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Every so often, rather then discuss politics, especially when so many do it so well, I turn to what I do for a living, which is technology.  I am an outside network consultant right now to 8 different companies, and I provide contract consulting nationwide for everything from virtualization to implementation.  On a daily basis I have responsibility for a few hundred desktops nationwide, and I help set policy for a few hundred locally.

Right now, we're mostly Windows 7, with no real plans to change anytime soon.   But for home users, Windows8 is what you will find most often on PCs available at your local store.  With the introduction of 8.1, I thought I'd at least mention some of the positives and negatives.

Ready to begin?  Go from 8.0 to 8.1?

Ok, let's cover some of the bases.   I'll start out with the positives.

The Positives

Metro is finally usable

One of the chief complaints about Windows 8 is that the Windows 8 Metro interface was neither fish nor foul, it constantly felt as though the end user had no active say in how the metro interface managed the layout and configuration of your screen.   With Window 8.1, many of these settings can be tuned and changed by the end user, including this one:

That's right, you can now enable 'start to desktop' a feature many businesses were eager for.  By right clicking on your taskbar, you have new options including bypassing Metro to boot straight to the Windows Desktop.

NFC.. NFC Everywhere...

Samsung made a big push a few years ago showing commercials of users trading photos and songs by tapping phones together.  This is done through NFC, Near Field Communication.   Google and Microsoft have both bet big on NFC, the idea that tap ready tags can signal a device to do something or modify something.   Windows 8.1 puts NFC to great use - Microsoft has enabled NFC printing, simly get your windows 8.1 laptop (with NFC support) near a NFC enabled printer, and bam.. you can print.  No need to grab drivers/etc. the NFC tag tells it exactly what it needs to know, and if it needs to download/install driver base.

Microsoft hasn't just stopped their with the NFC features.. NFC tap ready projectos for Miracast (wireless projector usage) and NFC ready NAS storage devices are also on Microsoft's horizon.  Forget trying to hustle up disks and media, just tap.. and go.  

This will make moving from office to office much easier, in Microsoft's view and I tend to agree.  Walking end users through an install is much more difficult then just saying "can you touch your laptop/tablet to it?"

Mobile Hotspots

One of the features that makes a splash in the business world is the ability to turn on Mobile Hotspot in you phone and get a portable WiFi hotspot.  Unfortunately, it's been something that didn't follow with PCs.   That's all changed with Windows 8.1.   With 8.1, your mobile 4G connection in your laptop can be the heart of a mobile hotspot, giving you an instant office on the road.   This is one of those features that has been a LONG time coming, going all the way back to some of us using WinGate proxy software on dialup modem connections, or Microsoft Easy Connection Sharing with PPP DSL.   Routers and broadband devices changed all of that, and ICS Connection sharing took a back seat.   But the introduction of mobile hotspot technology still holds a lot of value in a more connected world.

Secure Boot Improved Again..

In an effort to foil spyware and hijacks, Microsoft's Secure boot has been enhanced again, encrypting and keying all critical boot data in a way to prevent software from compromising the boot sequence.   The new method, provided in 8.1 is nearly foil proof.  In several attempts to intentionally infect a box, Windows 8.1 was able to correctly identify records were altered and immediately terminate the changes and boot as normal.  

This doesn't make it hijack free-- browser hijacks are still a thing, but it significantly diminishes the most harmful hijacks that alter the basic way Windows functions, and avoids anything with unauthorized boot changes.

Note: this will also feed into my negatives.

Multi-Monitor Support again improved

Windows 8.1 continues to take multi-monitor support to a whole other level.  Allowing for different positions, orientations, layouts and configurations of multi-monitor support, Windows 8.1 takes one of the better features of Windows 8 and improves on it.  

Multiple taskbars can now appear in different windows and configurations.

Battery Life Improvements

If you're a laptop user that has Windows 8, this is probably your biggest reason to upgrade.   Microsoft has managed to put more of Windows 8 into non-essential componnets.. meaning fewer disk spins, less memory usage and lower processor overhead when just single tasks are up.  The benefit: battery life in tested laptops goes up, significantly.   Depending on the laptop you are testing you can get between 10-40% battery life improvement.

Inbuilt Encryption

With 8.1, all versions.. not just pro.. have the heart of encryption built in.  In fact, if you use a Microsoft login, your data on your PC is encrypted requiring your correct password to get at your data.   This is a great add, giving people a bit of peace against stolen laptops and devices.. there will be no backdoor.. no USB connection to just suck out the data.  Log on and get your data, or don't get you data at all.

(FYI: This also means you should strongly consider a backup service online to store data 'just in case')

The Negatives

Start Menu..

A lot of people kept hearing that Windows 8.1 would bring back the start menu.  And the resound answer is: not really.   While it puts a start menu icon where you are used to it, a single click simply brings up the metro interface.  Microsoft is hoping more users make the mental leap to associating the Metro as a replacement chooser shell.

MS has been down this road before; when Windows 3.11 and NT gave way to Windows 95, and the start menu was introduced, replacing a folder view system.   Microsoft is clearly committed to this method of interaction and believes they have to move forward.   That however, doesn't mean you are forced to.  There are two good apps available that put the start menu as "you're used to it"

http://www.start8.com/ by StarDock and
http://www.startisback.com/

Both of these are great tools for those that can't give up the traditional start menu view.

Secure Boot's Alterations...

Secureboot is one of the most useful tools Microsoft has in securing the state of a machine.  However, Secureboot requires that UEFI signature code to be enabled in BIOS.  Many OEMs ship with it enabled, most stand alone motherboard makers ship with it disabled.  

There are users who will choose to enable SecureBoot in BIOS.   In order for this to work all of your hardware must be UEFI ready.  This will rule out users with quite a few video cards.  And with Secureboot enabled, users will not be able to easily dual boot (Linux or any other OS).  

By disabling Secure Boot, you turn off one of the better features of Windows 8.1, and of course, you get the annoying warning on your desktop at all times.   Outside of that, though, it does not in any way harm your experience.  

Huge, single shot download

Microsoft has issued out Windows 8.1 in a single shot 3.6Gb image level update.  Available through the Windows store, this update is free to all users of Windows 8.  But the enormity of it - basically an entire install DVD of it's own is significant, putting those on DSL or lesser broadband at a real negative.  Your best bet is to find a friend who can download the ISO and help you out:

http://howto.cnet.com/...

Conclusion

Let's face facts.. if you didn't like 8, then some of the big changes in 8.1 may not be enough to sway you over.   But it is still an impressive core level update that makes you wonder why this isn't the OS they released when 8 came out.  This is Windows 8 refined.  People forget how bad Windows XP was before Service Pack 1, and how it improved significantly with Service Pack 2 & 3.  

Windows 8.1 isn't perfect.  There are still a lot of things I wish were better; but it's improved support and additions do make it a worthy bump from MS's prior version.

With the upgrades to 8.1, however, I find myself believing more and more that Windows 8 RT (micro-tablet edition) is an outright failure and they should admit as much.   Windows 8.1 on a tablet is an ideal configuration; full OS support with great battery life.  Running on one of Intel's new chips, it has been shown in ultra-light high performance configurations.. that is the tablet MS should be pushing.   Windows 8 RT.. which has had it's 8.1 upgrade withdrawn

http://www.theregister.co.uk/...

Continues to show why RT really isn't worth while.   I see a lot of value in Windows Phone, and Microsoft's commitment to this with the purchase of Nokia tells me that will stick around.   But the in-betwen nowhere land OS that is RT feels doomed to fail in a world where Intel continually improve their power usage numbers and platforms get smaller and faster.

Microsoft's tablet strategy needs to completely drop trying to compete with an Apple or a Google, and start getting serious in their ads.  No more dancing boardrooms.   If Microsoft presented the Surface Pro showing it using 8.1, breaking out a mobile hotspot and running company ERP software while flipping back and forth to skype in a sidebar, they would impress the buyers who have the most interest in this product.

Originally posted to tmservo433 on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:01 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Get a Mac (6+ / 0-)

    Dropped everything Windows five years ago and haven't been happier.

    They won the class war

    by ThanxAl on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:14:25 PM PDT

    •  It's a software thing. (10+ / 0-)

      Re: "Get a Mac"... it all depends on what you are doing.  I work with audio editing, and while I find Apple's laptop hardware to be superior for portable recording work, I also need a Windows PC because the software I use for CD mastering is not available for Mac OS.  

      I am sure there are people in other fields who face the same  kind of situation.  If the software that best does the job is only available for Windows, that is what you need to use.

      That said, for surfing the web, I far prefer Mac OS, mainly because viruses and the like seldom target OS X.  I've had to deal with an infected Windows PC more than once, and it is not fun.

    •  sox/rux (nt) (4+ / 0-)

      warning: snark above

      by NE2 on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 01:21:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I walked into a Mac store and asked for the one (7+ / 0-)

      employee who didn't have a shaggy beard. The young woman put the Macbook through its paces. While the visual effects were nice, I'd have turned them off ASAP (I do have Aero on my laptop.)

      Problem was, I simply did not feel like paying $2K just for the hardware. I don't use the computer for much more than Internet, word processing, and a handful of other programs, so why spend all that money just for the platform, AND have to get Mac versions of everything? Bad enough that I have an iPhone.

      I described the experience to a coworker, who said, "When something happens to your Mac, you have to take it to their Genius Bar. They know no more about it than you do, so they just box ii up and ship it to Apple." She had nothing good to say about any brand of PC I named, by the way. Wonder what she'd say about my HP laptop, $800 at Costco, that still works fine after 2 years?

      •  I don't like Macs (0+ / 0-)

        but love my iPhone.

        I think Apple makes superior hardware, hands down.  But like you, for a PC, I don't think it's worth it.

        I have a 10 year old Dell that works as a home server tossing my music files to all my devices, and my main home PC is a Dell XPS currently 4 years old and counting.  My previous Dell main PC is now at my parent's house happily browsing the web and serving up emails and Facebook games.  I get my Dells from the outlet store and I've not had an issue yet.  I also don't see the need for the extra $$.

        Now if you need a traveling notebook, maybe a Mac is better for the durability, because I find most PC notebooks really flimsy and breaky with the exception of the Toshiba Toughbook line - and they are just as expensive as Macs.

        •  Hmm. I bought a 17" HP Pavilion and haven't gone (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ColoTim

          anywhere with it; I just liked the screen size. It's bluescreened a few times, but I've had very few other problems with it.

          I like my iPhone, but it's 4 years old and it's time to get something new. If I get a 5S, I can keep all my apps, but since I dislike Apple, it's not as obvious a decision as it should be. No experience with Android. A coworker was telling me about the customizable desktop feature, and the HTC One did look attractive. Too bad there's no way to find out whether or not it's for me without buying it and signing on the dotted line. I just need a phone and care nothing for social networking, video on demand, and all that other hooey. OTOH, I can't go back to a dumb phone.

          I have AT&T and went to a Verizon store yesterday to get some numbers on rate. "There's one person ahead of you," I was told, and sure enough, someone was talking with the employee at the service desk. 5 other people, who must have been employees, were standing and shooting the breeze. I waited a decent interval and then left, seeing no reason to wait if they weren't going to take a work break.

        •  Your music "server" sounds great (0+ / 0-)

          What software are you running on clients to pull down the music files for play?  I'm looking for something that can run on android, MS laptops, ipad, ipod and will give me a somewhat uniform interface (at least functionality-wise) on all those clients.

          I'd like to view music by artist, album, custom playlists, etc.

          I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

          by Satya1 on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 07:54:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Other way around... (0+ / 0-)

          I love OS X, and love my iMac.

          But I can't manage to do anything on iOS (except code for it - took a class on that).

          iPhone and iPad drive me nuts. Though 90% of my problems would go away if their keyboards had arrow keys...

          I however, and not amused by the price of Macs... so I'm looking at my next upgrade being a PC...

          Ran some 'video game' benchmarks with my Mac, even in bootcamp on a PC, and then with a cheap PC... and the cheap PC beats out my iMac by a large margin... To get the results I get from a $700 PC, I'd be spending about $2400 Mac side...
          - I'm not a hardcore gamer - but that difference is still significant. Where I to spend $2400 on a PC, the results in what I could get would be absurdly more powerful...

          I just need to sit down and debate installing a modified copy of OSX on it...

          The roaches always win if you turn out the lights.

          by Jyotai on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 11:44:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  For laptops, (11+ / 0-)

        you don't really have a choice but to go with a mass-market brand, although I admit I despise HP and am strongly partial to Asus and Samsung.

        Not every HP is going to implode, of course, but they're severely overrepresented in the 'brands of computers people have brought to me for troubleshooting that have turned out to have a major hardware failure that can't be fixed with standard parts' department.

        For desktops, the only thing I would ever recommend is a custom build with consumer-grade hardware. Not just because consumer-grade hardware is better quality than the trash they use in mass-market systems, not just because custom systems are easier to maintain, not just because you can avoid the bloatware that comes on HP/Dell/etc. systems, but because you get more performance for less money even after the cost of labor at a boutique builder. Also, you're creating good American and Canadian jobs where people like me are doing something we love.

        "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

        by kyril on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 06:04:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Strongly agree (7+ / 0-)

          Since the introduction of MS's WHQL years ago, the incentive really is to 'build your own' as a first move.  It encourages better understanding of what you have, allows you to better allocate your budget to what you need... it also means it's easier to maintain.

          Starting off without bloatware is also nice.

          Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

          by Chris Reeves on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 06:52:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Actually, you don't as long as the ODM model (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pgm 01

          is the same.  A Clevo XYZ is a Clevo XYZ whether you buy it from Dell, HP, or someone else.

          You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

          by Throw The Bums Out on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 09:11:15 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Actually... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pgm 01, mmacdDE

          Start talking to gamers...

          There are plenty of shops out there that custom build laptops. They tend to be pricey if you build one for gaming... but they often have lower end ones as well.

          Some of them are pretty solid in what they can build too...

          I've been looking over EON, Origin, and Sager. And then my budget...

          These have the beauty of, like building your own desktop, picking each part to match your needs.

          The roaches always win if you turn out the lights.

          by Jyotai on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 11:47:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The Sager and Clevo resellers (0+ / 0-)

            have better prices than just buying from Sager.  I was going to buy a Clevo, but this used desktop was free so it cost far less to upgrade it than buy new.

          •  Well, I am a gamer... (0+ / 0-)

            but laptop gaming doesn't suit me for a variety of reasons, so I admit I haven't really looked into the market recently.

            I know Puget Systems and Falcon Northwest do good custom laptops, but the price/performance is absolutely awful. Just checking out Falcon NW now, for a system that could match my desktop in GPU-limited games but would underperform it substantially in CPU-bound games, I'm looking at a price tag of $4400. My desktop cost me $1400 a year ago and would be $1100 to build today.

            "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

            by kyril on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 04:51:39 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yeah laptop gaming is not ideal... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              kyril

              I was just carting out those vendors to show that yes: there actually is a thriving custom laptop market.

              You can certainly call up one of those vendors and have them build you a more normal laptop. If a person needs a laptop, and doesn't like the options at "Best Buy" - the choice does not have to be resigning oneself to just buying the least annoying option.

              The roaches always win if you turn out the lights.

              by Jyotai on Wed Oct 23, 2013 at 09:35:09 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

          My main PC has always been a desktop, with my laptop simply serving as a backup PC in case my desktop is acting up or I'm upgrading/fixing it, and to use when I'm out or traveling. So I'm ok with a pre-configured laptop, after I've removed the bloatware and set it up the way I like and provided that it has most of the features I'm looking for (I still haven't owned one with a good keyboard though, and that will absolutely be a key feature of my next one).

          But I haven't bought a desktop in nearly 20 years, having built all of the ones I've owned for nearly that long to my own specs. Nothing fancy as I'm not a gamer or wannabe, but I always get the best components that I can afford, certainly more than I really need at the time, and as a result get to enjoy mostly problem-free computing for years. My desktop is now over 7 years old and still mostly running fine (reboots can be a problem though).

          I'm looking forward to building my next one early next year. It's going to be a nice one, with an SSD, Haswell, USB 3.0 and BluRay. Nothing too fancy, but it's going to kick my current desktop's ass and relegate it to 2nd bedroom status.

          "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

          by kovie on Wed Oct 23, 2013 at 09:17:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I'll Also Take 2+ HPs Thank You (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        boophus, darlalalala, Joe Bob, zinger99

        I'll be clear, I love the Mac UI, but not enough to pay double then have to outfit it with more cash outlay for Mac apps.  After all, I have to earn that money, different story if someone else footing the bill.

        But I seriously hate that Metro UI in Windows 8/8.1.  It's built for touch screens which  I have a serious peeve at the core of my central nervous system... keep your f-ing greasy fingers off my hi-res display!  I absolutely f-ing hate fingerprints on my monitor.  I would finger diddle the smart phone (if I had chosen to enslave myself even more to Verizon), I'll finger diddle my wife's tablet, but finger diddling my computer screen is off the table.  I'm not typing a tech doc without a keyboard unless a tablet is all I've got (UGH!... Pure desperation!)

        And as a developer sitting in front of that box all day, what's up with not having a start menu available?  Is it really so important to kill something which has evolved so nicely over the decade since Windows 95 was released?  I know I'm stuck with Windows 8.1 next time I buy a laptop so I thank the diarist for the links to utilities to put the usability back in place and I'll gladly reward them with whatever modest fee (or even donation).  I've been using a replacement for Windows Explorer (Altap Salamander) for which I'll gladly keep rewarding the developers their modest fee to upgrade.  (Thank you Czechs for saving me from Windows Explorer for all these years!)

        •  You might want to go with the Stardock utilities (0+ / 0-)

          as they even have one (ModernMix) that makes Metro apps run in a regular window in desktop mode.

          You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

          by Throw The Bums Out on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 09:12:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  What MAC Should I by (0+ / 0-)

          So the MAC really shines for audio/video applications.  My dell W7 constantly stutters when cranking an HD vid.  But it is a great business machine.  It was upgraded from XP to W7 and it stuttered with XP as well.

          I thought I could run the same software on a MAC in W7 mode.  If that is true, I can cut the cost back by grabbing a used one off Ebay.  I just want to be able to run excel, word, and tax software.  

          What MAC should I get.  I can't tell one from another.  Is there a way to desiginate a certain spec or model or year?

          I know MAC minis are great for HTPCs.  Not sure how they are for business software.

          I assume any of them will network with my other computers, printers, etc.  Yes?  No?

          •  Just get a mini (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mrick
            I just want to be able to run excel, word, and tax software.  
            If that's all you're doing, any thing else is a waste of money.  Or stick with windows, a cheap modern box should have no problem playing HD videos.  Since you don't seem to know anything about macs but have ( I assume) set up network and printing on Windows, why go through the hassle of learning Mac?  Of course, learning Win8 is pretty painful too, so what the hell.

            I don't know what's been trickling down, but it hasn't been pleasant---N. Pelosi

            by Russycle on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 11:43:15 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  OK - quick integration question (0+ / 0-)

              So I see a 4GB/120GB Intel Core 2 - $202.  I assume my current monitor will work with an adapter if needed.  I assume I can run in windows mode and use excel, word, and tax software.  I assume my brother wifi printer will work.  However....

              I now live and die with external hard drives, and I have a NAS for backup.  Will my external hard drives work?

              I suspect I will have to get something other than handbrake for ripping DVD files to MP4s.

        •  Glad it's not just me... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tommymet, JohnnySacks

          I can't have fingerprints on my laptop or desktop monitor. Just can't. I wipe down my tablet screen a few times per day as it is.

          On a related note - the basic concept of a touchscreen desktop sounds like ergonomic suicide. I can tell where I would feel the pain in my shoulders just thinking about it.

          Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. - Groucho Marx

          by Joe Bob on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 12:09:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  StartIsBack is my favorite (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JohnnySacks

          I used StartIsBack for Win8 and they have a newer version for 8.1. It looks and works EXACTLY like the start menu in Win7. I upgraded three PCs in my house from Win7 and added StartIsBack ($3 for two copies) on each and no one in my family noticed!

          I like Win8 / 8.1 for the greater speed, cleaner UI and overall snappier feel. With StartIsBack I can completely ignore the 'Modern' UI if I wish, or not. Best of both worlds.

      •  What, a store full of Red Sox fans for (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ipsos

        employees?

      •  13" Macbooks start at about $1k, (0+ / 0-)

        so there's that.  Maybe cheaper this coming month since they are releasing new models. If you want to upgrade or replace the SSD or memory it's no harder to do yourself than on any comparable laptop. If you change your mind and want to sell there are plenty of people willing to pay almost full price for it, unlike other laptops.

        My biggest reasons for sticking with a Macbook are:

        1. the trackpad. Apple's patents on touch interface algorithms plus the way the their touchpads hook into the OS make using a macbook much nicer than a Windows laptop. The situation keeps improving on the Windows end but I won't buy another laptop without testing how jumpy two finger scrolling is first.

        2. I've been planning on buying a new laptop for a few years now but my 2006 macbook refuses to @#$! die.  It still works fine as a daily driver, and by that I mean I'm easily over 7500 hours of use. It's too slow to comfortably edit 1500 page word documents, but I use my desktop for that anyway.

        Reasons I may still buy a Windows laptop later this year:

        If I want to use it for work I really need to use MS Office on Windows - some of the features (VBA) aren't ported over to Mac. Which means buying a Macbook means not only paying a premium for the laptop but also having to shell out additional $ for a copy of Windows. So I'd be up near $1200 instead of down around $600.

        •  There's one major reason for Macs right there: (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          HiBob

          longevity.

          My daily machine, used for everything from text to internet to video editing, is a 2006 Mac Pro. Upgraded video card, added drives and RAM. I can't upgrade the OS past 10.7, but frankly don't want to. There's too much iOS creeping into the desktop to suit me.

          •  I've got a 2004 G5 running great. I've topped out (0+ / 0-)

            at CS3 because of the architecture and had to replace the superdrive, but it's easy to upgrade, runs pretty fast still and the display, although not as sexy and beautiful as my newer iMac, is pristine as the day we unwrapped it. No burns, no stains.

          •  Longevity? (0+ / 0-)

            Certainly not on the new stuff (post Intel architecture).  Out of 4 MacBook Pros. 3 were dead just out of the 3 year warranty, with the fourth dead at 4 years (all with the same thing - GPU heat death), and the same just happened to a not quite 3 year old Mac Pro (had to replace the Graphics card).  OTOH, the best we ever had lasted 5 years before it was surplussed in working condition and it was a refurb to replace the one they got without the extended warranty.  All in all, I think I will keep my soon-to-be 6 year old gateway, as it still works great on my WoW and SWToR accounts.  Just as a list of working pc's and laptops: Asus i7, Gateway Dual core 2.0 GHZ, Lenovo S10e, Toshiba Portege (Win95, used for sreaming audio around the house), HP laptop xp right at 10 years old, an old turquoise iBook, usw...

            ''The guarding of military and diplomatic secrets at the expense of informed representative government provides no real security for our Republic.'' - Justice Hugo L. Black of the Supreme Court

            by geekydee on Wed Oct 23, 2013 at 04:01:21 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I've been using Macs since 1987... (0+ / 0-)

              I did IT work for three school districts, two newspapers, numerous small (single owner) businesses, and varied individuals, from LA to MT, all using Macs, mostly well-outdated.

              All I know is that with very few exceptions (Apple and other computer firms were once hit with a giant load of bad capacitors, for which there was a recall), the worst problems had to do with hard drives or optical drives that finally died. The vast bulk of the work I did was to upgrade RAM and OS, because they just never quit.

              My parents are still using eMac hand-me-downs with no problems.

              YMMV.

            •  All manufacturers get (0+ / 0-)

              Snakebit now and again.  

              Apple's Imac had a bad run with issues with bad capacitors, which also hit Dell & HP.

              The original multi-colored CRT Imac had a notable problem with screen failure, but that was also the technology.

              Lately, Apple & others have been more about forced obsolescence.. new software comes out or firmware/OS that doesn't support you and you must have new hardware.

              Your best strategy is to really think of PCs/Macs as a 4-year program before a planned replacement.

              Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

              by Chris Reeves on Wed Oct 23, 2013 at 06:06:57 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Stick with Windows (0+ / 0-)

      Sorry, I do considerable productivity (primarily Corel Office which I far prefer to Microsoft) on my main machine and on my laptop. I also play MMORPHS with my son on both.  I like the nearly unviersal compatibility, the two button mouse and the Win 7 (or 8 with Start 8) interaction far, far, far better than anything I've ever used of Macs (friends have them).  I also have to say, honestly, when I renewed our plan I traded my son's and my iPhone 4s phones for a top end Samsung Droid and I also find that more comfy than Mac...

      On the other hand we will both lose, universal compatibility is going to win and mobile computing as well.  Tablets will be as powerful as desktops now in a few years and most storage will be cloud.

  •  Thanks. I'll need to upgrade my laptop (9+ / 0-)

    My wife's Ipad is great at what it does, but I like a keyboard and a larger screen size for blogging & science. I'm a guy with large fingers so I don't relate to small keys.

    look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

    by FishOutofWater on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:20:54 PM PDT

  •  Thank you for the info (15+ / 0-)

    This is one of the big reasons I love dkos. There is so much knowledge in this community and so many kossacks who are eager to share.

    Thanks again.

    And daddy won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County Down by the Green River where Paradise lay. Well, I'm sorry my son, but you're too late in asking Mister Peabody's coal train has hauled it away. John Prine

    by high uintas on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:33:41 PM PDT

  •  Can't stand the Windows 8 Shell (14+ / 0-)

    People who do actual work on a computer need a command line  ☺  

    •  I have to chuckle... (0+ / 0-)

      I have to chuckle...I do see a lot of programmers with this attitude. It's funny, because the guys tasked with writing programs to make the computer help you do your work think it's less than manly to use a program that helps them do their work. Ha ha!

  •  worst part of the desktop was not being able to (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril, sawgrass727, rhedfish

    remove the recycle bin icon /

  •  Have you considered getting and reviewing (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril, mungley

    ModernMix which supposedly lets you not only have a true start menu back but allows Metro/Modern apps to run in a regular window in desktop mode?

    You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

    by Throw The Bums Out on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 06:14:05 PM PDT

  •  what kind of media is that in picture? (6+ / 0-)

    wow.. that brings back some fond human memories (i386)..

    thanks for the instructive diary & reminding me how much i do not MIS playing the msft version release game.. ;)

  •  Everybody bitching about the ACA website (22+ / 0-)

    and here is this humongous company with all the money, time and expertise in the world - pumping out this huge steaming pile of dreck ! windows 8 looks like a true nightmare.
     If  microsoft can't design a decent web browser that works smoothly and intuitively, what is the big deal about a few glitches in ACA ? !!

     Really, I don't get it.

    “Good things don’t come to those who wait. They come to those who agitate!” Julian Bond

    by Dvalkure on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 07:17:31 PM PDT

  •  Working just fine for me (5+ / 0-)

    Upgraded my desktop system and my Surface RT with no problems. Everything seems to be working just fine, in fact even better than before.

    Love Outlook on my Surface RT now. It's finally a business grade tablet.

    I remember the launch of Windows 95 and NT 4.0. HATED  the Start button and menu. But since I couldn't go back to the Program Manager, I finally learned how to deal with it. Had a far less traumatic transition to the Start Screen.

    Loved Windows 8 and 8.1 has tweaked it for the better.

    And the thing I love most? Client Hyper-V! No more money to VMWare for Workstation!! Yay!

    •  Client HyperV is (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joy of Fishes, kyril, fumie

      A nice plug in.   I'm still mostly Virtual Box as a test environment, for different reasons; primarily because MS's HyperV Server is still not really production grade with too many administration issues.

      But yeah, the gripe when 95 & NT4 shipped with a start button was big, people who accused MS of hiding "the whole story" moving away from folder view ;)

      Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

      by Chris Reeves on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 02:09:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Same here - Outllook on my RT! (0+ / 0-)

      I now have my Outlook calendar with me in court (courthouse just got wifi recently). I had lost a paper calendar and bought the RT as a work tablet. So now I have my calendar, access to my documents, and internet resources. Got a new hp laptop with docking station at work (XP is gone!) and a new Lumia 928 phone.  All good.

  •  I was happy enough with Win8 (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joy of Fishes, kyril, fumie, vtjim

    when it came out.  Really, the only change was the "start button" which looked like the IMAX theater of menu systems, but I mastered that in a few days.  The rest of Windows 8 was, then, the same as Windows 7.

    I think Win8 has its place as a "specialty" OS for touchscreen systems that can indeed go head-to-head with Apple.  There's nothing "wrong" with it.

    Meanwhile, I will be downloading Metro.  While I run win8 on all my PCs (all eleven of them lol) I don't have touchscreen monitors, after all.

    I don't negotiate with terrorists. I don't vote for them, either.

    by thenekkidtruth on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 01:22:02 AM PDT

  •  I installed 8.1 a couple days ago. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril, mungley, fumie

    It did indeed take a long time to download.

    I am happy with it.  The only problem so far is secureboot not being configured correctly, and I havent had time to figure out what needs to be done.  Good to know its ok to wait!

    Thank you, t.  

  •  Failed updates and installs for 8.1 reported (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fumie

    I am building a new PC here at home (specs at end of this for Nerd pleasure).

    I was on verge of trying Win 8.1. I have avoided 8.0 like the plague it is.

    Microsoft forums started filling up a few days ago with reports of trashed installs during reboot phases.

    Errors stymie Windows 8.1 updates on some devices

    It is so bad that at the major university I am retired from, the IT support mailing list, which I still belong to, received an email yesterday warning support providers to NOT proceed with Windows RT 8.1 installs for the time being.

    Hello IT Professionals,
    Microsoft is currently investigating reports of Windows RT devices failing to boot following installation of Windows 8.1.  Microsoft has removed the RT 8.1 update from the Windows Store, and has posted this text in their online upgrade support documents:
    Microsoft is investigating a situation affecting a limited number of users updating their Windows RT devices to Windows RT 8.1. As a result, we have temporarily removed the Windows RT 8.1 update from the Windows Store. We are working to resolve the situation as quickly as possible and apologize for any inconvenience. We will provide updates as they become available.
    Additionally, Microsoft has posted a Surface RT recovery image[1]
    For obvious reasons, UITS advises against installing Windows8.1 on RT devices until Microsoft has resolved the issue.
    Now, for Nerds, the new PC, which is twice the processing power and RAM of my web server I build a couple years ago, consists of:

    Asus DDR3 1333 Intel - LGA 1155 Motherboards (P8C WS)

    Intel Xeon E3-1245V2 3.4GHz 4 Core Processor BX80637E31245V2

     Crucial M500 240GB SATA 2.5-Inch 7mm (with 9.5mm adapter) Internal Solid State Drive CT240M500SSD1

     Seagate Desktop 2 TB Solid State Hybrid Drive SATA 6 GB with NCQ 64 MB Cache 3.5 Inch (ST2000DX001)

     Corsair Vengeance 32GB (4x8GB) DDR3 1600 MHz (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory (CMZ32GX3M4X1600C10)

    Corsair Professional Series  HX 750 Watt ATX/EPS Modular 80 PLUS Gold (HX750)

    GeForce GT660 Ti PCI 3 16x double width slot video card

    "You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you are going, because you might not get there." “When you come to the fork in the road, take it.” --Yogi Berra

    by HeartlandLiberal on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 04:03:42 AM PDT

    •  It's RT they are discussing (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fumie

      The update to RT has failed repeatedly.. that doesn't impact Windows 8, which is a totally different OS. one is aimed at ARM based tablets, the other desktops ;)  

      Thus why I say at the end, the 8RT version should just be abandoned ;)

      Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

      by Chris Reeves on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 04:18:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So, I Should Try Win 8.1 on the New PC (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tmservo433

        So what do you think?

        I have an MSDN Pro subscription, and I suppose it would not hurt to slap an image of Win 8.1 fresh install on the PC.

        I did quite a bit of online reading the past few days on how to uninstall the metro apps I did not want, how to make it boot to desktop, and halfway emulate the non-tiled environment.

        Perhaps I should go ahead and jump in now?

        If I am not satisfied, I just flush it and slap Win 7 on it.

        "You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you are going, because you might not get there." “When you come to the fork in the road, take it.” --Yogi Berra

        by HeartlandLiberal on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 04:29:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If you have MSDN... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          fumie, ColoTim

          Seriously, virtualize Windows8.1 and try it first.  Then decide.  For some applications it works great.. but others don't like.  You should have 10 seats in your MSDN, and you'l be fine.  

          Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

          by Chris Reeves on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 05:28:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Just downloaded a bunch of programs last night (0+ / 0-)

            for my subscription.  They put a lot of them out on 10/16 and I'll have to see how 8.1 does.  I didn't even bother downloading 8.0.  The one thing I haven't researched yet is how Win7 Ultimate might translate to Win8.1 Pro.  I don't know what features might be lost.

            Sadly, my subscription goes away at the end of the year (the action pack) and I don't think I'll be able to get another.

            •  Win7 Ultimate was.. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ColoTim

              Frankly worthless.  It offered only two big features different:

              Multi-language support
              and
              Bitlocker

              Bitlocker is now in Pro, and Multi-language support is available on demand.

              So, Pro from Ultimate is a decent deal.

              Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

              by Chris Reeves on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 02:20:21 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Thanks. I wind up losing one license in the deal (0+ / 0-)

                however.  I had ten Win7 Pro plus the Win7 Ultimate.  Now I have just ten of the Win8/Win8.1.  Still, this posting was good and I really do need to finally start using Windows 8.1 on a regular basis so I can properly support it.

  •  FWIW, the Coming New Round Power MAC (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fumie, mmacdDE

    One of my cousins I stay in touch with by email works as a MAC online consultant.

    He sent me a link to the MAC web page announcing the new Power MAC, which looks like a round waste can.

    I hope the top of this puppy is waterproof, because it is INEVITABLE someone is going to set a cup of hot java on it, then knock it over.

    http://www.apple.com/...

    I am not a MAC person, but my wife is, so I have to support the current generation Power MAC. It is actually a pretty solid machine.

    But, that is not what I choose a computer for. Although retired, and having my fun with games and photography and other hobbies, I still do consulting and database and web app design off and on, and for that, well, when your tools are MS SQL Server, ASP.NET, Win Server, Visual Studio, C#, etc., you don't use a MAC.

    "You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you are going, because you might not get there." “When you come to the fork in the road, take it.” --Yogi Berra

    by HeartlandLiberal on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 04:08:14 AM PDT

    •  We keep both (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      EastcoastChick, fumie, ColoTim

      The thing about consulting is you never know what you run into; so I have them all in the house.. we'll wait and see the new PowerMac design, but I do dislike the non-replacable internal HDD.. but that's me. :)

      Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

      by Chris Reeves on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 04:19:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm probably the only person in the world (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jessical, mungley, fumie

    who likes Windows 8. Really have not had a problem with it, and the lack of a start menu is merely an irritant that I just got over.

    There are things about Windows that I don't like but I've been able to work around them, like its almost mama-bear protectiveness of c:/program(86)

    Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility- mperiousRex.

    by terrypinder on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 04:31:45 AM PDT

    •  I agree (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jessical, mungley, fumie

      I recently bought a new laptop and was agonizing over whether to get one with slightly better specs but had Win8 versus one that had slightly worse specs but had Win7. I finally decided to go with Win8 and have found the "bad" changes to be mostly little irritants that aren't an issue since I spend almost all of my time in the Desktop. Well, except for Mahjong...

      "We must love one another or die." - W. H. Auden

      by marathon on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 06:07:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not the only person... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      se portland

      ...I like it too, but I find it difficult to debate without getting snarky.  "It looks different" doesn't mean "it's bad", and there is far too much misinformation about Win8 out there to argue with everyone.

      (And FWIW, I'm an I.T. professional.)

    •  I have it too (0+ / 0-)

      It takes a bit of getting used to, but it's not bad. I do have a touchscreen laptop though, which does make it easier. And a mouse. That REALLY helps.

      And I got the start8 utility.

  •  Broke suspend/hibernate on my laptop (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mungley

    And it FINALLY started working correctly (ie screen turns on when you open it) awhile back, now it's broken again.

    AAARGH!

    •  Fixable (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mungley, fumie, ColoTim

      This is because they are now supporting the deeper sleep states (s3/s4) correctly.  So.. your laptop's chipset drivers may need updated (especially true if AMD, but also true of Intel in some cases)

      You can update chipset drivers at:

      http://www.amd.com/
      http://downloadcenter.intel.com/

      :)

      G'Luck!  If you can't find the specific one, let me know the model of your laptop and I can get you a direct link

      Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

      by Chris Reeves on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 05:32:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm getting this error message (18+ / 0-)

    Disclaimer: If the above comment can possibly be construed as snark, it probably is.

    by grubber on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 05:39:28 AM PDT

  •  10.9 Mavericks to be released today (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ruscle, Liberal Thinking

    Just to show M$ how an OS should be done.

    In the beginning, the universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry, and is generally considered to have been a bad move. -- Douglas Adams, The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy

    by boriscleto on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 06:13:53 AM PDT

    •  There is a lot to like about Mavericks (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ruscle

      I've been running the preview for a bit and it's fairly nice.   There are some things I don't care for, but it's like any OS.. some things I like, some things I don't like.  

      But it's very good.  

      It is not, however, the 'unbelievable!' upgrade Apple keeps saying it is, comparing it to the leap to OSX originally.  That's rubbish; they tend to forget how important 10.2 was (considering OSX10 and 10.1 were crash magnets that had insane memory leaks and font problems).  

      But, it's a significant upgrade.   I might put something up on it later after I download the RTM today.

      Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

      by Chris Reeves on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 06:54:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Major point release (0+ / 0-)

      And it's FREE!

      In the beginning, the universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry, and is generally considered to have been a bad move. -- Douglas Adams, The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy

      by boriscleto on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 10:25:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I bought my kiddo.. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mungley, Diana in NoVa

    a touchscreen Win8 laptop and she loves it. Looks pretty cool. I don't have any use for a laptop personally and would rather use a tab or my phone. I don't see the point of having a touchscreen desktop so I'm staying on Win7 as long as I can kinda of like how I did on Win98 and XP. Win8 doesn't seem to be built for users like me.

  •  Side note: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mmacdDE

    the DHHS people had to make their healthcare.gov site compatible with everything from Win 8.1 to Win98, and every browser from the latest version of Chrome all the way back to at least IE6, if not IE5 and probably some versions of Netscape. Not an easy chore.

    •  If this is true.. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NoMoJoe, Cassandra Waites, Black Max

      Then it was doomed to fail from the beginning.   Windows 98 stopped at IE6 and FireFox doesn't run on it above Firefox 12 I believe..

      Java interpreter is not correct in Win98.  

      There is no way to write an appropriate sever side app that will work for that, so if that was part of their requirements it was doomed - I mean completely doomed to fail.

      That would be like asking someone to go back and pipe everything with ColdFusion4 to get static HTML outputs and count on it sustaining nationwide load.

      Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

      by Chris Reeves on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 09:50:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But there ARE people out there (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Black Max

        with 8, 9, 10 yr old computers, who never upgraded and won't until the machine dies. Plenty of those are Macs, too.

        You can't lock them out. That's been a huge part of the problem with the website.

        •  *shakes head* (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ipsos

          Baffling.  I can believe it'd be a huge problem with the website, but as a developer, I'll just say that's a ridiculous journey. And while it might shut people down, the requirements to remain HIPAA and EMR secure while working in IE6 would be.. I don't even see how it would or could be possible.  You'd just have to tell people: sorry.  Go to your library and apply or something.  Sounds unfortunate but really.  That or just call on the phone.

          Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

          by Chris Reeves on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 02:22:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Have to agree (0+ / 0-)

            I have to agree. I mean, they don't include buggy whip handles on cars, do they? At some point you have to say "your hardware/software is not compatible with this website. Please call (800)-xxx-xxxx" and list minimum requirements.  Otherwise you're doomed to failure.

      •  As web developers, we have the luxury, most of (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tmservo433

        the time, to say, "I'm done screwing around with IE6" or whatever. But government developers MUST write for the broadest possible base, even if it means giving the Win 98 crowd and all the other decrepit OS platforms and browsers a completely different app (or series of apps) to serve their needs as best as possible. Private firms can cater, or not cater, to whomever they choose. Public and government orgs can't make that choice.

        Were it my call, I'd have a message pop up on that old Win 2k or whatever saying, "Your operating system cannot handle this site's interface. Please call 1-800-(whatever) to get help with acquiring ACA coverage," or something similar. Anyone who had the choice would do so. But the government devs don't have that "luxury."

  •  terrific diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ColoTim

    First off its refreshing to read a diary at DK that knows and OS is not just the the visual interface.  We've been using Win 8 (3 laptops in the home) for some time and are quite pleased with it.  The few puzzles we've had were easily overcome.  I understand where the interface gripes are coming from, but a little flexibility and willingness to tackle a small learning curve go a long way.

    Thanks for the great info.

    I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

    by Satya1 on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 07:48:33 AM PDT

  •  Thank you for the diary. I got Win 8 at home (0+ / 0-)

    recently.
    My daughter is fine with it for her needs.

    If I can get a VPN to work I'll be happy. (Haven't tried yet)

    I figure I'll download 8.1 when the need arises, as with most things OS related.

    I ain't often right, but I've never been wrong. Seldom turns out the way it does in this song.

    by mungley on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 08:13:38 AM PDT

    •  Good luck with that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mungley

      I spent 2 hours trying to get the built-in vpn working on my wife's  Win 8 laptop.  Then gave up.

      I don't know what's been trickling down, but it hasn't been pleasant---N. Pelosi

      by Russycle on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 11:49:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What format? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mungley

        PPTP is built in to Win8 of course, and is a snap.

        If you use SonicWall, they have a SW client, OpenVPN works great from here on my 8.1 box (and did on 8) and Cisco's VPNConnect works well too.

        Do you know which client you were trying to use?

        Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

        by Chris Reeves on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 02:22:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Got it - stay with W7 till W9 (0+ / 0-)

    I see MS is not going to support XP anymore after April.  At my company, we stayed with XP and skipped Vista.  So now I guess we stay with W7 and skip W8.

    I do see some value in the hotspot technology.  This would be helpful with running credit cards at events, yes?

    For whatever reason, we seem to be doing better in the battle against viruses with W7 and Microsoft Security Essentials.  

  •  I wrote about my encounter with Win8 here: (0+ / 0-)

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    Of the many, many frustrations I documented there, the one that really stands out is getting kicked out of Excel about 12 times per hour when the OS interpreted my trackpad move within Excel as a swipe.

    Now my Township is looking at replacing multiple computers. Given that we are replacing XP boxes with Win8 (and the new machines will not be used in a touch environment) the question uppermost in my mind is, which models have a bulletproof way of absolutely turning off swipes, so we do not lose productivity by our office staff?

    Anybody have experience with this?

    Mark E. Miller // Kalamazoo Township Trustee // MI 6th District Democratic Chair

    by memiller on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 09:58:17 AM PDT

    •  Get a mouse for them (0+ / 0-)

      Really, forget the trackpad. A mouse works MUCH better. When I first got my Win8 laptop, I didn't get a mouse for it. Big mistake. The trackpad drove me NUTS. Never did what I expected. My laptop has a touchscreen, and that worked fine, but it really works better with a mouse AND the touchscreen.

       

      •  Trackpads on most laptops (0+ / 0-)

        Are complete garbage.  Apple is the only one who figured this out because they have the patents and won't share.  

        The only products that have great trackpads are multi-touch controlled, and pretty much only Asus has those at the moment.

        Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

        by Chris Reeves on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 02:29:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  oii windoze (0+ / 0-)

    I always seem to be upgrading at the wrong time.  First it was Vista and then it was windows 8.  I am not sure I see enough here to want to bother with 8.1.  I am used to the stupidity in windoze 8 by now.

    all in all, I prefer to use my ipad at home but business apps require windoze.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Riane Eisler

    by noofsh on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 11:23:00 AM PDT

  •  Windows is so last decade (3+ / 0-)

    Oh sure. They are still the Big Boy on the Block.
      But the other Unix-based operating systems have caught and passed them.
      If it wasn't for MS Office and their corporate purchasing/billing structure they would have already crashed and burned. Or at least no longer be dominant.

      There really is no reason to still use it, unless you need a specific application that doesn't come on Mac or Linux.

    None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

    by gjohnsit on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 11:30:36 AM PDT

    •  This has always been (0+ / 0-)

      One of the Mantras.  In the mid 90s, at the same time I was working on other things I was sent weekly betas on OS/2 Merlin.   After that, I started getting update builds of Slackware.

      I've worked development on VMX, SCO, RedHat, Mandriva, Ubuntu, SuSe..

      There are a lot of things to like about Linux.  The problem with Linux is something Steam may make a bigger dent in then any of the other competitors, that is in first party major title sales apps that provide cross-platform first gen hardware support.

      Ubuntu is probably getting there faster then most.

      That said, the reason why Parrallels is one of the top 5 selling products on Mac is simple: because there are too many first party apps that are Windows Exclusive, and there are more Windows-workplace oriented apps then any other platform.    In other words, there isn't a lot of CRM, ERP, Accounting, CAM, MDE and other software that comes out native and exclusive for those platforms.. or at all.

      I absolutely back Linux to continue to grow.. and Mac has done quite well.   That said, despite Apple's sales numbers, Apples Mac user base isn't growing at the rate people think.. it grows, but it grows because mac users keep buying new macs, not a widespread conversion.

      Still, the more platforms there are in the marketplace, the better it is for everyone ;)

      Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

      by Chris Reeves on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 02:28:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I don't upgrade anything unless I have to. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brown Thrasher, kovie

    Microsoft has a bad tendency to want to monkey with the user interfaces (like... start menus) so things look new and spiffy, without really improving anything at all.  The net result is like what happens when you go to your favorite grocery store and they've moved all the shelves around and you have to wander all over the goddam store to find the Cheerios.

    That's how I feel with each Windows upgrade.  They moved the Cheerios.  And they do it for no good reason at all, too, which is the part that makes me mad.

    •  Same here (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dumbo

      Like many I'm happy with 7 and won't upgrade till 9 comes out, and then only after I'm confident that it's a worthwhile upgrade or because I have no choice. I'm hoping to build a new PC early next year and it'll be 7-based. I have a 3 PC license and have only used one of them so far, so I'm set. I'm quite happy with the interface, the OS does nearly everything I need it to and the rest I make up for with free or low-cost add-ons like Truecrypt and Norton 360, and I really like Media Center, which, as its name suggests, is exactly that.

      They really got it right with 7. Why upgrade?

      "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

      by kovie on Wed Oct 23, 2013 at 09:03:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Foil Proof Encryption? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zinger99

    Of more significant is that secure boot and UEFI is an attempt to create an Apple style walled garden for Windows where Microflaccid sits astride both hardware and software as a gatekeeper, and extracts rents.

    6/24/05: Charlie the Tuna Creator Dies En lieu of flowers, please bring mayonnaise, chopped celery and paprika.

    by LunkHead on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 01:58:57 PM PDT

  •  I noticed 1 thing left out of the review (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmservo433

    Account recovery if you only use the silly MS account lgon.  What happens if you lock yourself out of your laptop (and were foolish enough not to set up a local admin account)?  A royal pita...

    Also, not having used the Start menu software you mentioned, might I offer up Classic Shell?  Gave me back my unc address bar with no breadcrumbs, as well as several options (an UP button, Delete button, usw) that make win 7/8/8SE (er, sorry, 8.1) make it a breeze for my 70+ year old conservative parents to use.  (In the spirit of full disclosure, I donated for this software, just because it works).  

    All that said, nice thread-jacking by the fanboiz and grrlz, you'd think the mac/pc wars were worse than the political ones  :P

    Great article by the way!  thanks  :)

    ''The guarding of military and diplomatic secrets at the expense of informed representative government provides no real security for our Republic.'' - Justice Hugo L. Black of the Supreme Court

    by geekydee on Wed Oct 23, 2013 at 04:16:25 AM PDT

  •  Touch works better in Win8 (0+ / 0-)

    If you are buying new Hardware get a touch screen and run Win8 (good hardware with touch is running $600, although you can spend more). Yes many people say they don't need touch on their PC because "that's what my iPad" is for...".

    I spend 75% of my time in the desktop and 25% in Modern on my Lenovo X1 Carbon Touch. Love having a keyboard and being able to touch the screen to browse, advance slides, etc. (and no my screen is not full of fingerprints).

    I also have a Surface running Win8.1 (the upgrade works now). I like it and it works fine for me. Are there quirks? of course. It's a different input, but now I hate going back to Win7 machines (my wife has Win7 laptop and a Surface running Win8.1).

    Change can be hard and modifying old habits and patterns can be even harder. 18 years ago the Technorati lambasted Microsoft for getting rid of program manager and putting in the start button. Can you imagine trying to add touch to program manager? New ways of working require input paradigms.

  •  Ok please tell me that floppy photo is snark (0+ / 0-)

    It looks so...real, especially given that we're talking about Microsoft, which in its soul is still a DOS-based company, in the sense of being dorky and not cool (or at least was until Ballmer stepped down, but it'll take years to undo his and Gates' legacy--assuming the pick the right people to head the firm).

    And I say this as a mostly happy Windows 7 64 user who really likes Media Center and can no longer imagine life without it.

    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

    by kovie on Wed Oct 23, 2013 at 08:57:24 AM PDT

  •  My biggest peeve with W8: they blocked dual-boot (0+ / 0-)

    with all the UEFI changes, they made the process of installing Linux dual-boot as perilous as swimming through a sea infested with mines and man-eating sharks.

    Since dual boot saved my previous laptop, that was my default plan for this one. Too bad I didn't read the fine print about W8 and its devious ways of blocking that (under the cloak of "boot security" which you too praise in your diary).

    Now 10 months later, I still haven't dared to do it, and haven't found a clear safe solution out there.

  •  I blame Windows 8.0 problems on Obamacare! (0+ / 0-)

    Why wasn't President Obama on this before letting Microsoft roll this out?

    I don't know what consciousness is or how it works, but I like it.

    by SocioSam on Wed Oct 23, 2013 at 09:38:48 AM PDT

  •  Here's the question... (0+ / 0-)

    Will MS introduce a new 8.5" x 11" tablet or an A4 tablet?

    That'll show ya!

    Ugh. --UB.

    "Daddy, every time a bell rings, a Randian Libertaria­n picks up his Pan Am tickets for the Libertaria­n Paradise of West Dakota!"

    by unclebucky on Wed Oct 23, 2013 at 01:18:35 PM PDT

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