Thursday, September 19, 2013

Windowws 8 Review

My wife brought Windows 8 home on a new piece of hardware.  She bought from a friend.  The hardware is very nice.  HP i5 w/ 12 GB RAM, 2 TB HD, and believe it or not, Beats sound.  I like Beats.  Really good sound quality and from an unexpected source.  I never knew Dr. Dre appreciated sound quality.  I wrote him off because he performs rap.  Unfairly as it turns out.

At any rate, I had to examine her stray.  My first impulse was to put it out of its misery and install Windows 7.  But my wife had other plans.  She wanted to use the programs her friend pre-installed. Makes sense, so I start up the wounded beast of a desk top.  Sure enough, I can't get the keyboard to work.  I check everywhere.  I think I've never seen a Microsoft operating system with no key board and the mouse only able to put blue boxes around stuff. 

I'm very good with computers, and I was cursing at the computer within 30 seconds.  Took five or six days, but I finally figured out if you hit ESC two times, a box appears asking if you would like to shut down Narrator.  I shut it down, and then the keyboard worked.  I went into Narrator on the control panel and discovered I could tell it not to run when Windows starts.  How nice, now we have a computer that works.  Oh, and by the way, the previous owner complained about how her key board was broken.  No coincidence there, she must not have known Narrator was running.  Some of the options included run Narrator minimized with no sign of the program operating.

With Narrator out of the way, I decided to check out Windows 8.  My first impression is that my wife won't last with this wounded beast.  When you think about it, Windows 8 is the only Operating System bad enough to be protected with UEFI protected boot.  Means you can't change it easily.  You have to go into the BIOS to tell the computer to run differently.  The screen seem to look more like my Android phone than Windows.

All the tiles seem evocative of Android, and then I noticed that when I added user accounts, the machine asked me for my e-mail, my phone number, and my alternate e-mail.  As soon as they wanted the phone number, my impression was that they were handing all my info over to the NSA.  Actually I think they wanted the phone number to send your password to you when you forget.  Still, though, a phone is registered to a unique user that is validated by a phone company that knows who pays for the account.  What better way to get a verified digital ID for any commercial and espionage purpose.  What can I do? I add in the information, hoping my wife's wounded beast won't give away too much of my identity.  And, oh, by the way, if you use a Microsoft e-mail like or to log into Windows 8, you get special privileges.  I passed on those, and the sign up sheet asked me if Microsoft could use my information to send me targeted ads.  Shades of Google again.  I said NO.  Then Microsoft wanted to send me junk e-mails, so I said NO to that too. I noticed a shopping bag in the icons, and sure enough, Microsoft has an app store just like Apple and Google Play do.

Windows 8 is a cheap hack copy of Android OS and Apple OS.  Microsoft wants to make more money on advertising with their Bing/Yahoo service, and Microsoft wants to know exactly who you are so they can give your digital identity to the NSA and make money on your likes and dislikes and track your every move on the Internet. 

When are we, as consumers, going to say ENOUGH?

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