After over three decades of Microsoft Windows success, there have been some clear failures along the way. With that in mind, we’ve picked the six worst versions of Windows. All of these made us want to stick to older, better versions of Windows, or use alternatives like Macs or Linux instead. The Ranking Criteria Most of us know a bad version of Windows when we see it. Maybe we’ve experienced personal pain in wrestling with its bugs, or lost time reinstalling it over and over again, or heard stories about how often it’s crashed. In developing this list, we considered the following metrics: How much people hated each version (appearances on other worst-of lists), how poorly it sold, how slowly it was adopted, how bad its reviews were, the length of its lifespan on the market, and our own personal experiences with the software. For fun, we also googled “Windows [x] Sucks,” and tallied up the results. Honestly, there’s no hard science to this, so you might not agree with … [Read more...] about The 6 Worst Versions of Windows, Ranked
Cwg 1990 medal tally
On Dec. 14, 1990, Apogee Software released Commander Keen: Invasion of the Vorticons . It was the first in a series of PC shareware games that brought fluid, Mario-like platforming to the PC. It also launched legendary developer id Software. Here’s why it was special. Keen: Playful Console Magic on the PC The first Commander Keen game, Invasion of the Vorticons , is split into three episodes designed for PCs with MS-DOS. In the first episode, you play as Billy Blaze (aka Commander Keen), a kid who must travel to Mars to repel an invasion of dog-like aliens called Vorticons. The aliens have dismantled your ship and scattered its parts across the planet. Your job is to retrieve those parts so you can get back home. Along the way, Commander Keen builds a compelling backstory through special stages. The mini-narrative scenes present items like a pogo stick and an alien language written in glyphs. Keen also picks up whimsical items, like teddy bears and books with the word … [Read more...] about 30 Years of Vorticons: How Commander Keen Changed PC Gaming
If someone has ever told you something you didn’t really ask to know, they probably also told you “JSYK.” Here’s what that internet initialism means and when to use it. “Just So You Know” JSYK stands for “just so you know.” It is used to share a piece of information or comment with someone who didn’t request it. It can be used to start a conversation, or it can come up in the middle of a discussion with someone. It bears a lot of similarities to the popular FYI or “for your information.” While the initialism can be written in both uppercase “JSYK” and lowercase “jsyk,” the lowercase version is much more popular online in messages and social media. One thing to note is that sharing something with “JSYK” may be considered rude, depending on what you say and its context. For example, while you might consider it helpful, providing sudden criticism can be considered unwarranted by the person you’re talking to. The Origin of JSYK JSYK can be traced back to the earliest days … [Read more...] about What Does “JSYK” Mean, and How Do You Use It?
As a hobby, vintage computing is on the rise. A generation that grew up with classic PCs is looking back and revisiting the glory days of the ’80s, ’90s, and 2000s with the authentic machines. But what’s the best way to get the hardware? We’ll show you the options. The Catch: Many Vintage Computers Need Repair Before we begin, there are some “gotchas” you should know about buying vintage computers. Unless a machine has been shown to be in working condition, don’t buy it, because the older it is, the less likely it is to work as soon as you get it. That makes an “as-is” purchase risky for people who don’t have the technical background to repair or recondition a vintage PC. Almost no PCs were designed with three-decade longevity in mind. As a result, these sensitive electronic devices include components that degrade over time. Here are some frequent problems that pop up with vintage PCs: Plastics discolor or become brittle Rubber components or cables degrade and get … [Read more...] about What’s the Best Way to Buy a Vintage Computer?
Windows 10 includes several little-known but very useful ways to automatically organize your open windows, and they’re only a click away on the taskbar. Here’s how to cascade your windows automatically. Let’s say that you have a messy window arrangement such as this one, and you’d like to organize it. Maybe you have so many windows open that you aren’t sure which ones are which. One way to take control of the mess is to cascade the windows. To do so, right-click the taskbar and select “Cascade windows” from the menu that pops up. All of your non-minimized windows will be instantly organized into a cascading diagonal stack, one on top of the other, with each window at a uniform size. Also, each window’s title bar will be visible, which makes it easy for you to click one with your mouse cursor and bring the window to the foreground. If you’d like to undo the cascade, right-click the taskbar again and select “Undo Cascade all windows” from the menu. Instantly, … [Read more...] about How to Cascade All Your Windows on Windows 10
Most computer and video games created in the 20th century featured blocky, pixelated graphics. If you didn’t grow up with them (or never paid attention to the technical details), you might wonder why. We’ll explore the origins of pixel art and how graphics have exploded in complexity over time. The Short Answer: Resolution Was Limited by Cost and Available Technology The pixelated artwork in older video games—where the display resolution is low enough that the pixels are obvious and blocky—was largely the result of low-resolution television sets and the high cost of memory chips and digital logic at the time those games were created relative to today. While it was possible to create an HD-resolution digital still image by the late 1970s, the technology to animate it in real-time did not exist until much later. Such technology was far too expensive to put into a mass-produced entertainment product that consumers could afford until the mid-2000s. Game designers did what … [Read more...] about Why Were Old Video Games So Pixelated?