Author Topic: Windows is getting disgusting  (Read 159339 times)

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Offline slicendice

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Re: Windows is getting disgusting
« Reply #750 on: February 18, 2017, 10:25:41 am »
Certifications aren't everything, but they do give you visibility of product features that you'd otherwise not be aware of, or would only pick up by chance.

What they don't give you are analytical skills. You can have certs coming out of every orifice but it doesn't mean you know how to efficiently troubleshoot, or architect solutions to fit into your typical environments full of legacy technology, or teach you how to be a reasonable human being. There is a lot more to life than certs.

As an example, at a place where I do a bit of consulting recently let someone go who, on paper, is incredibly well appointed including a Cambridge degree along with a string of certs. He was disruptive but in a bad way. While he was very good at coming up with random solutions, they only fitted his blinkered utopian world, they were mostly useless when it came to integrating with existing infrastructure, process and operations. Not a week would go by without some new point solution based on products that no-one had any experience of. He'd work fine in a greenfield startup where this kind of disruption is de rigeur, but not in the world of big corp enterprise.

What was worse was that he called himself a data architect. I remember the day he sent me a long email where he pulled rank and called himself that, I nearly fell off my chair! A case of Peter Principal if ever there was one.

Exactly! A piece of paper does not change who we are, but it gives a good indication of what we know, or at least should know. What it does not tell is if we can solve the problems given to us, based on the knowledge we have. :-)
 

Offline slicendice

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Re: Windows is getting disgusting
« Reply #751 on: February 18, 2017, 10:51:10 am »
@rrinker

Either you understand Windows and it's solutions or you don't. A certification is a good measurement of how much you understand of it. If it's too difficult to pass a certification exam without a bunch of books to assist, then maybe Windows management is not your thing. Windows, is not complicated, once you understand the core functionality it should be fairly simple to pass any certification exam. But you have to understand the system as a whole, not just a small part of it or you will fail.

Almost anybody could pass an exam with a step by step guide on how to do things, but what's the point? How much does that person really know and understand? I'd say, pretty much nothing.

Having a lot of experience does not make you a good IT-specialist. Especially if you have been doing it all wrong the whole time. You need both correct methods and experience in order to be called a specialist.

EDIT: All this applies to Windows, Linux, OS X and any other OS there is, including the software that comes with it.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2017, 10:54:15 am by slicendice »
 

Offline rrinker

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Re: Windows is getting disgusting
« Reply #752 on: February 18, 2017, 11:30:09 pm »
 I can assure you I have not been "doing this wrong" for 29 years. It has nothing to do with the understanding of the material - the questions are specifically designed to make the exam more difficult that just knowing the material. Again - do it as a practicum, like Citrix and Cisco do, and you REALLY have an idea of the candidate knows the material or not. Multiple choice tests where it's 100% wrong if it says "pick all" and you get 2 out of the 3 do nothing but generate revenue.
 Half my down time, I'm helping the guy 2 cubes down try to solve customer problems. He has passed the Windows Server and the Exchange exam series. He has pretty close to 0 troubleshooting ability, unless the exact error messages results in a Google hit for the one and only solution. Usually things are much more complex than that. I'll suggest a course of action and he is usually responds with "I think I read about that somewhere" The way he works is the Microsoft Exam way - every little thing in isolation, no big picture look at the whole system. A fault in one system can easily just be a symptom of the real problem in a (seemingly) unrelated system - one needs to look at the whole system if the most basic troubleshooting fails to resolve the problem.
 My 29 years is post degree. While in college I worked in the computer shop, and also as my summer job for a couple of years. And 'playing' with computers and electronics - that goes even firther back in my childhood. Another thing is all these new guys have passed the latest version exam, so they see what might be problems in the current version of the product, but not every customer has the latest version yet - and when there are such massive changes such as between Exchange 2003, 2007, 2010, and 2013 (2016 didn't change much), they are easily lost without the practical experience. Again, the "Microsoft Way" on the exams assumes a nice clean latest versions of everything environment - which is almost NEVER the case, even the completely new system I just finished setting up, they run a critical line of business app where the app vendor will not support running the database on anything newer that SQL Server 2008. That sort of thing always annoys me, especially when you look in the database and there are no stored procedures which could be using code that is deprecated in newer versions. Nope, just your basic collection of data tables. And if you try it, it will work just fine on SQL 2014, or maybe even 2016. However, the software vendor will then blame any and all problems on the fact that you are using too new a version. Instead of unsupported end of life stuff... uggh.

 

Offline DimitriP

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Re: Windows is getting disgusting
« Reply #753 on: February 18, 2017, 11:42:27 pm »
Quote
a good IT-specialist

Talking about a loaded phrase!!!

"good"
"IT"
"specialist"


"Good" to a) yourself,  b) your employer or c) the "customer" or in what proportion?

"IT" .  Every  individual or company has it's own definition of what they will "handle" as part of their "IT services" usually skewed towards b above :)
Example: "Per our contact we only support networked printers" for example." Spoken by a two man "IT services" "company".

"Specialist": Well...this can easily negate the above two depending on the specialty.
Tehre are lots of "It specialists" out there  and if you went by their "specialty" you'd need a whole heard of them to "handle" everything.

In general, it's a lot easier for someone to walk into a situation, tear up everything, and replace it with fresh new stuff. 
Replacing switches and rewiring the building only to find out during the "teardown" there were two intermittent RJ-45 jacks feeding two of the switches. But hey, the customer already paid for the new switches and the rewiring so what's the problem? ... right..... ?

But I'll stop ranting now before I start letting you know how I really feel  ....
   If three 100  Ohm resistors are connected in parallel, and in series with a 200 Ohm resistor, how many resistors do you have? 
 

Offline slicendice

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Re: Windows is getting disgusting
« Reply #754 on: February 19, 2017, 08:59:34 am »
Don't let me get started on many Software and Database usage.

All I am going to say is:

Jeeez, they don't have a clue how to properly design a database and how to use it. A lot of freaking software hacks in the application and the DB is half built and does not even resemble a real Relational Data Base. This is not just MSSQL, but is the same for all DB solutions out there. No wonder there may or may not be incompabilities. A properly built database should be able to port to next version without a glitch and the software should run just fine after the upgrade.

Note, not all applications with DBs are bad, though it may sound like I think that. :-D

What comes to certs, the application and OS foundation has not changed much for the last 10-15 years. Just a few new feature and a few removed feature. Those MS certs are made difficult on purpose. It's a really good thing, because one small mistake during your setup could break the whole system. So a few mistakes in the exam causes you to fail. It's a good thing. We don't want people to administer out important stuff with half knowledge. A business values the money and the uptime. A lot of downtime is very expensive. For example, the previous company I worked for, for each downtime hour because a configuration error in the software, the company lost about $250,000 in revenue. It took them 5 days to find and fix the problem. That is 5 x 24 x $250000 = $30 000 000 lost money.
 

Offline CraigHB

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Re: Windows is getting disgusting
« Reply #755 on: February 19, 2017, 02:13:17 pm »
SumatraPDF is only about a 6 MB download, and only needs to be unzipped to run (does not require any special "installation" and doesn't write to registry).

I'm using an old version of Foxit, have been for some time.  I don't like what they did with the newer versions.  Portable applications are great (ones that don't need an installation).  I've always liked programs like that and it's good to see them becoming more popular.  So I'll have to take note of that Sumatra reader if I have to ditch my old version of Foxit for some reason.

I don't like Adobe products much.  The ones I've come across have caused me problems over the years.  I was very happy to ditch their PDF reader.  I've ditched their Flash player and haven't missed it much.  A few web sites here and there still use that awful thing, but it's generally not a problem.  There's a few big companies like Adobe that put out crap software, but usually it's easy avoid their products.  That's not so much the case with PC operating systems.
 

Offline CraigHB

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Re: Windows is getting disgusting
« Reply #756 on: February 19, 2017, 02:42:05 pm »
Any Windows version can be bent to the users will, including 10. Learn to use Windows and you will find out. It's just a matter of enough will power.

Sure, I can customize it to my liking if I try hard enough, but the effort is far less to simply use Win7 instead or even Linux. I'm going to take the path of least resistance. Why should I have to summon immense will power to bend the OS to fit my needs when other systems are available that already do almost exactly what I want with very few changes?

One thing positive I have to say about MS is they've always provided an ability to tweak Windows to your liking, though it may be rather involved to do so.  It would be nice if I could just load the OS and use it without the need to go mucking around in the internals.  That's never been the case with Windows.  Every new version requires more and more of that nonsense.  It took a good amount of work to get Win7 working the way I like.  Win10 is going to be an even bigger job.  That sort of defeats the point.  Ideally it should be a small matter.
 

Offline eugenenine

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Re: Windows is getting disgusting
« Reply #757 on: February 19, 2017, 03:42:24 pm »

One thing positive I have to say about MS is they've always provided an ability to tweak Windows to your liking,

Thats not really a positive thing about windows because you can tweak any OS to your liking (well Apple stuff thats debatable).  Open source OS's will have an advantage there.
 

Offline madires

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Re: Windows is getting disgusting
« Reply #758 on: February 19, 2017, 03:46:55 pm »
Any Windows version can be bent to the users will, including 10. Learn to use Windows and you will find out. It's just a matter of enough will power.

I prefer an OS which keeps its privacy settings and doesn't reset them to user-unfriendly defaults after some update again, again and again. There are tools for mitigating that issue, but if I need a tool for that kind of stuff it feels simply wrong. And the latest developments regarding data protection for data transfered from the EU to the US and data stored by US companies are indicating that trouble is ahead. I'm talking about Trump's EO about the handling of data of non-US people by 3-letter agencies and a new court decision about data stored outside the US (Google vs. FBI). The EU asked for a clarification of the EO already, because the EO could render the new agreement about data transfers obsolete. The impact would be that no data may be transfered from the EU to the US anymore. And the other topic (data stored outside the US by US companies) is very important too. If US law enforcement can access data stored in the EU directly, it would become illegal for EU companies (and citizens?) to use any cloud/email/whatever service of an US company. Both issues wll also have a huge impact on Microsoft. Besides that, with Win10 MS is very likely violating two German laws, which needs further investigation. I've written about that a few pages earlier.
 

Online Cerebus

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Re: Windows is getting disgusting
« Reply #759 on: February 19, 2017, 07:00:11 pm »
From Microsoft. Contact a Microsoft representative and off you go.

Remember to take a long spoon...
Anybody got a syringe I can use to squeeze the magic smoke back into this?
 

Offline james_s

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Re: Windows is getting disgusting
« Reply #760 on: February 19, 2017, 08:09:15 pm »
From Microsoft. Contact a Microsoft representative and off you go.

Remember to take a long spoon...

As if the average employee has any say on the matter. My employer is too cheap to go for the enterprise version so we have Win10 Pro on our Windows boxes. It's not my choice, it's not the choice of the IT guy at my location, but it's what we have. In the real world this sort of thing happens and regardless of my opinion on the matter, it is what it is.
 

Offline Howardlong

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Re: Windows is getting disgusting
« Reply #761 on: February 20, 2017, 06:50:10 am »
One big problem with applications with strong RDBMS dependancy is that typically programmers don't have great SQL skills, and find the SQL part a chore compared to hacking their Java and C#. Problems are often around query efficiency, getting the balance right between set based and procedural programming, understanding isolation levels, transactional integrity and avoiding application turning.

This is one reason why NoSql* databases have become popular. In some cases you don't need all the locking done for you, like Twitter or Facebook for example, but for financial applications or eCommerce where the results must be repeatable and precise, you'd be nuts to do it with a NoSql solution.

There was a wonderful Embedded FM a year or so ago with a lady of a similar vintage to me discussed how she'd realised the need to have database programmers as a different hire to a Java or C# programmer. Until I'd heard that show I just thought Joe Average programmers were lazy and crap with RDBMSs, but now I realise that for many it's such a fundamentally different thought process and discipline you need to segregate the two areas if you're to avoid nasty surprises.

*NoSql databases are not new, I was programming Pick based databases in the late 80s which have many of the fundamental facets of today's new fangled NoSql solutions.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2017, 07:01:07 am by Howardlong »
 

Offline slicendice

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Re: Windows is getting disgusting
« Reply #762 on: February 20, 2017, 09:04:29 am »
One big problem with applications with strong RDBMS dependancy is that typically programmers don't have great SQL skills, and find the SQL part a chore compared to hacking their Java and C#. Problems are often around query efficiency, getting the balance right between set based and procedural programming, understanding isolation levels, transactional integrity and avoiding application turning.

This is one reason why NoSql* databases have become popular. In some cases you don't need all the locking done for you, like Twitter or Facebook for example, but for financial applications or eCommerce where the results must be repeatable and precise, you'd be nuts to do it with a NoSql solution.

There was a wonderful Embedded FM a year or so ago with a lady of a similar vintage to me discussed how she'd realised the need to have database programmers as a different hire to a Java or C# programmer. Until I'd heard that show I just thought Joe Average programmers were lazy and crap with RDBMSs, but now I realise that for many it's such a fundamentally different thought process and discipline you need to segregate the two areas if you're to avoid nasty surprises.

*NoSql databases are not new, I was programming Pick based databases in the late 80s which have many of the fundamental facets of today's new fangled NoSql solutions.

Yes, this is exactly how it is. And decoupling the DB from the application solves most of the issues. An application should not care where the data comes from and the DB should do most of the stuff regarding the data and the DB management, not the application as it often is.

As if the average employee has any say on the matter. My employer is too cheap to go for the enterprise version so we have Win10 Pro on our Windows boxes. It's not my choice, it's not the choice of the IT guy at my location, but it's what we have. In the real world this sort of thing happens and regardless of my opinion on the matter, it is what it is.

A small company should have no trouble getting Windows Enterprise. Even an old employee of mine, who has a really small 5 person company, has Windows Server and Windows Enterprise. And the price is not that steep to overcome if you purchase the system as a a package. You can get decent deals even through companies that sell you the whole system, including hardware.
 

Offline Howardlong

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Re: Windows is getting disgusting
« Reply #763 on: February 20, 2017, 09:21:53 am »
Regarding the Enterprise version, if you want to avoid force updates, you will have no choice but to host a Windows server running WSUS or SCCM to control and distribute updates, and unless someone can demonstrate otherwise, it won't even install without such a server.

For five desktops, frankly it's simply not worth it. WSUS and SCCM are enterprise tools and have an appropriately matching price tag in terms of software cost and administrative overhead. You probably need to think in terms of >25 desks and a full time IT team with cover to justify it.
 

Offline rrinker

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Re: Windows is getting disgusting
« Reply #764 on: February 20, 2017, 02:51:38 pm »
WSUS is free. SCCM - that is expensive. And takes a lot to set up and maintain. WSUS is actually pretty easy to manage - got plenty of clients that don;t have any IT people on staff using it to keep all their systems in sync.

 PICK, eh? I was doing one of the PC versions in the late 80's - Advanced Revelation. There are STILL things that could be done with that that you can't do with SQL databases. And it wasn't slow - that network had genuine IBM PCs as workstations with a Novell 68b file server and their proprietary STP network - 2 pairs of somewhere around #20 in a shielded cable, DB9 connectors on each end. Ran a massive 115Kbps.

 

Offline slicendice

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Re: Windows is getting disgusting
« Reply #765 on: February 20, 2017, 08:09:21 pm »
People seem to think that just because Windows Enterprise has the name Enterprise, it means it's expensive and you have to have tens if not even hundreds of computers in order for it to be worth while.

A good business that makes any kind of money selling stuff or services has at least one server, preferably 2 because SQL is recommended to be installed as a separate instance because it eats all available RM for caching, and at least 2 workstations.

Buying Windows Standard Server (gives the right to install 2 servers) and a few Windows Enterprise (usually 4 or 5) licenses, takes you very far. And it's not gonna make your business go bankrupt. Then you have all the tools you need to make a working system.

One has to consult MS for a proper deal. I don't know what the exact minimum would be if you buy it all as a package deal.

No need for System Center, that is meant for managing hundreds and thousands of computers with a few mouse clicks.
 

Offline eugenenine

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Re: Windows is getting disgusting
« Reply #766 on: February 20, 2017, 11:02:22 pm »
Used to be you could buy enterprise at 5 licenses.  It started to make sense for me to get an enterprise Office license for my family of 4.  Made more sense though to switch to OpenOffice and not be bothered with licensing.
 

Offline james_s

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Re: Windows is getting disgusting
« Reply #767 on: February 21, 2017, 02:17:15 am »
Enterprise is relatively expensive, and it's a huge pain in the ass to set that all up at home compared to simply running Win7 which also gives me a much nicer UI.

You'll find once you work at a typical job that you have no say in the matter though. You will run what they give you, you will do things the way the IT department wants you to, sometimes it will seem back asswards and decisions that are made will make you roll your eyes. If you start complaining and telling the IT guy that he's an idiot or should do this/that/the other thing, he/she will get annoyed and make your life unpleasant. I've worked at several different places, large, medium and small companies and that is how it was at all of them.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2017, 08:51:56 am by james_s »
 

Offline slicendice

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Re: Windows is getting disgusting
« Reply #768 on: February 21, 2017, 08:01:43 am »
Enterprise is relatively expensive, and it's a huge pain in the ass to set that all up at home compared to simply running Win7 which also gives me a much nicer UI.

You'll find once you work at a typical job that you have no say in the matter though. You will run what they give you, you will do things the way the IT department wants you to, sometimes it will seem back asswards and decisions that are made will make you roll your eyes. If you start complaining and telling the IT guy that he's an idiot or should do this/that/the other thing, he/she will get annoyed and make your life unpleasant. I've worked at several different places, large, medium and small companies and they that is how it was at all of them.

Yes, enterprise cost a bit more than a Pro license, and you had to make a 3-5 year contract with MS or a vendor. Setting the thing up is not that difficult, but finding and getting the deal can be.

MS has changed their licensing model and from here on you can subscribe for Windows 10 Enterprise E3 for $7 a month (which is not much) and $15 for E5 (contains Windows Defender Advanced Services) which has , and the minimum licenses is 1. So they are making it easier and a lot cheaper.

You are absolutely correct, the average employee usually has no saying in what software the company should use nor how it should be used. As an example, the previous company I worked for, we used Excel for manually entering data logs every 5-10 minutes. That is a totally insane way of using Excel, and often ended up in data corruptions. A much better way would have been to code a simple native program that connects to the main DB, and problem would have been solved. Would have worked much faster too. Other departments used Access for their tasks. And the system as a whole was a complete mess. No one had any saying to this.
 

Offline Howardlong

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Re: Windows is getting disgusting
« Reply #769 on: February 21, 2017, 08:31:02 am »
You can control SQL Server's min/max memory from SSMS. This controls its buffer cache.

It's a mistake to fall into the trap of underestimating the cost of designing and maintaining Windows based infrastructure, if you think it's just the software sticker price you're wrong, you need skills either internal or external to set it up properly and maintain it. Giving it to someone as a hobby task is almost certainly not the way to do it. For a small business you're almost certainly better off going to a cloud based solution nowadays. Some years ago SBS (small business server) was a reasonable solution but even that required someone reasonably skilled to properly configure and maintain it.

Expecting Sandra or Jim from Accounts to set up and properly maintain a Windows (or any other) infrastructure as an occasional sideline is not just going to cut it, especially when something breaks. Get someone who knows what they're doing to do it for you and set up a support contract with the right SLAs. Or go cloud.
 

Offline suicidaleggroll

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Re: Windows is getting disgusting
« Reply #770 on: February 21, 2017, 02:38:58 pm »
Or go cloud.
Or go to Linux, which in my experience is significantly easier to setup and maintain in a server position than Windows Enterprise, not to mention it's free.
 

Offline rrinker

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Re: Windows is getting disgusting
« Reply #771 on: February 21, 2017, 02:43:43 pm »
 The one product they did right was Home Server. It really is effectively maintenance free. I use it because after all day at work doing this I no longer want to come home and maintain my own systems. I NEVER log in to this thing, it just keeps chugging away. There is no mouse or keyboard or display connected to it. The original version was sold as a turnkey system with hardware from HP and a couple of others, but the HP server was severely underpowered and suffered from the bane of every consumer grade NAS as well - limited drive bays. I just built my own but aside from PC assembly it's not required any real attention. Adding a user or a new computer is even easier than Small Business Server. There's no mail server, no SQL server, no Sharepoint like SBS, so much less to manage. And it was cheap.
 And then they discontinued it! I would much rather a Server 2016 based Home Server than 2016 Essentials.



 

Offline rrinker

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Re: Windows is getting disgusting
« Reply #772 on: February 21, 2017, 02:46:22 pm »
Or go cloud.
Or go to Linux, which in my experience is significantly easier to setup and maintain in a server position than Windows Enterprise, not to mention it's free.

For a small business with no real computer person? Please. Someone who, if you're lucky, can know how to add a user or reset a password and still might need help with that is not going to be able to manage a Linux system.

 

Offline CraigHB

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Re: Windows is getting disgusting
« Reply #773 on: February 21, 2017, 03:08:07 pm »
That's the thing about Linux, it's typically more involved to set things up.  You really have to be well versed in computer systems to use it.  That's not something the guy from accounting could take on.  I could run Linux myself, I've set up systems before, but it always seems more involved.  Though after what it took to get Win7 running the way I want there's not so much of a difference anymore.
 

Online rdl

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Re: Windows is getting disgusting
« Reply #774 on: February 21, 2017, 03:54:39 pm »
Windows Home Server was pretty good. It's too bad they discontinued it. I ran it on an HP Microserver Gen 7 for years. Still have it actually, but it's only turned on occasionally to make tertiary backups of a FreeNAS machine.

The only thing bad about it was the the buggy, bloated "client" software (which wasn't really needed but was pushed as a "feature"). It required something like 6 or 7 additional services to be running on the client machine, which wrote log files non-stop, and had a bad habit of reporting errors with no information as to what the problem was.
 


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