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Don't Be Afraid of the Big Bad Windows 8


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110 replies to this topic

#41 willl

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 04:37

I'm planning on buying a new computer (laptop) in the near future. I'm not computer illiterate, but I am certainly not
computer savvy either. Would I be better off going with Windows 7 or Windows 8 (I am now running a 10 year old laptop with Windows XP).


I'd say Windows 8 would come standard on any new laptop. Simply because most laptops with Windows 7 were taken off the shelf when Windows 8 launched and replaced/upgraded to Windows 8.

I still don't see what all the fuss/complaints are with regards to Windows 8. They replaced the start menu with a start screen, and also removed the start button. Those two seem to be the biggest complaints I've seen.

Question is, how often do you find yourself clicking on the start button to access the start menu, vs hitting the windows key on your keyboard? Hitting the windows key will bring up the new metro/start screen. And then you just start typing and it'll filter/find the app that you wanted to launch. Same as you would with the Windows 7/Vista start menu.

Or if you have a lot of commonly launched applications, then just pin the icon to your taskbar.

If you really, really do need/miss the start button/menu then I guess you can just install something like "classic shell" - http://classicshell.sourceforge.net/

#42 Alan7140

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 05:13

Question is, how often do you find yourself clicking on the start button to access the start menu, vs hitting the windows key on your keyboard?


Er.... often.
When using Photoshop in particular, with tool functionality often changeable via either the Alt or Ctrl keys, accidentally hitting the Windows key sitting between them can be more than irritating when focus is suddenly switched to a Start menu - it can lead to errors and loss in concentration by interrupting workflow like that. Which is probably why Logitech (and likely other keyboard manufacturers) offer a "Disable Windows Key" setting in their software. Accessing the Run command often means that I also use the start menu often, and using Photoshop often means that I have the Windows key disabled.

As I've seen written in reviews, Win 8 appears to be an attempt at the great dumbing down of computer use, Microsoft being apparently eager to hand pro use of computers to Apple and Linux.

#43 afx

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 06:22

I still don't see what all the fuss/complaints are with regards to Windows 8. They replaced the start menu with a start screen, and also removed the start button. Those two seem to be the biggest complaints I've seen.

You forgot the tiling silliness and yet another rearrangement of customization tools.

Question is, how often do you find yourself clicking on the start button to access the start menu, vs hitting the windows key on your keyboard?

What Windows key???
Decent keyboards do not have that silliness (writing on a classic MFII)

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#44 Dave Rosser

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 10:49

Sleep = the PC runs at a minimum of power
Hibernate = the memory contents are dumped into an image file and the computer is turned off. When turning the computer back on, instead of having to load the OS from scratch, the working memory is filled with the contents of the image file and you can continue from there on.

From what I understand, Windows 8 uses some form of hibernation to speed up start time. I suspect that an image is created after a "clean boot" (before logging on) and that is used to start up, as opposed to reading all the system files one by one.

I think you are right there. I have actually turned that feature off because it writes the image file to the C drive which in my case is an SSD whose finite life I do not want to use up to quickly.

#45 nfoto

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 10:57

Plus, with the ever increasing size of installed memory, a massive amount of data has to be stored for hibernation. I would have used up 32 GB for the memory image alone, not to speak of the stupid "virtual memory" that Windows still insists on being present and by default sets to 1.5X the actual memory. Argh. On a 120GB SSD this is serious.

Switch off power and let the machine reboot in a normal manner. It adds just a few extra seconds so who cares? (I don't, but my boxes typically run long shifts anyway so booting time is moot anyway). Longevity of SSDs presumably is improved as well.
Bjørn

#46 Dave Rosser

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 11:07

Er.... often.
When using Photoshop in particular, with tool functionality often changeable via either the Alt or Ctrl keys, accidentally hitting the Windows key sitting between them can be more than irritating when focus is suddenly switched to a Start menu - it can lead to errors and loss in concentration by interrupting workflow like that. Which is probably why Logitech (and likely other keyboard manufacturers) offer a "Disable Windows Key" setting in their software. Accessing the Run command often means that I also use the start menu often, and using Photoshop often means that I have the Windows key disabled.

As I've seen written in reviews, Win 8 appears to be an attempt at the great dumbing down of computer use, Microsoft being apparently eager to hand pro use of computers to Apple and Linux.

Have you tried it yourself? There is a very vocal minority of Luddites on the web whose sole cry is "bring back the start button". I am running Windows 8 now but the screen I am looking at looks absolutely identical to my old Windows 7 screen - all my shortcuts are where they always were and the only thing missing from my, automatically hidden, status bar is the dreaded start button. I do however have a shutdown button - quite easy to add. If you are using multi screens you can easily set things so that the start screen pops up on a second or third screen when you press the windows key accidentally rather than the screen you have focus on.

#47 Dave Rosser

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 11:18

Plus, with the ever increasing size of installed memory, a massive amount of data has to be stored for hibernation. I would have used up 32 GB for the memory image alone, not to speak of the stupid "virtual memory" that Windows still insists on being present and by default sets to 1.5X the actual memory. Argh. On a 120GB SSD this is serious.

I've moved my "stupid" virtual memory onto my spinner D drive but what on earth is it for? - I never fill my 16Gig of real memory with actual programme data - it eventually gets filled up with Standby data but this is only Windows guess at what might be required in the future and can be overwritten at any time by real programme data.

#48 nfoto

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 11:19

Whilst progress in general can (and should) be positive, in connection with Microsoft it mostly indicates troubles.

Dumbing-down computers to suit the lower end of the market (or users) might sell more, but causes issues for those few who really needs to do heavy work with their computers. To the extent viable software alternatives exist, these days I move activities over to Linux systems. There is also the option to use virtual systems (various versions of Windows etc.) to cater for special requirements and now I run all these on a massively beefed-up Linux box.
Bjørn

#49 nfoto

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 11:25

I've moved my "stupid" virtual memory onto my spinner D drive but what on earth is it for? - I never fill my 16Gig of real memory with actual programme data - it eventually gets filled up with Standby data but this is only Windows guess at what might be required in the future and can be overwritten at any time by real programme data.


Memory management (MM) of Windows is a huge topic on itself. Let's put it this way: when there are massive amounts of memory available and the system never is strained to cope with memory requirements, Windows MM works perfectly (since it is never used). The virtual memory acts these days mainly as a self-assurance to give the OS peace of mind and keep it from stressing its ancient MM.

Must be present, should never be used. Also, ensure the option for making memory dumps is unchecked.
Bjørn

#50 helioer

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 21:13

Well, I got my new workhorse delivered last weekend.
I was offered Windows 8, but I requested Windows 7 instead (and paid some 20 € more for that). Delivered with 32GB and I added the remaining 32GB yesterday - so now the Asus P9X79 Pro board with i7 hexa core is fully loaded. System disk is 2*256GB SSD (Raid1 configuration) and data disk 4*1TB Sata III 7200 rpm (Raid 5 configuration) (and the real data storage is located on NAS devices). And of course a nVidia Quadro is driving my dual flat screens (HP ZR24w). Previous XP machine was good for 5 years. This Windows 7 will probably keep me happy the next 5 years as well. What surprises me is the silence of the new hardware compared with the previous (silent) one. The old one had a passive cooled graphics card but the new one is even more silent. Fractal Design seems to make really good boxes (mine is a R4 with really large fans). The old box was an Antec 300 series.

And what remains will be intensive installation of all the software I need. Will probably take one week...

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#51 Humboldt

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 22:57

Whilst progress in general can (and should) be positive, in connection with Microsoft it mostly indicates troubles.

Dumbing-down computers to suit the lower end of the market (or users) might sell more, but causes issues for those few who really needs to do heavy work with their computers. To the extent viable software alternatives exist, these days I move activities over to Linux systems. There is also the option to use virtual systems (various versions of Windows etc.) to cater for special requirements and now I run all these on a massively beefed-up Linux box.

What is the benefit of running windows on a virtual machine? For development purposes, or for some security reasons I can see the point, but for photo editing or other photo tasks, why running windows on a virtual system?

#52 nfoto

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 00:43

Well, I didn't specify photo editing for the VMs? For other tasks, such as databases or other stuff, the virtual machines are plenty fast enough (actually, if anything they run faster under Linux). I do run some RAW conversion packages directly under Linux, though. Currently using Aftershot Pro and Rawtherapee, more to come.

Security is a no-brainer of course with a VM on its own intranet, and you can keep legacy systems running with little or no extra efforts. Software development and adaptations are easily carried out as well in the VM domain. Since any future hardware upgrade is on the host system only, the VMs aren't affected. Suits me fine. I'm only interested in stuff that works, no gimmicks required. The Linux server easily handles 6-7 concurrent Windows VMs which suffice for my needs.
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#53 Bart Willems

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 02:16

Must be present, should never be used. Also, ensure the option for making memory dumps is unchecked.


Ah, that brings back memories of the good old days. Those that had the money to outfit their 386 with a full 4 MB of memory did wise to create a 1 MB ramdisk and fill it with a swapping file. Windows 3.11 would run more efficient with a swapping file than without it, even when it was not needed.
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#54 Bart Willems

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 02:18

Well, I got my new workhorse delivered last weekend.
(...)


Strange, I didn't read about a nation-wide power outage in Finland last week.... :)
  • helioer and Colin-M like this
Bart

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#55 Longhiker

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 03:06

and don't forget souping up your 286 or 386 with the 287 or 387 math co-processor. :D
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#56 nfoto

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 08:15

Ah, memories, nothing like going down memory lane.

A healthy contrast to the current situation where 32 GB RAM sometimes isn't enough ...
Bjørn

#57 Dave Rosser

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 12:07

Well, I didn't specify photo editing for the VMs? For other tasks, such as databases or other stuff, the virtual machines are plenty fast enough (actually, if anything they run faster under Linux). I do run some RAW conversion packages directly under Linux, though. Currently using Aftershot Pro and Rawtherapee, more to come.

Security is a no-brainer of course with a VM on its own intranet, and you can keep legacy systems running with little or no extra efforts. Software development and adaptations are easily carried out as well in the VM domain. Since any future hardware upgrade is on the host system only, the VMs aren't affected. Suits me fine. I'm only interested in stuff that works, no gimmicks required. The Linux server easily handles 6-7 concurrent Windows VMs which suffice for my needs.


On the subject of VMs, Windows 8 pro (which you get even if updating from Windows 7 Home Premium) comes with Hyper-V, a full fledged virtual environment where you can run all sorts of guest operating systems, including Linux, built in.

#58 jramskov

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 13:43

Well, I got my new workhorse delivered last weekend.
I was offered Windows 8, but I requested Windows 7 instead (and paid some 20 € more for that). Delivered with 32GB and I added the remaining 32GB yesterday - so now the Asus P9X79 Pro board with i7 hexa core is fully loaded. System disk is 2*256GB SSD (Raid1 configuration) and data disk 4*1TB Sata III 7200 rpm (Raid 5 configuration) (and the real data storage is located on NAS devices).

Sounds like a nice machine! Just one question: You're aware that TRIM doesn't work on practically any SSD's when you use them in RAID?
Joergen Ramskov
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#59 helioer

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 21:09

Sounds like a nice machine! Just one question: You're aware that TRIM doesn't work on practically any SSD's when you use them in RAID?

Yep. That could be the case but the jury is still out. Currently I'm getting disk performance index of 7.9 which should be maximum you can get when running SSD's in Raid configuration according to MSDN documentation I found. Single SSD will give you less. The guys that put my machine together attached the SSD's to the 6GB/s Marvell ports with "SSD Raid" stickers. I'll be monitoring if the performance drops. Now it is anyway blazing fast. nVidia Quadro is not a "game graphics board" so I'm getting "only" 7.0 as the graphics index. Everything else is 7.9.

Erkki

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FX: Nikon 14-24/2.8G, 24-70/2.8G, 28/1.8G, 70-200/2.8G VR, 300/2.8G VR, 60/2.8D+105/2.8D micro, 85/1.4D, 16/2.8D, 50/1.4G, 500/8 reflex C, Sigma 8/3.5 EX, 12-24 EX, 150/2.8 OS EX...
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4*SB800's, R1C1 kit with 3*SB-R200, YN-622 kit (TX+4*RC)...


#60 Alan7140

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 21:35

Ah, memories, nothing like going down memory lane.

A healthy contrast to the current situation where 32 GB RAM sometimes isn't enough ...


The billionaire syndrome applies: no matter how much one has, one always needs more.

I thought going from a four-core i-7 @ 2.66GHz with 12GB RAM to a six core i-7 @ 4.33GHz with 64GB RAM & SSD would make me a little less prone to the write-to-disk wall that I was always bumping into, but it would appear that for all the difference that made I'd need 1TB of RAM to avoid the slowdown. Of course the prediction is that 2TB would be necessary almost instantly after that. etc. etc.




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