Using Windows 8

I could not get on with windows vista, so I stuck with XP, and vista passed me by. Windows 7 came out, but again, it was very much like vista, so I started to experiment with Linux. Eventually, I found a Linux called PeppermintOS, and have grown to like it.
Windows 8 is due soon, and a consumer preview is already available, so I have decided to give it a try. Apparently it is a major departure from what has been the ‘norm’ for the past 20 years.

Using Windows 8

During install, it wants to tie your login to your hotmail/live account if you have one. I went along with this, because I am interested to see how ‘skydrive’ integration works.
A desktop client is now available for skydrive, and coupled with the 25Gig storage, is a killer feature.
Unfortunately, it looks like new users of skydrive will be restricted to 7Gig.

Pressing the spacebar takes you from the welcome screen to the login screen.

Once logged in, I get the impression that this is windows 7 with a metro interface stuck on the front.
Basically, if you press the windows key, you arrive at the windows 7 desktop. It is pretty much the same, Wordpad, paint, and all the usual stuff including control panel are all present.
Admittedly, there is no start menu or shutdown button, and apparently, people see this as a problem, but pressing the computers power button to shut down makes more sense to me than the multitude of key presses you had to go through to shut down previously. No start menu…… Right click on an empty part of the metro screen, not on a tile, and the all apps menu appears. If you know the name of the app you want to start, just start typing it’s name.

No apparent battery indicator on the metro interface. You have to switch to desktop view to see how the battery is doing, although metro does pop up a low battery warnng.

Moving the mouse to the top right corner brings out the charms menu which includes, search, share, start, devices, and settings.

The new OS appears to be designed for touch screens, so set up the ‘people’ app to pull in twitter and facebook, and you get sideways scrolling comments, obviously designed for swiping. On a laptop, this means using the scroll bar at the bottom, which infuriatingly disappears every time you stop scrolling to read something. You then have to move the mouse about to make the scroll bar reappear. You can get focus with the arrow keys to enable scrolling left and right with these keys.

Alt +F4 closes the open app with focus, not sure what will close them on a touch screen.

There are two internet explorers, one is started from the metro interface, and runs in full screen mode. You right click at the top of the screen to see other open tabs, you also close tabs here. The address bar is across the bottom of the screen.

The other internet explorer is started from the desktop and works as it has always done.

The mail account was linked to my Hotmail account from the setup choice I made, and the tile scrolled through various recent emails. Right clicking at the bottom of the mail client gives you the option to add more accounts. When I added my gmail account, it automatically set up my calendar as well.

When I added virtualbox, it ‘nuked’ my network and I had no internet access. Using windows repair option worked temporarily, but did not survive a reboot. So I repaired again, and while it was still working, I used the windows option to ‘bridge’ the virtualbox adapter to my wireless adapter. After doing this, wireless continued to work, and networking in virtualbox also worked.

Arduino drivers would not install, because of stricter driver signing requirements. I found this on the arduino forum which allows the drivers to be installed.

I have come up with an alternative method to install the Arduino drivers on Windows 8.
This method does not require new driver files or installation of a test signature.

1. Windows Key + R
2. Enter shutdown.exe /r /o /f /t 00
3. Click the “OK” button
4. System will restart to a “Choose an option” screen
5. Select “Troubleshoot” from “Choose an option” screen
6. Select “Advanced options” from “Troubleshoot” screen
7. Select “Windows Startup Settings” from “Advanced options” screen
8. Click “Restart” button
9. System will restart to “Advanced Boot Options” screen
10. Select “Disable Driver Signature Enforcement”
11. Once the system starts, install the Arduino drivers as you would on Windows 7

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