A few win7 interface questions


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I recently upgraded to windows 7 from XP, and I hate the new interface. There are a few critical issues for me - I got my home and work PC's "upgraded" at around the same time. It's significantly reduced my productivity on the job and at home, and bothers me enough that it reduces my inclination to do things on the computer.

Have already switched to classic skin, and removed all the cruft from the new explorer/file manager (the panes on both sides, the huge bulky thing that went where the status bar was, and the folder band - those new features took up about 40% of the pixels in a folder window, and I can't afford to waste screenspace like that).

1) In windows XP, you could only have one folder window open for a given folder (trying to open another would bring you to the one currently open). In windows 7, this is no longer enforced, and i end up building up redundant folder windows. This behaves inconsistently. I want this to act like XP.

2) In windows XP, there was less padding around the text in taskbar entries (i have taskbar grouping turned off, I hate the taskbar grouping, in XP and in 7 - it was always the first thing i turned off). Now, the first letter of taskbar entries gets hidden with far fewer programs opened. That, combined with issue 4 below, makes finding open programs take an extra menu operation (hover over entry in task bar, then find the right one on the stupid popup window).

3) In windows XP, the task bar icons were ordered in order that they were opened, making it easy to go back to the last task you had open. Now, instead, they're sorted first by program, then by the order you opened them. This sounds innocent, but it sucks, because you can't, say... go back to the folder you had open right before opening a file in it (by looking for the icon of the file you opened, and then looking 1 spot to the left). Moreover, while they're sorted by program, the programs appear to be ordered randomly. Sometimes a program will show up in the middle of the task bar, even when there aren't any other instances of the program open.

Now, chosing programs on the task bar generally end up requiring two mouse movements a hover, and a click, instead of 1 movement and 1 click. As a hard-core multitasker (on winXP, I would frequently be near the point where the 2-row tall taskbar would start scrolling on a 1440 pixel wide screen), this is a real problem for me.

4) Under windows XP, when you told the computer to shut down, while there was an application with an open file, you would be prompted to save it, and could choose whether to do so.

Under windows 7, it will prevent you from interacting with the application to tell it whether/how to save, until you cancel the shutdown, tell it to save, and then tell it to shut down again. And then you cancel it again, because there's another program asking something. Repeat several times.
Usually these are things like notepad files with a url or something that I was copy/pasting to remove formatting from text - but you can't check without canceling the shut down, canceling the "do you want to save dialog" and quitting or saving. (Speaking of which, anyone know a way to copy or paste just raw text? Sometimes it's nice to keep the formatting, but usually it's just a pain in the ass)

5) I've disabled that screen-space hog at the bottom of the explorer window that replaced the nice, neat, status bar in XP, and turned back on the old one.

However, now, it doesn't display anything other than the number of files selected - in the past, it would display file size as well. Which is the whole point of using the status bar.

6) Not a big deal, but is it possible to make windows only shade the icon when you're viewing a folder as "medium icons", instead of the icon plus the background around it?


Thanks in advance everyone.
 
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Nibiru2012

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Sounds like you'd rather go back to Windows 98SE or 2000 to me.

The times they are a changin' as Bob Dylan once sang. Sounds to me like you're not very open or conducive to change.

For nearly everyone here on this forum, both past and present, the Windows 7 interface is the BEST there has ever been. Only time will tell if there will more improvements to it or not.

For most, the learning curve isn't that difficult or hard to comprehend, for some used to the old ways it does take some adjustment.

Hang in there and start tinkering with it and enjoying a truly great computer operating system. :cool:
 
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I would rather stay with XP, which i've spent 8 years getting really good at using, and which I only moved away from due to the 4gb memory limit and driver support issues.

There are a lot of good things about windows 7, and i've gotten used to a lot of the changes, but these issues are the ones that remain incredibly frustrating to me three months after switching to windows 7, and which continue to reduce my productivity and make me not want to use the computer. I did not post any of the things I liked about windows 7, because I don't need input on them, and I highlighted the differences between XP and 7 because that's what i'm moving from.

I posted this question hoping for assistance in making windows 7 into the best operating system i'd used - these are the "blocking issues" as they say in the biz. I really hope that I can make 7 into an OS that i'll be happy to use - right now, it's just not at that point.

The shutdown issue in particular, is ridiculous (though it's not the most irritating of them - 2 and 3 take that place).
Before, it was, press shutdown, and then every time you see a "do you want to save" box come up, press yes/no as appropriate.
Now it's...
While (computer still running) do {
Start -> shutdown
Wait until it tells me that a program is waiting for input.
Cancel shutdown
Find program, respond to dialog. But the first response to the dialog does nothing, because the shutdown has been canceled.
Close program, respond again.
} (repeat until it actually shuts down)
end

This turns a 20-30 second process into a frustrating 3-4 minute ordeal. I want to be able to shut down my computer without having to go through that.
 

Thrax

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Times change. Stay with them, or pay the penalties for staying behind. This is a philosophical debate that can't come to any meaningful conclusion, so those are really the only pragmatic options.
 
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I get better results posting in the "general computer help" section of forums on other topics than I've gotten here... I'm having some fairly straightforward issues with the new interface, which cause a quantifiable degradation in my computer using experience.

And I get "Stop complaining, this OS is better"

I'll find a more helpful place to ask these questions.
 

Thrax

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As you say, but these are "issues" that cannot be resolved. Windows 7 is not Windows XP, and therefore it cannot work like XP in the ways you want. You may not like the answer, but it's the grim reality.
 
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catilley1092

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I've found Windows 7 the very best OS that MS has ever produced. And this comes from one who preferred Win 2000 Pro over XP, until MS stopped supporting it.

At the same time that I went to 7, I also took the leap to 64 bit computing, and don't really want to look back either. If you have Win 7 Pro, there's a free answer from MS for you, Windows Virtual PC w/XP Mode.

See here:

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/virtual-pc/

It's a pre-activated copy of XP Pro SP3, that's designed for those like yourself that needs XP for certain apps/hardware. I use it myself. Or if you prefer, there's some computers (with 7 Pro installed) that gives you downgrade rights to XP Pro. Still, you're looking at a 32 bit environment, which is rapidly going away.

Like the times, OS's changes. We cannot change that. I prefer it that way.

Cat
 
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Found solution for issue 3 - 7 Taskbar Tweaker, a third party program. Unfortunately it needs to stay running in the background. Lets you change some other behavior of taskbar too.

Just gotta find a way to reduce the padding around taskbar text and i'll be all good on the taskbar...

That would bring me back to the shutdown issue being the most vexing. Is there seriously no way to change the shutdown behavior? I'm amazed that people aren't screaming bloody murder over it...
I know the reduction in functionality in the "new" status bar (the bulky one on the bottom of folder windows, not the old style one, which lost almost all it's functionality) has led to a lot of complaints, but i havn't seen anyone else objecting to the shutdown behavior, which makes me think I must be missing some setting to change it.
 
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