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About Gerard

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  1. The holiday bonuses are only for GTA Online, unfortunately they don't affect Story Mode. Full details are here.
  2. 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. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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). 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?
  5. 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.
  6. Ten awesome years! What an achievement! Now all we need are the old and new GTA fans to come together to keep this place great!
  7. 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. 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. 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.
  8. 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. 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. 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. 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 That sounds like an advert.... you don't work for them do you...? 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. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Double post. So ban me. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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 ???
  13. Good to see some old faces here! Some of you guys are probably double the age you were when you joined here 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?
  14. You can only do it for a few minutes after a post has been made - down in the bottom-right next to the 'quote' button. If it's the first post in a topic, or if it's been more than a few minutes, just ask staff to do it or hit 'report'