Coffeehouse Thread

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Your no.1 computing problem?

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  • User profile image
    Manip

    What is your personal number 1 problem with computers/software today? Perhaps your computer isn't intuitive enough? Perhaps it is too unstable? Too insecure? Too slow? Too big? Too loud? etc

    It can be anything -- hardware, software, the connection between the two... Something that really bubbles your blood... And there doesn't need to be a fix for you to complain about it or adversely there can be a fix that is out of your reach... Or doesn't fix it well enough.

  • User profile image
    DoomBringer

    shooby wrote:
    I can't resist --

    Its having to use this  linux

    Lets all quit buying it and invest in Microsoft software!

    Amen!

    I love you too!

    xx00

    shooby

    Fixed.
    Edit: Double fixed.

  • User profile image
    Manip

    My number 1 computing problem is data retention -- I am happy with the status quo, except when my hard disks crash and I loose my data. I love my data and want to be able to trust my computer never to loose any of it.

    I should be able to trust a hard disk to last five years, but in reality you're lucky if you get two years from most high speed disks you buy today.

    PS - I am well aware of the options available to me, including RAID, external USB drives, NAS et al... But all of the for-mentioned options are far too expensive or inconvenient for me to use... So I sit on a pin edge waiting for my computer to roll over and play dead, while I cry into my lap... Embarassed

  • User profile image
    the_corona

    I agree. Defenitly Data. I have just today had another partition simply inacessable. It drives me mad. The same goes for DVDrs. I have had many disks that simply cant be read after a while or only on the drive they were burned in.

    I want to have a system where I can be sure (or at least 99% sure) that my data will still be there tomorrow, and that it will not be corrupt.

    And for me too, Raid is too complicated and too expensive.

    Honestly I'd rather have my motherboard and CPU fried than my HD crash.

    We need to find something that makes data redundancy (RAID) systems easy to use. I should be able to buy a complete System of say 3 disks plus a raid controller that work out of the box and run in Raid 5. Make it standard.

    I'm frustrated today because I might have just lost 160GB worth of data.

    I'm actually getting to a point where I simply hate computers. All they seem to do is cause trouble. My favourite saying is that computers are being used to solve problems that you wouldnt even have without a computer.

    So thats my no. 1 problem with computers!

  • User profile image
    MasterPi

    My #1 problem is lack of simplicity.

    My mother complains to me everyday, "Why is this all so complicated? Why can't I just login, open up Word, and just print?  Why do I have to wait for the...what is it..'CompaqA3000 printer utility' to start up, but first wait for Norton Internet Security to start up? "

    As a student doing research using websites, more often I am presented with the idea of just having a small data store in the system to store citations and my bibliography as I visit sites.  Right now, having to open up notepad, ctrl + c the website url, dig around for the author's name, the copyright year, and then ctrl + v into notepad the details, and finally produce a bibliography page in my research paper (which I'm actually glad the research tools have surfaced in the ribbon in Word12) - this is all kind of irritating.

    'twould be nice if upon visiting a site, the system would automatically gather all data about the site, the author, the copyright date, the page number, etc and store it somewhere for when I excerpt a bit of text or use an image, the data would travel (perhaps as metadata) with the portion of data taken.

  • User profile image
    kenfine

    Most of us now have a bunch of devices that we use to work and play:

    computer at work
    computer upstairs at home
    computer downstairs at home
    computer attached to xbox
    notebook computer
    another notebook computer
    an mp3 player
    another mp3 player

    I want someone (Microsoft) to develop software and hardware mechanisms to reliably and wirelessly sync subsets of data from one device to another whenever it comes in range. I know how to use rsync, but I want something that grandma can use. Rsync ain't it.

    Scenario: I'm at work. I write code all day and develop some illustrator designs, saving all of it to my "work" directory. Fortunately, it has an association or sync partnership with the "work" directory on my laptop. The files are synced automatically. When I get home, I turn the laptop on and my home machine detects the changes, putting a lock on its own files and copying the new files over. Everything stays connected.

    I would also be able to set up these partnerships to happen over TCP/IP.

    I posted yesterday asking whether anyone had a portable wireless NAS/music playing widget:
    http://channel9.msdn.com/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=150760

    That's the hardware component. Someone needs to write some really great software to make everything work seamlessly.

    Aside from saving people time, it would provide necessary redundancy so people without RAID don't lose all of their important stuff.

    -KF

  • User profile image
    SlackmasterK

    heh, I have accumulated a pretty good number of 'em over the decades, but here are a few of my biggest personal pet peeves:

    1. Insufficient multi-monitor support:
      I have addressed this before here, at RealTimeSoft (http://www.realtimesoft.com/multimon/forum/topics.asp?forum=1&tmpl=UltraMon), and on other geeky forums.  The problem is that as Windows evolves, it still doesn't offer me the multi-monitor support I require.  When you're dealing with a desktop that's over 8,000 pixels wide, dragging and dropping becomes quite a chore.  Furthermore, it's difficult to predict where windows and popups will open, and when I'm in a full-screen game the other monitors can't be clicked on lest I be returned to the desktop.  I would like to be able to run Second Life (thx Scoble) or Counterstrike: Source, alt-tab to Outlook - which I can readily see already - and delete or read my mail, alt-tab back, and not have any mode switches in the process.  WinAmp is the only full-screen prog I've seen handle this well, and I think they do it by cheating somehow. RealtimeSoft makes a program called Ultramon, which has many features I feel should be embedded into Windows.

    2. Difficulty backing up large amounts of data:
      I have nearly a terabyte of data interspersed among my computers. About three years ago, I upgraded from CD-R to DVD-R which reduced my disc collection by 6.5x.  Still it takes about 200 discs to do a full backup, which gets expensive.  There are solutions out there for progressive backups, but I reorganize often and don't like the idea of having to label a DVD "Backup 1/1/06 #197".  I much prefer labels like "Movies 7 of 30" or "MP3 4.21".

    3. Proprietary Hardware:
     I made the mistake of purchasing an iBuddie laptop ("Desktop Replacement").  It was incredibly cheap, $1200 for a $2000 laptop in 2002. It had issues, like the battery was external and the power cord kept melting and had to be unmelted and reshaped to fit into the power port.  Ultimately the power brick popped a capacitor and I have been unable to find a suitable replacement power brick or capacitor. Furthermore, my new LCD screen uses a far-from-standard tricircular-shaped power plug instead of the industry-standard computer PSU shaped power plug.  If this cord gets damaged, I'm SOL until I can find a new one!  Oh the pain of category number three.

    4. Wrong cable lengths:
     I use a 3D modeling program called Rhino 3D to design my lab layout every time I reorganize the lab.  This way I know where everything is going to go and whether or not it will fit.  It looks good in 3D, but once I get everything set up I'm frequently stopped dead in my tracks by a CAT5 or USB cable that's too short.  Sometimes, a CAT5 or speaker wire will end up with 10' of extra slack because I was too lazy to get a shorter one from the Pile of Perpetual Ignorance. It's a moderate annoyance, but that's why it's down at #4.

    5. Alphabetization:
     Every time I reformat and install Windows, it reorganizes my IE favorites alphabetically.  This is a bit of an unspoken annoyance, but imagine my pain when I expect to hit "Start > A > B > SSSS" and end up on my dad's store's webcam and instead end up on Slashdot.  I optimize the favorites menus so my most-viewed sites are at the top of each recursive level of foldery goodness, which is far from alphabetical. 

    6. Lost Hardware:
     I can't tell you how many times I've been looking for a long-lost piece of hardware.  So far I can count dozens including my TV tuner and several hard drives counting 40GB and up. Oh, i know where this hardware is all at; it's in the pile, and if you saw the pile you wouldn't want to fish through it either.

    7. Lack of advanced tools in Windows:
    It annoys me that I have to maintain a library of 3rd-party installers for software that compensates for areas where my OS lacks. I should be able to open the appropriate window or object and receive all the information and configuration options I require and want.  I had to dedicate an entire 120GB drive (E:) just to these installers and that drive has overflown into G: and H:.

    and just as a side note, I think it was a mistake to remove QBASIC from the Windows install.  I used this as a learning tool when Windows 98 came out (I was 7 at the time) and the more advanced languages were still beyond my reach.  At the time.

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    My biggest problem with computing?

    The person in front of the computer!

  • User profile image
    pugsley0502

    Personally i don't think computers are much of a problem, i think a lot of it is probably down to the users, even the real hardcore professionals can make some real huge errors and i personally think it is those errors thats cause the problems of course i am refering to the general day to day errors and mess ups that we all experience, and of course the user is not to blame all of the time but i think more education and care and a lot less rushing to get things done would save a lot less headache for IT support personell and the like.

    Well thats my opinion anyway Big Smile

  • User profile image
    jcummins

    My problem would definitely be the Halting Problem.

  • User profile image
    BryanF

    I can't stand the "duck and cover" drills we have to go through everytime some severe security vulnerability is discovered. It's certainly gotten better over the years, but the recent WMF flaw looks pretty major.

    Aside from that, my biggest problem is the lack of transparency in the computer. I hate it when I notice something new on my system and have no idea where it came from. This too is getting better though. MSH is a great tool. Even something as simple as "ps | format-table name,description" makes computing easier.

    I guess the short answer is I want to be able to feel confident in the state of my system.

  • User profile image
    Alt-F4

    SlackmasterK wrote:
    The problem is that as Windows evolves, it still doesn't offer me the multi-monitor support I require.  When you're dealing with a desktop that's over 8,000 pixels wide, dragging and dropping becomes quite a chore.


    I feel your pain. Gosh, what a chore.
    Tongue Out

  • User profile image
    Detroit Muscle

    My work laptop with XP SP2 crashes at least 2-3 times a week. I wish I could choose another OS for it, but the networking software I need is Windows only. The desktop I use for Matlab runs RHEL 4 and I've never seen it crash.

  • User profile image
    IRenderable

    How slow new apps are.

  • User profile image
    SlackmasterK

    W3bbo wrote:
    My biggest problem with computing?

    The person in front of the computer!

     

    Sounds like you've got a PEBKAC error.  Replace the nut on the keyboard.

  • User profile image
    FXEF

    Detroit Muscle wrote:
    My work laptop with XP SP2 crashes at least 2-3 times a week. I wish I could choose another OS for it, but the networking software I need is Windows only. The desktop I use for Matlab runs RHEL 4 and I've never seen it crash.


    If your XP box is crashing 2-3 times a week it's most likely a hardware issue. Overheated processors or bad memory will cause crashes. XP has issues but Microsoft has for the most part fixed the stability issue with XP.

  • User profile image
    Heywood_J

    Manip wrote:
    What is your personal number 1 problem with computers/software today?


    24 inch monitors are too expensive.  Smiley Smiley


  • User profile image
    BenZilla

    Heywood_J wrote:
    Manip wrote:What is your personal number 1 problem with computers/software today?


    24 inch monitors are too expensive. 




    Don't you mean 2x! 24 inch monitors are too expensive Wink

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