4 Jan 2016

When progress isn't progress

Now I have no time for Microsoft. My wife needed a new computer 2 years ago and as she only uses it for mail and the internet we could not justify the cost of an Apple laptop.The very keenly priced Samsung laptop came with the then new operating system Windows 8. What a total disaster. An operating system designed for mobile devices but running in the main on PCs and laptops. What were they thinking?
Anyway after that disaster- and presumably one we never saw-Windows 9- they have now bought us another disaster -Windows 10. Launched half developed and with the wonderful "automatic updates" feature which automatically updates the operating system on your computer. No issue if there are a few small updates but a total pain if there are continuous massive updates as there are. It is causing major issues for users in very remote areas of Australia who have to use a very expensive satellite connection to the internet and I have a friend who lives in a remote location and who has to use the cellular network for her internet access. Imagine what automatic Windows 10 updates will do to her phone bill. And there is no mechanism for easily turning off this feature.

Apple were above all this shambles. Their operating system updates have represented progress. Each one bought new,useful,features and they were launched after being well tested. However their latest OS update, El Capitan,seems to have broken the mould. Firstly like so much technology they are into chasing diminishing returns so the improvements and new features are hardly worth shouting about. But more worryingly El Capitan seems to use a lot of memory and cause quite a few serious side issues. One feature -the pretty basic and useless Photos app-has imposed itself on my computer and seems to want to try and take priority over my chosen editing program Lightroom. I do hope that is not intentional.
El Capitan has slowed down my computer,caused the Time Machine back up to run for hours and made my computer not see SD cards when they are inserted into the side slot. Sounds more like Microsoft than Apple I know.

I suspect that El Capitan is optimised to run on the latest Apple computers and is designed to frustrate users of older machines into upgrading- a sort of imposed obsolescence. Others I know are experiencing similar problems and it has shaken my confidence in Apple. And no Tim Cook I am not upgrading. My computer was running perfectly well before I installed your damn new OS.
I wish that I had not installed El Capitan and if I cannot get it fully sorted soon I will use my Time Machine back up to go back to the previous Yosemite operating system and stick with that. I find myself asking has the shine gone off Apple's apple?

Whilst I am having a rant I should not spare Google who have this weird notion that we all want to be in groups or as they call them circles with all sorts of people we have connections with-however vague-and that we have this constant need to share stuff incl photos with these people. In a bizarre twist -I know I should never have gone with GMail-Google also suggest other GMail users with the same name when you look up a contact. So if I say look at my Australian based friend Graham Lawrence in my contacts a list of other Graham Lawrences with GMail accounts scattered across the globe appears complete with their photos.
It's a total mystery to me why Google thinks that I need to know about for example a complete stranger called Graham Lawrence who is a council employee with Blyth Valley Borough Council in the UK and who is reckless enough to put a lot of detail into his Google profile. It would not be fair of me to put up all his profile here but I can tell you that he has a Springer Spaniel called Toby.What are Google thinking?

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