August 8th, 2015

B&W

Windows 10

So I took the plunge and upgraded from W7 to 10. I had to reinstall W7 a few weeks ago after it corrupted and I hadn't got around to reinstalling all the various programs. Upgrading now, while the PC was in a fairly bare state and with all my important stuff backed-up, seemed as good a time as any.

First impressions were fairly good. W10 is certainly better looking than the horrible Metro style of W8. Not far removed from W7 actually, but sharper, more colourful... Better for me than the poncy semi-transparency of Aero. Yeah, I like it. Then I discovered that getting to my story documents or photos or music files took some convoluted navigation. And every time I opened a file it was added to a quick access pane. All very fiddly and unnecessary.

Me: "This is shit. Where's the W7 disc?"

Then I found out that (perhaps because of that reinstall of W7 a few weeks ago) my stories, music, photos, etc., were not in a conventional path. After some jiggery-pokery I sorted that out, added the relevant folders to the quick access pane and turned off the 'recent files' thing. That's all good now. Better than it was in W7 actually.

The much vaunted start menu is a bit flashy and many are criticising it, but it is quite customisable and after some playing around with it, I have a set-up I prefer to W7's start menu. You can quickly scroll through it with the mouse wheel, and it just feels smoother and more pleasant to use. I don't have much use for facebook and twitter apps in the start menu so they've gone, along with the Microsoft Store tile, the calculator tile, and the One Note tile, etc., but the email tile is great. I love that!

I also love One Drive. It's like having Dropbox built right into Windows with massive amounts of free online storage. Very slick and reassuring. Particularly welcome since the service I was using till recenly started to crash a lot, leaving me at the mercy of remembering (or not) to periodically back stuff up to a second HDD.

It's early days yet, but I'm generally happy with what I've seen. Like all new things, it can take a bit of getting used to and requires a goodly amount of experimentation to get it how you want it. I remember hating XP and W7 for a while, so the fact that I can say I like W10 after just a few hours has to be a good sign.
B&W

More about Windows 10

Additional to my last post, here is a warning about the free upgrade to W10. It is free, but some bits and pieces will only be available at a cost. Strange things, like a DVD player, when there are numerous free third-party programs, and Solitaire (I'm looking at you, Pam!). Also, while it is free to upgrade from an older version of Windows, it won't be free if you're doing a clean install, if say you're reinstalling after a HDD failure or Windows corrupted or you're installing on a new PC. Here's a good article on the various ins-and-outs: http://www.forbes.com/sites/gordonkelly/2015/08/05/windows-10-charging/