I just started a new job last week. Old-school sysadmin role for a pretty old-school company, but the pay is nice and the kids've gotta eat.

They gave me a windows laptop. I haven't used windows for work or as a daily driver since 2016, and now, a week into trying to make this machine work for me, I have the following observations to report.

WSL is nice. It's nice to have it installed(though actually installing it was an adventure unto itself), and to set alacritty to open my default user prompt straight into that is very nice. As terminal emulators are by far my most used piece of software, that's nice to have.

Command-line software management through powershell, winget, and chocolatey are also very nice.

I like the accessibility offered by autohotkey, though there is something of a learning curve on it. Once I get better with it, I suspect that what follows will be largely mitigated.

The Bad:
In general, Windows is janky. It feels like it's all kinda taped together without any particular cohesion in mind. As a desktop, it feels decidedly amateur, compared to the feature-mountain polish of MacOS, and especially compared to the flexibility and infinite possibilities of Linux.

Lots of screen real estate is wasted, with window decorations, and fonts that look terrible at smaller sizes, because the antialiasing of fonts is just terrible. Almost all the features I depend on in other desktops: ad-hoc searches and launches(alfred, rofi) are-- again --janky. They work, but they typically require more typing than alfred or rofi. I admit I haven't spent weeks on this problem yet, but I haven't found a workable solution yet with wox, hain, and keypirinha. Quick searches like what you get with alfred, alfred workflows, and the swiss army knife that is rofi, just aren't possible or reliable with the tools I've used so far, and most require some kind of indexing agent to fully function.

It beggars imagination that a desktop in which users are subjected to "default apps" that is purported to be acceptable for enterprise, professional use, does not have a default entry for text editor. I installed nvim-qt, and I want to use it to edit anything and everything I ever edit with text, but all too often, apps have hard-coded instructions to open text files with notepad.

I want to open certain URLs with firefox, certain ones with firefox developer edition, and others with vivaldi, and yet there is not an app available that I have seen yet in my searches that allows me to set this kind of configuration. I found one that's supposed to, but it just ignores everything I put into its config, and just opens MS Edge for everything. Jank.

Simple things take too long. Like the delay between when I laboriously hit ctrl-alt-del to bring up the login and when the actual text field appears, and the delay between that and when I want to start using the computer.

Changing some settings requires a reboot. Updating some software requires a reboot. Updating permissions on something sometimes requires a reboot. And those are all on top of the frequent requests to reboot for updates.

I would have thought Windows would have overcome most of the issues that create these problems, but it's just, as I said, amateur.

  • 0
    Glad to have you ranting.
    Hope that's gonna be all you can rant about!
    And congrats to the new position.
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