Thursday, June 29, 2017

Dreaming of Windows UAE

But first, two status updates:

1. Financial status: Market buddy who didn't drive up to Wise County yesterday advanced, which is not the same thing as paying, me $20. That plus rescuing a few stray pennies off the street brings this week's gross income to $28.04. Support this web site.

2. Blogging status: The cafe from which I blog will be closing for a vacation for the first ten days of July. I will be taking the laptop home, out of electronic communication range, and processing words on it during most of that time. I may or may not be able to go online while spending time in Kingsport...Earlier today, on a closed forum, I wrote that Independence Day week is traditionally Fun Fest week in Kingsport. That would have been convenient; Grandma Bonnie Peters always has something to contribute to Fun Fest. But I now see that, this year, Fun Fest has been pushed back into Bastille Day week, July 14-22. Well...that might mean that GBP will have more time to go online from the active seniors' club, which I'm now qualified to join and may decide to join, next week, anyway. I can't promise another recipe, but it could happen.

Now, today's public post is especially for Microsoft and Bing, with which my relationship is so ambivalent, especially after I came to the e-mail about "How to claim your Bing rewards by installing Windows 10." I wouldn't touch Windows 10 with a ten-foot pole. "Cloud storage" is not for me; I already live in a small town, I don't want to bring that sneaky snoopy gossip-ridden atmosphere into cyberspace, urgh and ick.

So, @Microsoft , if you want to sell me a new version of Windows, here are the features that would interest me in "updating" anything. Call it Windows User Appreciation Edition:

1. It's designed primarily for offline use--recognizing that, most of the time, most of us don't want or need to be connected to the Internet while we're doing what we bought a computer to do, which is processing words and numbers. Even in a Wifi Hot Spot, it doesn't connect anything to anything until the user opens a browser window and confirms the order to connect to the Internet.

2. It has the option of opening pictures and audio/video "boxes," individually, only if the user clicks on one. It displays, primarily, alphanumeric text, and never allows fancier content to delay the uploading or processing of alphanumeric text.

3. It relies primarily on external data storage, rather than forcing users to overload their hard drives. And there's no way anyone connected to the computer via "the cloud" can read anything stored in the external data drive. If it's necessary for anyone but the owner of a computer to see what's been stored in the external drive, they can get a search warrant and physically inspect the computer.

4. It can be connected to voice-activated and/or touch-screen devices, but those have to be installed separately. (It recognizes that most of us don't want a built-in sound device automatically blabbing information at the world.)

5. It's guaranteed to run all future Microsoft products--that is, Microsoft guarantees it won't launch any new products that aren't compatible with UAE--for 100 years, or until Microsoft dies, whichever comes first.

6. All versions of UAE come with Microsoft Word...that'd be Word 97, before that obnoxious "styles" feature got out of hand. All Word documents open looking the way Word users painstakingly formatted them to look, which means nothing I ever wrote on a computer ever opens with blank lines instead of tabs separating paragraphs. Blank lines separate sections, or stanzas of poems, not paragraphs. And "styles" are never allowed to override any other format decision the user has made, either.

7. Spell-checker software can highlight things the computer is programmed to identify as possible errors but, since some of these things are actually words the computer may not recognize, UAE blocks any automatic correction feature. Corrections must be made manually. If I'm typing something in a language where "i" is a word, I do not want any computer or web site insisting that that "i" is a mistake for the English word "I." If I'm using (a) (b) (c) in an outline, I do not want the computer telling me that that "(c)" is a mistake for the copyright symbol. Etc. Etc. Etc. Ad nauseam.

8. As a huge security improvement, all documents (including tweets) have to be typed and stored offline before they can be posted online. UAE does not allow live chat. Hurrah! By not allowing live chat, UAE automatically blocks the kind of "chat" between computers that transmits viruses, and it also prevents tiresome people from interrupting or spying on people who are processing words or numbers!

9. Because laptops running UAE are likely to last fifty years, they come with ports for plugging in new mouse and keyboard extensions after the original mouse and keyboard inevitably wear out.

10. And, to show that Microsoft is sincerely trying to go Green, UAE can be installed as an upgrade to any laptop or desktop computer built at any time since the invention of microchips. Blocking the fancy bells and whistles allows UAE to run--slowly--at the speed of a 1982 desktop computer, if the user is willing to type at that speed.

Now that would be a real upgrade, and if the price were reasonable I'd buy it.

I've read, and written, about the features of Windows 10. What I wrote based on research was reasonably product-friendly. I, personally, don't feel friendly toward anything about Windows 10. I wouldn't take it as a gift.