Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Windows 10 is... pretty nice, actually

Anyone who regularly reads this blog (...ROTFLMAO, funniest goddamn thing I've said in a year) would surely have noticed that I'm something of a retro gamer and old computer enthusiast.  Understatement, I know.  But, more to the point, while I loved Atari and NES like any other child of the 80s, I didn't get into computers until the 90s.  So I grew up not with Commodore 64s and Apple IIs (although I did have limited exposure to them through friends and school), but with MS-DOS, 32bit Windows, and Macintosh System 6/7.

With every iteration of Windows since Windows 95, I've always tried to maintain the classic look: the plain blue-green desktop, the classic gray start button and start menu, the cleanest and simplest interface possible.  This has worked out fine throughout the Windows XP years and throughout the Windows 7 years, but no more.  Windows 10 does not have a built-in "classic" or "retro" desktop theme to bring back that Win95 look (at least, not yet).  One can get pretty close by installing Classic Shell, and I recommend doing so anyway just because it's nice to be able to open either an old-school start menu or a modern-looking "metro"-style menu as you prefer.

That said, with Classic Shell installed and my desktop background set on a plain color, well, it's a bit of a kludge, but it's close enough.  The feel is a little bit off, but the OS itself is functional; I haven't had a compatibility problem with any piece of hardware or software that I haven't been able to solve inside of two minutes; and it's using less disk-space and ram.  Add onto that the task-view screen, multiple virtual desktops, and Cortana, and I've got it say, Windows 10 is actually making my favorite Linux distro (presently Mint 17.2) look positively quaint.

My main PC is now dual-booting Windows 10 and Linux Mint, but the truth is that I only ever use Linux for the most casual of activities: web-surfing and watching movies.  All of my serious business (writing, desktop publishing, and gaming) takes place in a Windows environment.  I keep using Linux because I like the "feel" of it, and because it's convenient to have a bunch of free, useful software pre-installed (one of the reasons I prefer Mint to Ubuntu these days).  But I'm certainly no open-source software partisan, and I frankly have no security or privacy concerns driving me away from Windows and towards Linux.  For the foreseeable future, I'm gonna be a Windows-user... just like I was back in the 90s.

No comments:

Post a Comment