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Posts posted by Gerard

  1. @Gerard, I've seen more then a few tech magazines Stateside offer cover stories on how to make Windows 8 work for you, even Max PC opted to give Win 8 it's regular gaming PC trials and tests, and I think you'd find them less then forgiving if it came up shy with the best PC hardware!

    I used Start8 which adds a fully-functional Win7 start menu to Win8. Absolute necessity, and makes it bearable, but I really don't think that's the point. A tiny proportion of people will bother (or be able) to install those fixes, and the rest of the world (including pretty much ALL businesses) have to do without, using the default install. If that's no good, then the OS is going to be horrible for them all to use, and it should be better than it is.

    One thing I read says don't write off METRO as it stands, as it comes to you by default, do some customizing under the hood of this Windows as well as others, they say it can work more like you wish with some of that done, but they don't make it simple or easy, so a guide is probably a dang good idea!

    Metro is good, but the fact remains that the Win8 UI is inadequate. Without touch, it's hopeless, and whilst Start8 goes a long way to fixing that, it's still wrong. I use a Windows Phone, which is awesome (apart from the lack of apps). Metro works well on WP8, on a touch device, although it's still not perfect.

    The individual elements of the UI are great, but the selection and application of them is not. Metro is a great touch interface - but the choice of a touch interface for both touch and non-touch computers, with no adequate consideration given to keyboard/mouse users, is a fatal flaw.

    • Like 1
  2. What goes in their offices every other iteration? Do they get cocky and carried away?

    You're not far wrong. The main problem is "design by committee". And I don't mean ten Microsoft guys in a room, I mean the ideas and designs being passed back-and-forth between loads of different hardware and software companies. It's just a mish-mash of needs and wants, and the quality and purpose gets lost in the jargon and marketing-speak like "Feature PCs" (things like powerful tablets).

    It's all driven by statistics. It's fine getting loads of numbers, but you need to know which numbers to pay attention to. They probably saw that 80% of people now use touchscreen phones with no physical keyboards, so that MUST obviously mean that 80% of people would buy a touchscreen-only PC, even when that isn't what works best for desktop apps or productive working. I would ALWAYS choose to use my computer over a tablet/phone to type something up, use a complex program or to be able to multi-task, that was the main benefit of having a PC, but they forgot that over the buzz of shiny simple touch-friendly apps.

    And as for the fact that half of it's missing and there's a very inconsistent half-metro half-desktop UI, well that's just down to the project planning and design forcing a release as soon as apps work and it's secure enough, rather than working hard to make a properly good interface.

    I am most definitely NOT a fanboy, but I really can't imagine Apple releasing anything as bad as Win8. Except maps.

    • Like 1
  3. I should update the reply I got about making space when you had to reformat and Windows creates it's OLD folders with your original content, I found a dated Q and A section in PC World or Maximum PC where they give an outline to use WIndows' own features to eliminate the wasted space (where you'd have duplicates of files reinstalled) However, I believe third party utilities also address finding things of that nature in the more abstract, for instance Registry repair entries often relate to similar problems that wind up ultimately slowing down the overall performance operational speed.

    Duplicate registry entries don't cause problems these days. Applications aren't fighting over 128k of RAM anymore, most Win8 machines will have 4GB, so a few registry entries won't cause a problem. Even defragmenting a hard drive isn't a massive issue these days - the technology is fast enough for most situations.

    For some reason, people still PAY for programs like that, completely unnecessarily. The number 1 best thing you can do to speed up ANY PC is to change the startup entries. A store-bought PC will come with dozens of crapware programs, hardware GUIs and browser toolbars installed. Even normal programs like iTunes slow you down, not just at boot but the entire time it's running (which is all the time).

    On the issue of Shutting down, just press your power key, or upper right control icon avatar, I believe they simplified the approach, I still use XP though, and Vista, no real qualms for me. Pressing the POWER button is probably handy a way of turning the OS on and off for various portable versions, and having it come on and go off as quick as possible

    The avatar with your username only has a "Log Off" link, not shutdown (a stupid omission by MSFT). That would be the logical place, but it's not there. You have to open the Settings Charm bar on the right. Using a keyboard, that's 7 keystrokes iirc.

    A power key is fine on tablets or laptops, but not great on desktops (having to reach under the desk, particularly for less-flexible people) and completely wrong for VMs or remote desktops. Don't forget that Windows Server 2012 has the same UI.

    What was so wrong with Start > Shutdown?

    • Like 1
  4. These are things there aren't strictly right/wrong answers to - they vary over time or location - we just judge them against current conventions.

    Optical storage is not the only type of digital storage - you're completely missing out all the magnetic and semiconductor media.

    For me, disk is a general term of storage media (hard disk, vinyl disk, USB disk, please insert a disk), whilst disc is a name used in the names of optical media (CD/DVD). A Disc is a type of disk.

    For DVD, versatile has always been its real name, never video. It was a compromise between the SD and MMCD formats, always designed to have different formats and types (just like CD). Saying "Digital Video Disc" is just wrong.

    I often wonder what a PC would be like to use for someone who had never used it before, and didn't know our conventions and the things we take for granted.

    Would they have any clue what Excel and PowerPoint were for? Would they figure out the start menu? Would they prefer Windows or Mac? Could they use a mouse? Would they figure out keyboard shortcuts? Could they find their way around the internet without knowing where to start or what a search engine did?

    If anyone has a spare English-speaking feral person who's never interacted with a computer, send them to TGTAP HQ so we can test this theory.

    • Like 1
  5. Like Safe Mode for example - in versions prior to 8 accessing safe mode or basically any other recovery option is just an F8 away, while in 8 you'll have to reboot after selecting the alternative launch options.

    Yeah safe mode is a bitch on win8 if you can't boot the system. You have to use bcdedit to make a second boot option that has safe mode enabled. That could be a really big issue along the line.

    Also, I DO NOT understand the point of having to log off before powering down the system, when I could just hit the Shut down button on the start menu in W7.

    That's not true, that's only one way to shut down. If you go to the charms bar (on the right), click settings, power options are at the bottom. It's still 3/4 mouse clicks and about 7 on the keyboard but it's there. Best thing to do is create a shutdown shortcut and pin that to the start screen. Still a huge hassle though.

    The reason behind this is that Windows 8 is designed to be put on standby and resumed - generally using the hardware power button on tablets or laptops (or by opening/closing the lid) - rather than shutdown or rebooted often. But for those that do need to shutdown, or those running in VMs or remotely, it's a pain.

    Things like that make it - to me - a bad OS. Sure, it's great for tablets and on touchscreen laptops, and sure it's got a lot of improvements in things like startup time etc, but it's awful for most people and for power users to use.

    The interface isn't that much of a concern if you ask me, but my real concern is that they're moving goalposts every time they make changes to the Windows API, and as such applications written for previous versions would not work, whereas Wine for Linux is able to boot 16-bit Windows applications on 64-bit versions of Linux.

    I'm not sure that's really the case. With XP Mode (which is touted as a 'feature' of Windows 7), 16-bit applications can still run. Just not natively. In a big company there are many options to remedy this, such as App-V, and it's not an issue that most users or admins would ever face.

    • Like 1
  6. Another problem I have is with all apps being full-screen. I live my life with many windows open, CONSTANTLY switching between them. I'm watching for notifications and popups, messages being received, downloads completing, I'm managing dragging files between windows and into programs. None of that works well on an iPad, so WHY are Microsoft trying to emulate them with Win8?

    Yes, I know you can pin things to the side, but that's nowhere near the same flexibility as you have now. When I worked for Microsoft and did their Win7 training, everyone I showed the snap feature to thought it was wonderful. A simple, intuitive feature that makes life SO much easier. Why wasn't Win8 just millions more features like that? Then a separate Surface OS could be built - from scratch - on the WP7/WP8 codebase with an entirely touch-friendly UI, only working with touch-friendly apps. That would be an attractive option, but the real Windows would also still be an option. Win win. Not this gamble we have now.

    my solution was to REINSTALL the OS from it's main disc over the old Vista format, which created some files replicas and that my friends, eats up space on a HDD!!

    Hmm... when you do a fresh re-install (without formatting the disk), it moves the old OS into a /Windows_old/ folder. You can then just pick what you need out of it, then delete it. If you don't have enough space to do that even temporarily, then copy what you need off it and format it.

    Windows 8 is not going to be the natural successor to Windows 7, believe that! Windows 9 will.

    Win8, to me, feels like a demo of a new technology, like the old Microsoft Surface table computers. With the old desktop and control panels still there (even in RT), Windows 9 will no doubt feel a lot more polished. But it's going to be hard for them to go backwards at all, to make it more like Win7 (where certain things in Win8 don't work), so they're only going to go further and further 'forward' to make it MORE tablety, which is scary. It's actually quite sad that we won't see the start menu again - that's never going to be perfected.

    Win8 is merely morphing the Win7 build to incorporate the hardware necessary for portable touchscreen electronics, nothing too much beyond that, so I never envisioned Win8 as a gaming platform other then something that will allow possible games that work and are written for Windows to run on those same portable devices supporting it, it should still give you the API needed for true HD on a PC, so no worries there I'd say

    That's not true at all - Win8 has a lot more (deep down) than just a touch upgrade. Have you seen it boot up? I'm not going to pretend that everything has changed

    HOWEVER, Windows 8 Pro upgrades from computer store Microcenter are good for a massive savings until December 2, 2012!! That means, if you want it for LESS THEN 40 BUCKS, and you happen to know of a store near you, GET ON IT ASAP!!!

    The deal ends, Windows will cost $100 or more, up to $200 I believe for the standard Pro version.

    That sounds like an advert.... you don't work for them do you...?

    I am interested in trying Windows 8 Pro, upgrading a Vista install in fact, but my main question is switching from 32 bit to 64 bit, I'll pass this on to you guys; that if you plan to do this, it is a process not unlike a fresh install over your old, but perhaps the UPGRADE disc will allow you this upgrade path. I failed to ask a clerk about it, but I would imagine somewhere online someone wondered the same.

    With Windows 7+8, the upgrade disk is identical to the install disk. This is because you can't upgrade directly from XP, you have to do a fresh install. So yes, you can do a fresh install with the upgrade disk. Only the licence is different, so as long as you have legit XP or Vista that's fine.

    @Gerard, you're wrong about the complicated shutting down, you don't need to direct a computer to software shutdown switching, the HARDWARE intended On-Off is used as it orginally was conceptualized, the old START menu navigation harkens way back to Windows 95, where you directed the OS to a shutdown mode, now you command your hardware's on-off switch function to act as you'd like it to and just press, instant on- instant off,

    That works great for tablets. Not so great for desktops, forcing users to bend under a table to hit the power button. And it doesn't work at all for virtualised or remote desktop environments. I've mostly used Win8 in a VM, hence wanting the soft shutdown from the UI. But it's not just shutdown, it's also the reboot and log off functions.

    Don't forget Windows Server 2012 is the same UI as Win8, and if you're in the same city as the power button then you're doing it wrong! I have no idea why Microsoft thought that a tablet interface is the best option for server management, but I guess they just want you to be able to use it on the same devices as you currently do.

  7. For once, Huck is absolutely right!

    Windows 8 is made for touchscreens and tablets. That's how it works best, and on those it really is great (once you've figured out the swipes and charms).

    But for keyboards and mice, it's hopeless. Yes, there are a bunch of keyboard shortcuts to open up the various menus, but you still have to use silly mouse gestures, and that should NOT be how an operating system works.

    The other problem is that SO much of the OS is still in the old-style desktop and old-style control panel. Different settings (even for the same thing, like networking) are spread out across two or three different places. This is hugely confusing for users and totally off-putting for IT pros. Not to mention how hard it is just to shut down!

    What was wrong with the start menu? Sure it could have done with a refresh, maybe even a full-screen version, maybe even with live tiles, but the new metro Start screen is useless in comparison. With the start menu, in about half a second I could open up any program, utility or control panel applet, or shut-down, or . Now it's a bunch of faffing around. Even once you have the "hang" of it and use shortcuts, it's still a couple of seconds, and nowhere as intuitive or pleasant to use.

    I get the feeling that Windows 8 was designed as a completely separate OS for tablets, but some genius decided to completely replace the tried-and-test Windows 7 system (with start menus etc), and call this tablet OS "Windows 8" in order to drive sales and adoption. Millions of companies will be effectively forced to upgrade to Win8 to benefit from the latest updates and software etc.

    I can see why they wouldn't want to make two competing ecosystems, but Windows RT will a great tablet product (when they fix bits of it, like the settings), and it should have stayed as a tablet OS.

    So yeah, not a huge fan.

    • Like 1
  8. Double post. So ban me.

    It has all long come and is probably here to stay. I seriously doubt if forums will ever be as important as they used to be. It's had it's heyday, I'm afraid.. A forum requires an investment. People obviously aren't willing to do that anymore. Blogging is 'old', microblogging is what most people do. Same goes for forums I suppose.

    I think you hit the nail on the head really. Most people aren't willing to contribute huge walls of text or even get involved in big discussions. These days, the limit of most online users' involvement is a comment, or even just a Like. Thats all people need to do now to feel that they got their point across and have engaged, and this means they can now engage on anything anywhere, not just spending their life in on community about one topic.

    Although, there are exceptions. My wiki has a lesser-known companion called GTA Answers. Here, people ask questions and (occasionally) others answer them. We have done ZERO promotion of this website, ever, and yet there have been 50,000 questions asked on there. It's not that much different to a forum, except that it's quick and easy and there's no real community around it at all, yet it's weirdly popular.

  9. How many people were active (ie posting regularly) in the gtaplace hey-day?

    I always felt like it was tens of thousands, but now if I think about it now there may have only been only a few hundred.

    Interesting question. I've had a look through the stats:

    There have been odd days when we've had over 1,000 posts, in our heyday it was about 100-300 a day. In July 2007 we had 15,000 posts in one week!

    The number of users registered isn't a good indicator, because that will include spammers and those that never post. To make that point, some of the highest numbers of registrations we've ever had have been in the past few weeks.

    And the most members ever online in one day was 231 - but there are 59 on right now!

    So yeah, it seems that only a couple of hundred users (at most) did the bulk of the posting here, but of course they couldn't have done that without the tens of thousands of less-frequent members that popped in occasionally or just a few times. Their questions, answers and discussions kept this forum going for the rest of us.

  10. So has anyone figured out a plan yet? What can we do to increase activity or bring the community back together? It's pretty clear a lot of us would like that.

    If we turned this into a poll (obviously just out of interest, not a final decision), what would the options be?

    • Try super hard to make this site better and more interesting
    • Send out a mass email to every single member ever, asking them to come back
    • Reorganise the forum (in what way?) to make it appeal to new members
    • Bring back gangs and multiplayer gaming (even though it fell apart every time)
    • Do something completely new (like we did with San Andreas Stats)
    • Start afresh with a completely new forum (here)
    • Team up with Grand Theft Wiki or other related sites to make a new forum with a new focus
    • ???

  11. Gerard and I had a unified moment of glory when we battled a spammer for literately 5-6 hours straight, banning accounts and quickly cleaning up the forums. No other staff was on at the time, and we held down the fortress pretty well I might say. We were both merely section moderators at the time, if my memory serves me correctly.

    Good times <3

  12. Good to see some old faces here! Some of you guys are probably double the age you were when you joined here :P

    Thinking back, the forum died when the gang system reinvention failed. A succession of staff and other members trying different ideas and dawdling, without any real changes being made, scared away the old users and promises of a new system failed to draw in the new users. I think the nail in the coffin was when the old gangs (Dragon Stealths, LCM etc) and their forums were closed down to try and bring the activity into the main forums.

    This community has been awesome over the years, but I don't think it's realistic to think it can just reappear here, whilst equally serving new members in this very different era. What was right for the staff and elites back in 2005 may not be right for the new Internet communities now. Will GTA V really bring everyone together, here? idk

    We're all friends here, so I'll mention that we have plans to launch a forum for Grand Theft Wiki. The idea being that a new forum with a slightly different focus (working together to gather+discuss GTA info) is more relevant to the Internet these days, and it can build on the remaining community here. What do you guys think of that idea?

  13. I cant get The Ips of the servers ?????????

    Give me the ip of the vc-mp

    If i put any ip address then it starts retreiving and retreiving........................

    You need to find someone who is running a VCMP multiplayer server. Someone needs to actually be running that for you to connect to it.

    EIther find a friend to run it, run it yourself (and have your friends connect to you), or just browse the Internet trying to find someone else who's still running a VCMP server.

  14. The game is pretty fluid - there are no loading screens, just cutscenes - so it's not like a huge clunky "end of this chapter, click to continue"

    I guess if you don't die too much you spend about half an hour in each place, and there were 3 places that we played in. I think that was all part of the same Chapter as there was a bigger change afterwards.

  15. It's nice to see someone making a decent well-thought-through suggestion, rather than just complaining!

    As Chris suggests, the main problem with on-forum reward schemes is that they reward the wrong things. Generally with all these systems, you get points for high-volume activity, regardless of quality.

    So someone who (without actually spamming) posts 1,000 low-quality posts, replying to every single topic with useless "me too" comments or repeats what has already been said would get thousands of points; whereas a member who posts occasional but very high-quality posts, helping other users or providing deep insights would only get a handful.

    As a result, this encourages the high-volume low-quality posts, and those who were contributing less frequently feel less valued. Already the "post count" does not indicate the value of a member, so adding another measure that rewards quantity over quality would make that worse.

    Some systems add bonus points for other activities (like voting or starting topics) but these still don't reward quality or any sense of value. Integration with the gang system is a possibility but that would still just be occasional and not encouraging people to get involved in the forum in the ways we want them to.

    Awards were different because they were chosen by the community, and alongside the 'fun' and joke awards were some genuine ones which showed who was most valued by other users' - not perfect but a good indication of the general consensus of active users.

    Giving points for each award won would be good, but these would only be awards to a handful of members, once a year, and not be an attainable goal for the average user. If we tried to fix this by having rewards every month, their meaning and value would be hugely diluted and open to massive attacks.

    I guess your idea of competitions is a more everyday idea whilst still rewarding value, but it is a highly-subjective high-maintenance staff-run process. To make them worthwhile, and to get as many users involved as possible, we'd have to run them regularly and select several winners each time. And again it's not encouraging people to contribute day-to-day in the rest of the forum, it only encourages them to enter the competitions (even if their contribution to that competition is positive).

    I'd like to see these content-based competitions (and the write-only subforums are easily possible), but I don't think having a points system would be very useful for us as we stand.

  16. A lot of GTA 'trainer' apps act like viruses in the way they 'hack' your computer's RAM to be able to modify what the game's doing whilst it's running. That's why many anti-malware scanners report the downloads as viruses, when they are harmless.

    However, I've not seen any security software scan all downloads from a site then block off the whole site before. That's a new one to me.

    Perhaps a separate domain for downloads would be the best option, then. I'll speak with Chris about it.

    However, I don't think everyone uses McAffe, and I don't think that has anything to do with the lack of activity. It's just one thing that needs to be fixed.

  17. Just be a good normal member. Post in the forum, engage in discussions, start some good topics, help people out, chat to people.

    Most people get bored of that after a couple of weeks. If you stick around for a long time and still enjoy the community here, and we think it'd be useful to have you on the team, that's when *we* look at it.

    It's well-known that we do NOT accept applications for moderators - they're all chosen by the admins from the people we know will be good staff. Asking to become a moderator actually shows us that the member doesn't know the way this forum works, so we don't pick anyone who asks.

    Don't *TRY* to become staff, because it won't work. Just be a normal member, and you might end up in a position where staff is a good option, but you might not.

    • Like 1
  18. Not for a new member, I'm afraid.

    There is no specific number of posts required, but you would need to really understand this site, the forums, the community and all the issues that go on around here before we'd give anyone a shot.

    But the simple truth is... don't use or create any other accounts, or you will be removed from this site. Stick within the rules, and you'll be fine. Stick with us for a few months, contribute to the forums, become established in this community, and you might get a shot at helping out.

  19. I'd just like to point out that the game is also about killing and stealing cars. So all you with clean criminal records, get out of here. If you're not a gang banger or a mob boss, get out of here. How many of you don't even have a license? Out. Sleep with prostitutes? No? Have you had sex at all?

    Yeah, brilliant logic, I guess.


    That's why we love you, Spaz!

    How is this related to this topic?

    He's making an analogy to the stupid argument that homophobe makes. Don't act like staff and tell other members what to do, that's not acceptable on this site.

    Same, I also believe in world peace.

    Now that is more off-topic.

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