By Max Musson:
To all of our regular readers, I offer my apologies for the temporary and unplanned hiatus in our normal output of articles. I have been struggling recently to upgrade my computer, which is now quite old and on its last legs, and anyone who has ‘upgraded’ from Windows 7 to Window 8.1 will know what a dog’s breakfast Microsoft have made of their once relatively transparent, logical, and straightforward operating system.
Upgrading to Windows 8.1 is like attempting to ‘upgrade’ from one’s European mother tongue to a form of Chinese presented to you by the inhabitants of Cbeebies Land, and so I am having more than a little difficulty finding my feet. Never-the-less, I am determined to resume normal service by the end of this week.
Anyone else contemplating such an upgrade should be aware that any Microsoft software produced earlier than 2013 will not run on the new system and so in addition to buying a new computor, you will in most cases also need to buy a complete new suite of Microsoft Office, so factor in a total cost that will be double the cost of the computer.
By Max Musson (c) 2015
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Good news, I have at last managed to remove the last hurdle and I now have a new computer running as happily as it’s perhaps possible to be on Windows 8.1. So, normal service will be resumed shortly.
The important issue to bear in mind is that the home page in Windows 8.1 is hidden from view when you first boot up and you are presented with a masking screen that is full of ‘apps’, or applications rather like those one would encounter with an iPad. The majority of these apps are superfluous and concerned with very low-brow entertainment, fantasy game playing and the like, and with shopping and other ‘lifestyle’ issues, like an electronic version of ‘Hello’ magazine that no serious person would normally be interested in. The ‘business end’ of the computer is consequently buried beneath a plethora of confusing and distracting nonsense. There were in the order of 140 such apps displayed simultaneously on my machine when I started it up, some appearing to be running, some displaying video and some with rotating carousel style displays — all competing for my attention at once — and to such an extent that it was difficult to see past them.
I spent much time uninstalling lots of these apps until I had reduced the machine down to manageable proportions and the way to navigate became clearer. I won’t say any more as I know one of our members (a man who would have saved me a lot of stress and frustration had I taken his advice in the first place) is writing an article for the guidance of others and I don’t want to steal his thunder.
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