desire to replace my multiple windows which allows me to access different programs with “drag and drop” capabilities for an interface which makes every application a “full screen” application. Even with the “window-in-a-window” capability, there is nothing here that would encourage me to change my present work habits and style.

I have no desire to use touch screens in my day-to-day activities. One, because fingerprints on the screen are annoying, and two, because using a touch screen on a vertical surface is literally a pain. As I transition between keyboard, screen and mouse. And when you are producing content, just what swipe gestures might be useful? Sort of like trying to paint fine art using finger-painting techniques.

I also do not like hidden controls, accessible with swipe gestures or exagerated mouse movements.

While I understand the agreement between the vendor, the content creators/distributors and law enforcement, I do not like the fact that the hardware and software vendors believe they should have unrestricted access to my work product in the guise of “a better user experience.” Polling my system and uploading information to remote servers without my knowledge and specific permission is not cool. Even though I am licensing the software, I am not granting you permission to sift through the contents of my work.

About Office 2013 …

There is little new and useful here. But the most objectionable feature appears to be storing my content in Microsoft’s cloud-based drive (the apparent default). One, I do not trust Microsoft when it comes to security as most of my security issues involve Microsoft products. Two, I do not trust Microsoft because they are in bed with the government and the Hollywood content creators/distributors who mandate that all of my files be tagged with a personal identifier and examined for “copyrighted material.” Three, I do not trust Microsoft because they use a unilateral “take it or leave” it user agreement that specifies that they have little or no responsibility should my system be breached or content appropriated by unauthorized third parties. Four, there are other alternatives for storing information in the cloud should you desire to do so. Personally, I encrypt my own files and use Dropbox to synchronize content on other computers for backup and storage purposes.

About my next smartphone …

I did not see a need to upgrade my current iPhone to the next version. Especially when I know that there will be at least three other phone releases during another two-year Verizon contract. Whether or not I want to transition to another smartphone platform such as Android remains to be seen. I like my smart phone, but miss the battery life of my feature phone. I am not one of those techies that needs sixty-four of the coolest applications to live my life or share it with others. I still bemoan the fact that Verizon seems to have the best network for me, but the better phones seem to be available at AT&T. Both being predatory pricers competing on complexity to baffle you with BS.

Since I do not have a “Filofax” mentality and place everything in a single calendar, I find that simple lists work well for me. I use a Levenger leather bookmark device with replaceable cardstock inserts  and that seems to do the trick.

Bottom line …

What will I upgrade? I will always upgrade my anti-virus software, in this case Eset. I will upgrade my graphics program SmartDraw 2013. I will consider upgrading my Adobe Professional if editing PDFs is proven to be easier. I will upgrade some utilities, such as my backup software (Acronis) and defragmenting software (Diskeeper) if only to keep them current. BTW, using a defragmenter on your Solid State Disks (SSDs) can be harmful to their useful life – so check that your defragmenter is minimally damaging to SSDs.

So with that said, I think I will take a pass on both Microsoft Windows 8 and Office 2013. There is no bang for the buck – even at reduced pricing. I will remain with a fully-patched Windows 7 and Office 2010. And if I were to radically overhaul my current environment – say after a catastrophe – I might even consider upgrading to Apple’s hardware platform.

-- steve

“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell

“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar

“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS