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I don’t believe it! Microsoft has announced native support for FLAC in Windows 10!

Windows Media Player showing FLAC support

FLAC support in Windows 10


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EDIT: I did not make Windows 93. Zombectro and Jankenpopp did.

A friend of mine showed me Windows 93 today. I have to admit that it’s fairly impressive, but I found it to be quite coincidental that my friend shared it because I’ve had the idea of doing something like that for a long time.

Windows 93 desktop

Windows 93 – First boot.

I’ve had the ambitious idea of making a Web-based Windows 95/98 clone for years now (since 2008); I just haven’t had the time to actually do it. I intended it to be a project to help me learn jQuery and AJAX, as well as something to apply my then-few-months-old HTML/CSS/JavaScript knowledge. I chose Windows 95 because it has a simple interface that is relatively easy to recreate using HTML and CSS. I would have liked to copy Windows 98, but the gradient proved difficult to replicate with CSS 2 using unprefixed code.

Due to other priorities, and with hopes that new advances would make recreating the look much easier, I shelved the project. The next time I thought about reviving it was when I made a winmine (Minesweeper) clone in Java that looked almost exactly like the XP version, which I lamely called “Losemine” (whose source code I may or may not get around to publishing).

Losemine/Winmine comparison

Losemine (winmine clone). On the left is the original WinXP winmine. The other two are the clone running on Linux and Windows.

Still, I didn’t end up doing anything with the clone project except think that I could make a DHTML port of Losemine and have that as one of my applications for the Windows clone.

And then came this year… →

Microsoft announced Windows 10 today. The technical preview will come out tomorrow, October 1, 2014, and the final release will be sometime in the summer of 2015. EDIT 2014-10-01: the preview is now available.

Yes, that’s Windows 10, not Windows 9. Microsoft probably wants to distance itself from Windows 8; calling it “Windows 9” would make it too close to Windows 8. In a media briefing, Terry Myerson said:

But we know that based on the product that’s coming, and just how different our approach will be overall, it wouldn’t be right to call it Windows 9. So, we’re considering our “One” Microsoft strategy, the names of our products like Xbox One, OneNote, and OneDrive, and it’s obvious what the name should be: Windows One. But unfortunately, Windows 1 has been done by the giants that came before us. […] Because we’re not building an incremental product, that new Windows is Windows 10.

This jump reminds me of Firefox jumping from 3.0 to 3.5 because of all the new features they implemented, but this jump in the Windows version is on a grander scale.

Windows 10 logo
See the preview video →

I disable animations on all my computers (even the Mac) and people wonder why. It’s very simple: I find them annoying. I use the keyboard more often than I use my mouse, and keyboard navigation is significantly faster than mouse navigation for many, if not most, applications. I know what I’m doing, and I don’t need an animation to tell me that a window has opened or minimized to the Taskbar. Animations take to perform, and that time is a delay in action. Although windows are actionable when the animations start, at least in Windows, there are times when I would see the window fade in and out and barely catch a glimpse of the window content because my commands given through the keyboard were done faster than the animations.

YouTube user Rcountrycomputer has uploaded a video showing navigation on Windows with and without animations, and navigating without animations indeed seems faster.


Windows with and without animations and fades. by Rcountrycomputer [YouTube]
Convinced? Find out how to disable animations →

I’m a little late, but I just found out that the UK and Dutch governments paid Microsoft a large sum of money (to give an understatement) to extend support for Windows XP. They are “very grateful”, they said.

I’m quite shocked. How desperate are you that you’ll pay £5.5 million (almost US$9.3 million) to extend the support of a buggy 12-year-old operating system for a year when there are perfectly good free and open-source substitutes out there? They’re worried about how much money it will take to retrain everyone if they switched over to open-source software; I don’t see how paying Microsoft £5.5 million to extend support for a year is better. Not only are you paying to keep support, you’re also paying to keep your antivirus licenses. Does anyone not realize that you don’t need an antivirus on Linux? If you want to pay for support, go get Red Hat Enterprise, SUSE Linux Enterprise, or some other enterprise Linux. Your cost in training users will be insignificant compared to your deal with Microsoft and its associated costs.

Also, to Microsoft, this is bribery: you’ll give support to users if they paid you a ridiculously large sum of money. Either stand firm by your decision to stop giving support or give support to everyone. They had seven years to prepare for the end of support, which is more than enough time to assess alternatives and plan a transition.

I’m very disappointed in both of you.

Links →

My laptop is like my kid: I love it, but sometimes it drives me crazy!
(Whether I actually have a human kid is irrelevant).

Jason Fox

Jason

Jason, my Arch Linux installation which I set up just before the new year started, has treated me well. So well, in fact, that I haven’t booted Windows for anything even remotely significant since about a week after I set it up. Penny must feel so lonely…

On Wednesday, I upgraded Jason using pacman -Syu as I would usually do. Being a “bleeding-edge” system, making any upgrades has the potential to break something. So far, I’ve had no problems with it in the three or four times I’ve done a system upgrade, but apparently, not this time. You’re supposed to read up on upgrades just in case anything will break, and when I did so, nothing came up, so I went ahead and upgraded my system.

What broke? →