In less than three week’s time, I have now had the opportunity to set up Windows 8 systems for home users. Both happened to be Dell systems.
One was for a family friend. The other was for Lavie who had become frustrated with display issues on her “old” Windows 7 laptop. It appears that in the act of opening her monitor lid over the past few years, the display had gotten flaky and started flashing red and other signal color lines from time to time.
The only reasonable home-user OS options for these Windows-only folks was to bite the bullet and move to Windows 8.
The new local-user account setup process was pretty simple. Not painful at all.
Neither was impressed by the Start interface and needed to be directed back to the “desktop” experience.
To make that simple (and solve 95% of their learning curve challenges with Windows 8) I downloaded and installed IObit StartMenu8 Free.
I set it to load the desktop immediately after boot.
Instantly they felt back at home and the anxiety passed.
I showed them how to return to the desktop if they got back to the Start.
Both wanted to continue using MS Security Essentials. OK. Although I did follow a tip on “How to Add “Scan with Windows Defender” to the Context Menu in Windows 8” I found over at How-To Geek.
I am also still running (and recommending despite the chatter (link-1 & link-2) MS-SE on my Windows 7 systems. I am trying out the Bitdefender Antivirus Free product on my virtual Windows 8 system to check performance and operation. So far so good.
Sure there were application installations, updates, user-data migration work to be done, etc. but that was pretty much it.
I did not install Java. They didn’t need it and the security issues have made it too risky for me to recommend installation on home-user systems unless they have a specific Java application they need. Neither did.
I did not install the Flash plugins. IE 10 comes with it’s own Flash plugin as does Chrome.
Lavie needed some help finding a tool to help her deep-dim her laptop display for those late-night fan-fic reading sessions. These are adjustments beyond the hardware-based brightness settings.
- f.lux - changes the color warmth of the display automatically depending on location/time-of-day. We loaded this and she really liked it.
- DimScreen - 1 Hour Software by Skrommel - DonationCoder.com - Loaded this one too.
- Dimmer - Nelson Pires. We added this one also, but Lavie liked the navigation options in DimScreen a bit more.
Dell has a track-pad sensitivity manager to keep the cursor from jumping when thumbs hover over the pad, but we also tried the touchfreeze - Utility for Windows. Worked great as well as the Dell solution.
Too easy? Want more?
- 102 simple steps for installing and configuring a new Windows 8 machine - Troy Hunt’s blog
I’m still in no hurry to upgrade Alvis and my Windows 7 systems to Windows 8. I don’t see the need (yet).
But if a new system comes with Windows 8, it’s no biggie anymore.