Hugsies Blog!

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.

July 29, 2012

OS X Mountain Lion 10.8

Filed under: Mac Stuff, Second Life Shit!, Viewer Gripes — Tags: , , , , , , — Hugsie @ 8:39 am

It was a bit of a chore to get this to install on my Two year old mac. As a long time PC tech/nerd i wanted to do a clean install rather than just update over it. When I went to Lion it didn’t work very well, compared to a clean install of Lion I did later. The InstallESD.dmg file you extract from the package for some reason won’t fit on a standard single layer DVD even though it’s size is only 4,3gb. Every time it tried to burn it off to a DVD in Disk Utility told me my media was too small. I can burn the file it SELF onto a DVD with out issue but only as a data DVD, not a bootable DVD. Every windows app that claims to support .dmg images claims this image is damaged and won’t do anything with it.

So then I opted for a USB 16gb stick install which also resulted in some crazy settings to partition and format the usb stick since it originally set with a MBR and FAT16. Even when properly formatted in Disk Utility, it still said the USB stick didn’t have enough memory or space when it finished writing out the image. I read online that this is a false error and it’s common. I was still able to boot to the USB drive and install Mountain Lion on my mac with no issues after that. 🙂

So with a clean install of Mountain Lion running on my Mac, I started testing Firestorm. OS X 10.8 comes with a dictation function that’s basically a stripped down version of iPhone’s Siri. It simply does speech to text into any text edit field on screen.  So I tried it with firestorm and it just froze firestorm with the pinwheel cursor, but the rest of OS was fine, so I had to force quit FS. On phoenix it works fine with no issues.

December 7, 2010

Multiple instances on a Mac

Filed under: Mac Stuff, Second Life Shit! — Tags: , , , , , — Hugsie @ 12:19 pm

Macs aren’t really into multitasking, even though the OS and hardware is made for it.  For the past couple months since I’ve had my Macbook pro, I still have not found a simple way to run two or more instances of Phoenix Viewer (or any SL viewer) with out resorting to using the terminal, or opening Finder and digging deep into my Applications folder and manually launching the viewer from there (which just spawns a terminal window anyway). All of that adds more crap on my desktop that I just don’t want.

The only way I can do this by installing a different viewer and launching that, but that really isn’t practical. In Windows you simply just run the app again by double clicking the shortcut on the dekstop again; simple. Why can’t OS X be that simple? After all Macs do things in a much simpler manor compared to the overly complex unnecessary cluster-fuck of how Windows does things. Running two+ more instances of the same app should be a no brainer on a mac…. But Noooooooo!

Is there a way to edit the Phoenix icon on my dock, or desktop, to allow me to run Phoenix in as many instances as I like?  I’ve noticed if I right-click Finder on the dock, I have the option to open a new finder window. But that’s technically not running in another instance, since Finder is the core of OS X, just as Explorer is for Windows.  But still if i can have that option for Phoenix on the Dock, it would be perfect!

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