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Windows 8 discussion

By SNGX1275 · 258 replies
Feb 29, 2012
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  1. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Posts: 1,835

    Soon we will be walking the streets mindlessly poking at our touch devices... minimal effort is going to be the death of us all.
  2. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,690   +95

    Don't expect anything new evolving for MAK, as evolution in this regard has stagnated for years now. Something like MS's 3D Desktop may one day evolve into something more practical to replace MAK, but not yet.Until then keyboards and mice aren't going anywhere ;)
  3. jmjsquared

    jmjsquared TS Booster Posts: 145

    Rather than stagnated, another way to look at MAK is by analogy to the shark, crocodile or cockroach: Each has already evolved to "perfection" and, therefore, no further evolution is required.

    There are also psychological and emotional components to be considered in how humans interact with facets of their environments, including the electronic facets. One gets a psychic satisfaction from sitting and pounding at a keyboard that is missing when accomplishing the same task by speaking to the computer, for example. I think it will take another one-or-two generations before humans can be comfortably weaned from the old way to this new, Metro way. Even then, many will never completely abandon MAK for whatever comes next, much like I would never chose a Kindle to hunker down with and idly flip thru rather than an old Encyclopædia Brittanica.

    Microsoft is shrewdly and wisely toying with us. Just look at the marketing value we are adding to their product by all this hand wringing! Windows 8 Final will include the best of the old while fostering adoption of the new; ie., it will permit us to effortlessly go from Classic to Metro, from work to play. If not, there are already dozens and dozens of safe, elegant and effective means to make 8 act like 7... and back again!
  4. jmjsquared

    jmjsquared TS Booster Posts: 145

    I'm not as adventurous as OP, SNGX1275, who's doing Windows 8 pure but, since 7 has been really great to me and 8 is supposedly better, with a few cheats and hacks, I'm gonna give Windows 8 a thorough looking over. Especially virtualized, it can't hurt.

    Assuming you're on Proliant, will you share just how you did that?
  5. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Topic Starter Posts: 10,729   +409

    jmjsquared - I'm just trying it without any special hacks to get used to how its supposed to feel naitively. However, this is only a secondary machine, I'm still running Win 7 on my primary PC and I spend a lot of time on my Macbook Pro. So 8 isn't my primary system :)

    Now that I've spent some more time with Win 8. I think I can get by without the traditional start menu. I've found that the times I go to the start menu are:
    * To right click on My Computer and then choose something from that menu.
    * To find some program I've installed but rarely use (so its not in the short list that is already there).
    * To get to the LAN.
    * To open the control panel.

    So in Windows 8, I've made Computer, Network, and Control Panel appear on the desktop. I've put a quick launch icon in the task bar for Computer Management (I use that somewhat frequently with multiple drives and partitions). And then, I've put in my commonly used programs in the task bar too.

    I've also noticed anything I installed appears on the Metro interface page so if I need to launch something that isn't in my task bar I can see it in Metro and launch from there. I imagine as this install ages having pages of Metro to go through to find my app will kind of suck, but so does hunting through a huge list out of the Start menu. But just like in Win 7 you can search for the apps. So I've been going over to the top right or bottom right of the screen to bring up the sidebar and clicking search, then typing. You can also just do Windows Key + F. So that seems to be working fine.

    One thing I've been pretty dissapointed in is the Metro apps. I would have thought the Messenging one would be like Trillian and allow me to chat with people over a variety of networks: AIM, ICQ, Gchat, YIM, Facebook, ect. But it doesn't, I reluctantly connected it to my facebook because I figured that way I could chat with facebook friends without opening facebook. But instead the interface just seems to be a very poor implementation (at least for the desktop) of how to view facebook. I also entered my gmail to use gchat, but that too didn't seem to do anything, infact, I think it opened the Mail app and that too is a horrible way to do email. I haven't figured out how to view the rest of the crap in my inbox, only new messages. Messaging didn't have any way to do AIM that I saw. So nothing good at all in Messaging or Mail.

    Also, in the Finance app, it has some good information, but I haven't been able to figure out how to add my own stocks. Surely they didn't make an app where you are forced to see only the stocks they want you to see.

    Weather on the other hand is pretty sweet. I'm a weather junkie and I like all the data you can get. Still not quite as good as say Wunderground and their ability to click on various weather stations in your area, but its close. The variety of maps is great, but the video for them is really lacking. Only a few frames and small size.

    I also do not like that once you are in a Metro app, hitting esc doesn't get you out of it, but if you are in the Metro interface, say doing a search, esc will get you out of it and back to your traditional app you were last using.

    I haven't done any real file transferring, just something from a USB stick, but I really like the new presentation. I'll play with some network transfers later and do some pausing and such. Finally Microsoft allows you to pause a transfer.

    New task manager is nice, wish it was in advanced view by default, I'm sure there is a registry setting to change that, but for now I'll just live with clicking more details.

    Oh and speed. Its fast. Makes this old P4 seem like a C2D in Win 7 (I don't have anything faster to compare to, lol). I haven't timed a startup, but I've started it up, and walked away for a sec only to look back and see its ready to go. Almost unbelievable. Although, having said that, launching the Metro apps is pretty slow, so that reminds me I'm on a slow system. Browsing the web with Opera 11.61 and flash only enabled when I click where a flash thing is seems really fast. Think its faster than on my C2D with the same Opera in Win 7.

    Edit 2: I don't understand how this happened. But initially when I installed it, it would boot directly into Windows 8. Which killed my to be triple boot. I was expecting to need to repair the mbr with my Windows 7 disk and then go screw around again with EasyBCD because PC-BSD didn't make a bootloader that would let me choose Win 7 too (well I'm sure it does, but I'm really new to BSD). But after probably 2 or 3 restarts, I now get a menu asking me what I want to boot into, even includes PC-BSD. Its a Windows 8 menu too, not a dry text based one. So I'm happy that works now, but I have no idea why it is like that now and wasn't earlier.

    Edit 3: Figured I'd give solitaire a shot. Its too much for this system. Why they need a demanding game of solitaire I don't know, but the sound glitches and the video is really laggy. Not a good playing experience.
  6. jmjsquared

    jmjsquared TS Booster Posts: 145

    If you position your mouse on the lower-left corner of the Desktop or Metro logon screen, and right-click you get a context menu that includes:
    Programs and Features, Network Connections, Power Options, System, Device Manager, Disk Management, Computer Management, Command Prompt, Event Viewer, Task Manager, Control Panel, Windows Explorer, Run, Search and Desktop.

    Really cool!

    Hmmm? I may have tweaked too soon.
  7. kiwijohn

    kiwijohn TS Rookie

    Windows 8 CP 64-bit Installation

    When I "start" the virtual box after installation I don't get the usual blue installation screen. I get a black screen with a series of error messages about 32-bit colour setting (current setting but it says 24-bit), keyboard and mouse capture (I don't get time to follow the instructions before it moves on to the "failed" message).

    The Virtual Box installation went OK following the Tech Spot guidance note. But now I'm stuck. I have a Toshiba DX1210 Win-7 Home premium 64-bit with plenty of resources.

    Any suggestions?
  8. jmjsquared

    jmjsquared TS Booster Posts: 145

    Installing the 32-bit version of Windows 8 may eliminate that, at least it did for me with VMWare Workstation. I never got 64-bit Windows 7 to act right.

    Is Hardware Virtualization enabled? If so, try disabling it in the VM's Acceleration Settings.
  9. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Topic Starter Posts: 10,729   +409

    I think, if at all possible, you should natively boot Windows 8. I have never had a good experience in a VM with any OS. I think the hassle of trying to get hardware acceleration and other things set up right is not worth the effort and will taint your thoughts of the OS.
  10. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,690   +95

    I just finished installing and briefly playing around with W8PC x64 on a C2Q8400 with 4GB RAM, built-in VGA with DVD / 320GB HDD (a rather old machine work machine). So after about 15 minutes of usage, I didn't hated the new UI in any way, mainly because I hardly ever used Start menu (beside the old DOS era habits are still with me, so quick search/shortcuts works just fine), so its non-existence doesn't mean much to me. IE10/Metro kinda look cool, as nothing gets in your way while surfing.

    Also it feels more responsive when compared with Win7x64 (I'm dual booting Win7 with W8CP).

    Anyway, I will update after spending some more time on it :)
  11. fimbles

    fimbles TS Evangelist Posts: 1,171   +203

  12. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,690   +95

    Update 1: (about 1 day usage)

    No stability issues so far, everything works just as it should.

    I installed MSO 2010x64 as well so I can experiment how it feels while doing some work on it. Some little quirks apart, the interface is really easy to learn, it took me about 20+/- minutes or so to get used/find my way around everything (again I would point out 'Start' menu is irrelevant for me so that perhaps plays a part in this as well).

    Scrolling through apps is pretty fast / easy, but instead of 'pinning' everything as tile on desktop, I would like to have a situation where I could group those pinned apps under a single tile, which IMO will lessen the clutter.

    IE10 seems very fast browser without getting into your way, but one thing which is irritating me since IE9 is that on certain sites, right clicking on any link doesn't do anything i.e. not allow to open it in new tab, e.g. BBC / gsmarena etc.

    Also, 'clicks' seems to have gone down, I am not sure why, but I guess mainly because I can just type/search to find stuff very easily.

    Lastly, why on earth Task Manager have to open in 'classic desktop' mode?
  13. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 2,863   +1,183

    can anyone tell if the xbox live integration has party chat enabled?
  14. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,690   +95

    Update 2:

    I have been able to follow stocks of a specific company in Finance App, by clicking on the heading, e.g. WATCHLIST and clicking on big + sign, I haven't been able to find a way to add other stock markets so I am too stuck with DOW/NASDAQ/S&P etc.

    I just simply start typing the name of an app I want to run, e.g. type 'notepad' without doing anything else and it will be open.

    Not having the famous cross button to close apps again doesn't affect me much, as I am used to Alt+F4 for ages, but for many users it would be appropriate to have one in metro apps just in case if it is needed.

    Also dual booting with win7x64 goes without a hitch and big complex worksheets are taking slightly less time while loading which isn't bad.

    If I open some non-metro application from Metro UI and then close it, it doesn't return me to the Metro UI, instead it leave me with classic desktop, not that hitting Win key is that much of a problem, but it is one small thing which should be looked into.

    If I searched for something then hit escape, screen goes blank, but the UI returns as soon as I hit the Win key, so it is either a bug, or I have no idea what purpose this is serving.

    So far it has accepted everything I threw at it, including an old USB Wi-Fi adapter, which is kinda cool.
  15. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Topic Starter Posts: 10,729   +409

    I just put it on an old 2.4Ghz Celeron. I don't know what Celeron it is, but its old enough to use SDRAM. Unfortunately it missed the nvidia graphics card, the sound (onboard, on an Intel board), and the NIC (a PCI NIC). So that sucks. I'll have to pull the NIC to figure out what it is, I'm sure it is a realtek or dlink, it shouldn't be anything uncommon.

    So 2 old computers in a row have had hardware missed, I'm not very impressed.
  16. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +116

    I've added it to my laptop and my main working PC now, as the sole OS.

    I'm actually quite impressed with it, though there are some minor annoyances…

    1. Messaging only covers Windows Live ID and Facebook -- come on, add GTalk and other protocols already.
    2. Mail -- Again, no option to add your own accounts above the usual suspects -- at least Google is supported here.
    3. Google integration with address book (in People tile), Calender and mail is good. Can easy see myself using these features daily.
    4. The right hand icon menu is a bit of a pain on multiple monitor setups like my working PC. Its a niggle more than anything.
    5. I especially like the extra features now in task manager. The ability to see which apps are consuming the most resources is very handy, and its been long overdue.
    6. Signing in with your Live ID is a nice feature, as is the synchronisation. It works well with my WP7 Lumia 800, and the two computers I'm using.
    7. Networking and sharing (homegroup) is even easier when signing into multiple computers with the same Live ID. Setting it up was a breeze and I never even had to add the password on the second computer when joining homegroup.
    8. The experience is nowhere near as nice on my Dell D630 laptop -- the resolution (1280x800) is just too low, and I'm finding using a mouse like on the desktop the experience is much nicer overall.
    9. Big bonus for automatically finding my RAID array, and configuring it without me having to resort to finding the drivers like in Windows 7. Made adding the RAID super easy, as it should be.
    10. Performance is the same as Windows 7 -- e.g. my Q6600 quad is steaming along with a 6.7 base score, and feels even quicker.
    11. Despite the extra mouse navigating, and more pointing and clicking, the whole experience seems fluid on the PC, and effortless to use.

    I said many times I was going to wait for release before making a final judgement. But I do see myself upgrading once it hits retail, as it is working much better than I thought it would. I have some reservations, but on the whole I'm far more impressed than I thought I would be, if I'm honest.

    I touched on it above, but on a final note -- I don't think I'll be upgrading the laptop to W8. The experience is much better on the PC than it is the laptop. Its not hardware that's the issue, its just the interface feels like it needs "too much" work in typical usage without the mouse, and it also seems very disk I/O heavy as well on the laptop. I can definitely tell that my spare hard disk I've thrown in to install W8 CP is a 5,400RPM disk, whereas with W7 and Linux you don't notice it much at all.

    W8 CP is installed on my SSD on my working PC. The laptop normally uses a 7,200RPM disk for W7 Pro, but I've replaced it with a 5,400RPM disk of the same capacity to try W8 CP without having to wipe the W7 install -- so I can swap it out if needed and be back up and running with W7 in no time.
  17. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Topic Starter Posts: 10,729   +409

    To leeky:

    1. I was disappointed in that too, I thought they'd support more. Think I mentioned that in one of my posts above. However I still haven't figured out how to actually chat with it.. I gave it my facebook info and all it seems to do is give me a tablet like interface to facebook. I don't see how to chat with anyone that is on...

    2. How do you see more emails than just your unread ones? I didn't see how to get to my full inbox, let alone any folders I've made.

    11. I'm not convinced it takes more clicks. Sure maybe some actions do, but other actions take far fewer clicks.
  18. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +116

    1. From what I can see, you can drill people via the People tile. Those that are online have a green line on the left hand side of their picture. If you select there picture, you can then select send them a message. At least that's how I've been doing it.

    2. If you right mouse click anywhere on the mail page and the bottom bar appears enabling you to select folders, in much the same way you can select accounts. The folders options then details every folder in the added account, like all the labelled folders and account folders in Gmail.

    11. I think it does, but I don't mind it, as long as it feels fluid.

    Edit: I've noticed it does sometimes stick when shutting down, despite running on an SSD on my main PC. The last couple of nights its sat on the shutdown screen for several minutes before I've hard pressed the power button to shut it down.

    I've also found that IE can sometimes become unstable when running. I'm not normally a user of IE, but I thought I'd give it a go whilst checking out the Consumer Preview. Google Chrome works fine though, so I'm switching over to that when it does.
  19. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +116

    Well, I've now returned back to Windows 7 on my main working rig.

    The install developed issues with shutting down, and booting up, and kept opening up unidentifiable shell processes in the taskbar during use that seemed to be robbing all my CPU cycles.

    Its behaviour was odd, sometimes it would start quickly, other times it would take forever and a day to load up. And after 4 days of it not shutting down properly, and that causing some file corruptions on my RAID I've decided to play it safe and revert back to my original W7 install.

    Obviously this is a consumer preview, and not at all a finished release product, so niggles are to be expected, so I'm not going to pass further judgement on the problems due to this.

    If I'm honest, the last couple of days the whole Metro UI has grated on me. I'm not sure what aspect of it doesn't sit with me, but it just doesn't feel natural. The way you have to interact with messages and the people tile feels totally disjointed. I should be able to call up a new conversation from within my messages tile, not go out of it, go into another one, find there name among hundreds of others and then send a message, if they're even online.

    With the upgrade needed on my daily system I'm going to give some serious consideration into whether my needs might be better suited with a new Mac instead. Having got back to Windows 7 I almost feel relieved now -- like its all over and I can just get on. Sure W8 is different, and in some ways its much better, but the question I find myself asking is, "is it too different?"

    It remains on my laptop, but it runs like crap on it, despite meeting the hardware requirements needed to run W8. The shutdown function does work however, but it seems to take forever to load, and the lag between application and tile launches is very noticeable.
  20. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Topic Starter Posts: 10,729   +409

    My girlfriend has it on her Acer Aspire One (D250) netbook with one gig of RAM and she likes it. Although maybe the performance in Windows 7 Starter was so horrible that any improvement in speed is a huge boost. I also have the same netbook with Win 7 Starter on it, but I have 2 gigs of RAM and don't seem to have any usability problems.
  21. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,690   +95

    Thanks for update Leeky:
    In almost one week of usage, luckily I haven't encountered any stability or performance issues so far. In fact, the ability to do stuff without having to use mouse is a key plus for me, as I said somewhere it saves lots of time and clicks for me. Only issue at my work PC was that it wouldn't print on dual side on an HP laser printer.

    Now I am considering should I try it on my notebook (its a DV6 with 8Gb RAM, Q2630M CPU, 6770M 1GB, 750 GB HDD), although the specs are more than adequate for W8CP, I don't want to ruin my Win7x64 install on it, and I am not sure how can I replace HDD without voiding its warranty atm :(
  22. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +116

    To balance this out, I don't think the problem is W8 on the laptop, I think the issue is highly likely to be a failing hard disk, after further investigation last night. I noticed it was making rather strange clicking noises. I'm yet to find a suitable application installable in Windows that would test it for me however, so I'm open to ideas guys?

    My original 7,200RPM laptop hard disk still has W7 on it, so I'm not bothered should this hard disk fail, but I think that is the cause of my problems. Its Santa Rosa Core2Duo 2.2GHz CPU should be more than enough for W8, the only thing the laptop really holds back on is the video RAM, its only 16 MB or something. :haha:

    As for the hard disk under warranty problem -- it will only be an issue if there is void tape over the hard disks outer panel, or on the hard disk cage. I'm yet to own a single laptop that uses either method, so as long as you take care and do not damage anything (including the screw heads) then they'd never know you had swapped out the hard disk.

    Every laptop I've owned for the last 8-9 years has had the hard disk removed and a sector by sector copy made before sending it off for repairs, as they always say they could wipe the hard disk, so back it up before sending it. I'm yet to have any come back for doing that, and I'm quite open about doing it when speaking to them.
  23. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Topic Starter Posts: 10,729   +409

    I use SeaTools for Windows. First I run the Short DST and then if it passes that I do Long DST. If it still passes and I still suspect something is wrong I run long generic.

    I think... if you don't have a Seagate branded drive attached to the system you can't run the short or long DST, but you can still do the generic tests. Typically if it fails long DST it will fail long generic.
    nickc likes this.
  24. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Topic Starter Posts: 10,729   +409

    Today is the first time I tried to boot back into Windows 7 on that machine. At the boot selection menu I choose 7 and the screen went black with the mouse cursor on screen. It sat there a while and I almost turned the machine off, then I heard some hdd chattering and just left it sit there. After 5 minutes (maybe longer) it restarted. Then it booted straight into Windows 7, no boot menu screen.

    Windows 7 worked normally and there were some updates that required a restart. On the restart it booted into 8 (well its not finished booting yet) and said "please wait..." and then that changed to "Attempting repairs..." it was on that screen about 15 minutes. Then it said it couldn't fix it. My options were to shut down or go to advanced options. Naturally I choose advanced.

    Advanced said I could load another OS, or I could continue to Windows 8 CP. I picked Win 8 CP and it rebooted. Then it booted back into Windows 8 (no boot menu) normally. So got a bit of a scare, but I think all is well again. Dual boot is screwed up, but I may be able to use EasyBCD to get it back. I'll update when I try that.
  25. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,690   +95

    When I try to boot back in Win7x64, via the Win8 bootloader screen, the PC reboots then starts Win7 normally. This is peculiar behavior for which I have no explanation so far, however, other than this there seems to be no issues at my end.

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