Site Tweaks

I’ve had some extra free time lately, so I decided to make some long needed tweaks to the site; all of which were related to understanding WordPress and PHP more. Making those tweaks were fun because it helped me understand the WordPress environment a little better. Some of the smaller details of the site look better and more natural. I’ll continue making tweaks, like maybe adding a sidebar. I intentionally left out the sidebar, but I’m starting to think it would be a good idea, so I can make category and/or tag refinement possible. I would also like to make subscribing to categories and tags easier and more apparent.

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Upgrading to Windows 8 Is Tempting But…

Today Microsoft officially released Windows 8 and I received my email with a promotional code to get the Pro upgrade at a discounted price since I recently purchased a computer. A link was also provided to download an upgrade assistant to see how my computer stacked up with Windows 8 requirements. They gave me the following compatibility issues to review:

Install an app to play DVDS – This one confused me because I thought that would be provided because it was in my copy of Windows 7. On further inspection, it is because Windows 8 does not come bundled with Media Center. In comparison, all versions of Windows 7 included Media Center except Starter and Home Basic. In Windows 8, only the Pro version will have the ability to add Media Center by purchasing the Windows 8 Media Center Pack. If you have the standard version, you will have to first upgrade to Pro before being able to add Media Center. You can do it in a one step process by purchasing the Windows 8 Pro Pack, which for a limited time, costs $69.99. Lucky for me, I will be upgrading to Windows 8 Pro, so I will have the ability to add the Windows 8 Media Center Pack for free; also a limited time deal. Both deals end January 31, 2013. If you want to add DVD playback to either version without purchasing extra packs, there are free players that come with the ability to play DVDs, like VLC and MPC-HC.

Sidebar gadgets aren’t supported in Windows 8 – I don’t really care about that. Never used them anyway.

Secure Boot isn’t compatible with your PC – I’m not sure what to think about this. Secure Boot has its merits, but I don’t think I’d want to deal with it anyway. I’m not dual booting anything at the moment, but if I was interested in doing so, I don’t think Secure Boot would allow me to.

Dual-Core Optimizer Version not compatible – This is software from AMD to circumvent an issue with multi-cored processors on pre-Windows XP SP3 machines. The incompatibility of this worried me at first, but after researching to see if there was an updated version that is compatible, I found out I don’t need it. I’m even sure why it came pre-installed on my  computer in the first place.

Hulu Desktop Version 0.9.14 not compatible – You want to know how long I’ve had this on my machine? Literally a day. You want to know how much impact this is going to have on my upgrade decision? Absolutely none.

Microsoft Security Essentials not compatible – Huh? Run that by me again? A security suite made by Microsoft isn’t supported by Windows 8? Why? Apparently Microsoft is reviving the Windows Defender brand that became superseded by Microsoft Security Essentials. It will now be superseding the superseder. Everything that Microsoft Security Essentials did though, Windows Defender will do. It only looks to be a rebranding using an old moniker.

ATI Catalyst Control Center & Install Manager need to be reinstalled – This one worries me the most. I found Windows 8 drivers for this, but I’m afraid that it won’t work as well as it does now in Windows 7. This is merely a personal worry, but I just want to make sure the drivers are adequate before I upgrade. I’m thinking it’s better to be safe than sorry in this instance. Once I feel confident about this, I’m pretty sure I’ll  make the upgrade.

Microsoft Office Starter 2010 – This will work in Windows 8, but I’ll have to install an update to it before I install the Windows 8 upgrade. I don’t care about Microsoft Office Starter 2010. A matter of fact, I thought I uninstalled it after I got this computer.

Trend Micro Titanium Internet Security – I’ll have to upgrade to version 2013 to get this to work in Windows 8, but I never used it anyway, so this doesn’t matter to me.

It’s very hard to not upgrade something that’s new and readily available, but I am going to try and hold off for stability reasons. Not that Windows 8 is an unstable product, but upgrading can be an aggravating process sometimes no matter what operating system you’re installing. And honestly, I’m not that excited to have to navigate through the new UI. Maybe that will change once I start using it, but as of now, it doesn’t look very appealing without a touchscreen.

(Edited on October 31, 2012 to correct details regarding how to add DVD playback to Windows 8.)

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Will You Be Upgrading to Windows 8?

So will you be upgrading to Windows 8 when it gets released on October 26th? I know I won’t be. I bought a computer in August and qualified to get a Windows 8 upgrade for only $15. I’m happy to get the discount, but I’m hesitant to install it right out of the gate, which is kind of unusual for me. I used Linux for a little while and was always excited to upgrade to the new release on its first day of availability. I’m sure a lot of that was also because I wanted to have a more updated software repository. As of now, I’m perfectly happy with Windows 7 and don’t want to disturb that until I have more confidence in Windows 8. I also don’t want to deal with the new user interface. I don’t completely hate it, but it’s more suited for touchscreens. I wish Microsoft gave the user the ability to boot straight into the classic desktop environment. Having said that, getting to it is just a click away.

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Possible upcoming posts

I think I might start posting some entries on the different software I like to use. I know not everybody cares about this, but it’s something I always love discussing because it gives me insight on both the positive and negative aspects of different software and you just never know when you’ll come across a new piece of software you might want to add to your “arsenal.” If I make these posts, feel free to add what software you like to use for a given task or why you don’t use others. I’m always up for an intelligent conversation about technology :)

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