Windows 8 and my Sexy New Laptop

The laptop I have been using for the last four years that has been my “office” for the first two years of my business, has gone to the electronic scrapheap in the sky. All the signs were there it was going and it was past its best. The down key was sticky, a one of the hinges snapped and it was no longer possible to close it without damaging the lid. It was also taking around 30 minutes to get going in the mornings and got overheated quickly even though I had a mass uninstall a few weeks ago. It was time to bite the bullet and get another one.

Here it is:

DSCF5381

I know you can’t really see much from the images, but I am impressed with the specs and it is a very versatile piece of kit. 8GB RAM, i5 Dual Core, 1TB hard disk, a fairly decent video card (a step above standard integrated video cards) beats audio (no idea what that is but the sound is amazing!) and a battery that appears to last something like 5 hours. The battery of my old machine lasted 3 hours at most. Skyping or watching a DVD or video file could be a nightmare, leading to overheating and battery drainage in 90 minutes, 2 hours if I was lucky – and I recently bought a new battery for it too. last night, I Skyped with my girlfriend and after some two hours of being off charge, the battery had drained to around 54%. Ok I will stop bragging about my battery now and get to the point.

Windows 8

I’ve been playing around with it today in between work and I think I am finally getting it. At first, the lack of a genuine computer feel, the fact that the traditional Windows desktop feels like a tacked on feature rather than an integrated part of the OS experience, were irritating and probably will be for some time.

Initially, I was determined to ignore the new Start experience with its emulation of mobile technology, buttons, scrolling and typing (just typing on screen and not in the boxes we have been used to) to find the app – sorry programme – that I need. I am neither a technology junkie nor a luddite; I like technology that makes my life and work easier but doesn’t dumb down in the pursuit of accessibility. At times, using Windows 8 feels like making things complicated in trying to make them easier – a bit like the WordPress “streamlined” stats that nobody likes and the fact you have to go looking for the dashboard.

Anyway, I have digressed again. Back to Win8. I understand that mobile is the way to go, and tech companies are looking to integrate across devices and have a ubiquitous and accessible interface on everything, I’m just not convinced it’s going to catch on.

My girlfriend pointed out the corner and touchpad swipe. I am finding it finicky. I’m sure if I had opted for a touchscreen (I didn’t because I wanted to maximise battery life while travelling) it would be easier to use. As it is, it feels like an awkward attempt to emulate mobile technology.

My first experience of Windows 8 is that it is flawed, but I am warming to it and it’s possible by this time next year I will be positively evangelical about it. This is coming from someone who has never got rid of his Dell desktop for, amongst other reasons, because Windows XP was and remains a stable and decent OS. Yes, I still use Windows XP – what of it? 😉

 

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13 thoughts on “Windows 8 and my Sexy New Laptop

  1. Windoze 8 (my Hamster) is strictly a touch screen doohicky as far as I’m aware, and even then is as unloved as the aptly named and quickly revised to win 7/8 (Hasta La) Vista.

    But it sounds like you should be able to upgrade to the hopefully (insert blind optimism) better (if dubiously titled) Win 10 when it comes out.

    That said Windows 10 is really just NT 6.4, or Vista version 4, and 8 was 6.3 so all that touch screen nonsense is really just a veneer over one of their least loved products 😦

    You could always dual boot Ubuntu if it really starts to bug you… Although Word is still the best word processor available (mainly for the grandma chequer) for anything like a reasonable price and likely to improve ebook creation with the next version… At least if they follow the lead of their free competitors.
    🙂
    Glad to hear you’ve got a suitable machine to work on the go again though…

    1. Thanks for that CJ! I really liked Win7 and I hadn’t felt as enthusiastic about an OS since XP.

      I have a copy of Office 2010 that I bought as a student and it was still good for one more install so I will be sticking with that for the foreseeable future. It’s stable, functional and with the Professional package, has everything I need.

      From what you’ve said, it seems they tried to make Win8 all things to all people and not quite getting there. I’m warming to the new Start, but I don’t really find it that responsive and we know what a buzzword that has been for the last 12 months.

      I’ve only been using it the best part of 24 hours so I have plenty of time to get irretrievably annoyed with it or fall madly in love with it.

  2. There is an app you can download that makes system 8 function more like 7. I was going crazy and couldn’t find any tech experts who knew how to use 8 either…You might want to look into this…Judy

  3. I really don’t like Windows 8. I couldn’t even deal with it on my Windows phone where I was only really trying to use texts, calls, and the occasional Internet browse–so I got an iPhone and have a MacBook instead, which frankly also probably needs to be upgraded in the next year or so.

    1. People really do seem not to like Win8. I’ve not yet found anything resembling glowing praise.

      Thanks for your feedback. I am getting the hang of it now, but would rather have Win7 back.

  4. I think the really helpful working OS and “apps” for writers/bloggers are yet to be invented. What about Scrivener? I spend a good money in it and I find out it’s a little bit clumsy and uneasy.
    By the way: many thanks to Judy for the news about converting 8 in 7 🙂 Hugs from Spain!

  5. Peter Chabanowich

    You’re right, I so wanna. Wanna know why not a Mac? I’ve become savvy with my Android as well as Apple, and am wondering if you had considered these other systems.

    1. Not Apple, no. I’m put off by the gimmicky nature of the iPhone and when I’ve used friends and families’, I’ve been unimpressed. I use an Android phone and a Kindle Fire which shares the Play Store with Android. What OS do android laptops use? I must confess I didn’t even think to look.

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