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Author Topic: So-called upgrades that ruin good programs  (Read 6691 times)

TaoPhoenix

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So-called upgrades that ruin good programs
« on: October 21, 2013, 01:02:51 PM »

So-called upgrades that ruin good programs are incredibly infuriating.

This topic is general enough to use its own thread!

AdBlock and AdBlock Edge come to mind. I happen to have two copies of AdBlock Edge on two different browsers, and to my dismay one sat there and refused to block a graphic?!

Then I tried it in the other browser and it did! So I looked and sure enough, it was a different (and older) version!



Josh

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Re: So-called upgrades that ruin good programs
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2013, 02:52:10 PM »

40hz

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Re: So-called upgrades that ruin good programs
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2013, 05:15:14 PM »
Echos my feelings about PaintShop Pro.

Version 6 was brilliant.  :-* Version 7 still ok.  :)

It was nothing but annoying after that. At least AFAIC.   :-\

eleman

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Re: So-called upgrades that ruin good programs
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2013, 02:48:38 AM »
Any office with ribbon (i.e. 2007 and newer).
Especially when imposed on you on a tiny netbook screen.

app103

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Re: So-called upgrades that ruin good programs
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2013, 02:53:09 AM »
Echos my feelings about PaintShop Pro.

Version 6 was brilliant.  :-* Version 7 still ok.  :)

It was nothing but annoying after that. At least AFAIC.   :-\

I never used v6 but I adore v7  :-*, and I agree with you about every version afterward, especially any since Corel bought it.

Windows Media Player, which got destroyed somewhere between Win98 and WinME.

Winamp, which was destroyed in one of the updates to v5.

3M post-it Notes, I documented what happened with that, here.

I recently upgraded Ubuntu and wanted to smack myself for it.

The MSN/WLM --> Skype "upgrade" forced on everyone still has me fuming.

Vurbal

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Re: So-called upgrades that ruin good programs
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2013, 04:17:22 AM »
The $40 I spent on Acronis True Image 9.0 was arguably the best software investment I ever made. It was designed for Windows XP but still worked on Vista and even on Windows 7 until some Windows update in 2012 broke it.

I'm not sure when it happened, judging from their forums apparently some time around the 2010 version, they turned it into a steaming pile of crap. I know how it happened - the same way a lot of software titles get run into the ground. In order to release a new major version every year they continually added new features to get upgrade sales and eventually they were adding more bugs than features.

Unfortunately I didn't discover this until after they suckered me into an upgrade deal for the 2012 version. They had a promotion running to get both the Home version and Plus Pack (with CDP and bare metal restore) for $30. Unfortunately it was more than 90 days later that I finally had time to install and test it so by the time I realized how badly it hosed my computer they refused to give me any support.

It didn't take long reading their forums to realize they didn't even have the foggiest idea how to uninstall their own software, let alone fix what I determined were common, but not universal problems. To add insult to injury they were perfectly happy to tell me I should pay them for additional support for help fixing their defective crap even though it seemed pretty certain they had no chance of actually managing that.

Thankfully the Bart's PE plugin still works beautifully on my boot disc and the bare metal restore CD can be downloaded to avoid installing Acronis and mangling Windows again.
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40hz

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Re: So-called upgrades that ruin good programs
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2013, 08:31:11 AM »
+1 x 10E2 on TrueImage.

Version 8/9 used to be my go to imaging tool until they broke it - and then refused to accept it was  their (rather than their now mostly former customer's) responsibility to fix it.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2013, 08:36:59 AM by 40hz »

Giampy

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Re: So-called upgrades that ruin good programs
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2013, 08:41:56 AM »
AutoCAD LT98 had a wonderful "aerial view", I mean a small window showing the whole drawing. By a click and a dragging the user could perform a zoom, by a dragging the user could perform a pan. It was a pleasure to surf on the whole drawing, it was a pleasure to jump from a zone to another zone of the drawing.
In AutoCAD 2002 LT that precious convenience was complicated, so it became unusable.

Idiots have the power.
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Giampy

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Re: So-called upgrades that ruin good programs
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2013, 08:43:30 AM »
It would be interesting even a thread about old bugs/absurdites of programs that programmers refuse to fix.
"A refrigerator without beer is like a body without soul"

TaoPhoenix

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Re: So-called upgrades that ruin good programs
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2013, 09:10:51 AM »
It would be interesting even a thread about old bugs/absurdites of programs that programmers refuse to fix.


Those could be included in this thread since very often the bug is related to a version situation.

Darwin

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Re: So-called upgrades that ruin good programs
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2013, 08:10:12 PM »
Windows 8.1...
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Joe Hone

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Re: So-called upgrades that ruin good programs
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2013, 08:24:44 PM »
Adobe Audition 5.5 was so bad that in some ways it reverted back to before the final version of Cool Edit Pro, which was the platform Adobe bought and renamed Audition. It has taken two full revisions since to get it caught back up, but Adobe is catching some heat for the subscription model and Creative Cloud only work environment.

40hz

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Re: So-called upgrades that ruin good programs
« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2013, 09:05:59 PM »

tomos

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Re: So-called upgrades that ruin good programs
« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2013, 06:15:46 AM »
Tom

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Re: So-called upgrades that ruin good programs
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2013, 08:36:51 AM »
Hi Tomos - I'm keeping a list by my computer and it's a work in progress, but I'll share. Background - my 5 year old Gateway notebook came with Vista Home 32 bit preinstalled and I loved it. I upgraded to Vista Professional 64bit so that I could access 4GB of DDR2 RAM (I upgraded from 3). Vista was great as I had it configured and I was ostracized in my community for saying good things about it. Upgraded the HDD to 320GB 7200 rpm and the CPU to a T9300 Core 2 Duo running at 2.5Ghz. Life was good. Upgraded to Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit for free because I hosted a party pre-launch. Liked it (given how smooth Vista was for me, 7 wasn't much of a change) but grew to love it. Upgraded to Windows 8 Professional when it was released. Loved it - never missed the start menu/windows button. Upgraded to a 240GB SSD and achieved computing nirvana. Incredible boot times, instantaneous Office 2013 program launches, instantaneous searches - if I wanted to launch a program, I just hit the windows key and started typing the name. A list of matches appeared as I typed. I clicked on the title I wanted a "Bam!" it opened. My only gripe was that for some reason it wouldn't sleep (it always rebooted when I tried to wake it). Windows 8.1 looked poised to fix that issue. On Black Friday, I went to the Windows Store and there it was, a free update to 8.1. Throwing caution and good sense to the wind, I upgraded without performing a backup...

The update downloaded and installed very quickly and for the first 24 hours or so all was well. Then, disaster...

Here's my list of issues:

1 My wifi connection randomly drops to "limited connectivity". I try to disconnect/reconnect and then am entirely unable to connect to my network without rebooting the computer
2 The system takes a good 2 minutes to boot (up from about 30 seconds). The bulk of the extra time occurs after typing in my Password. I just watch the circle going round and round and wait for the desktop to load. Before 8.1 as soon as I hit ENTER the Metro start page appeared.
3 When I use the search feature now, my CPU usage spikes to 99% and explorer.exe freezes for minutes. For example, if I hit the windows key and type "Word" 66% of the time no drop down list of choices appears and everything freezes. After a minute or more the Word popup appears letting me know that it's loading. This takes another 20 to 30 seconds. bizarrely, if I hit the windows key and then use the mouse to find and select the Word tile, it loads instantly, as under 8.
4 Until I used Perfect Updater to update all the drivers on my system yesterday afternoon, my computer was throwing up BSOD pages and shutting down in the middle of innocuous operations like typing a posting to a forum. I averaged about 3 BSOD a day until then. Fingers crossed, but this doesn't seem to be an issue anymore.
5 as mentioned above, explorer.exe freezes or crashes altogether. The crashing seems to have sorted itself out, but it still freezes for periods of time. I just hit the windows key to check this and it only froze for about 10 seconds. However, I've been looking at Excel's loading windows for about a minute. There, it just loaded (my son came in to talk to me as it loaded, so I didn't get to time it exactly).

That's it for now. Some of these issues have evened out for one reason or another - explorer.exe is more stable and the freeze that occurs when I use windows key/search/launch is about 50% shorter than before. Still very present and annoying, though. My internet connectivity seems to be more stable. However, this computer is FAR from the machine it was a little over a week ago. I was pretty smug - had a five year old notebook running the latest OS and Office Suite and it was quicker than far newer machines with HDDs and the most stable computer I've ever had.

What have I tried over the past four days? Well, disabling services, uninstalling redundant software, updating drivers, trawling the internet reading lots of stories about other people's issues and hoping for solutions. There aren't many... This Microsoft forum is pretty informative: http://answers.micro.../performance?tab=QnA I'll keep working at it... Given the choice, I'd go back to Windows 8 but I can't stomach having to reinstall everything from scratch. This is the first time I've ever had a Windows update almost cripple a system, and I've been using Windows for over 20 years (and DOS before that).

Heed the cautionary notes to backup your system before updating (what kills me that is that usually I do!)
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Darwin

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Re: So-called upgrades that ruin good programs
« Reply #15 on: October 23, 2013, 08:54:45 AM »
Just to update the above posting - about five minutes after hit hit "submit", I experienced a BSOD and reboot. I had IE11 32bit and Outlook 2013 32 bit open and was viewing a different forum. I hope M$ gets this sorted out - at this point I alone must have sent in at least 10 automated error reports generated after a BSOD... I tried to use this as a rationalization yesterday to buy a new, stable, computer but I can't bring myself to do it. Just have to be hyper careful about backing up my data and saving open files frequently so that I don't lose anything important.

We are most seriously displeased.
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tomos

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Re: So-called upgrades that ruin good programs
« Reply #16 on: October 23, 2013, 09:02:19 AM »
hi Mike - wow, I didnt realise it was that problematic....

Heed the cautionary notes to backup your system before updating (what kills me that is that usually I do!)

that *is* hard luck. Maybe I'll just skip it completely (not even sure if that's possible).
Tom

40hz

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Re: So-called upgrades that ruin good programs
« Reply #17 on: October 23, 2013, 09:08:44 AM »
@tomos - re: Win 8.1

Like Darwin I'm seeing unexplained freezes, driver issues (although I expected some of that), and network connectivity issues.

8.1 feels more like a mid-stage beta rather than an RC to me. just my :two:
 :)

Stoic Joker

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Re: So-called upgrades that ruin good programs
« Reply #18 on: October 23, 2013, 11:47:05 AM »
@Darwin - Looks like we're a pretty close race hardware wise. I've got a Dell laptop about the same age that I rescued from the trash (customer didn't want to pay for HDD replacement and tossed it).

Never saw it run Vista, but 7 was zippy, 8 ran just fine, and 8.1 does seem to take a bit longer to do anything. No BSODs (err...yet), and the sleep function works perfectly. But the WiFi connection does flake a bit (~10% - did with 8 also) when it wakes up. It'll either be slow to connect, forget it has an active gateway, or forget the connection entirely. But a quick reminder of some sort gets it off its ass every time.

I haven't had much time to fiddle with it (work) and was hoping the slowness would go away (yes I know that's rather dumb) after it got done with its initial startup shenanigans ... But I'm going to give it 2 weeks to not piss me off. If it can make it that far without making my want to punch the screen I'll keep it. Otherwise - anytime within the 2 probationary weeks - at the first hint of annoyance I'll be formatting C: ... Probably with a claw hammer. :D

Darwin

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Re: So-called upgrades that ruin good programs
« Reply #19 on: October 23, 2013, 01:07:32 PM »
Yup - that's more or less the route that I'm going to take as well - I'm giving it/M$ a couple of weeks to sort this out and if it's still borked I'm formatting and doing a clean install. Haven't decided whether to install 7 or 8 at this point... I'm really hoping that things clear up, though as I simply don't have any desire to start all over... Incidentally, after making my previous post, I went and gave the kids breakfast. When I returned, the computer was patiently waiting for a password - Windows had crashed and shutdown while I was away. AFAICR, no programs were running and it was idle...
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Stoic Joker

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Re: So-called upgrades that ruin good programs
« Reply #20 on: October 23, 2013, 05:34:47 PM »
Just some detail stuff:

It's a Dell Inspiron 1545 with 3GB RAM and a single core 2.20GHz Celeron.

Network Adapters:
Dell Wireless 1397 WLAN Mini-Card
Marvell Yukon 88E8040 PCI-E Fast Ethernet Controller

Strangely search behavior (speed) is quite good. Default is search everywhere (WT..?), and I gotta say I liked it much better when it spread the results over the entire screen instead of just the strip on the right ... Were they shooting for the worst of both worlds on that move??

Vurbal

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Re: So-called upgrades that ruin good programs
« Reply #21 on: October 24, 2013, 04:06:22 PM »
If this post seems more appropriate as an entirely separate discussion or part of some other existing thread hopefully a mod will take care of that. I'll leave it to more organized minds to make that determination.  :)

At the risk of derailing this thread, for anyone experiencing a lot of problems in Windows 8.x with programs slowing down either routinely or randomly or even hanging for no apparent reason a few months ago I ran across a likely culprit. If you're using desktop compositing in Windows 7 it applies there as well. On my computer it turns out the common component for all of my "not responding" problems is the window manager - DWM.exe.

Warning: If taken internally the spoilered explanation which follows may induce headaches, blurred vision, nauseau, and vomiting.
If you experience any of these symptoms you are advised to stop reading and/or start drinking immediately.
You have been warned!

I actually stumbled across the answer entirely by accident when I was looking for replacements for Windows components. Specifically it was my choice to start using System Explorer as an alternative to the built-in Windows Task Manager. It turns out Task Manager conveniently omits DWM from the list of running programs and therefore doesn't tell you when it's hanging. Instead it will list other applications as not responding when in fact they are working correctly but waiting for the window manager to respond to some request.

The big problem in Windows 8 is that, unlike Windows 7 and Vista, compositing is mandatory because the Desktop is always composited on top of the Start Screen. Whereas Windows 7 gives you the option to turn off compositing by turning off all the Aero features (and potentially requiring you to turn off the DWM Session Manager service manually) there is no alternative window manager to use in Windows 8.

This has a number of implications for using compositing, whether in Vista, 7, or 8. The most problematic IMO is the impact your video driver potentially has on system performance. Since DWM is heavily reliant on advanced features of modern video cards, any video card driver problem potentially represents a system stability and/or performance issue.

If, like me, you happen to have a system utilizing integrated AMD/ATI video, that's particularly bad news. Prior to the introduction of the first Radeon cards ATI was arguably the model of stability and reliability. Since high performance video became essentially a 2 horse race between them and nVidia their driver development has turned into almost a primer in how not to support your hardware. In the case of outdated legacy products like my integrated Radeon 4250 (AMD 880g chipset) it's compounded by the expected (and normally not unreasonable) disinterest in anything beyond basic stability upgrades.

At least in Windows 8.0, there appears to be a mechanism in place for restarting DWM when it hangs. That's great in theory but in practice it seems to rely on explorer.exe to identify when DWM hangs and initiate the restart. In fact given the tendencies in Microsoft/Windows design I wouldn't be surprised if it is contained entirely in explorer. Without either a lot more analysis than I'm willing to perform that's nothing more than a guess on my part, albeit a somewhat educated guess.

I can explain how I discovered all this, though, starting as I said with using System Explorer rather than the Windows Task Manager to monitor processes. The first clue, which I didn't recognize immediately, was that explorer.exe appeared to be crashing a lot in Win8. I only noticed it happening when I had 2 or more file manager (or WTF ever they're calling Windows Explorer) windows open, but I never bothered to do much digging so it could have been happening in other circumstances without me noticing.

It's probably worth noting that one difference I've noticed between Win7 and Win8 (now that I'm paying attention anyway) is this. In Windows 7 if I restart DWM it doesn't appear to impact explorer at all. Explorer.exe seems to continue running resulting in my File Manager windows simply disappearing when the window manager shuts down and then reappearing when DWM starts up again. In Win8 I didn't get around to monitoring explorer.exe when I restarted DWM manually but it definitely killed all the File Manager windows.

I knew explorer.exe was significantly rewritten for Win8 because of the (IMO major step backwards) integration of the "Modern" UI (eg Start Screen) to ensure it would run at all times. Essentially that created the exact sort of monolithic code they've been removing and replacing for close to a decade. Figuring that to be a likely suspect in the problem I hypothesized that using a third party file manager might solve the problem. In fact that might be true if it's one of the more sophisticated (typically payware) alternatives with as few hooks as possible into explorer features like shell extensions.

However I was looking for something to recommend to Joe Six Pack which meant it should retain as much of explorer's File Manager features and if possible a very similar look and feel. For that reason, and various others, I settled on Explorer++. That did solve the problem of explorer crashing but replaced it with even more problematic behavior.

From time to time, and with increasing frequency the longer I went between reboots, Explorer++ would hang - or at least that's what the Windows Task Manager claimed. What was worse was that killing or restarting it from the Task Manager didn't work. I mean it worked in the sense that the process was definitely running but the window never appeared no matter how many times I killed and restarted it. Except I could get it to work by opening an explorer File Manager window and then using Open with... from the context menu to open a folder with Explorer++.

When I switched to System Explorer, though, I saw a very different picture. It didn't tell me Explorer++ was hung (ie Not Responding) but instead showed DWM was hung. That seemed to be the entire key to the problem since I could restart DWM and then restart Explorer++ and it worked normally. Just as importantly the time between DWM hanging seemed to reset to the longer period typical right after a reboot.

Or at least it worked most of the time. Eventually, though, I realized sometimes I could restart DWM and restart (or kill and then normally launch) Explorer++ and it didn't solve the problem at all. However if I restarted explorer.exe as well it always sorted the problem. My takeaway from all this - and let me repeat my analysis was incomplete - is that troubleshooting performance problems, especially program hangs, requires an alternate task manager. Additionally it's entirely possible, if not extremely likely, chance the shell (explorer.exe), window manager (dwm.exe), and video driver may be involved.


tl;dr
If you are having performance issues in Windows 8.x don't rely on the Windows Task Manager to tell you where the bottleneck is. There's a not-insignificant chance the window manager is at least partly to blame and a 100% chance Task Manager will blame any program waiting for the window manager if that's the case.

System Explorer will definitely show you more reliable information. Some or all other third party process monitoring/management software may be just as good or better. As a last resort restarting dwm.exe (the window manager) and/or explorer.exe (the shell) may temporarily fix performance issues. Due to the mandatory compositing of the window manager the video driver may be part of the problem and/or solution but if it's old enough hardware you probably shouldn't hold your breath.
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- Me


I recommend reading through my Bio before responding to any of my posts. It could save both of us a lot of time and frustration.

Giampy

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Re: So-called upgrades that ruin good programs
« Reply #22 on: October 26, 2013, 02:15:44 PM »
Upgrade of Google: staff of Google have properly thought to move the item "Video" into a deep structure. Now to reach "Video" it takes four clicks instead of two.
Fine!

(there is still the old good page at https://www.google.com/webhp?complete=0 but I am sure it will be deleted)
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