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Computer conundrums Digital photographers rely on the smooth running of their personal computers. Here's where to discuss problems and seek, as well as provide, advice.

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  #16  
Old 07-07-13
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Re: Windows 8 -my verdict

I've been using Windows 8 for 7-8 months now, as anyone who remembers my earlier posts on the subject will remember.

The main issues are when you first move over to it, which I believe is particularly troublesome for those who are making the leap from Windows XP. Windows 7 users will probably find the transition less galling. It's also more troubling for those that have computers perfectly capable of running Windows XP but don't meet the bloated requirements of Windows 8. Landfills ahoy!

I haven't had any "hair pulling" moments with Windows 8 in day-to-day use. Problems only occur when installing software/hardware and finding that Windows 8 either has different ways or doing things, makes it more difficult to find certain drivers, won't support certain hardware/software, and complains when you use software that it isn't 100% happy with.

Once you're set up and you get going, it's not really much different to using the previous versions of Windows because, after all, it's the software that you're interacting with - once everything's running as you want it, Windows 8 doesn't really get a say in anything.

That said, I can confidently say that in the several months I've been using Windows 8, I have not once - not once at all - used the "tile" mode. I use Classic Shell, a regular start button, and boot straight to the desktop. Tile mode is just useless Windows bloat as far as I'm concerned. And I say that even though I have a touchscreen laptop.

The trouble is as I see it is that I'm a "user" of my computer, not a content consumer (as I am with my tablet). Tile mode and touch screen icons are great for content consumers - when you just want to click to read your news, or to watch a video, or to listen to music, of browse a website, or check your facebook, or whatever. But if you actually want to, you know, do something sensible with your computer - the tile mode just gets in the way.

I want several windows open at the same time and select them from my taskbar. I don't want to be restricted to just one window filling the entire screen so that I'm denied working on anything else at the same time.

So, while I am a little more mellow towards Windows 8 now that the teething troubles are over, now that I have software and hardware installed, and I use it daily, at the same time I haven't changed my opinion that the tile mode on regular working Windows machine for people who actually do work (create things) is one bloat too many. Leave it as an option for tablet Windows by all means, or have it as an add-on freebie for those who really like it, but it shouldn't have been foisted onto those users who do more with Windows than just consume content.

Microsoft could do a lot worse than creating a slimmed-down less-bloated version of Windows capable of running on older hardware. But, of course, they'll never do that. It really annoys me that Microsoft have consigned my perfectly-capable netbook to the scrapheap just because they're the Kings of Bloat.
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  #17  
Old 09-01-14
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Re: Windows 8 -my verdict

Update: I own four Windows 8 machines. All have a Windows 7 emulator of one type or another. My wife uses her Acer notebook to take the minutes from our ski club meetings. She uses Word and saves the files to the desktop. She has two months of minutes that she needs to post to our club's website.

Overnight Windows did an update and essentially did a System Recovery. Every single file disappeared and the start up screen looked just like it did right out of the box. Ironically MS Office was still on the machine but no files existed except for four images in the recycle bin. I googled the issue and discovered it's not an uncommon problem. Microsoft typically won't acknowledge the issue. One person did come up with a solution. Reboot repeatedly. On the fourth attempt, everything restored. I immediately copied the needed files to flash and put them on my primary PC (also Windows 8, damnit!) but at least that one has a subscription to Carbonite.

Just wanted to warn you Windows 8 owners to back up everything regularly.
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  #18  
Old 09-01-14
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Re: Windows 8 -my verdict

Good advice Pat - and of course you should be backing up regularly

In all seriousness, small files like word processing can be backed up really easily to free services like DropBox (I'm sure you know this but I thought I'd mention it for more general attention!).

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  #19  
Old 20-01-14
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Re: Windows 8 -my verdict

Now they're offering Windows 7 again? Wish I'd waited. I'm stuck with four machines running Windows 8.

HP, citing popular demand, begins promoting PCs with Windows 7
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Old 21-01-14
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Re: Windows 8 -my verdict

Even XP is getting yet another extended lease of life: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-25758308 Okay, it's not much, but the old dog is still hanging on.

I have several older computers/laptops here that are still running older versions of Windows. They haven't been upgraded for one reason, and one reason only - modern versions of Windows are just too bloated to fit on them and too resource intensive to run on them.

There will continue to be many old computers running these "at risk" versions of Windows for many years to come, simply due to the bloat of modern Windows. Microsoft can recommend upgrading until they're blue in the face, but if modern Windows simply won't fit onto those systems, those that they're preaching to simply cannot upgrade.
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  #21  
Old 29-07-14
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Re: Windows 8 -my verdict

Update - Windows 9 on the horizon.
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Old 29-07-14
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Re: Windows 8 -my verdict

Fundamentally Windows 8 is a good OS let down by poor presentation. It's really too easy to get upset about Windows 8 when the fixes are really quite simple. And there are numerous benefits compared to Windows 7 that are under the hood.

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Old 06-08-14
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Re: Windows 8 -my verdict

What that article says about Windows 9 is pretty much what Windows 8.1 is.

We've had a couple of new Windows 8 devices here recently (a laptop and a tablet). The first thing I do is install "Classic Shell" and that immediately provides the same as:

Quote:
It will put the Windows 8 interface on the back burner but not throw it out,
I understand Microsoft have optimised/manipulated Windows 8.1 so that OEMs can install it on low-tech devices with just 1GB RAM and 16GB of diskspace, apparently in order to compete at the same price point as Android tablets.

What seems to be happening, though, is that OEMs are using this to produce lower spec devices, saving themselves money by not having to pay a penny for "Windows 8 with Bing", yet charging the same price as their previous device. Compare the Toshiba Encore with its inferior, yet priced the same, Encore 2 (8" tablet). Lower spec, less RAM, same price. Microsoft's efforts haven't helped the consumer buy the product for cheaper, it's just allowed the OEM to make more of a profit margin.
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Old 08-09-14
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Re: Windows 8 -my verdict

Update on Windows 9
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