I love to vent.  Or is it a rant?  Maybe it’s a whine.  I’m confused.  Whatever.  I’m getting old and cranky and dammit… if I don’t want little bratty kids on my dead lawn, I will knock my front door open with my broken cane, and shout through my AARP-model bullhorn “get the %##% off my  %##%-ing lawn you little crumb snatchers!”  (and then roll back inside and barricade the door for when the SWAT team arrives).


In any case, after decades of smashing keys and beating on a mouse in front of everything from IBM trailers to UNIX-this and that, to modern day gear running Windows 10 and whatnot.  I’ve seen enough square wheels, to the point where when I see one more square wheel, I will throw my false teeth at the next person that says “but square wheels are what’s cool!”  See this.

Before you suggest it, yes, I use UserVoice and Insider Feedback to submit suggestions.  But a blog is lonely without some basic amount of crying and complaining.  And everyone seems to be into the whole “top 5” and “top 10” list meme these days.

So, lot’s of Windows components have received a makeover since even XP.  From Task Manager and Calculator to Solitaire and even the good old faithful CMD shell.  Well, here’s my list of Windows features that could use some dusting off and a little paint…


Holy cow! CALC.exe has had more love and attention wrapped around it than REGEDIT ever has.  It’s time.  It should allow import/export of permissions (e.g. REGINI.exe) and the command line options should be updated for connecting to remote machines and so on.  It should either become something worthy of 2016 or be dismantled and remade into a GUI that simply invokes PowerShell cmdlets under the covers.  It’s sad.  Calc has been riding around in a stretch limo, surrounded by naked escorts spilling champagne all over the seats, driving right past REGEDIT, as it forages through garbage cans looking for rotting food to eat.  Can we give it some love?


Notepad is another underappreciated application.  It should have AT LEAST a basic set of features common to other third party text editors like TextPad, and NotePad++.  I’m not advocating a full rip-off of any other product.  But line numbers, tabs, and maybe a cheezy ribbon menu would be nice.  Microsoft has air-dropped reinforcements into CMD and the PowerShell ISE, but this poor, underfed, abused and neglected child is just balled up in the corner, listening to Sarah McLachlin songs in slow motion.


Why on Earth do we still have to type this in to use it?  Character Map and XPS Viewer are asleep on the Start Menu with their belly buttons hanging out, while MMC is duct-taped and locked in a closet.  It needs a little sunlight.  It might be nice to get a new face on the “Add/Remove Snap-in” dialog as well. Just sayin’.

The DHCP Admin Console

Obviously this is more aimed at Windows Server, but since it’s included with RSAT it’s fair game as well.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about here, just log into a Windows Server DHCP host, or a Windows 10 machine with RSAT installed, and open the DHCP Admin console.  Stare at it for a full minute.  Go ahead, I’ll wait….

Have you started crying yet?  Maybe you need to take off your sunglasses.  Or maybe you’re on strong medication.  Or maybe you’re blind, which would make you lucky this time.  It needs help.  I’m talking the kind that involves kids doing weekend car-washes, screaming at traffic with signs, and painted faces.  It screams “The 1990’s called and they don’t want this dialog interface back.”

Windows Paint

This one gets mentioned a lot in conversation, usually in the same sentence as Paint.Net. Because hardly anyone I know who’s been using Windows for more than a few years *doesn’t* have Paint.Net installed.

Here’s one idea:  Buy out the Paint.Net project.  The money will go to a good cause (MIT nerd kids who like to make cool stuff, aaaand death machines for DARPA, but mostly cool stuff to make happy people), and it will allow you to put a real image editor into the base product (plus: You don’t even have to change the name, much).

Bonus: Event Viewer

Yes, Event Viewer needs some love too.  For starters, link the Event ID + Source to meaningful online content.  The links and popups are nice, but even better: have them all link to something relevant.  Most of them still go off into another solar system.  Aside from that, tabs would be nice, and another might be right-click “Send by Email”.

What do you think: good ideas or stupid as hell?

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