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October 29, 2012

Rolling with Windows 8

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , — Hugsie @ 8:50 pm

I’m now running windows 8 on my primary desktop PC. I’ve been running the consumer preview on another PC with little fanfare and quite frankly it was no big deal. I was able to score a copy of windows 8, legitimately for only $14.99.  This was the compelling reason for getting it and I’m no longer bootlegging it, or using some half-assed consumer preview version. No more will you have to spend upwards of $200 for Micro$oft Windows so-called Ultimate Edition. Heck even Mac OS X will be sold for about $40 but they also will be releasing new versions annually of OS X. I don’t know if Microsoft plans an annual re-release like Apple has been doing since OS X 10.7.0 (Lion).

The install was quite easy. What I opted to do was to download the OS over the internet, burn and ISO file to a DVD and do a clean install. Yes you CAN do a clean install on discounted “upgrade” versions of Win8 and it doesn’t bother asking you for the CDkey of the old OS, or asking for the old CD. So it’s bascially a full version of Win8, since really you’re really just buying a Product Code that the installer asks for during a clean install.

You simply use the Microsoft Upgrade Assistant app that you download and run on the PC you wish to upgrade where you buy the product key code, and download the OS. Then you have the option of an in-place upgrade over your existing OS (except windows XP). If you do an in-place update it won’t ask for the product key since the app alrady knows it. But this route seems to take LONGEST time do do the install since it has to move and delete all your old contents on your harddrive. But you seem to retain everything as long as it’s compatible for which the Upgrade assistant tells you before hand. The quickest and best way was to burn the ISO the upgrade assistant created (or create a bootable USB flash drive) and boot to that to install it. When the disk tools appear i just completely deleted all the partitions on my C: drive, and it only took like 6 mins to get it done.  Took longer to download and burn the DVD than it was to install it.

No longer do you have the start menu, you now have “Tiles.” However when I was tuning the preview version  it just seemed like it was in the way since most of the time you’re running windows apps that just brings up the desktop interface anyway. However, once you get your Live account set up with Win8, it all changes. The formerly-named “metro” interface then makes sense. People who have Windows phones will feel right at home with the “tiles.” These aren’t just icon replacements to your apps, they actually display and do stuff at a glance.

As Microsoft does, they tend to follow what Apple does. Windows 8 is also an attempt to blend tablet/portable devices with desktop computers. OS X Lion and Mountian Lion didn’t do this as much as Windows 8 does. Though at this rate Apple may be coping some tricks from Microsoft this time around. One of the things that bothers me with my Android Tablet, my Mac, and now windows 8 is there’s no simple way to close apps.  Sure the older “desktop mode” apps still have the “X” at the top right to close it.. But the native Windows 8 apps that launch from the Tile screen never close.  They don’t have a close button, and there’s no apparent way to close them. Sure they aren’t taking any CPU cycles when you’re not using them, but if you’ve opened many of these apps, and you press ALT-TAB to switch to some other app you have to tab though a dozen of these fucking icons to get to the app you want to get to.  I have to CTRL-ALT-DELETE to open up task manager so i can force quit these apps. That irritates the fuck out of me.

Chrome also seems to have an “app” version of it self as well as the normal desktop mode. If you launch it from the tile screen, it comes up in full screen but still functions like the desktop. However you do see the [X] button at the top right but it doesn’t do anything; it’s like a phantom button. So there’s no way to close chrome other than clicking the little (x) on every tab you have open. It runs as a separate instance than the desktop mode of Chrome which DOES have a working [X] close button.

But besides that I’m quite happy with my $15 purchase for an OS. Cheapest OS I ever did, and hell my best friend bought like 3 copies of it for this price for his laptop, desktop, and his wife’s laptop too. The promotion discount, by the time you read this, will no longer be available but even then the normal price for it is only $39.99 which is just plain cheap. I pay more for a Xbox 360 video game which I only end up playing for a maximum of 2 months before I’m bored of it. With an OS you’re gonna be using it for a few years.

I’m also glad Microsoft has paid attention to critics about past releases of windows having nearly a dozen different versions that made little sense to consumers. We had Basic, Home Basic, Premium, Professional  business  and the over priced Ultimate to confuse users about what OS they needed, plus there were separate 32bit and 64bit versions of all of these to contend with. With windows 8 that BS is gone. We now basically have four versions of Windows 8 with one of them that is intended for ARM based mobile devices; Windows 8 RT.  The rest “Windows 8” considered the basic edition, “Windows 8 Pro” which will probably be the most common one people will get, and “Windows 8 Enterprise” for server and IT professionals which has been available since August 2012.

This wikipedia page explains the differences between these editions of windows 8. It seems the Pro edition will be the most common used consumer version and found on OEM PCs. I believe most all of them will install on 32bit or 64bit based PCs using the same install since there is no further breakdown (nor confusion) of separate 32/64bit editions listed.

September 28, 2012

My first tablet!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — Hugsie @ 8:31 am

Nexus 7 (16gb model) is awesome but I’m feeling a bit confused with getting it to all jive with my goggle accounts and chrome. The whole google/chrome/android environment isn’t as cohesive as I thought it would be. To be upfront, I’m a google and chrome whore, and a big fanboy of Asus and Nvidia. So the nexus 7 was the perfect fit for me.

First of all, once you the nexus 7 set up you get an instant $25 credit towards Google’s Play store (app store) so I immediately bought Minecraft Pocket Edition, snagged a lotta games that were only 25¢ and some were even free! (seems most all of the angry bird games are free) Still looking for a book reader app for books I’ve already downloaded on my computer.  I can place files on my nexus 7 via USB cable, but after that it’s questionable if any app will see those files.

Comcast/Xfinity has a nice little app to control my DVR but to actually “manage” my DVR already recorded shows just throws me onto their webpage requiring another login (sigh) which really defeats the purpose of having an app if it just goes to a webpage that’s not set up for a touch screen. The app bascially just lets me view TV listings, set a recording, and command the DVR to change channels.

With Chrome on PC/Mac I can sync all my computers via a google (gmail) login and all my bookmarks, passwords, plugins all set up for me. Chrome on android doesn’t do any of that at all, not even with my bookmarks. Sure I can understand Chrome apps from my PC/Mac not to load up on my Nexus 7 (chrome for android) but at LEAST import my fucking bookmarks. It doesn’t even ask for a goggle/chrome account login, even though there is one for the tablet it self. Even when clicking “other devices” in chrome my nexus 7 comes up, so it KNOWS it’s there but just dosen’t really DO anything about it as it does on my other computers.  At least the calendar app works flawlessly.

So far i tried once to use Lumiya on SecondLife, with no real issues other than the inherent shortcomings with a device like this. It works well but it not good enough for me to use regularly. I can’t even figure out how to walk forward once I’m in 3D view, not even sure you CAN walk. Your avatar and other avis around you do not rez; you’re just a grey mannequin which really kills the experience of why I’m on SL in the first place.

It really confuses me how some games that are way more complex that Second Life run flawless on my tablet, but otherwise look like complete shit. I mean the PCs I used back in 2004 when I first started playing SL had much less power and memory than my nexus 7 has now. Single core sub-ghz pentium CPUs with 512MEGS of ram, 1gb HDD, and AGP video card that had 64mb vs the nexus 7 with quad core ARM cpu running over 1ghz, and a gig of RAM, and 16gb of storage WITH a higher resolution screen AND faster bandwidth.

That said I did pay for the Lumiya app, and I hope the developer continues improving on this because what you CAN do on this still cannot be done in an iOS device.

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