Wednesday, 28 March 2012

I've got a new Wiki - CHECK IT OUT!

Hey Guys,

Over the last week or so I've been working on a new wiki. It's based on Ubuntu and will give a lot of useful hints and tips on how to manage and customise Ubuntu. Please feel free to head on over and check it out, here is the address:

Jingi Wiki - www.jingiwiki.co.uk


I will be adding regular updates to the Wiki so why don't you bookmark it :)

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Windows 8 Customer Preview REVIEW

Well, I've been playing with Windows 8 since the customer preview was released around 3 days ago and I thought I would share my experience so far with you lot so you can get an insight to what Windows 8 is like and what my personal opinions are about the OS.

First Impressions
Well after booting it up I was confronted with the new Metro interface (pictured below) and I have to say it's different, VERY different. I can see where Microsoft are going with the single User Interface (UI) across all of their applications but I just can't see it taking off on their PCs.


Usability
Well, as you can see above, the Metro UI does look pretty cool but (and it's a big but) I can't find my way around things. I am a certified Windows professional and it took me around 5 minutes to work out how to shut the machine down (you click on your name then select sign out, then drag the lock screen up and press the power button....convoluted or what!).

The UI does look a lot less cluttered and is customisable by right clicking on the blue background and selecting 'all apps'. But I just can't see this interface taking off, on a home computer or tablet then yes but not on a business or enterprise level machine it looks to 'toys r us' for my liking.

As you can see from the screen shot above, I have installed Firefox on this machine as the version of Internet Explorer (IE) that comes on Windows 8 is horrendous to use! The whole process is counter intuitive for a 'normal' desktop (i.e. keyboard & mouse) and doing simple things like opening a new tab is a few clicks away and pretty hidden behind a right click (which brings up the menu's) and I can't for the life of me work out how to do simple things like saving images from web pages or setting a new home page. Here are a couple of screen shots of IE:

No menu's at all on the 'normal' screen



Right Click menu in IE

Because of the poor mouse & keyboard integration and clear design for touch screen devices, I had to install Firefox to have a normal browser again. EDIT: I've since found out that you can run IE in a normal mode by running it from the desktop. I can't even work out how to close applications in Windows 8 so I have a feeling that system memory would fill up fast when multi-tasking because of all the applications running in the background.

Now it's not all doom and gloom, there is the desktop feature on Windows 8 which give a more traditional desktop environment, one which I find myself in most of the time. Unfortunately there is no start menu in the traditional environment and if you press the Windows key on the keyboard then it shows the Metro interface. Here is the default desktop on Windows 8:


A really good feature that Microsoft have implemented is the ribbon interfaces in Windows Explorer. I think this is a great idea as it ties in brilliantly with Microsoft Office and gives users a very fluid feel throughout the operating system. Here are some screen shots:


 

Conclusion
Well unfortunately it's a big thumbs down for me. I loath the Metro interface, I think that Microsoft have catered for the touch screen interfaces rather than the traditional desktop (screen, mouse & keyboard). It's very difficult to navigate around, very different and I think that a lot of users who are used to Windows will get lost at first. I really hope that Microsoft decide to put some kind of 'traditional' mode that users can log into to have a traditional desktop. I think this will be even more prevalent for business customers.

I'd like to stress that this is only my personal opinion, I think Windows 7 is an excellent Operating System and I really hope that Microsoft make some changes for the final release in order to keep the vast majority of their user base (traditional desktops) happy.

If you want to try the Windows 8 Customer Preview for yourself then take a look at the link below (you will need silverlight installed):