27 Apr 2018

I got a Windows PC and now I realise why I left

The HP Omen 15 is amazing, but wow Microsoft still can't make an OS

The HP Omen 15

This is one hell of a machine. Stay tuned for my full review of it but simply put, it does exactly what I want and need of it. I got it to play games and edit videos, and it both plays games and edits videos way better than anything I’ve ever had. It’s also portable which is a massive plus. An even bigger plus: Bang & Olufsen speakers.

Having got this, it was the first Windows PC I would be properly using in nearly a decade. I’ve primarily used Mac (which I’m happy with but will go into more detail in a future post), as well as Linux more recently. Obviously I’ve had some interactions with Windows at the university on their computers, as well as helping family with their computers. Windows 7 was good, XP was great. But unfortunately barely anyone uses XP, and 7 is still riddled with flaws and holes.

I was however not prepared for Windows 10.

The Sixth Circle Of Hell

Just as Dante and Virgil witness the heretics eternally burning in their tombs, I felt like Epicurus. Right from the get go with fucking (excuse the French but it’s only necessary) Cortana, I was in a pissy mood. At least Apple doesn’t shove Siri in your face, and it’s just a less than useful yet moderately attractive looking logo on the top right of the screen. The Omen 15 has amazing speakers, and I was greated by the obnoxious voice of Cortana. This is very disappointing since I personally like to break in new speakers with Ethel by Russian Circles. That was a sad start.

Setup was quite quick, most likely accelerated by an Intel i7 and Nvidia GeForce 1050, but I couldn’t imagine how slow it would have been for some poor folks on weak as piss budget notebooks.

When I finally got in, there was something off. Not really something wrong with the OS, but rather everything felt piecemeal, or more accurately, like it had been build as patchwork with no real prior planning (the definition of piecemeal). The dimensions of things seemed off, with icons simply not matching the dock. I never had this problem with Mac, nor with Linux even when my configs were completely off. But this felt like hell.

Necessary Evils

All I wanted to do was play Age Of Empires II Conquerers Expansion. I can use wine sure, and I did get that working on my Linux, but a little later I wanted to play Annoy 2070. The wine prefix wasn’t suited for it sadly. I got Dear Esther working, but when I went to get No Man’s Sky working, it needed a 64 bit wine prefix. Back to the drawing board (it’s not like the Linux machine could handle that, but I wanted to try benchmark it).

So Windows seems like a necessary evil. The most infuriating thing however is the number of crashes I have to deal with on a daily basis. I like to keep everything I do really neat, without leaving any vestiges of work I’ve done. For instance, my downloads folder is always bare, and I regularly tidy out temporary folders. So why is everything still crashing, albiet temporarily sometimes. When I even go to close Windows Explorer, it thinks a little bit before closing. You don’t get that with Finder (Mac) or Thunar (Linux), or thankfully ranger (rip anti-GUI nerds like me).

With all of these necessary evils, I can finally wage war against the filthy Saracens while playing as the Koreans in Age Of Empires II HD. Great game. Highly recommend.

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