Friday, January 24, 2014

Windows 8.1

I upgraded straight from Windows 7 to Windows 8.1 skipping windows 8 in between. You first have to download a setup file that asks you the serial numbers and a few other things. Then it gives you the following options:
1. Install Now
2. Install from USB Disk
3. Install from ISO

I chose the install from ISO option as I thought it would be a good idea to have the ISO around. Once the ISO had been created I used the Windows 7 USB install tool to create a bootable USB disk. Backed up the ISO and did a fresh install of Windows 8.1 wiping out the previous Windows 7 install.

The Windows 8.1 install was fast, but once the install had finished Windows booted up and asked for an online account. My previous experience of Windows 8 RC had taught me the use of windows live/Hotmail accounts, and I logged in using one of my accounts. In the Windows 8 RC install, you couldn't login using the Hotmail account without internet access. I created a local account as a backup in case I ever run into network issues.

Once the system had rebooted it started getting "apps" ready. I assume it was downloading the latest Windows 8.1 Metro apps from the "app" store. This took a while, I'm on a slow connection. The machine I'm using is an Alienware M11XR2, which does not have a touch screen. The first thing I did was to modify the settings for the start menu so it behaved more like previous version of windows.

I downloaded the latest synaptic touchpad driver from their website, but it won't install. A forum post mentioned that the driver has not been signed properly, though I'm not sure if that is the real problem. In any case, I had to download the older driver from Dells support site, which doesn't have two finger scroll. That's kind of a pain, considering Google chrome has done away with the scroll buttons on their scroll bars.

The experience has been positive so far. There are two things that bother me though. I don't like using a Hotmail/Outlook account to login to the system. I would have preferred a local computer account that hooks into online accounts using OAuth, etc. And second, the latest synaptic touchpad driver not working with Windows 8.1 was a downer. Lets see what the future brings...

Mozilla and hypocrisy

Right, but what about the experiences that Mozilla chooses to default for users like switching to  Yahoo and making that the default upon ...