Days 5/6

Written by Tom on . Posted in Apple, Microsoft, Tom's Blog

(Day six was New Years Day. I didn’t use the computer at all.)      Aaahhh, Windows. How I have grown to loathe you…… Perhaps it’s me. Actually, I should clarify. I don’t loathe Windows, just Windows 8. Windows XP and Windows 7 are pretty decent, actually. I will say, however, I really miss my Mac, and I really am ready to go back. And, I have to admit, I cheated. Day 5, I cheated. I had a very good reason. One of my Mac clients needed assistance with a problem, and I couldn’t find a suitable program on the Windows side to allow me to do what I needed to do. Chances are there’s something out there, but reality is, I would have spent more time looking for it then I would have opening my mac, and just solving the problem. So that’s what I did. Then back to Windows 8. I am struggling with the differences in this versus Windows 7, which I am using as a reference. It isn’t fair to attempt to match this to Mac OS 10.8. They are just too different. Regardless, I will add some another issues I have encountered.   In Outlook 2013, I added our Office 365 cloud account for email, and this works fine. EVERY other email address I have added constantly gives me the following error: cert error   Now, I have been in the computer industry for quite a while now, so I can recognize the need to install a certificate when I see one, so I did that, installed the certificate. Several times. For multiple accounts. I still get this error. Annoying. Keep in mind, this was a totally and complete “clean” install, and all software was clean install. There is no reason this should be happening. Doesn’t make it any less frustrating.  I will move past it, I have two days left. I can assure you, when I am done with Windows 8, I will most likely delete it, and install Windows 7 in its place. That doesn’t mean that I will be using it exclusively, but I will use it when needed. I generally use Parallels Desktop for the majority of my Windows needs with a clean install of Windows XP. That does most everything I need it to. It works fine.   I would like to review some apps.   Office 2013.   I really can honestly say that, with the exception of the certificate error, which I blame Windows 8 for, that this is a nice, solid upgrade. It is fast, and has an awful lot of nice new templates, and a lot of great features. The ribbon is still there, but it’s manageable. I can really see where Microsoft is going with this, and I am behind them 100%. This is such a nice upgrade. I am loving the updates to Word, and Excel. These changes will come as very welcome changes to anyone who lives in windows. I consider this a “must-have” upgrade. These apps all use the “Standard” Windows interface. No Metro nonsense. I am certain that this will come, either in the next upgrade, or as an option. For the time being, this is a good thing.   Bing Search/Maps/News Apps for Windows 8                   These are a conundrum. Web search and news reading should be easy. The news app is a little bit better than the Bing app, but all three apps trigger one of my biggest pet peeves.   When a link is clicked in the local metro app, it launches IE. If you are going to create an app, and this goes for both APPLE and WINDOWS, include the functionality to USE the app. I don’t need a “headlines app” unless I can click through the headlines and read the story, without having to switch back to the app to read the next headline. This is the same in the Maps app. And Bing Search. Combine this functionality into one app, add IE engine and call it a day.   Skype for Windows 8   This one takes the cake. This is the winner. I have used Skype on and off for clients for quite a while. I haven’t logged in in probably over 6 months, though. In the interest of exploration, I launched Skype for Windows 8 (more on the reason for the continued use of the proper name in a minute,) and attempted to log in using my old login and password. Login failed. Try again, maybe I just don’t remember the password? Login Failed. Now, I KNOW I remember the password, but just to be sure, I start looking for the “forgot my password” button when it hits me. “Please log in using your Microsoft account.” BAM. Just like that. No way to log into a old Skype account, unless you succumb to the Microsoft account monster, and connect the old Skype account to your new Microsoft account. Or so it would seem. A quick trip to the website shows me that there is a “Skype for Desktop” version available. I download it, and install it, and sure enough, I can log in using my old account. Since I don’t use it, I uninstalled it and chalked it up to experience.   App Store for Windows 8                   Where do I begin? I love this! This is long overdue, and what a wonderful way for Mom and Dad to be confident, and SAFE about the software they install on their Windows machines! Awesome! Lack of good organization is a bit frustrating, but overall, great selection of software! On a whim, I do a quick search for some software to show my instagram feed, and immediately am presented with a great selection! I pick a cool looking one, called, instagrille, and go to install. Oops, it redirects me to a website for the product, and a download button. I download it, figuring “Hey, I suppose I can live with this.” Done!  Just like if I had found it on the web myself. :\ Install it. Easy. OOPS. It also installed something else, called Pokki. Apparently, you can’t have one without the other. Wow. That store was USEFUL! SAFE! Just like the old Windows. Love it!   That’s enough for today, Day 7 and 8 approach! Can’t wait! More tomorrow!   TC

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