Bye Bye Windows, I’ve had enough…..

Well sort of: Apart from Framemaker, I have no real use for Windows anymore. I’ll keep a machine for that to continue to produce the local astronomy club newsletter. Otherwise, all I need is available on my Mac. That interface is easier on the eye as it still has some colour even though it too has become “flatter” over the years. Perhaps more important, all settings are in one place, and easily found.

I did offer a Windows support/repair  service but now the time has come to end that too. I spend far too much time looking for things that used to be towards the top of menus in W7, I struggle to understand why things which used to be in plain view, now seem to be hidden in Windows 8 and 10. This all makes it uneconomical to repair machines on an hourly rate as I waste so much time trying to sort out where things are.

Sorry to all my clients but, it really isn’t worth my while to even attempt to fix this stuff any more. Life is too short to try to understand the logic behind Microsoft’s latest changes and assumptions. Take a look at this screenshot:

Stupid W10 start menu

Where the heck are the links to my applications? This abominations takes up a big chunk of screen real estate and offers nothing that I need, it shows fluff. The real stuff is available, but it’s displayed in a ridiculous alphabetical list, in fact no, that’s not true, Control Panel is still hidden.

Do I need apps? No. Do I need games? No. Social media? Not on your life. I’m old, I’m boring but I just need control.

All in all, having spent the best part of a year with Windows 10, I’ve had enough, I’m closing the Microsoft book forever. Sorry to those who’ve depended on my support over the years but this really is the end.

I guess all I really wanted was a re-engineered version of XP. Just as I’d hoped BMW would re-engineer the original Mini. Both seem to have ended up as bloated triumphs of design over content.
Windows in the bin!

Greg Lake – 10 Nov 1947 – 7 Dec 2016

As I said on March 11 this year., “There’s hardly a week goes by these days without a part creator of my music library leaving us”; well here we go again… this time it’s Greg Lake who, yesterday, lost his fight with cancer.

I’m pretty sure most people reading this realise that Greg found fame in King Crimson and went on to form ELP with Keith Emerson and Carl Palmer.

Greg Lake

For anyone who’s never heard Greg’s voice or guitar playing, I recommend starting with “Lucky Man“, “C’est La Vie“, “Take a Pebble” or my favourite of all “From the Beginning” although I guess, at this time of year, I should also include “I Believe in Father Christmas“.

Again, gone but not forgotten, thanks Greg.

Keith Emerson – 2 Nov 1944 – 10 Mar 2016

Sad to hear today’s news of the death of Keith Emerson. There’s hardly a week goes by these days without a part creator of my music library leaving us.

Keith Emerson

The Nice and Emerson, Lake and Palmer were two bands I took too right back in the late 1960s and early 70s. They are both in my iTunes library today and I still consider the ELP album “Trilogy” as my number one Desert Island Disc, my mobile ringtone is the synthesiser bit from the track “From the Beginning” (the synth starts about 3min in).

Gone but not forgotten, thanks Keith.

Edgar Froese 1944 – 2015

Tangerine Dream Phaedra CoverThe news today had me digging out some music from the late 1960s and early 1970s:

Edgar Froese, the founding member of the German electronic group Tangerine Dream, has died in Vienna, aged 70. “Froese died unexpectedly on Friday after a pulmonary embolism”, his son, Jerome, said.

I remember hearing Tangerine Dream for the first time on John Peel‘s radio show and also recall making great efforts to collect just about every album they, and Edgar, produced.

Much has been made (recently) of the influence of Kraftwerk on electronic music but, for me, Tangerine Dream were always the most inventive. That’s not to say I was not listening to both it’s just that I found the rhythmic early sequencer styling of TD to be much more interesting.

Aqua Cover ArtI still have most of the TD albums I collected almost 40 years ago and it looks as if i’ll be dusting them off over the next few weeks!

I suspect most people have heard some Tangerine Dream or Edgar Froese music as, in addition to a prodigious collection of albums, they wrote many film/game scores (including Grand Theft Auto V), and odd snippets of their music appear in many science documentaries.

A sad day for me but at least I have a legacy, thanks Edgar.