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.

June 17, 2011

nvidia 240 GT crashes on youtube

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — Hugsie @ 11:34 pm

I’ve tried FireFox and Chrome, and it still crashes on youtube videos.  I’ve even tried videos on Vimeo, same thing. I’ve updated flash, i’ve updated my video card drivers, and then even tries Beta drivers from nvidia. IT STILL CRASHES!

This problem has been going on since I got this video card, but it’s now crashing more and more frequently. Now it sounds like an over heating issue since it doesn’t crash right away. Perhaos there’s dust buildup in the video card and it’s causing it to crap out on me more frequently. I can play about a dozen videos or so before it fucks up.  However it ONLY craps out with flash videos. I can play 3D games all day (Second Life, Duke Nukem Forever, Portal, QuakeLive) and it won’t EVER crash on me, until i wanna play a simple youtube video, it will crash in about 30 mins.

WHAT THE FUCK?

Maybe I’ll switch to AMD (ATI) cards now?  I’ve hated ATI for years for shitty drivers.  But for fucks sake a video card shouldn’t choke on a simple youtube flash video, yet plays Portal flawlessly. Must be an issue with nvidia’s drivers and windows 7, and I’m using service pack 1 for Win7 64bit.  But this problem has been going on long before I installed SP1.

I used to have an nvidia 8800GT w/512m before this video card (it to crapped out.. probably on youtube videos but not like this) but im still using the same install of windows as i was on the older card.  So maybe it’s time to reinstall windows 7 fresh again?  Really?  after 20 years of Microsoft windows we still have to do this reinstall bullshit?  When was the last fucking time you had to reinstall Mac OS X?  Hell i’ve only had my mac for 9 months and it’s running fine.  You run windows more than 6 months it starts to fuck up.  Hell my Mac also has an nvidia GPU (550m w/ 512m) too and doesn’t crash! So WTF Microsoft?

At this rate I may as well go hackintosh on my desktop PC.

 

May 9, 2010

Video sharing to 360

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — Hugsie @ 7:01 am

It’s a pain in the ass.  Every time I download a new video, it takes FOREVER for the 360 to see it from my widows 7 PC.  It’s impossible to watching anything new I’ve download, but everything else I’ve previously downloaded from weeks past appears on my 360’s screen.

This must be an issue with windows 7 (or it’s version of WMP), since I never had this problem with Windows XP using Windows Media Player 10.  But the media player that comes with Windows 7 is just slow and retarded, and it will display my videos when it feels like it. So if i download new posdcasts, movies or videos, it takes all week.  Even after restarting both my 360 and my PC.. same result.

Is there SOME WAY to force it to refresh the contents i have in my shared video folder, so new files will appear for selection so I can play my new videos?

December 5, 2009

Old games on Win7 64bit FAIL!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Hugsie @ 6:48 am

I was reading a Maximum PC article back about a few weeks ago about getting games to support widescreen. The article talks about how most games don’t actually set a proper POV for widescreen users.  The utility just changes POVs for more recent games (like Bioshock.) I was hoping it would reconfigure older games for widescreen resolutions, and not get black-borders on the sides of my monitor (like watching a 4:5 video on a 16:9 screen).

I’ve been having this problem with many of the old PC games I have had collected over the past 10 years that I spend thousands of dollars on. Mose of these games run fine for the most part; often they won’t support a wide-screen monitor, or NAG you every time you start the game up thinking your DX10 video card is a low-end  crappy PCI video card since it doesn’t detect DX9 (groan!), but they still run.

The walls I end up hitting usually involves the old installer exe (or update exe files) that aren’t compatible with 64bit Win7. They come up with some bogus error that it’s not a valid win32 app, or it’s not compatible with a 64bit OS, or some other cock-n-bullshit.

I don’t understand why something as simple as an installer, or an update/patch file that just moves, copies and replaces files is some how no-longer compatible when the game itself, with its complex graphics and AI, runs fine.  Technically I could use a simple BATCH FILE to update these games.  Yes there’s also the registry it needs to change and update, which is no more than a large text document you edit.

I had this problem with Total Annihilation, and Homeworld 2. I was able to get Total Annihilation installed properly by first installing it on a Win7 32bit PC, installed all the updates, add ons and extras (that wouldn’t run on my 64bit Win7), and then just copying the entire installed folder over to my main 64bit PC.  Works fine.

What’s bugging me now is I have installed Homeworld 2 but the game doesn’t support my monitor’s native resolution (1680×1050) so I selected whatever the highest one listed, and now the lower half of the game’s UI isn’t accessible which is where the OK, NEXT, CANCEL buttons are. So since i couldn’t use the in-game updater, I downloaded the 1.1 update file, hoping to fix my screen resolution problems. But I hit a brick wall because it’s a little incompatible 32bit app that won’t run on 64bit Win7. >ARG<

It’s like nearly EVERY old game I have on CD has this problem. I spend thousands of dollars on all these games and now suddenly they don’t work for some B.S. reason? …and people wonder why Console gaming is so popular now.  >sigh<

I might as well get a Mac and not play games, except flash web games like plants vs zombies or whatever my mom plays when she’s not playing solitaire.

August 18, 2009

FireFox and Windows 7

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — Hugsie @ 8:55 pm

For years I’ve been using a little backup app for Firefox called MozBackup, so every time I reinstalled my OS for whatever reason, I would simply back up FireFox and Thunderbird using this app, export out everything I needed (including cookies, plug-ins, and so forth) allowing me to switch over with no problems.  I didn’t have to remember all my logins/passwords to every site used, all my email history was intact, everything i used regularly, and was important to me was flawlessly transferable.

Then Firefox 3.5 came out. When I updated my browser it broke all by plug-ins and extensions I had for FF.  I started getting mass pop up ads for porn sites, and banner ads I normally wouldn’t have seen.  It was a nightmare to use, and it felt like I was on some strangers PC who was still using IE.  At first i thought it was some incompatibility with Windows 7 64bit.  After all Win7 has two separate folders for program files.  \program files and \program files (x86) for old 32-bit apps.  This is where Firefox would install in.  Every time I tried to install a plug-in there was an error during the install, and it would refuse to install.  I even switched back to FF 3.0.x and I STILL had the same problems!  GRR!

I thought the folks at firefox would fix it, but it’s never did happen with FF 3.51’s release.  I have more than one PC, and on my 2nd PC I’ve had windows 7 (64) running since the beta was out (now running RC).  But i never did get around to installing FF on it since I don’t use it much. I guess for months I made the false asumption that FF 3.5 plugins werne’t compadible with Windows 7. Until i realized I never tested it, and would only take moments to test.  Low and behold it ran fine, all the plugins I downloaded installed just fine as they should.  The only difference this time is I never restored my MozBackup on this.  I’m assuming MozBackup broke something in 3.5 when it restored particular files, or settings so plugs weren’t found in the proper place, even after downloading they wouldn’t install. So it looks like I need to do a “fresh” install of FireFox on my main PC to get everything working properly.  I hope i can still remember all my logins and passwords.  <sigh>

At least now I can start out clean, even some quirks will be cleared away, and I just need to export my bookmarks to HMTL and I’ll be fine.  I’ll likely keep using MozBackup when I transition from Windows 7 RC, to the final version released this fall.  I’m also gonna give Bing a whirl as my default search engine, and see how that works out.

May 8, 2009

Running Windows 7 RC

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — Hugsie @ 8:20 am

Well I downloaded the newest version of Windows 7 (RC) and everything thing is running well.  Some aspects of my hardware I can’t control since APIC drivers don’t exist for Win7, and even the Vista versions don’t work with it. So now my PC runs at stock speeds, and I can’t over clock it (as if I need that) nor underclock; it so i can quite the fans down (it’s noisy!!)

The UI takes some getting used too.  I never used Vista very much at all, I’ve been using XP since forever so this is a big leap for me.  I’m also using the 64bit version of Win7, and while it does “see” all 4GB of RAM I have, it still says only 3.25GB is accessible.  I thought the 64bit version of Windows was supposed to overcome that?!?  I’m running on an Asus PQ5 motherboard and in it’s BIOS has a setting about the PCI remapping memory registers around this limit with having over 3.5GB of RAM.  I’m not sure if I need to enable or disable it.  Either way Win7 still acts as if I’m running 32bit Windows.

Also the product key I’m using is the same one I got when regisreting for the Windows 7 beta back in January.   I was able to get about 5 product keys, and the two I’ve used work fine, and activating windows had no problems.  Also all the product keys work with either 32 or 64 bit versions. Win7 RC will last one year which by then Windows 7 will be out in retail, and I’ll try to pick up a copy of it before my install dies off.  I’m sure I can score a student or OEM version for under $150.

January 10, 2009

Windows 7 beta

Filed under: Gaming!, Second Life Shit! — Tags: , , , — Hugsie @ 10:50 pm

Yep I got it, and installed it and first impression is…. It’s vista v1.5

But it has a Linux feel to it where every user has thier own folder on the hard drive that everything comes from. There is no direct access to the “root” of the hard drive, at least not from Windows Explorer.  You can still drop into cmd commands line and use good old DOS commands to navigate around. Suprisingly there’s not much sitting in the root when you do a directory list.    Intresting.

All users are given a basic set of folders to save typical stuff, movies/videos, music, images, and everything else ends up in “downloads.”

First thing I tried to do is run Second life.  No go, the viewer complained that the drivers were bad or not installed. But considering that Win7 started up with the Areo desktop, I’m quite sure that it’s not running genertic VGA drivers.  Problem is I haven’t figured out where to go in Win7 to check out my hardware settings, and see what it’s using for drivers, if any.  I’m also assuming that since Second Life is a OpenGL software, Win7 beta didn’t come with that installed (nor any widely used 3rd party apps like Flash or quicktime)

So I’m going to attempt to install the 64-bit vista drivers for my nvidia card (on my 2nd PC).  Wow! The installer I downloaded from nvidia actually shows “Widows 7 [64-bit] display drivers” even though I chose the vista 64-bit drivers from the website. But as most people know, nvidia (and ATI) use the same download file package that works with nearly all thier video cards. So the install worked just fine no obvious problems or error messages and it wants to reboot (though we were past needing to reboot our PCs?.. well it still happens in linux)

Hot damn Second Life viewer is running! Seem to run just fine.. but I really do hate it when the SL viewer assuming im a total noob and it pops up all these message about how to do shit I’ve known how to do for the past 5 years, and displays all these lame hud controls.  But it’s running just fine, as per-usual nothing weird yet.  Excpet that the top of the window, as well as the menu bar at the bottom is transparent so I can see the desktop behind it.  Keep in mind I didn’t bother diving into Windows Vista (except I did play with the beta years ago) so this might be all old-hat Aero stuff.

I’m also wondering if I need to install any chipset/motherboard drivers for Win7 yet everything seems to be runing fine and smooth. Sound works, ethernet worked right after the DVD install, so I’m assuming I don’t need to.  At least not until nvidia comes up with something new.

The install of Widows 7  (64bit) is over 12gb on your hard drive, with over 66,000 files and nearly 40,000 directories.  The DVD .iso you download is only 3.15gb so it does expain quite a bit.  The 32bit .ISO is slightly smaller at 2.34gb, and about 700mb difference.

I’m still lost as to where to find the common things I want to do to change things here and there.  Like where the hell is windows update so I can manually check my self? One of the things I’ve always hated about new versions of windows is once you’ve learned and gotten used to all the newaunces and esoteric settings, and locations on where to find things in the old version of windows… the new one totaly changes this around, while claiming at the same time that “it’s easier and more user friendly” than previous versions.

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