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Getting Comfortable with Windows 8.1
Oh God, don't get me started on Win8. I don't want to turn into a grumpy old man, but Win8 really tests my attitude.

I just retired from being a computer teacher at a college. We all know that doesn't make me a genius or a guru, but I do have many years of experience with operating systems. I hate to admit but when I started, was BEFORE windows. It was DOS, and Word Perfect 5.1, Lotus 123, and DBase 4. We are talking dark ages. I was the first teacher in my area of Texas to teach Windows 3.1 and Microsoft Office. It was so much fun then....when students were going, "Oh wow this is so cool!"

I was enthused to start learning and teaching each new OS. There were "Oooo's" and "Ahhhhs" and only a few "oh sh#ts" back then. Microsoft made a few booboos like Windows ME, and Vista was a hog, I was able to find the good in all of them until now.

Now I hear mostly "OH sh#ts" about Win8. They ruined a good OS in favor of trying to run after the Ipad/tablet market. I still do business computer consulting in my spare time, but I see mostly problems.

So, like some of you, I hope the negative feedback is powerful enough to force Microsoft to quit trying to cram it down our throats and fix what they screwed up, and I don't mean Win8.1. That is a miserable patch that fixed little. So there! Just another old guy's opinion.

OH, and Jimzz thanks for the info on the retro software. Win8 actually allows you to still the "desktop" similar to Win7, but when you open it, it has no icons. You have to figure out how to find the actual programs and create all your icons. It's a PITA, but it works.
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what drgrimes said is what I think too! I deal with win 8 because I have to not because it was my/our choice.
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My first Microsoft ran Windows XP and - as far as I'm concerned - it's the very best system they EVER had. I still have my original disks and still use it for business cards and brochures on any old, beater PC I can find. When my elderly Mom wanted to enter the computer age, I bought her a desktop with Vista. And that was the end of Microsoft for me. I switched my own self to an Apple computer.

Recently I "inherited" a Microsoft "Surface" (as in … "hold it under the surface of the closest body of water" until it does not re-"surface") and updated to 8.1 when Windows 8 seemed insanely useless. I thought, well… I can use it for SleepyHead, ResScan and my recording oximeter. And, believe it, that's ALL it's good for. I travel with it because if I lose it, it's no big deal.

My main computer is an Apple MacBook Air running OS X. Does everything I want it to do … except for the recording oximeter. I really don't need ResScan because I find SleepyHead to be adequate for me. And, maybe, someday, I'll learn how to do brochures and business cards with my Mac.
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My first encounter with Win8 resulted in some weird problems that were not fixable by me. I ended up on the phone with Microsoft. The technical assistant spent almost two hours one afternoon, then the next day, after consulting with other technicians, said that he could not fix the problem. He said he was elevating my case to the highest level of technical help.

The second guy was a software engineer. I spent the afternoon with him remote controlling my PC. He finally said he would consult with his peers and call me the next day which he did. He was polite and he was smart but even he hit the brick wall on day 2. He apologized and confessed that he was unable to fix my problems. My Win8 experiences go downhill from there, finding little to make me happy since.
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I don't much like the Windows 8/8.1 interface either.

As the OP suggested you can buy something but there are dozens of these programs now to suit most any taste from "classic XP look" to whole new ideas of their own.

And most of them are free. Sure if you love it, pay $5 or more, but you can probably get something you like as much for free.

Also, if you relax, Windows 8 interface really isn't that bad as you can just mostly ignore it.

Put your favorite programs on the Start, or better on the QuickLaunch (er... pinned to the taskbar).

Learn to use the command line and you can just open everything that way. Smile Or from the "Run" command.

Seriously, I usually open EVEN Windows Explorer from the command line.
Sweet Dreams,

Sleep study AHI: 49 RDI: 60 -- APAP 10-11 w/AHI: 1.5 avg for 7-days (up due likely to hip replacement recovery)

"We can all breathe together or we will all suffocate alone."
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For those still using good old Windows XP, have you noticed your machine getting a little sluggish when booting up? This is perhaps why:

"An interesting bug regarding update dependency calculation has been found in Windows XP. By design, machines using Windows Update retrieve patch information from Microsoft's update servers (or possibly WSUS in a company setting). That patch information contains information about each patch: what software it applies to and, critically, what historic patch or patches the current patch supersedes. Unfortunately, the Windows Update client components used an algorithm with exponential scaling when processing these lists. Each additional superseded patch would double the time taken to process the list. With the operating system now very old, those lists have grown long, sometimes to 40 or more items. On a new machine, that processing appeared to be almost instantaneous. It is now very slow. After starting the system, svchost.exe is chewing up the entire processor, sometimes for an hour or more at a time. Wait long enough after booting and the machine will eventually return to normalcy. Microsoft thought that it had this problem fixed in November's Patch Tuesday update after it culled the supersedence lists. That update didn't appear to fix the problem. The company thought that its December update would also provide a solution, with even more aggressive culling. That didn't seem to help either. For one reason or another, Microsoft's test scenarios for the patches didn't reflect the experience of real Windows XP machines."

For more information, google "windows xp exponential algorithm"

.....and yes, Windows 9 is rumored to be coming out next year. That's probably a good thing in that historically ever other operating system from Microsoft has been good.

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(02-03-2014, 12:33 PM)herbm Wrote: One correction: Modern Windows systems are ALMOST NEVER taken down by an ordinary application malfunction. That literally SHOULD never happen and would ALWAYS be a bug in the system itself (the app too, but the system should protect itself.)

Interesting - I had a system crash this morning at work, running W7 on some anonymous HP box that lives under my desk. I was looking at something on Google maps on internet explorer and the whole thing froze solid. Wouldn't respond to the three-finger salute. I ended up crawling under the desk and pulled the plug.

When I bought my present computer it was the last one in the shop with W7 Smile
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My first couple of PCs ran DOS; it took me until PCDOS disappeared to convert to Windows. Since then I've gone thru numerous versions of Windows, holding on to the older versions until they were no longer supported by Microsoft. My latest PC came with 8 which while not to my liking, is workable (especially as I'm retired and have plenty of time on my hands). I'm not sure that 8.1 was any improvement.

Being a mainframe programmer I really miss the simplicity and computing power of the big machines and the fact I never had to worry about viruses! oldman
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(02-04-2014, 09:40 AM)PollCat Wrote: Being a mainframe programmer I really miss the simplicity and computing power of the big machines and the fact I never had to worry about viruses! oldman

Yup. My first computer took up a 20 sq ft room. The SD card in my Resmed holds a heck of a lot more data than it did. As a matter of fact, my cellphone does.

All things change. Mostly get smaller and more expensive. I remember my folks talking about how those 3 Musketeer bars they bought for five cents were really big.

Shoot. I think I'm getting old. I even remember when dirt was new...........

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(02-03-2014, 12:33 PM)herbm Wrote: One correction: Modern Windows systems are ALMOST NEVER taken down by an ordinary application malfunction. That literally SHOULD never happen and would ALWAYS be a bug in the system itself (the app too, but the system should protect itself.)

Generally it does -- most of the ways for apps to take down the OS have long since been removed from Windows so if you hear otherwise it is likely based on (very) old information or due to a BAD DRIVER OR SERVICE.

Drivers and Services are different -- they become part of the OS and can affect the core system at times.

Generally you should prefer SIGNED drivers and services since these are guaranteed to be unchanged since tested, and that testing requires a full suite across the likely ways it might cause troubles; this is beyond what the vendor does on its own.

Not quite my experience, unfortunately.

Our IT guy in the office is spot on (recently audited by an external group and found to be cutting edge current and very good). He doesn't let anything out to the employees until it is set up right...signed drivers and services from confirmed sources (like the manufacturer).

I usually find it is a Microsoft product (Outlook, Word or Excel) that crashes and take the whole system with it and requires a restart. I'll give you that it is far less of a problem on Win 8 with the newest version of Office, but with XP or Vista and Office 2007/2003 it happens far too often.
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