Windows 8 is a FAIL

Okie dokie.  I’ve been a Windows user since I was a freshman in highschool and back then I wasn’t even allowed into Windows unless my teacher said I could go because the programs that I was using were DOS based (thats Disk Operating System to you youngins).  Windows 3.0 and 3.1 were pretty horrible.  There really wasn’t anything fun you could do with the thing and it looked aweful because of the 16 bit graphics and the windows themselves really didn’t do anything but piss you off.  Windows 95 through Windows 7 has been pretty consistent, it has a start menu, it has search (for the most part), and it lets me get to my programs easily and I know where everything is.

Windows 8 is a step away from all that.  Microsoft has decided to unify the user experience by using a bunch of tiles.  I’ve seen it in Windows Phone, Xbox 360, and now in Windows 8.  I must say that I thoroughly despise it.  My sister in law bought a new computer and wanted me to help her set it up and it had Windows 8 on it and it also had a touch screen (thats definitely new).  I know that Windows 8.1 brought back the Start Menu but Windows 8 lacks any start menu whatsoever.  To me thats is the most important thing in Windows.  To get to the traditional desktop I had to click on a tile that looked like a desktop but it wasn’t labeled “desktop” so I would know to click on it.

After some initial struggles I was able to finally get the hang of it and attempted to get the programs I needed on the computer installed and move some data around from an external drive to the computer.   Needless to say it was a less than stellar experience and it took longer than it needed to if I was using regular Windows 7.  I don’t think I’m going to upgrade to Windows 8 or potentially buy a new Windows based PC if the interface remains the same or if this is the new direction of Windows.  I need a traditional desktop experience.

My future most likely will be OSX Mavericks since its still pretty traditional in terms of how it works.  I’m hoping that they don’t try and merge too much of iOS with with OSX and make it more like Windows 8.  I have to admit that OSX has definitely grown on me since I’ve owned a MacBook Pro over the last 2 years.  The swipe gestures are definitely helpful and since I do most of my stuff using a web browser I don’t have a real need for a whole lot of programs except for iPhoto, iTunes, and Safari.  I’m another 3 years from my next upgrade so I’m hoping that they don’t mess something up that will force me to keep my old PC and MacBook running until something better comes along (hopefully I won’t be forced to use Linux, that would really suck).

Trying out Dropbox

I’ve been trying out a new service called Dropbox.  One of my friends that is an avid Apple fanatic showed this to me and the idea is pretty cool.  The idea behind Dropbox is that files can be shared between multiple computers and that they will all be synced no matter where you make changes.

I’ve used the service for a couple of weeks and so far its been pretty awesome.  I’ve been able to put some PDF’s that I need for work online as well as share some pictures with family.  I like that I can go ahead and see these same docs on my iPhone.  Thats the main reason why I’m using the service.  When I finally get my iPad in I’ll be able to use it there too to look at all my documents that I want to sync and carry around.  I recently got an update from Documents to Go for my iPhone that includes Dropbox integration so I think I can start editing docs that I put on there using that app rather than just being able to view it. Talk about totally sweet!

What I wish they had was a bit more space, granted 2GB is pretty large by any standard, but it would be nice to have more that is free without paying for it.  The only thing that I could see taking up a lot of space are songs and pictures.  Which reminds me, I should really try this sucker out with music and see if it plays the songs on my iPhone or not. That would be pretty killer!

The sharing capability is another thing that sold me, I can share documents and stuff with other people and if they share a folder with me I can put stuff in there and they’ll see it on all of their devices.  Hmm.. this could get pretty good real quick.  Anyway, maybe I’ll abuse that function later on.  No more blogging today, its time to enjoy the excellent South Florida weather!

More iPhone woes!

It would appear that my ordeal with my iPhone is still continuing and its frustrating me to no end!  A couple of weeks ago my computer decided to crash and I lost all my apps and settings including my iTunes library and playlists.  That by itself sucked royally and I’m not even close to being done re-constructing everything on my computer yet but I’m getting pretty close.  But thats not whats bugging me at the present moment.  My current woe’s involve syncing my calendar at home with my iPhone.

When my computer was working well, I was able to sync my iPhone with my computer seamlessly and get my work calendar/email just fine.  After the crash things just haven’t been the same and all it does is frustrate me that syncing isn’t working like it should.  I was adding calendar entries in Outlook this weekend and was trying to sync my iPhone when I noticed none of my calendar entries were there.  The more baffling thing was that I couldn’t see my work calendar anymore either.  I use my calendar extensively and not having either of them available to me was not acceptable.

I would say I spent a good 8-10 hours trying to fix it and doing research on the internet trying to solve my problem but so far I haven’t found a decent solution so far.  I did get to a point where I can at least see my work calendar and I can make entries into my local calendar on my iPhone but thats about it.  I don’t know if any of the other information is syncing right now but I hope it is because I really need my contacts and notes too from my home computer.

What would be nice would be if Apple would come up with a more robust sync solution for those of us tech savvy enough to tinker with our phones and our computers to give us a way to get what we need done rather than trying crappy solutions that involve wiping out the phone and re-installing everything and praying it will work.  I think the best sync solution so far was the HotSync solution that Palm had for syncing with a Desktop.  The thing just worked and some 3rd party developers made it even better (Chapura comes to mind).  I need something like that!  Something that lets me pick my PST file and not just the “account” I want to sync with (I have multiple PST files for home).

I’m going to do some more digging this coming weekend since I can’t sync with my work laptop to try out my solutions but I need to get this cleared up fast.  Going to the genius bar at an Apple Store is not an option, I don’t want to drive 30 miles just to have someone tell me I need to start from scratch and to bring in my computer.  Desktops are still decently heavy and I don’t like other people touching my PC where they might look at my data.

Well thats all I have to blog about for now, other than that Thanksgiving was pretty excellent.  I was able to get in some Assassins Creed II, I might blog about that next even though I could have used the 10 hours trying to fix my phone to play my game.  Oh well, I’m hoping this won’t happen again for a good long time.