Enjoy your new setup. :-D
I took delivery of a new PC running Windows 8.1 recently, have spent the past week running my old and new PC's side by side, experiencing the joys of configuring a new puter, i.e, setting up email, data transfer, loading programs, transferring bookmarks etc.
After all of the negative opinions (mostly from people who have never used the OS) must admit I was a little concerned that I may have been in for torrid time, nothing is further from the truth, it really has been a straight forward operation, most of what was there in XP is certainly still there, some things are accessed a little differently, no big deal, just takes a little getting used to.
Sure, like everything there is room for improvement, however a lot of this will come down to personal preferences and how we choose to set the machine up for our own use.
For them that's interested, it's a custom built PC.
- Intel i7-4770 CPU
- Gigabyte G1 B5 full size mother board
- 16GB DDR3 1600MHz RAM
- 1TB WD black HDD
- LG BlueRay rewriter.
- 2 x 22 inch monitors (dual screen setup)
So, in answer to the question, what do people think of Windows 8? I'm impressed, setup was easy, and the OS while different is easy enough to come to terms with, not sure what all the fuss is about.
Enjoy your new setup. :-D
Thanks Chokkidog, wasn't really fishing for compliments or whatever, buying a new PC may be exiting for some, I'm way past that stage, a new puter for me usually means a lot of work and plenty of frustration.
Trying to research Win 8 was difficult, seems everyone has an opinion based on hearsay, when you ask em exactly what they dislike about the OS the reply confirms they have never used it, but, the wife's nephew runs a business fixing and repairing computers out of his bedroom and reckons its an absolute dog, think you know what I mean.
I have been using Win 8 for my home PC for a few months now, and I am still learning to work around how I used to do certain things when using Win7; it feels more at home as a touch base tablet PC then for a desktop...
and the original lack of the "Start" button can be infuriating at times.
Load up is quicker, but seems its more of a trick to just start the window first while loading all the other stuff in the background...
I have noticed the search features is much better and quick... I dont have much issues with compatibalities with software and hardware, but I do notice random crashes for Citrix which can be annoying since I use it to work from home...
Just did similar myself, replacing a 7yo HP PC with a Dell Inspiron laptop (6Gb Ram/750Gb HD) with Windows 8.1
I struggle with computers and have absolutely no interest in them other than what I need them to do.
Fortunately I have a computer geek Son, who keeps me sane.
He set the new one up for me so that it works just like Windows 7.
Apart from the fact that I will never be competent with Word or Excel (only been using it for 30 years after all) it all seems to work fairly easily.
My personal view is that computers haven't come very far in 30 years, and still aren't intuitive or user-friendly.
In 18 months when my wife retires she can have the MS rubbish and I am going over to an Apple system.
In 18 months when my wife retires she can have the MS rubbish and I am going over to an Apple system.[/QUOTE]
It always amuses me when people say this: "this is too different! I can't handle this new OS! Oh, I know, I'll switch to a completely different one and it will ALL BE FINE!"
Why do people bitch about learning Windows 7 or Windows 8 and then NOT bitch about learning OS X? It's not like it's any more intuitive, especially if you're coming from a Windows background already.
MS is bringing out another update for 8.1 which is supposed to make it more user friendly for Desktop Users and from what I've been able to find out, it looks promising. I'll probably hang out 'til then before doing anything with my Win8 box...
Background: I have 6 Linux boxes (Ubuntu for the desktops/notebooks, Mint for the netbook, and OpenSuSE for the 2 servers) a Mac Mini and a Raspberry Pi. All run some version of *nix. I have NO windows machines, but I admit to having Virtualbox to run XP for those programs that I haven't been able to substitute in Linux. It has been a steady process of getting away from Windows. I am now down to "Connecting to the ATO", one MSAccess application, and MSProject. I use Openoffice. Oh, and I have an Android phone and two Android tablets. I've also worked thru Dos, W3.1, W95,W98,W2000,XP,Vista, and W7
So, I'm a computer nerd of sorts, and not much fazes me, but it came close with W8 on a notebook when helping out a mate. It was really difficult to work out what it was doing. I'm sure I could have mastered it given time, but I simply couldn't be bothered. Why did they make it so non-intuitive?
It's kinda similar to the current GNOME desktop though. Surely not that hard for you to adapt, Gonzo?
I've had a new Win 8.1 laptop for about 2 weeks now - first impression, the interface has a lot in common with my Android tablet!
However, other than the fact that I needed to do a bit of extra research to make some older hardware work with 8.1 (due to having to track down solutions to hardware vendors not supplying 64 bit drivers for old peripherals) it's been a good ride so far.
Agree Yalta. Aside from the dual screens, I've been using 8.1 on a virtually identical desktop. Like you I was a little anxious due to reports read but have had no issues myself. Goes to show, some internet reviews are nothing more than someone's rant of disappointment rather than an objective report useful to others.
For those that are light computer users, Win8 / 8.1 is OK after you learn its quirks. A little internet browsing and word processing should not ever stress any OS worth its salt. Even a "smartphone" should be able to cope with that.
For heavy users (like most IT pro's & geeks) it falls apart badly. This machine is currently running three virtual machines. I currently have four browsers open (three doing various remote access stuff, the fourth is "my workhorse firefox" running three windows with a handful of tabs in each including video streaming the Aus / SA cricket earlier), 11 large documents (mostly 500 highly complex pages each), two spreadsheets and a "Corporate Enterprise Report" sifting through 5 * 160Gb accounting (i.e. pure text) databases (that alone takes about 12 hours unless I hammer the machine with other workload). It is also accessing my CD collection and providing music streaming. I need the three HiDef monitors to keep track of it all (especially the remote stuff which is a few keystrokes at this end and then endless waiting for the far end to complete).
Win 8 would have major hysterics long before I even started to load the databases and MS Office would crash out before the second document loaded (being kind here, it crashes before loading similarly complex "single 150+ page PHD theses" regularly on student's machines).
In a nutshell, that is why MS stuff like Vista / Win 8x gets bad press: this computer can easily cope with all those tasks (8 cores, 32Gb of RAm and 6 Tb of disk storage plus two SSD's and two bluray recorders) however the latest Windows / "any Office version" cannot. FWIW, XP can, even though it can only access 4Gb of RAM... Progress?
Can't say that's been my experience, TampIt. 7 & 8 definitely handle multiple workloads a lot better than XP for my usage, particularly when it comes to disk IO & memory management, and even multithreaded tasks.
Why oh why when the post title indicates this is a thread relating to Windows 8.1 do we still have people chime in beating the open source software drum? and for what its worth the posts are full of techno babble, indecipherable to the average human, but you only have to read through their posts to realize these people are, a little different.
Just as the techno babble regarding coffee equipment on here is indecipherable to the average human with all you having to do is read through posts on here to realize we're a little different. In that sense this thread is no different than thousands of others on here, it just doesn't deal with coffee as most of them do. But then that's what the Off Topic forum is for.and for what its worth the posts are full of techno babble, indecipherable to the average human, but you only have to read through their posts to realize these people are, a little different.
Java "Techno what?" phile
Toys! I must have new toys!!!
Memory management? My experience: Win 8 has more leaks than 7 which has more than XP 32 bit. 7 needs a reboot every 12 hours or so if I use it "native" for my normal workload as its memory map has morphed into some fantasy realm. 8 doesn't even get to load it. FWIW, I am really resenting having to allocate nearly half my RAM to do virtual tasks in Win when they are only doing about 5% of the actual work. If I ever went back to that full time I would be seriously reprogramming some of the client's software into something more reliable: the main reason I am (temporarily, I hope) running the stuff I mentioned earlier is that their new, upgraded, "in house" Win systems can no longer generate all their end of month reports in the required time. XP could three months ago. Training their IT staff in the care & feeding of virtual machines looks like taking up too much of my March.
This "workhorse" machine is on its 9th day now, even with 3 WinXP & Win7 virtual machines running to do stuff like keeping Excel macros in a secure sandbox and blocking internet access to insecure portions of Office. None of the Win's are really capable of utilising more than a fraction of this hardware's capability, whilst truly heavy workloads remain a distant pipe-dream for MS afficionados.
Disk I/O: Using my "test" machine's Adaptec / 16 disk raid, none of the Win's are close to ext4, or even my more usual journalling file systems (even as far back as ReiserFS) despite their heavier disk workload. Running big multi DB queries in Win takes at least twice as long, often 5 or 6 times. Whether one of the Wins is faster than another seems rather academic from my perspective.
Enough IT stuff from me (sigh of relief from some CSr's). Too many more fun things to do while waiting for another session to complete...
Comparing Windows disk IO to *nix is a bit redundant: but your claim than XP 32-bit does a better job than 7 or 8 just doesn't stack up in my usage. (which isn't that dissimilar to your own with multiple VMs, heavy memory usage). I don't even know how you managed 4 VMs under XP - there just isn't enough RAM to go around!
It doesn't sound like your comparing apples with apples. There's a lot of rose-coloured glasses with XP - if you went back to it and tried to do the same tasks I think you'd be surprised.
With a top spec like that - what is the boot up time? or do you leave it in sleep mode for a quick startup? Or maybe on all the time?
Did you consider using a small SSDrive for the O/S?
i run a C drive with only my OS and a separate D drive has all the data. So i am very particular about backing that up but dont bother with the OS.
I need to update my home PC, but like you yelta i cringe at all the setup and transition BS. i think my next machine will have a 256G SSD and a regular 2TB for data.
I have a mix at home, 7 for my desktop and 8.1 is on my wife's new Vaio 'fit' 15A. The only beef I really has is with Sony and the non-responding touch after half an hour (and other times it's fine all day). I also work in IT and covering over 100 PC's in our environment, I find Windows 7 and 32bit XP to be roughly just as good as each other. I haven't seen any failures or issues on one OS more than the other.
I also use Win7 on my work machine and I lock it rather than reboot it nightly/weekly and I think I might reboot twice a month.. maybe? It certainly isn't some major memory leaker IMHO. Also we have a VM environment and we reboot the ESXi server because of issues with our Ubuntu DB VM 100% of the time Vs the 6/7 XP VMs that are also running at the same time.
Yep I have the drive partitioned C and D drives, C has the OS and programs D I use exclusively for data, I back my D drive up regularly.
Investigated SSD's don't like the fact that when they fail the data is irretrievable, the WD Black serves my purposes very well.
Those HDDs are excellent. My system drive though is a 0.5TB WD VelociRaptor, and very happy with the performance and longevity of that one as opposed to current SSDs. I'll be waiting until they have the same sort of life expectancy as the 'Raptor before I buy an SSD...
Just on this, when a platter drive fails (properly) the data is irretrievable too. In an old photography circle I was in, a young hotshot with tons of cash (i.e. Executive daddy) had a platter drive fail and paid for a platter transplant! He got back 15-20 files, most corrupt, a couple of Windows DLL's and a Windows log.
Irregardless of drive type, backups are king. Google drive has free 15GB, Mozy and Crashplan are faily cheap and a lot more robust than a NAS or HDD (NAS and HDD's still have hard drives within them don't forget).
Couple of HDDs is a cheap way to get lots of data backed up.
In my reading (Backblaze have a couple of good reads on their blogs) their failure rates varied but they show some particular brands (e.g. WD) over another (Seagate) in their 'storage pods' to be much more reliable. SSD's are much the same with my preliminary readings showing Sandforce SSD's having the worst failure rates, which is one of the few reasons I purchased a Samsung 840. At the end of the day, we must consider how we use the drives in order to really gauge their lifespan and SSD's major flaw is the max read/write cycles, but in 'normal use', they should last around 10 years.
My NAS is a decent cheap, on-site backup (2-bay for $89+ some disks I already had) but I'd be buggered in fire/theft/act of god/allah/whatevs ergo 'cloud' beats all IMO.
FYI, All my current machines have 32 or 64Gb of Kingston HyperX RAM. Workhorse is "only" 32Gb as I do not need more for its usual stuff. Memory: 2 * XP @ 3.5Gb each = 7Gb, 1 * Win7 @ 8Gb = 15Gb of "VM Win" vs 17Gb left for Slackware. Mercifully, I do not need another WinVM, although Slack really only needs around 12Gb for those particular reports anyway. Spread of client work: about 5% Win with around 60% of overall machine resource allocation (esp. CPU & almost meaningless / unwanted "Win video noises"). Makes me wish you could just set it up to beep when completed (i.e. like a late '70's PDP11) instead of constant idiotic screen chatter consuming power and bandwidth.
Their old XP hardware has been running their accounts for well over 7 years now. Took 4 specialised XP machines to do it. I had nothing to do with their upgrade as I am trying to have a minimal IT life these days. They contacted me in a panic as their newer / much faster hardware with Win 7 / 8 cannot meet their reporting deadlines even across 6 machines. FWIW, I am not really an XP fan either.
"rose coloured glasses": I expect a few other ex-clients will be crawling out of the woodwork in the next few months with similar spectacles on. I suppose it is so '90's to desire to get their real work done instead of looking at pretty screens... which crash either heavy tasks or whole OS too often to be truly useful.
FWIW, I haven't personally had any SSDs die on me (touch wood!), but I've seen plenty fail in the field. Most have been completely dead, but a couple have failed gradually enough to recover data. I don't think they fail any more often than traditional HDDs, but I do think the failures are more sudden and 'complete'.
Either way... backup backup backup!
I've been using Windows 8.1 for about 6 months. It seems like Microsoft is trying too hard to impress. This thing with tiles on my laptop screen is not that usable.
I personally think Microsoft should take a leaf from Apple and just replace Windows with a newly built version of Windows, maybe based on a UNIX operating system like BSD or Linux. That's what Apple did with OSX, it's now built on a UNIX core (I'm sure it's BSD).
Yes, OSX is a set of pretty pictures (interface) built on a BSD base. Not a bad mix: solid under the bonnet and cosmetically easy to use.
MS probably cannot do the same as they have spent 15+ years throwing unsuccessful patent lawsuits and other bits of chocanery & FUD at the 'nixes (SCO Unix anyone?). Apple may not be welcome within the 'nix camp, however I suspect MS would be actively fought / hacked against.
Most Apple aficionados have conveniently forgotten that earlier Macs had as many crashing probs as their Win contemporaries. Their strategy of using slightly modified (i.e. SCSI pin 1 & 2 "Apple mod"), proprietary, way overpriced & poor quality hardware combined with using their OS to restrict the available actions in a partially successful attempt to gain some measure of stability was a nightmare. For this IT guy, the Mac SE was the worst hardware / software combo I ever lived with (for those with a long enough memory).
Roll on the future (perhaps Android, another 'nix?)
Maybe Microsoft can't join the "nix camp" as you say but they can't let the current situation go on. They need to build a completely new version Windows from the ground up. Maybe offer an optional compatibility layer for legacy systems if they do that.
Android seems like a fractured mess to me. Market penetration means nothing if the profit per unit is minimal.
As for me I just had to buy a full retail version of Windows 8.1. Even if I got a job tomorrow it would be a while before I could buy a new Mac, unfortunately.
I think the MS kernel is fine, it's just the interface people don't like in 8. Stability-wise, 99% of the problems are 3rd party drivers & software. Linux obviously doesn't have this issue as the drivers are built-in (mostly) not add-on modules.
The catch for Windows is, as you said, compatibility. People expect decades of compatibility in Windows: on a Mac, they just buy a new computer or a new accessory or a new program. It's a weird attitude, but there it is: Apple gets away with three years of support and limited legacy support, while MS is getting lambasted for finally killing XP 13 years after release.
The only reason I'm using a Windows laptop now is because it was given to me and I don't have a job at the moment.
That's just it though: Windows users keep their PCs for much longer than 5 years, and much longer than Mac users in general. If they didn't, their would be very few Windows XP machines still around (Win 7 is 5 years old this year).
Personally I work with all platforms & each has their pros and cons. I quite like the Mac hardware: it's a shame it doesn't work quite as well running Windows or Linux.
Windows XP is still used by a lot of companies even on brand new computers. It takes about 6 months for them to test apps on a new operating system and that doesn't include updating those apps. I remember putting SOEs with Windows XP on brand new computers after Windows 7 came out.
Mac users always go on and on about how much better their Mac is than their old Windows machine. Funny though, they conveniently ignore that a) they were replacing an old machine with a new one; b) it cost a fraction of their Mac; and c) if anything goes wrong with their Mac it's not the Mac's fault and they just buy a new one. It is why non-Mac users see them as a cult: somehow everything is magically better in Macland! ;-)
I'm certainly one of the Windows users you refer to.
I bought a new PC with XP installed in 2002, the hardware was showing signs of age in 2007/8 so replaced it with another box running XP, this is the system I replaced about 10 days ago, even then the only reason I upgraded was because MS announced they were not supporting XP after April this year and I was obviously concerned about security implications.
Two PC's in almost 12 years, both running XP, never experienced a problem/failure/virus or security breach with either machine during that time.
I'm certainly a happy MS user, wouldn't even contemplate a change.
Of course prior to XP we had Windows 98 and 2000, an entirely different story, those of us who are old enough recall the blue screen of death only too well.
I've got experience with Windows, OSX and some distros of Linux. With Windows I get a level of problems that I haven't experienced with OSX, so I'm hardly going to praise Windows computers over Macs.
I can't dispute you've had issues with Windows machines, but just pointing out your bad experience with Windows isn't necessarily the rule. What issues have you had? Are they actually Windows issues, or the result of 3rd-party software? As I said before, Microsoft becomes the default for the blame game on a Windows machine, when usually it's nothing to do with them. Apple is somehow the opposite (it's everyone one else's fault but their own).
Speaking of OSX, Mavericks users might want to be aware of a critical vulnerability in SSL handling (affects iOS too, but a patch is already available, 7.0.6 & 6.1.6).
FWIW, as I said not an Apple user but just read this Apple promises fix for security flaw affecting Mac computers as experts warn of hacking threat - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) may be of interest given that the Cupertino aficionados are constantly reminding us that security issues don't affect their choice of operating system.
Hanging on to Windows boxes for long times? I have no idea what you're talking about! The longest I've had one was a Compaq 486/66 running NT4 Server that ran 24/7 here for almost 17 years initially as a Primary Domain Controller, a Proxy Server, and a File Server and eventually just as a File Server as it had a Raid5. It finally died when it couldn't boot back up after an extended power outage. Outside of its initial setup period when everything was getting installed and configured it never had a BSOD, it was never infected/hacked, and at times it went years between reboots. Once NT4 hit EoL it was only rebooted because of a long power outage when its UPS ran out of juice before the power was restored.
Java "BSOWhat?" phile
Toys! I must have new toys!!!
So Apple makes patches available. So does Microsoft. It just seems a bit suss when people single out the patches Apple make available and fail to mention the patches Microsoft keeps handing out.
Windows laptops can be bought more cheaply. Everybody knows how to use Windows (or "nearly everybody"). It gets the job done when you use Windows. You have more of a choice with games on Windows. Microsoft Office is more complete on Windows.
I just won't pretend it's completely stable.