A Cranky XP Complaint

by Preston Gralla

Sometimes you just want to forget about the big issues of the day and complain about one of those little things about life at the keyboard that drives you nearly half-insane.

This is one of those times. So bear with me.

Why is it that it takes my XP machine half an eternity to shut down? Click the Start button, click Turn Off Computer, and Click Turn Off. Then wait half a year.

Is it too much to ask to have it actually shut down within fifteen or twenty seconds? Is it too much to ask that it shut down without spewing half a dozen error messages alerting me that this or that program or process doesn't seem to want to give up the ghost?

Is it too much to ask to actually have it shut down at all, in fact? Half the time, it seems, it won't shut down, and so I have to resort to pressing the computer's On/Off button. And then sometimes event that doesn't work, and I have to unplug the power cord to shut it off.

Microsoft has promised that Longhorn will fix these shutdown and startup problems. Sure it will. It'll also solve world hunger, usher in a millennium of world peace, and answer the eternal question posed by Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye --- where do the ducks in New York's Central Park go in the winter time?

In other words, don't hold your breath.

Ah, that feels better, now that I've got it off my chest.

Do you have any similar cranky complaints about the little things in Windows that drive you crazy? If so, talk back to me, below.

What drives you around the bend about Windows? Get it off your chest and let the world know. You'll feel better for it.


2005-05-04 03:16:29
smoothen the UI experience
I like my Windows box - I really do. But the thing I probably dislike most is this awkward diversity in the Look and Feel of Windows and its applications: Outlook XP looks oldfashinoed in comparison to, say, Word 2003 (yes, I know, thiese ARE different types of programs :-), I am referring to how menus, dialog boxes or toolbars look like). Still, Microsoft Office apps seem much more polished than the tools that ship with Windows (for example Notepad, Paint, Calc, ...). Other vendors have their individual UI library, too. Even in Windows itself, the usage of old and new UI elements seems inconsistent.

So, in my humble opinion Microsoft should harmonize the overall look and feel.

2005-05-04 03:54:47
Six annoyances
[BTW: I use the Classic Windows XP theme]

1. Rename:

When I highlight a file and press F2
the rename interaction begins - with
the cursor at the END of the filename.
I don't hide filename extensions so
I would love instead to have the cursor positioned
just before the DOT of the filename extension.
That way I'm less likely to dis-associate my
documents from their applications

2. shellNew

Window's Control Panel should let you explicity
ban the insertion of shellNew registery items.
To remove each by hand is just to tedious.

4. Spiral icon layout.

I tend to layout the icons along the edges my desktop - so I can see them when I have applications covering the middle of the screen.
When I've completed an entire rectangle I move
in one grid-spacing and start anew.
It would be great if Windows explicity supported
a spiral icon layout organization that - gradually
spiralled in on the center of the desktop.

5. STOP autoCreation of Toolbars by dragging

We need an easy way to prevent Windows from
creating a Toolbar-Folder along the edge of
the desktop-display whenever one accidently
drags a folder icon on the desktop margin.
It messes up the entire icon layout.

6. Folder Detail & Modification Date

In Folder full of MP3 files - the default
details in the detailed view often switch
to include ID3 tag values like Title and
Artist - which is nice enough until
you realize that to sort by time/date you
need about ten mouse clicks.
Can the Detail views be permanently
customized so I always the Data column
to click on?

2005-05-04 06:59:29
USB problems
Every time I change anything about my USB cables (sometimes just unplugging and reinserting the same device in the same port), Windows thinks I've added a new device. I now have Epson Perfection #6 and Powershot A40 #5. With the scanner, it even makes me reinstall the driver each time. If I remember right, this mind-boggling, heinous bug has been around since, oh, about Win95 OSR2.
2005-05-04 10:12:11
Locked Files!!!!
Why does Windows insist on locking files whenever an app even touches it??? Unix doesn't, and nobody's ever complained. Most apps don't need files to be locked, as the vast majority of file access is read-only. So why the h**l do you have to close an application just so you can delete a file the app has not used in 5 hours???

2005-05-05 00:16:04
Alternatives are there, just pick one of your choiche
This is recurring over and over again, and it is one of those "I like to complain" attitude which leads nowhere, as MS has always done what they wanted, and users counted zero.

We pay, and then we argue about this and that. But we continue to be slave of it, anc continue to pay for it. It just never ends.

Well, I stopped complaining (and continue to pay), and I picked an alternative! You can choose as well. There are the open ones (Linux, FreeBSD and many more) and there are closed/commercial ones (Mac OS X). And be sure, they shutdown no matter what!

Ah, and yes, I feel better too now that it is out of my chest :)

2005-05-05 10:10:52
It used to be worse
Your post resonated with me! The thing that gets tme the most is the offline files box always getting "stuck" on system shutdown. I tend to select Start Shutdown. When I see my explorer taskbar disappear, I figure I have waited long enough and proceed to close the lid. Without offline folders, the machine will still shutdown. With offline folders, it will typically get stuck synchronizing and go to sleep. There have been more times that I have opened the lid of my laptop hours later just to have it finally finish its shutdown sequence and power down. Of course, when I power it back on, the battery is dead from having been on standby all day. After the shutdown operation has been initiated it should not be possible for the machine to go to sleep! It's a sad day when it takes the OS so long to shutdown that it puts itself to sleep!!! :)

Still, it could be worse. I recently had occasion to use a fresh Windows 2000 Pro install for some testing. In the week I used it, I don't think I got it to cleanly shutdown once. This made me remember my thoughts upon first using XP that it was SOOO fast to startup and shutdown! I guess I expect more now.

2005-12-22 02:39:54
Windows XP Complaint
Thanks for the opportunity to register a complaint about Windows XP.

After installing XP, nothing works any more. I lost the use of my printer, fax machine, copier... HP blames Microsoft, and vice-versa.

My anti-virus software no longer runs. As I type this, my system is no longer protected from virus attacks.

I now experience numerous glitches every day... I clicked to post this complaint, and it opened MGI PhotoSuite. I try to save an image from the Web, and it saves in an unknown format and cannot be opened. I click on an item on Ebay, and it shuts down AOL... and on, and on, and on.

Microsoft of course doesn't care about customers who send them money... because they have a monopoly, so they don't have to care.

XP is worse than worthless, it is a giant, primitive step backwards, and as soon as Google comes out with an operating system... I'm gone from Mocrosoft forever... and good riddance!