Annoying Windows quirks

posted by Jeff | Friday, August 28, 2020, 5:10 PM | comments: 0

I don't primarily use a Mac in any capacity anymore, a point I reached a little over a year ago when I built a PC. I flipped to a Windows laptop about two and a half years ago. That all happened after more than a decade on Macs. Overall, I'm happy with both computers. Having spent a fair amount of time writing code this year (because, you know, I'm obviously not traveling), I am particularly and overwhelmingly satisfied with my desktop. The only time I've ever used all of the memory (32 gigs) was when I had Visual Studio and Photoshop and Premier Pro open at the same time. Because why not?

But there are some lingering things that are quirky that annoy me, and they're the kinds of things that I would never encounter on the Macs. For example, the fans on my video card seem to not respect the settings I've made through EVGA's app... sometimes. Shortly after I built the machine, I kept noticing this light grinding sound, which at first I thought was the water cooling system starting and stopping. But then I took off the side panel and noticed it was the fans on the video card coming on periodically. They're really quiet, so I just assume they stay on. So I downloaded the app that EVGA made, and set the fans to run at 50% all of the time, instead of "auto," and the GPU idles at a comfortable 31 degrees, peaking around 60-something when under load. But the problem is that sometimes it boots and doesn't respect the setting unless I run the app, and that's annoying. It's just not annoying enough to figure out why it happens.

When I bought my new video camera, I started using Adobe Premier Pro again, so I plugged in my Shuttle Xpress, a puck-shaped controller to scan through video and set in/out points while editing. If you grew up editing tape, you need this thing. I didn't make the connection at the time, but the computer stopped going to sleep at that point, or even turning off the monitors. Something about that controller, or the driver, pings the computer every two or three seconds, so the computer thinks there's a user touching it all of the time. That was hard to figure out until I found a script that showed the current idle time. I started it, and watched as I unplugged stuff, and sure enough, the Shuttle was the thing.

My laptop has seen a number of Windows 10 updates since I bought it, and now, the touchpad driver doesn't exactly load right until I open the control panel app for it. The reason this matters is because I can't undo the muscle memory of two decades of touch pads: You two-finger scroll in the opposite direction that you would a tablet, which is to say the same way you use a wheel on a mouse. You two-finger drag down to scroll down, because you're not physically touching the screen. Well, everyone defaults the "wrong" way for this now. There's probably a registry setting for this, but I can't find it. I found it on my work laptop (a Lenovo), but the only solution yet on my personal laptop (an HP) is to open the settings.

My desktop also believes that my internal, 2 gig M.2 SSD is removable media. It sits on a PCIe card inside. I can't figure out how to make Windows not see it that way. It technically doesn't matter, but Windows shows the drive in a little group separate of your internal drives, and it bothers me.

This kind of weirdness was never a thing on my Macs, but to be fair, there was a time when you could multiply this times ten. It's better, but they've still got a ways to go.


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