WW 702: It's a Cat-Eat-Dog World

Beep boop - this is a robot. A new show has been posted to TWiT…

What are your thoughts about today’s show? We’d love to hear from you!

I don’t know why you all always assume “no one goes to bars” or no one does this or that. Here in Florida, everything is open at 100% and we are not alone.

Former JerseyShore resident.

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Lately this show should just be renamed “Get Off My Lawn Weekly”. The hosts, who I generally respect quite a lot when they’re talking Microsoft, have been full of cranky opinions on things that I find are pretty well loved out in the world at large, from dogs/dog commercials to the Focused Inbox and Dark Mode features that I have end users actually asking me when they can get!

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Most of the time, I tend to agree with the hosts of this show, but this one just left me wondering what world they were living in. Maybe they’ve spent too much time at home this year and not interacting with regular people enough. The whole discussion of Andriod apps on Windows really got me. I think it was Paul that said that everyone has a phone and if they were on their PC, why wouldn’t they just pick up their phone to run whatever app it is they want to run. First, when I’m at home, I don’t always have my phone with me, especially with having an Apple Watch to get my notifications. So, if I’m sitting at my desk and my phone is on the charger in the kitchen, then it sure is easier to run an app on my PC rather than get up and go get my phone from the kitchen. I only use iOS for my mobile devices (iPhone/iPad), but mostly use Windows for my computers (desktop/laptop). A few years ago, I bought a Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 hoping to use it to replace an older iPad and my previous laptop. One thing I use my iPad for is when I go out to eat, I like to read while I eat (I’m single and eat alone a lot). The iBooks app and the Kindle app are great on the iPad and reader mode in Safari is great for when I’m reading stuff online. At the time, no Windows desktop browser had a reader mode and even today, it’s pretty rare, if even available (I haven’t looked in a while). The Kindle app for Windows kinda sucks and trying to use it on a touch screen just wasn’t even close to the experience on the iPad. Now, I don’t know if the Android Kindle app would be any better, but if it was the same as the iPad app, I would love to run that on my laptop.
The Ring app is another that I wouldn’t mind being able to run on my desktop. If I’m sitting at my desk and somebody rings the doorbell, it would be nice to be able to have the app right there and see who’s there. If I happen to have one of my mobile devices at my desk, then I have to pick it up, hit the notification (assuming it’s come through), unlock my device (not usually a big delay, but sometimes is), then wait for the mobile app to launch and show me the picture. Most times I can get up and get to the door before I can see the image on the phone.
The other comment that rankled me was when they were talking about how some new Wi-Fi routers have only an app and not a web interface and Paul was just fine with that. For the average user that just wants to setup their router and use the Internet, that is probably just fine, but I’m one of those people that would really rather look at it on my big screen monitor connected to my PC. I have to do a lot less scrolling and tapping to get to the information I want that way. Yes, it’s nice to have the mobile app for making quick changes when I’m away from my desk, but to have that as the only way to configure it is just annoying to me (especially when the app is iPhone only and doesn’t scale or rotate on the iPad). I know most people don’t know much about networking or ever change anything but the default password (hopefully) and the SSID (sometimes, maybe?), but for those of us that do and want to customize our networking gear, trying to do it on the phone is just annoying and when I go looking for my next router, I will be making sure it has a web interface, not just an app.
Sorry for the rambling rant, but this is the first time I’ve had such differing views from the hosts that I just had to share.

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Um you can? It’s in the Microsoft Store. https://www.microsoft.com/store/productId/9NBLGGH1QWD4

Exactly, my phone is often up in the kitchen, when I’m down in the cellar in my office.

That said, apart from the authenticator apps, I don’t generally need my phone by my computer. If I’m out and about I usually look at the phone and generally put off writing any replies, searching for things etc. until I can get back home and sit in front of a decent sized screen, where I can see a decent amount of text and comfortably write a reply. A smartphone is simply too small to do anything “serious” with, for me.

On the other hand, most Android apps are cut-down versions of the desktop apps with limited functionality, whether that be browser or “real” app. I can’t think of any Android-only apps that I would like to see on my phone. Why would I want to sacrifice functionality to run the Android version?

Having the Ring app sounds like it might be useful, but as the Ring doorbell is pretty much illegal over here (you can’t use it, if you are in a flat with a common hallway and you can’t use it on a front door, if it covers the driveway or the street in front of the house), so the point is moot.

Yes, I won’t buy any hardware that is “smartphone app only” to configure. This goes back to my first point. I want to set it up in comfort, not on a small screen, where you can only see a couple of items at a time.

But Paul seems to be slightly detached from the “real” world sometimes.

On his site, thurrott.com, there has been a debate about the new M1 chips and his comment was “Windows only software is not a thing any more, in business”. For the last 5 employers I had, most of their software is Windows only, even today. Our CTI software is Windows x64 only, so couldn’t (until this week) even run on WoA, our ERP software is Windows only, we have industrial scales for weighing the big rigs and their trailers, when they enter and leave our premises, that is Windows only (in fact, Access 2003 only!!!), the industrial scales in the factory are Windows only - they use industrial Windows tablets and write the weight directly into the database of the ERP system). Our warehouse management system is Windows only. Most of our lab equipment for analysing the raw materials and our finished products only have Windows drivers and Windows software.

Yes, we also use MS Office, but with plugins to the CTI software (Outlook only) and our ERP software (generates reports in Excel using OLE). So, even though Office theoretically runs on macOS and Android, iOS and the Web, the functionality isn’t there to allow us to drop Windows, because the plugins and OLE are Windows only.

I like what Apple has done with the M1, although its limited expandability worries me - I just updated my work laptop from the 8GB it came with to 32GB, because I need to run several VMs for testing. Try doing the same with an M1 Mac. Therefore, I will be interested to see how Apple handle the expanded memory requirements, when they start releasing professional level devices. But, even so, as it can’t run Windows x64 code, the point is moot, for me at work. Even if the new Macs are twice as fast as our Windows machines, until they can run Windows native code flawlessly, it is irrelevant to me. I can only hope it is a kick up the rear for Intel and pushes AMD to continue to lead in the x64 space.

Dogs look up at you. Cats look down at you. Pigs, they look you right in the eye. - Mark Twain