How to enable the start menu in Windows 8

As a follow up to my earlier post on Windows 8.

This requires the use of regedit. Pretty straightforward though.

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Why Windows 8 will fail

Oh, and fail it will. Big time.  The single driving issue behind its approaching and certain failure is the Metro Desktop.

Metro clearly defined as a touch screen interface and it is just bloody awful to use with a mouse and keyboard.  Really, it’s truly horrible.

To make it worse, you can’t launch your apps from the desktop, unless you pin them to the taskbar or use a third party app launcher.

Yes, that’s right.  You will have to use a third party app launcher because the idiots at Microsoft have been drinking their own marketing Kool-Aid ™ and have removed the start menu from the desktop.

Now if you are one of those people who think Facebook (where you are the product) is the entirety of the Internet, then you will probably be cool with Metro.

Here is a video that makes it pretty clear that Microsoft expects Windows 8 users to buy new hardware.  Expensive hardware with hardware graphics accelerators and touch screen monitors.

Didn’t these clowns learn anything from Vista?

If the new OS requires expensive new hardware, corporate customers are not going to want to adopt.  Why should they? Windows 7 (or XP for those who are still using it) runs their applications, the employees know how to use it, and they don’t have to spend money on new hardware.

In case the Microsoft execs haven’t noticed, the economy is still bad, and companies are looking for ways to cut costs.  IT is not going to sign off on new hardware just so the rank & file employees can directly access Twitter and Angry Birds from the Metro Desktop.

Windows 7 was a nice apology for Vista, but it looks like Windows 8 will be the reincarnation of Vista.

Good luck with that.

Lowest cost Android tablet on the market

Currently I would have to say that title belongs to the Nook.  Ya, ya…Barnes & Noble tells you it that it just an ebook reader, but it’s running a crippled version of Android that you can root pretty easily.

It’s pretty straightforward, and you can find just about everything you need at nookDevs. Once you are done, you can load multiple ebook readers, including B&N’s android app!

Downside, no camera and no Bluetooth.

Upside, no monthly service fees!

Disclaimer: In case this wasn’t obviously clear, rooting your Nook is not warranty friendly.

Mucking with Android

I’ve started to muck with Android. Details to follow.

I’ve taken the Windows 7 plunge

I’ve got Windows 7 Professional 64 bit on my desktop and copy of Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit on my laptop.  I’m pretty happy so far, the plug and play works quite well, with a couple of noticable exceptions.

First off is my Wireless Laser Desktop 3000 keyboard, which I’m not using to type this because the damn thing is missing keystrokes, which it never did when I was running XP.  Top that off with none of the fancy extra keys work running under Windows 7.  Yes, I did to Microsoft and downloaded the latest drivers, which are listed as Windows 7 compatible.  Annoyance factor is high here, even more so because it is bloody Microsoft hardware.

The second is my Microtek scanner.  It’s a few years old and is still in great shape.  Microtek support claims it will work if you jump though the right hoops in the right order during install.  I haven’ t tried their latest series of hoops yet.

Third is my Bose Companion 5 speakers.  I love these things.  Great sound, but every time Windows 7 finds something it doesn’t like and asks me if it’s OK to run, not only does the screen dim, but it kills the sound! I have to power cycle the Bose system to get my sound back. My work around has to been to hook my iPhone up to the speakers and play the music loaded on that.  A bit of bummer since it is a subset of the music loaded on my desktop.

I’ve got a few old games that won’t run under Window 7 (64 bit) either, but I don’t play them that often anyway.   I’ve got an old desktop that was running a RC version of Win7 that I should scrub and load XP on to deal with stray stuff like that.

The Droid

Verizon has finally gotten what could a be a viable iPhone replacement.  A phone running the latest version of Google’s Andorid OS and a growing supply of applitions.

I haven’t got my hands on one yet, but I’ve read a few reviews that state it stands up quite well in head to head comparisons with the iPhone.  The biggest complaint I’ve heard is that the iPhone has a much deeper pool of applications available.  Not suprising, but I expect the number of Android apps to grow quickly.

Verizon is also pushing its much wider 3G coverage heavily, but it’s still not a GSM network.  That topic has been discussed here, and I’m sure it will again, but I’m still a fan of GSM networks.  It is my opinion that Verizon is going to have to bite that bullet sooner or later.

The Droid phone and its OS have another advantage, open source.  The iPhone is locked down tight by Apple.  It controls your apps, what they can do, and how much data you can transfer over the cell phone network.  An Android based phone, with a SIM slot, is much more flexible.

New toys

I recently got my nerdy paws a pair of Asus Eee PC netbooks. (Thanks John!)  These are the ones running LINUX off solid state drives.

I’ve got one updating, but the 4 Gig system drive on the other is full, and I’m going to have to find a way to clean that up.