Windows 10 S: Another Windows Version???

I watched the replay of the Microsoft EDU event and along with everything else that was announced was another WIndows version.  Ever since Windows XP there have been tons of versions of Windows.  My desktop actually came with Windows XP Media Center edition, but I upgraded it to Windows XP Pro which was the business version of XP.  I then updated to Windows 7 Ultimate which gave me every option under the sun for Windows so that I could upgrade to WIndows 10 Pro for free.  There are a few differences between each of the Windows versions in terms of features.  I personally always try and get the Pro version since it gives the most options even though I doubt I’ll use them all.
The latest iteration of Windows is meant to compete with Chrome in that you can only install applications from the Windows Store.  If you want to install anything else, you’re going to have to upgrade to the Pro version of Windows.  It’s nice that the price to upgrade to Pro won’t be that expensive so very few people should mind.  Given that its geared towards the educator market, it makes sense to limit things to the Windows Store to reduce the number of malware and bad programs being installed that can be installed with current versions of Windows.  That doesn’t mean the the occasional virus won’t cause some mayhem but its a good start to keep kids safe at school and for those that don’t end to do crazy stuff like use iTunes.

While I like the idea of Windows 10 S, I’m going to stick to the Pro version of Windows.  I have a need to install outside software like iTunes, Qnap Finder Pro, and a few other choice tools and applications.  MS is solving the Office problem by offering Office in the Windows Store finally.  I’m still fine using GSuite since its free and my needs are also not very heavy.  Worse comes to worse, I can also use the office offering from Apple, the downside with them is again the amount of storage that you’re allowed.  I would like to install Windows 10 S on my daughters laptop but it only has 32GB and I do admin stuff on it too so I would probably still need to keep it at Windows Pro.

I suspect a lot of the new Surface machines will start getting Windows 10 S as the default OS installed from the factory.  I can see the average user just sticking with it although it begs the question, will iTunes be in the Windows Store?  No matter how much companies push the consumer to the cloud, there will be hold outs like me that just want to install software and backup and sync files locally.  The lack of iTunes might push people like me to either upgrade to Windows 10 Pro or stick with OSX.  I personally might stay with OSX since there are a lot of apps that I use on my Mac that don’ have a Windows equivalent. And I also need iTunes for all my devices and I don’t see that changing any time soon unless I somehow am convinced to switch the family to Android but I don’t see that happening either.  For me, no Windows 10 S will be in my future, Windows Pro or OSX (macOS) all the way!

I want a touch screen Mac!

I’ve been following this argument online for a while and I think it’s time that Apple come to the realization that having a touch screen computer that runs OSX would be awesome!  I’ve tried using an iPad Pro at a store and I have an iPad Air 2 as a personal device but I want something closer to the Surface Pro that has ports and other shit so that I can connect my devices and load the content onto the computer.  I can use my regular MacBook for that but I kind of want that 2 in 1 device now as a personal device.

I’m personally fine if they want to make everything USB-C or something as a connector for power but I just want to be able to navigate OSX with my finger instead of using a touch pad.  I’ve come into some instances where I want to touch something on the screen since it’s so much like my iPad but I can’t make anything happen unless I use the mouse.  Access to the file system is pretty important these days for me now that I have a NAS.  I want to put stuff in the NAS but I might need it on my computer first and I wan to be able to organize it the way I want to.  The cloud isn’t good for everything and the there are some things I just don’t want floating around in cyberspace.

While the Mac App Store is nice, a convergence of the two app stores and being able to use touch, type, and mouse would be awesome.  Imagine taking something like a hybrid device and hooking it up to a 4K display!  And actually having it be useful to you as well from a computing stand point from a device that more in line with a tablet or as a real computer when you need it.  I think it’s only a matter of time before Apple has to do this, there are too many Windows variants out there and the fact that my work computer lets me touch the screen is pretty freaking awesome.  Now if I could only use it to write with a pen or something, that would be the ultimate!

I think the closest that I’ve seen to a good touch screen computer is the Microsoft Surfacebook.  I tried one out at my local Best Buy and it was a pretty decent machine.  I like that I can draw on it, remove the screen, but still have a mouse and keyboard when I want one.  I didn’t spend too much time with it but I configured one online and good lord it was expensive.  For that price I’ll just keep my 2011 MacBook Pro and my iPad Air 2 and switch between the devices.  But who knows, maybe them touch screen Mac is in the pipeline and we just haven’t been introduced to it yet.  I guess I’ll have to wait till WWDC to see what’s coming.

I despise the “iCloud Full” error

I’ll freely admit that I’m a pretty heavy user of all things iOS with all the iPads, my iPhone and my legacy iPhones still being used in my home.  My iPhone 6 is awesome and I use it to constantly take pictures and video of things around me when I travel and when I’m at home but the kicker is that it eats up a lot of data and I’ve reached the max capacity for my free 5GB account.  I’ve done everything that I can to reduce the amount of storage that any other app I have uses on iCloud but there is nothing that I can do to reduce the amount of space I use on iCloud without removing pictures.

I’m a digital pack rat and I save everything that I take a picture of.  I’ve started using Google Photos which affords me unlimited storage for my pictures online at high resolution but probably not at the max resolution like iCloud.  That’s actually perfectly fine with me since I as able to upload and save all my photos that I kept on my computer and on my other devices.  I wouldn’t mind using up all of my iCloud storage so much if I didn’t get a pop up message everytime I started my MacBook Pro that my iCloud storage was full and I needed to make room.  This is a very annoying thing that occurs and there’s no way to just dismiss the message permanently.  It takes me to my settings and asks for adjustments and I just end up shutting it off.  That’s just small I know but still quite annoying.

I had this impression that I would be able to store all my photos and videos in iCloud without burning through my iCloud storage but after looking at the Apple website it doesn’t seem to be the case.  I’m technically fine if I’m out of storage and it auto deletes my oldest stuff since I have a back up but at least let me permanently get rid of the pop up message so it doesn’t interrupt my workflow when I want to just use my laptop.

Maybe this is something that they are going to fix I’m iOS 9, I don’t know since it isn’t out yet and I’m currently using the public beta on my iPad alone so all the features aren’t rolled out es that are on the cloud.  I suppose I’ll have to wait until everything is officially released in October.  In the mean time maybe El Capitan for Mac gets rid of this annoyance.

One month with the Mac

I’m writing this blog post from my MacBook Pro that I received from my father as my 2011 gift.  I have been slowly trying to users e this more than my desktop PC in the past few weeks but its been a slow transition since I have to ration my data usage more on a laptop.  Don’t get me wrong, my MacBook Pro has 750 gigs of space which is plenty but this thing needs to last 5 years at the very least.

I’ve transferred my music and photo collection to the Mac to test out iPhoto and iTunes. I’ll have to admit that using iPhoto is pretty simplistic and I like how I can arrange things in events.  I have a lot of pictures that I need to start managing and I’m even thinking of splitting my iPhoto library into a few libraries since there are some really old pics that I don’t care about these days but that I don’t want to lose.  I have backups everywhere but I really wanted to see what I could do in iPhoto with everything loaded in.

iTunes works the same pretty much the same way on my Mac like my Windows Desktop so I won’t dwell on that. What does work better is Frostwire and Handbrake.  I’m amazed at how much better these products are comparatively to my desktop.  I don’t use either that often though, I’m mostly concerned with surfing the web.  Which brings me to the native full screen apps and all the gestures that can be used. I’m big into using Safari instead of Firefox since I’ve had both of them installed.  I like being able to use my three finger gestures to move away from Safari and go back to it.  I’m also big on using some of the other apps like iTunes in full screen and iPhoto full screen.  It makes it more like my iPad than anything else which I like to use almost daily.  I’ve also been surprised that my wife has been using the Mac successfully over the past few weeks.  She’s been more involved in taking care of the baby but she hasn’t had a cause to close the lid and go to the office to fire up the desktop which I take is a good sign.

I’ll have to continue experimenting with the Mac but so far I have downloaded things like Spotify which I have found to be a really cool program to listen to music before I buy it.  It’s too bad that I can’t use the mobile app without paying for it though.   Just to be sure of compatibility with my already created docs, I bought a copy of Office for $25 using a program at work.  I’m going to try and defer to iWorks as much as possible though since its easier to manage over all but I will probably miss some of the familiarity of Office so in a pinch I’ll use that instead.  What I need now is a NAS since my household just went to multiple computer systems again.  I don’t count my work laptop as part of my ecosystem these days since I’m trying my best to keep work on my work laptop, and keep my personal stuff on my desktop and Mac.  I guess to a certain extent also my iPad and iPhone.

To punctuate my transition to my Mac, I haven’t turned on my desktop since I’ve been home except to sync my phone and I’ve moved from working in the office to the dining room for this week and I’m using my Mac and my work laptop at the same time.  The only thing I really miss is the ability to use my Bose sound system and utilizing my 23″ screen.  Here’s to continuing on with my Macbook Pro for the next few years!