Windows 8, a step backwards

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fireside 141 Mar 13, 2013 at 21:44

So, my video card died on my old computer and I went to Walmart and got a hp 17 inch with Windows 8. I don’t even want to talk about the big icon thing, but the desktop seems to be a step backward to me. Everything that gets installed needs a shortcut as far as I can tell. There’s no start menu system at all. I’ve only used it for about 2 minutes, so I suppose I could be wrong. I also do not like track pads and have to figure out how to turn it off. I don’t know if I’m going to get my Unity game off my old computer or not. I might just abandon it and start doing small html5 games. Anyone know a way to view files from my old computer through this one? I think the old, built in video card might work if I get a converter for my monitor. There’s not much on it I care about that much, but a few files would be nice.

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Reedbeta 167 Mar 13, 2013 at 22:01

@fireside

Anyone know a way to view files from my old computer through this one?

Just pop out the hard drive from your old computer and put it in the new one. If it doesn’t have the right kind of connectors (IDE/SATA/whatever), you can also get an enclosure to convert it to a USB connection, so you can plug it in like an external hard drive.

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fireside 141 Mar 13, 2013 at 22:46

The enclosure might be the way to go. Good price. Can’t just put it into my laptop because it was a desktop hard drive. I can see where I mentioned desktop in the post, but that was for switching to desktop mode.

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tyree 102 Mar 14, 2013 at 08:52

I suggest you turn the default touch screen interface off with all the ads. I think xp shell works with windows 8. dont forget the focus for win 8 is touchscreens. so it will be a different

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fireside 141 Mar 14, 2013 at 14:08

Thanks for the info tyree. I’ll check that out. Not sure what I’m going to do yet. I’m not wasting money on something else so I’ll figure something out. Latest thing I noticed, the boot up is just a black screen. Apparently they thought the sequence upset people or something. Much better looking at a black screen and not knowing anything. Cool (little) computer though. I mean, it’s a 17 inch so it’s basically a mobile desktop, but for me it’s little. Super quiet. I only hear the fan when it’s working like crazy. It’s an AMD A8, so it’s not going to be a beast for games, but should play some 3d games that aren’t too task heavy or in low res. The screen isn’t the best I’ve seen but it’s a pretty adequate 1600 x 900. This is the first laptop I’ve ever owned. I’m also pretty impressed with HP. They did quite a few updates and even redid the boot up since I hooked it up.

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Stainless 151 Mar 14, 2013 at 14:49

We are just porting our stuff to windows 8, it’s a real pain.

One of the things we often do is allocate a block of memory and load executable code into it, that’s not allowed in windows 8

Every thing you add to the start menu creates a new block on the front end as well, it’s horrible to work with at low level.

I blame Apple, if they hadn’t sold so many iPad’s then we might still have a functional windows environment.

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fireside 141 Mar 14, 2013 at 15:15

I blame Apple, if they hadn’t sold so many iPad’s then we might still have a functional windows environment.

Yeah, but they had the sense to split the OS. Microsoft created an abomination because Balmer is over his head. And it is Balmer. I read an article somewhere that said the people that were writing the OS for tablets argued completely for splitting, but Balmer wanted one ring to rule them all. Maybe we’ll all go to touch screens and it will make sense, but right now, it doesn’t work. I really don’t want my screen full of fingerprints. If they had something that just measured hand input from a small distance, it would be all right.

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fireside 141 Mar 15, 2013 at 02:49

Have to do a little mea culpa here. The track pad has gesture controls, so the metro kind of makes sense for laptops. Actually kind of fun to use it, but I still prefer the mouse.

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TheNut 179 Mar 15, 2013 at 04:23

I second hard drive enclosures. I use them myself and prefer it over opening up my box and doing a little surgery. Portability and backups are great with them. Most come with USB and/or eSata connectors.

Personally I’m not a fan of HP. Had a resistive touch screen computer from them I had to develop on and it was… less than pleasant to work with. Considering capacitive touch screens have been in the market for so long, I can’t imagine what was going through their heads when they approved that product line. The one thing I hate about laptops is that you can’t custom build them like you can with PCs. I like going into a hardware shop and cherry picking my stuff, whereas with a laptop I get no-name stuff built from the cheapest bidder.

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fireside 141 Mar 15, 2013 at 12:35

I like going into a hardware shop and cherry picking my stuff, whereas with a laptop I get no-name stuff built from the cheapest bidder.

I always preferred them because I “could” use the cheapest stuff, other than the video card. That doesn’t matter much to me anymore because games don’t interest me as much. I play a few casuals and try to get into bigger titles but it doesn’t seem to happen anymore. It was just feeling like a waste of electricity. I was mostly browsing with a video card that needed an extra power input. The price is almost the same now. It used to be I could get a desktop for less than half what a laptop cost, and it had a way better video card. I’m thinking about just going into html5 development. Writing games is still as interesting as ever, but I’d rather they were small and didn’t take too long to finish. More like experiments that people might want to look at.

I don’t know what this track pad is, but it seems to work all right to me, other than I keep bumping it when I type. I was playing around with it a little bit and almost liking it there for a time. I think free cell is a good place to get used to the thing.

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Reedbeta 167 Mar 15, 2013 at 18:02

@fireside

I don’t know what this track pad is, but it seems to work all right to me, other than I keep bumping it when I type.

I still have that problem sometimes. It requires you to hold your hands up while typing in a somewhat unnatural way (to me at least). You get used to it in time, though. It took me a long while to get used to tap-to-click, too, but now it’s second nature and I get frustrated with a trackpad that doesn’t have tap-to-click turned on. You can also plug in a USB mouse and turn the trackpad off, if you want.

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fireside 141 Mar 15, 2013 at 21:59

You can also plug in a USB mouse and turn the trackpad off, if you want.

Yeah, I had the mouse connected and was mainly just playing with the trackpad once in a while, but I turned it off after I found some instructions for it. It’s not too bad, especially with the gestures and the big icons, but when it comes to doing actual work, rather than playing, I’ll take a mouse and the desktop mode any day. Windows 8 isn’t as bad as I thought. They don’t force people to buy from the store, it just works a little different. I have some open source software that showed up with the big icons and I doubt they’re in the store. I installed java for netbeans and they said it would only work in desktop mode. I also got a free start menu for the desktop by a 3rd party so everything doesn’t have to have a shortcut.
I looked at the box and it said the OS didn’t support 64 bit, which got me upset, but when I checked in the “about Windows”, it said it was 64 bit. I loaded 64 bit blender and 64 bit netbeans and they are working. It seems like 64 bit would be standard by now. I know they’ll do any little thing like that to squeeze an extra nickel’s profit on cheaper machines.

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tyree 102 Mar 16, 2013 at 03:18

the thing about touch, grocery stores have had touch screens for a while. its not uncommon for a register to be closed because the operating system had an error. with no external source for the interface. your completely at the mercy of the operating system and how long it can run error free. which no program can do

how would you like having to drive with a car with touch only. I find doing anything important with no external input device. to be a horrific idea

if video games didnt have joystics when they were first introduced. how many of us would really be playing video games

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fireside 141 Mar 16, 2013 at 11:56

It’s not quite as critical as driving a car, which would need some kind of backup, like an emergency brake for the brake system. Small game devices have built in controllers, not much different than touch. If it fails, it’s junk, but so what? As long as it’s dependable and lasts a long time, it’s ok. I don’t like the idea of getting fingerprints all over my screen. I don’t hear anyone complain about it, but I think it would drive me crazy. It’s just the new way of doing things and if a large portion of the population accepts it, then developers have to deal with it.

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TTTNL 101 Mar 16, 2013 at 20:15

With start8 ($5) installed you get your start button back and you can disable all the modern UI crap. I’ve been using it for quite a while now and it’s just a more modern looking Windows 7 experience. Worth the money.

start8\_095.jpg

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tyree 102 Mar 17, 2013 at 14:49

but with video games the connection is lost once you remove the joystick. its something that doesnt get mentioned when talking about connecting with the character on screen. fighting, action, and sports games would not exist without a joystick. the mechanical physical joystick is what connects the player to the game