Archive for the Category ◊ desktop ◊

Windows 8 Review – Not Your Mother’s Windows
Monday, March 26th, 2012 | Author:

I have spent some time installing and using Windows 8, Consumer Preview. After working with Windows 8, the bottom line is that Windows 8 is irrelevant to most PC users.

It is by far the worst user interface I have ever used, and I have used many of them including Windows 2, 3, 3.1, 95, 98, 2000, ME, XP, Vista, 7, Apple and even the GEM desktop.

Here are some of my highlights, or really low-lights.

Once you install Win8, you come up to a desktop called “Metro” that looks like this

Not your mothers Windows...

 It took me at least 10 minutes to try to find the start button. Then once you find it, (not really a start button per se) then you see a window pop up, you move the mouse to the little window to click on it, and it disappears. No, the huge Letters that Spell out S T A R T do not do anything, they are just pretty.

I tried this numerous times, getting madder by the minute. Then I figured out that you move your mouse down in the left bottom corner, nothing shows, then suddenly a mini window like above shows up. But you just click where your mouse is, you don’t move it onto the graphic, which is what you would think.

It is nearly impossible to figure out what the dorks were thinking that came up with this interface. Everything is so oddly placed and many things hidden with no clue on how to access it. I was lost, and frustrated within the first few minutes of using it.

I clicked on several of the child like blocks on the page, and many of them bring up a login to Windows services. Ah, now it is starting to make sense. Microsoft is trying to make your computer a “cloud” computer and everything stored on their servers (mail, photos, documents.)

This is something Microsoft has been trying to push for a while now and not everyone likes it.

From the hands on and all the reading I have done on Win8, it appears that this operating system is meant to move people away from PCs and get them into Windows oriented tablet devices.

As a computer support person, I hate the way they are doing this, and I think it is a big mistake for Microsoft. They are making an Operating System that is geared towards tablets, but I am sure Dell, HP and others will slap it on thier latest towers and laptops and will freak people out.

Check out this video of a dad trying to use the Windows 8 interface. This is exactly what I experienced myself.

I have done hands on tech support with customers since 1995, and have been teaching seniors basic computer skills in Adult Ed classes at the local college. I have first hand knowledge on how the average user thinks and uses a computer, and I promise, it is nothing like this. 

I am very open minded to change, and here is the point. One can pick up an Apple iPad and in minutes be surfing the Internet, looking at photos with very little direction. It is easy, simple, and really makes sense once you do a few taps here and there.

Apple created this device from scratch and all of their devices work the same, so you pick up an iPhone, iPod or iPad, and they all work the same and if you can use one, you can switch to any and use it just as easy.

That in contrast to Microsoft who has a pretty darn good operating system with Windows 7, decides to completely redesign the look and feel of their main product. People, including myself have raved about how well 7 works, and how it looks.

So, change it up. Confuse people, make them look for things that used to be there. Also make it so it is not really for a PC, but for a tablet, which not everyone wants.

The biggest flaw I see in this design is the fact that there is this “metro” interface and you cannot eaisly switch back to a Windows 7 menu interface, which would make complete sense. My thought is, when you install it, you should have to answer a question, “would you like the Windows 7, or the new metro interface? You can change it at any time”

But no, you are stuck with the Metro/Win 7 hybrid, which oddly switches back and forth, and neither work like you would expect.

Bottom line, I would not recommend Windows 8 to any of my customers, and unless they do some really nice changes and user friendly updates, I will not be installing this on any computers.

Windows 7 Tips and Tricks – Desktop, Taskbar, Windows
Sunday, February 28th, 2010 | Author:

The new task bar and desktop in Windows are a bit different and there are some neat and powerful features.

Aero “Peek-a-boo!” – seeing what programs/document Windows are open

When you are running a program, you can use the Aero Peek feature, but just putting your mouse on the icon of the program, and it “peeks” in on the application and shows you a little version of it, even if it is video, it shows you the video while it is running.

Focus on your Window – Quickly move to the Window you want to work with

If you put your mouse over Internet Explorer, and you have several tabs open, it will show all the tabs. You can move your mouse on the window you want, and it pops to the top, or as it is called, the focus window.

Also, if you have several instances or copies of a program or document type open, the little icon will show what looks like a few pages next to it, letting you know there is more than one.

Clear all Windows from the Desktop

On the bottom right of the taskbar, just to the right of the clock and date is the desktop button. If you click on that, all documents are cleared off the desk, and put in minimize mode. If you want them back you can just click on that button again, and your open windows will be back on the desktop.

Open another instance of a program that is already running

Many times I want to open another window of a program that is already running. Something like Internet Explorer or Microsoft Word.

All you have to do is put your mouse over the Icon on the taskbar, and hold down SHIFT and click your left mouse button. Poof, a new blank document or Internet Explorer Window opens, and your other windows all stay intact. ( For a geeky version of this, you can click your middle roller button, and then you do not have to hold shift!)

Focus on one window with a bunch of them open

Here is a cool and quick way to focus on one window minimize all the rest. Just hit the Win+HOME and all but the main focus window (one in front you are working on) disappear onto the task bar, and you have a clutter free desktop now.

Want them all back, just hit WIN+HOME keys and viola, they are all back.

Rearrange Taskbar Icons

You can drag the icons on the taskbar in any order you like. Just click and drag to the desired position.

If you want to add a program to the Taskbar so it is always there and easy to get to, just Right Click on the program and Click on Pin to Task Bar. Again, you can drag that into any order you like.

Fill up the Desktop / Screen with a single Window

All you have to do is click your mouse cursor on the top bar of a window, and drag it to the top of the screen, and let go of your mouse button. It explodes into full screen mode! If you want to go back, just double click on the top bar and it restores the Window back down.

Compare or look at Windows Side by Side

This feature is also very handy. Just drag the top bar of a window to the left side of the screen, then let go. Do the same with another Window, but this one gets dragged to the right side of the screen. Both lock in and take up half the screen. Double click the top bars to restore them back.

I hope you have enjoyed these tips, and they help you discover some of the coolness of Windows 7. Next time I will cover more cool tips and tricks for Windows 7.