Sunday, October 28, 2012

Windows 8 - “It’s here” edition

I don’t know…it seemed like an appropriate lead-in to this Windows 8 post now that Windows 8 has been officially released.

  • Poltergeist freaked a LOT of folks out when first released, with special effects, plotline of a normal family with their normal lives torn apart by a new evil released by new building over a hallowed ground.
  • Heather O'Rourke as Carol Anne Freeling looks like she is reaching out to try to use the TV as a “touch/Surface” interface.  And she does get quite the interactive experience out of it!
  • What seemed like pretty successful mainstream horror at the time now has become --over time and filmmaking sophistication--pretty cheesy and not even Halloween showing worthy to the youth of today.  Despite this, it remains regarded by many as a horror movie classic and possibly one of the very best and beloved ever made.
  • A number of the actors that made the movie so compelling have since died fueling rumors the movie was cursed.

I wonder if Windows 8 will leave a similar mark on the Microsoft OS landscape?

So before we get to the Win8 linkage below, what’s my opinion?

  • No “Family Pack” available…at least for now. However the $40/upgrade price per system still beats the Win7 family pack price so to upgrade our systems one-at-a-time this would still be fairly economical. In fact, Alvis's recent laptop purchase this summer might qualify for an even steeper discount…if I dared put it on her system.  Which I do not.
  • I am not going to install Win-8 on any of our home systems, all running Win 7 Home Premium (x64) for now. Why? Well…
  • …Win7 is too solid and perfect for my needs right now. I have no compelling reason to upgrade to Win8 just yet. Yes, I will miss out on the even faster boot times, the enhanced file/copy features, and the super-cool task-manager, and those crazy tile-apps. I can live with that for now.
  • In running Win8 in a virtual machine pretty regularly now, I can comfortably work-around automatically bypassing the Start Screen interface and add back the traditional Start Menu. That will no longer be my primary concern or objection for NOT making the Win8 upgrade.
  • Windows 8 is here to stay. This is the new face of Microsoft. Get over it. Get it. Or get a Mac or Linux or a Chromebook or a tablet or a game-console. Seriously. The days of desktop systems are on the decline. Sure, there will always be some hard-core geeks and freaks who will always want and need a traditional “desktop” based interface and OS system but between DRM  & DCMA changes, a brand-new, cutting-edge, super-efficient and user/platform agnostic computing technology is coming! Deal with it. They are called Smart dumb-terminals/tablets/phones & The Cloud!
  • Umm…sorry, I forgot, that terminal/mainframe technology was how things got started in the first place before all that “personal computer” technology got us distracted on his march down a dead branch of the technology tree; kinda like how the railroad and Model-T’s got us all horribly sidetracked from the horse-n-buggy technology. My bad. Let’s head back to the past to make progress for the people again. Control the medium…control the message…control the consumption.


Drama aside, I’ll probably upgrade our systems to Windows 8 by spring of next year. It will need some post-install tweaking, some training to get up to speed for support and user navigation, stuff like that. However at the core, past all the interface changes and Modern versus Desktop usage sea-change, it seems to be a solid and advanced OS. I wouldn’t discourage folks looking to pick up a new system from adopting it. I wouldn’t discourage friends and family still using XP/Vista to switch to it. What I can’t do is find a compelling reason to try to convince anyone using Windows 7 right now on a system they have bought or built in the last two years or so to UPGRADE to Windows 8. Not yet at least.

Windows 8 could have been so much more by just being a bit more balanced between the old and the new. Instead they decided to go boldly forward and not look back.

Time will tell…but for now…”It’s here”.

If you like Windows…my advise is just deal with Windows 8 and try not to look too hard at the corpses popping out of the pit in the back-yard.

HUMOR: Ah. So that’s what happened. - Kurt Shintaku's Blog

Win8 - Start Here - Get It

Win8 - Related Products and Services

  • nothing new of note since last post.

Win8 - Install It

Win8 - Under the Hood

Win8 - To Go

  • nothing new of note since last post.

Win8 - Tweaks

Post Update: On October 29th, Kent over at Windows 7 Hacker blog picked up the technique from Tenniswood Blog I posted above (and included a hat-tip back-link here to GSD) regarding a patch to enable multi-user concurrent Remote Desktop sessions in Win 8. It seemed very similar to one for Windows 7 I had posted about three years ago (RDC hack post & followup clarification post) so I didn’t think much of it. I did not install it on my own virtual Windows 8 test system. A few days later a dear friend emailed me his perspective about the patch and potential concerns. So I’m coming back and adding a few more thoughts. First the technique requires application of Windows 8 Patcher which changes some Windows OS file binaries to enable the process to work and can remove the watermark from Windows 8 Release Preview. Second, I’m no programmer so I cannot fairly analyze the source code to confirm it may not have other effects on the system/stability/security once modified. It seems to be based on or very similar to prior Win 7 work for the same feature enablement. The developer of the code is a very smart and clever programmer and has given a number of presentations in the computer security industry; his best work is in the field of bootkits and rootkits. Back in 2009 there was a bit of love/hate swirling around the security industry based on some of his work. All this to say, please treat with consideration the application of the patch with care and forethought. It should fall under the “here may be dragons” label. Is this a feature you really, really need on your Windows system? Are there vetted/stable alternatives you have already explored first and found lacking? Have you done due-diligence and after reviewing the open-source code provided found it sufficiently clear and safe for your purpose? Is this a patch you are authorized to apply to a system? All I am saying is read the whole forum thread to familiarize yourself with it first.I confess I find it technically interesting, but TightVNC meets my remote session needs and I don’t need to run multi-user concurrent sessions on my personal Windows 7/8 boxes. Do you really need it? If you do apply the patch, future Microsoft updates may impact how the patched system works (or even prevent it from working). Enough said. Moving on…

Win8 - Deeper Insights

Win8 - Usage Tips

Win8 - Miscellanea, Rumors, & General Grumblings

Windows 8 - GSD Previously Posted

Cheers and good luck.

--Claus V.

1 comment:

FF Extension Guru said...

I could get a free (after online rebate) upgrade to Windows 8 on the new laptop I bought for school (though I seem to be using it more and more for everything) this past summer from Staples. However, I have no interest in Windows 8, so the offer won't be used.