Windows 10... there I said it! Thoughts?

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GMaq
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Windows 10... there I said it! Thoughts?

Postby GMaq » Mon Dec 26, 2016 10:33 pm

Hi,

Before I get to the point I should mention I'm not a political OS Zealot of any kind, I love Linux (obviously) but I didn't leave the Windows world out of any deep seated hatred for MS and I'm simply too cheap to drink the Mac Kool-Aid and prefer and choose to use Linux to keep my aging fleet of machines productive and out of the tech dump. Anyone is free to comment in this thread but I'm really simply just looking for unbiased opinions.

For Christmas I built a gaming PC for my son, he uses Linux on other machines including our studio but for gaming we had to go with Windows so I acquired Windows 10 Pro and popped a Windows install disc into a computer the first time since XP SP1. I have to say I was quite impressed with the ease of install, how quickly it was up and running and basically how resource-friendly it seems so far. Actually having hardware work fully with it's intended software applications (ie Video Cards with a full featured control panel etc.) is something that is kinda nice to see again...

Anyway, it's been a nice place to visit but I won't be moving there any time soon, but I'm curious if there are other members here who use Windows 10 along with Linux (for Audio or anything else) and what your impressions are of it? What do you like, or what don't you like about it? What do you think is better about it than previous Windows versions?

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English Guy
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Re: Windows 10... there I said it! Thoughts?

Postby English Guy » Mon Dec 26, 2016 10:42 pm

I have a win 10 laptop for certain software. I do use Linux for all my audio work and consider Windows an inferior platform.

I have never switched on a Linux Pc and had to wait all morning for the updates to finish so I could use it. You cannot even play solitaire without it nagging you to log in.

Windows is a n inferior platform only rendered occasionally worthwhile by third party closed source software not available for Linux. If they were I would never touch it. (and no they do not work on wine)

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Re: Windows 10... there I said it! Thoughts?

Postby MattKingUSA » Mon Dec 26, 2016 11:03 pm

I like gaming as well but i only buy steamos compatible titles from steam. If it only runs on windows/wine i wont buy it. Windows is a major security risk and privacy risk as well. so are google and apple and other non free platforms and devices. I prefer to have control over my computer. Rms is right about code and newell about gaming.
-Matt

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Re: Windows 10... there I said it! Thoughts?

Postby folderol » Mon Dec 26, 2016 11:22 pm

Haven't touched Windows since '98 but they use it where I work a couple of days a week. They seem to have no end of problems, the latest being just before Christmas, a delay in paying everyone while the machine decided to do an unexpected upgrade that took 3 hours!

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Re: Windows 10... there I said it! Thoughts?

Postby rghvdberg » Tue Dec 27, 2016 6:37 am

I do have a dual boot system. For some stuff my family likes to use Windows.
I rarely use it and now consider myself a Windows noob. I don't know how to fix stuff anymore.

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English Guy
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Re: Windows 10... there I said it! Thoughts?

Postby English Guy » Tue Dec 27, 2016 9:58 am

rghvdberg wrote:I do have a dual boot system. For some stuff my family likes to use Windows.
I rarely use it and now consider myself a Windows noob. I don't know how to fix stuff anymore.


For a Linux fan, I spend most of my time fixing friends windows boxes :D

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Re: Windows 10... there I said it! Thoughts?

Postby rghvdberg » Tue Dec 27, 2016 12:42 pm

English Guy wrote:
rghvdberg wrote:I do have a dual boot system. For some stuff my family likes to use Windows.
I rarely use it and now consider myself a Windows noob. I don't know how to fix stuff anymore.


For a Linux fan, I spend most of my time fixing friends windows boxes :D


Just stop doing that!
I'm willing to hit help with Linux, with Windows you are on your own.
Oh and I like W10 because it reminds me of Mint.

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English Guy
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Re: Windows 10... there I said it! Thoughts?

Postby English Guy » Tue Dec 27, 2016 4:31 pm

rghvdberg wrote:
English Guy wrote:
rghvdberg wrote:I do have a dual boot system. For some stuff my family likes to use Windows.
I rarely use it and now consider myself a Windows noob. I don't know how to fix stuff anymore.


For a Linux fan, I spend most of my time fixing friends windows boxes :D


Just stop doing that!
I'm willing to hit help with Linux, with Windows you are on your own.
Oh and I like W10 because it reminds me of Mint.


You try telling my wife I won't sort out her PC!

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Re: Windows 10... there I said it! Thoughts?

Postby GMaq » Tue Dec 27, 2016 4:39 pm

falkTX wrote:I see some very big issues with it right now...

1. Ads on your own desktop and lock screen by default
2. Candy-crush comes pre-installed and cannot be easily removed
3. Recording of user metrics for advertising purposes (and who knows what else), that we cannot fully disable
4. Automatic updates that cannot be disabled unless you have Enterprise or Ultimate editions (updates that have broken drivers and software before)
5. Control panel is done half in classic style, another half in "metro" style
6. Cannot easily disable cortana (the audio "assistant")

Not to mention the very shady and evil practices microsoft did to get everyone into windows 10 as soon as possible.

In comparison windows 7 looks a lot better.


Thanks for all the comments so far, this list is exactly the kind of thing I was looking for.. :)

I have to agree with most of it, #3 was the most troubling, if you simply clicked through the privacy setup stuff without clicking 'Customize' and sorting through the choices it was quite disturbing how much access you would be giving to MS, and of course having to install hardware drivers separately after the OS install is and always has been a pain with Windows, and you have to be uber-vigilant that they aren't sneaking some unwanted web app onto your machine along with the driver install, but that also has always been something to watch out for with Windows, yes it's annoying but not surprising... Having a nice mixer GUI even for the basic onboard Audio chipset and stuff like that is something I do have to admit makes the OS feel a bit more 'complete' but I also understand why this is not possible for every bit of hardware (especially USB Audio stuff) in Linux.

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Re: Windows 10... there I said it! Thoughts?

Postby noedig » Tue Dec 27, 2016 9:09 pm

I think a good way to find out is to dive in and find out for yourself.

I've been using Linux for audio a few years now with the main aim of live keyboard playing (no shows (yet), just practicing and jamming with friends). It was a rather long but fun process to finally get a low latency setup with streamlined and easy patch switching capabilities.

Then, earlier this year, for some reason, I gave Windows 10 a try (mainly because I was intrigued by Reaper). To my surprise, it was quite a pleasant experience. It took a full half-hour to install everything (ASIO drivers, Reaper) and figure out how to make a noise. Without any system tuning I got decent playable latency. It took some time to get a new live keyboard patch changing workflow though, but that's done now and I now happily have a Windows 10 and KXStudio keyboard setup, both with ZynAddSubFX, soundfonts and SFZ's (thanks Jeffg).

I've used both setups in live jamming scenarios and both work very well.

The setup in Windows is a bit easier and quicker (almost so quick that it's worth going through it just to see if it could be a worthy addition to your music toolbox).

It's cool that you get access to a new world of VST plugins.

It's got Reaper. Reaper is awesome.

It also has Ardour. Ardour is also awesome.

And it's also a fresh new experience. Maybe it's just a summer fling, but it's definitely nice to have both worlds at my disposal.

I guess most of what I said regarding Windows is probably not Windows 10 specific. However, that's what I'm using at the moment and it works fine.

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Re: Windows 10... there I said it! Thoughts?

Postby GMaq » Wed Dec 28, 2016 2:11 am

@noedig,

Cool! A working setup is always a good thing no matter what platform. How do you like Ardour on Windows? Is it as reliable as on Linux?

@beck,

I think doing Pro Audio on any platform always requires a little extra effort and knowledge by the user, If you skimmed some posts here you would either think Linux is impossible to make work at all, or the easiest thing in the world depending on what posts you read at the time, also sometimes there are a lot of hardware problems that occur on every platform... as an example the Presonus1818VSL worked horribly with USB3 ports on both Windows and Linux it was just a general incompatibility that needed to be fixed in the hardware firmware itself. For many people with the proper hardware drivers that provide a decent ASIO driver latency on Windows is not an issue at all.

I do agree where Linux really shines is that even an old P4 can still be useful, sadly Windows and Apple also like to pimp hardware as well as software..

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Re: Windows 10... there I said it! Thoughts?

Postby Luc » Thu Dec 29, 2016 9:38 pm

GMaq wrote:I'm really simply just looking for unbiased opinions.

I don't think I can provide you that, but I don't think anyone else can, so let's roll. :wink:

GMaq wrote:Actually having hardware work fully with it's intended software applications (ie Video Cards with a full featured control panel etc.) is something that is kinda nice to see again...


That can be deceptive. I remember I bought a new Sound Blaster card around 2002, to replace an obscure one that had come bundled with the machine, a rather cheap kit. I used Win98 back then. I installed the drivers only, no additional utilities although there were some on the CD. The total installation was 58 MB just for the drivers and the most basic - and compulsory - utilities, like mixer GUI and some other very basic thang. I was happy with the purchase. The sound quality certainly improved, on speakers and headphones.

I still used Windows, with Slackware on dual boot just so I could learn and "practice" Linux in my free time. I found out I had to obtain and load a kernel module for that sound card. It was one, only one file of 100 or 200, maybe 300 kilobytes. I installed it, the sound card worked and... it sounded better on Linux than on Windows! With a ridiculously smaller driver.

I never bitched about the lack of drivers or support from third-party again! No siree, let the good people of the Linux community take care of those. They're good people and they know what they're doing. Too many companies are run by people who are not good and/or do not know what they're doing. Is MSFT one of them? You be the judge.

GMaq wrote:I have to agree with most of it, #3 was the most troubling, if you simply clicked through the privacy setup stuff without clicking 'Customize' and sorting through the choices it was quite disturbing how much access you would be giving to MS, and of course having to install hardware drivers separately after the OS install is and always has been a pain with Windows, and you have to be uber-vigilant that they aren't sneaking some unwanted web app onto your machine along with the driver install, but that also has always been something to watch out for with Windows, yes it's annoying but not surprising... Having a nice mixer GUI even for the basic onboard Audio chipset and stuff like that is something I do have to admit makes the OS feel a bit more 'complete' but I also understand why this is not possible for every bit of hardware (especially USB Audio stuff) in Linux.

So you and FalkTX present a series of rather troubling and upsetting flaws in Windows, but "having a nice mixer GUI" will make you forget all the trouble. You are one strange Linux user. :D

noedig wrote:It's cool that you get access to a new world of VST plugins.

We already have that with Wine and Airwave. Not all plugins will work, but at least 90% will. I reckon about 96%. That's literally thousands of plugins that were made for Windows but will happily run on Linux. I understand that some people have extra requirements for looking at themselves in the mirror, but I think it's very sad that some of them refuse to use Wine/Airwave. And foolish, because it's not going to change the world.

noedig wrote:It's got Reaper. Reaper is awesome.

Reaper already runs on Wine and there is a native Linux version being developed.

noedig wrote:It also has Ardour. Ardour is also awesome.

Already available on Linux.

noedig wrote:And it's also a fresh new experience. Maybe it's just a summer fling, but it's definitely nice to have both worlds at my disposal.

The problem is, the other world sucks. Hard. It just has a very close relationship with a few applications that we really want. So the right thing to do is to bring those applications over to our world, not the other world. Keep the other world very far away.

beck wrote:I'm member of some other music forums, and man what i read overthere about problems of not working propper and bad sounds, i never have.

This one is also very compelling. I too, have witnessed lots of complaints from Windows users on the internet in general. Sometimes, they complain about a plugin that I have, I run it on Linux, and they can't run it on their precious Windows.

The thing is, our OS is harder to use, it is harder to configure, but it is the best that exists. Anything else will be a downgrade.

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Re: Windows 10... there I said it! Thoughts?

Postby GMaq » Thu Dec 29, 2016 11:02 pm

@Luc

:D :lol:

I am indeed a strange Linux user... however I'm not actually using Windows 10 (or planning to), my son is for gaming on his own PC. I've just made some observations setting it up having been away from Windows for many years. Most of the really offensive spyware ad tracking stuff can be avoided during install if you are vigilant, the small amount that remains is really not much worse than what Google or Facebook will ask of you, but it's still annoying..

On the question of Mixer GUI's in the case of my Presonus 1818VSL it's not just a case of missing out on some glossy overblown Intel HDA mixer GUI, on Windows and Mac the Presonus mixer driver itself is an application with metering, correct fader arrangements (not a series of clumsy GTK stereo pairs) On top of that are built-in Compression and EQ DSP plugins and much more, in this case the Linux equivalent ALSAmixer approximation comes off looking like sharp sticks and flint... Yes the VSL is supported as class compliant by the kernel, but having to go without the DSP and a decent interface is an unfortunate choice to have to make..

Give poor falkTX a break, he's a developer of the MOD Duo (and a damn good one too), he has to support Linux, Apple and Windows users of the Duo so he needs to use all 3 OS's for his job, I know better than most how loyal he is to Linux Audio so I appreciated his honest answer to my question...
Last edited by GMaq on Fri Dec 30, 2016 12:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Windows 10... there I said it! Thoughts?

Postby CrocoDuck » Sat Dec 31, 2016 1:17 pm

I have stopped using windows completely 6 years ago (I think). 100% Linux user since. Actually I use some Windows things. If I need to run Windows software on my Linux I usually either use Wine or VirtualBox. I also use dedicated Windows 10 machines at work since we need software that works correctly only under Windows.

I must admit I am intrigued by the reports of "Windows easier and quicker to install". I had to setup few Windows 10 machines and that took the best part of a day (a day for each one of them). I mean, I am used to Arch Linux and I still think that having a complete environment set up is quicker and more straightforward with respect Windows. With other distributions installing is a matter of 20 minutes and eventual problems are usually solved by a few packages installation nowadays. On Windows I need to:

  • Complete the installation process. This can be ludicrously long.
  • Install drivers. This takes some time.
  • Disable all the things you don't need and don't want. This is getting harder and harder release after release.
  • Finally install your production software.

All these steps require me at least the same amount of time I need to setup an Arch Linux workstation. I don't really see the Windows advantage here. Also, I think Windows (and Mac, but that's another story) are much more unstable. We upgraded our machines from 8 to 10 to find all our production software functionality broken. That required days of troubleshooting.

That is why I think that this sentence:
windows is easier and more stable

is just pure and simple superstition.

The only fair point to use Windows (or any other commercial OS) is, in my opinion, when you need to run software that is designed for that OS only. If I can I prefer a virtual machine, because if something breaks I can revert back to a working snapshot. If not I would perhaps allocate a dedicated machine that never goes online (unless needed), never gets updated and never gets used for something else. You mentioned gaming. Fair enough, usually the latest games don't really run well on VirtualBox or Wine (if they run at all).
Check my Linux audio experiments on my SoundCloud.
Browse my AUR packages.
Fancying a swim in the pond?

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Re: Windows 10... there I said it! Thoughts?

Postby Luc » Sat Dec 31, 2016 2:15 pm

VirtualBox is not good. Every time I tried, Windows XP would run so slowly it would take almost an entire minute to open one instance of Windows Explorer. In other words, unusable.

I use VMware with two VMs: one for work and the other for fun, including games that I install, play for 5 minutes then forget about it. The games run very well in full screen, not slow at all, no glitches, nobody would walk past my machine, look at it and realize I am running a VM. And it's all a bunch of files in a directory in my Linux file system, managed by a real, decent OS.


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