Windows 10 and some updates

Yes, I’m back and recharged. Sorry I’ve been away for so long. Things have been catching up with me, as I ramp up for school. I know, after 8 years, I’m going back to school. So with new beginnings, I decided to take the plunge and get Windows 10.

Thoughts after working with it for a day

So far, my thoughts on it are that it is better than Windows 8, which is something that was in dire need of improvement. Windows 8 had so many random problems. It was considered the Ball of Randomness, as somethings would work, and some wouldn’t. All the problems, at least so far, have been immediately addressed in Windows 10 and corrected. However, as people have reported, not all issues have been addressed. As with previous iterations, there is one minor issue that is affecting those with small displays with high DPI resolutions.

Previously in laptops and monitors, Pixels were relatively the same size in all of them, and the more you have, the more real estate for optimization on your desktop or home screens for various operating systems. That being said, a recent trend has begun, where with the advent of the smart phone, screens are getting smaller, and as such the pixels within the screens are shrinking with them, allowing for more pixels to be integrated. However, the last OS to really utilize the newer pixel density is Windows. You may encounter this with your high DPI/resolution laptops that have a small screen. Where Windows measures the height of the screen by pixel count, and inputs a resolution that fits the size. However, it does not take into account individual pixel size.

So, when you install Windows 10 on a laptop with a 10 inch screen, that is loaded with the newer micropixels. So your resolution would be like 2560 by 1440, which is cool, but with the way Windows sets itself up, your GUI will think its on a desktop or large screen laptop, where Scale isn’t a factor. On laptops with high DPI/resolution, scale matters, big time. So that fantastic looking screen has the task bar really tiny along with the insanely tiny tray icons.

Windows does have a tool to fix such things, but it was a band-aid measure instituted in Windows 8, and it really only is effective in Microsoft’s apps, and nothing else. Luckily, I don’t have this problem, however a good chunk of the laptop market does. As you may find in a review by Chris Mills of Gizmodo, whom had this with his Dell XPS 13. (Link below).

http://reviews.gizmodo.com/microsoft-forgot-to-fix-one-major-thing-in-windows-10-1720783550

The only issue I found in the copy I secured, was the main one affecting everyone; Cortana. It is still new, however the voice recognition does not work properly, and much like most, you end up with a one-sided screaming match with your device. Personally I find voice recognition only really works in a tablet or smart phone. In a desktop or laptop setting, it’s a really minor thing to have in your ecosystem. Although it does take a large amount of real estate on your taskbar. I tried it for an hour, and it would not recognize my voice, despite going through the voice trainer a few times. So I immediately shut it off.

Now if you’re going to use Cortana on a daily basis, there is some concern to using her/him. Remember how everyone has been up in arms the last few years with Google and its data practices? Well Microsoft has decided to take a page out of their book, by making it a requirement to bind your Microsoft account into the OS, along with turning on all the share happy settings in order to use Cortana. As such, you will have to use your email and its password to log into Windows, instead of your easy default password or no password to access your desktop environment.

Then to be more mobile friendly, they also have a pin you can use. I find it’s all pointless in a normal laptop or desktop anyway. Most of your input with the device will always be faster and more adept with a simple keyboard and mouse setup. It’s not like you’re taking your desktop to a conference and setting it up next to a wall outlet and putting in dictation notes. So I wouldn’t be using it, especially when the only modern mobile device I have is my Nexus 4 from Google, and its voice recognition is almost perfect. If I were to get a Surface Pro or a touch display laptop, I’d consider Cortana, but not in a desktop or traditional laptop setting.

Functionality

Holy hell did they really overhaul the functionality tools. A lot of what made Windows 8 a mess to use, was its tools. The other annoying thing, which did somewhat make the leap to 10, is the duplication of settings in the OS. It’s nice to see the Windows 7 style settings and control panel in Windows 10, but what’s the point of having it there, when you have the new default settings app, which does the same thing. Although you can get more customization out of the old style control panel and its settings than the new one. So there’s this divide between the two.

Along with the functionality upgrades, the new start menu is awesome. They really listened to the community and made a best of both worlds and made a mouse friendly start menu again. Windows 8’s set up was much more catered to a tablet or touchscreen market, than it ever was to the desktop and regular laptop market. Which is why sales suffered immensely. Although with 10 being free and a lot of people having the option for an entire year to upgrade will help in speeding up the app development process, to force an evolutionary change from the Windows 7 applications to the modern age.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Windows 7, and I’m still using it on my desktop, but for my laptop, I barely used it after rebuilding my desktop a couple of years ago. So putting Windows 10 on it, definitely helps me get used to the new environment, while giving new life to my laptop. Which will be needed in the coming school term. Now all I have to do is replace the laptop’s keyboard and onboard fan. Then it should be back at 100% effectiveness.

Anyways, I’ve been rambling on. With Windows 10, it should definitely bring people up to pace, but there are a few things most will have to do in the first set up, to ensure they can remain secure with their data. When prompted to use share-happy services, you have the option before loading the desktop the first time, to turn them on or off. If you don’t want to use Cortana for your desktop, you can turn them off. If you don’t want to log into your email to log into windows, you can turn that off too.

The upgrade process is almost without fault. There will be some issues for early adopters, not all of your files will migrate over, so you may have an error or two pop up when you first load in to the desktop environment. The easy fix is to go into your Windows.old/system32 folder, grab the necessary file, and move it to the new System32 folder. In my case, it was a simple .dll file that prevented my aftermarket sound from working properly. In computers containing Nvidia cards, you may get a bigger error, where Windows will auto install a bad driver, it happens. The fix is one of two options, wait until Microsoft fixes it with a patch, or force it to use the correct driver from Nvidia directly.

The really annoying feature that Microsoft decided to push is for mandatory automatic updates. You cannot opt out of them, which is proving to be shooting them in the foot with this bad Nvidia driver they’re pushing right now. However, if you do not want Windows to auto-restart after finishing updates, and prompt you instead, you do have a setting to do that. Simply go into the new settings in your start menu, go to the updates panel and in the menus, change the Automatic Updates from Automatic to Prompt. This way, if you’re gaming or working on something important, Windows won’t restart you in the middle of it.

I’ll post more updates on Windows 10, after using it for a while longer.

On a side note, I’ll be posting more often, including more reviews and gameplay videos, provided I remember to post the footage. Also more Twitch streaming, and I’ll do what I can to post links on the site, so people can watch.  With that, I’ll sign off and go through the list of reviews yet to come out and start posting them.

Updates… Been a while

Sorry for the stagnation I’ve had with my blog. I’ve been sorting things out in my life, and have picked up a few creative projects. One of which is a Twitch stream, where I stream random games I’m playing at that time. Soon though, I’ll integrate a camera, to have me in the picture. Not to mention getting better Internet to handle the upload speed I need to better stream with. Another is the attempt at recording a podcast, where my friend Ike and I talk about games, movies, adaptations and such. I’ve been slowly editing that.

That’s what’s been going on lately, as such brings me onto the future of my blog. No, it’s not shutting down, in fact I’ll be expanding it to encompass more. The blog will be my central site for launching my material. Videos will be integrated into the page, as soon as I can work out a content uploader, that isn’t word press’ built in one. Most likely YouTube, if not something else. Movie reviews will continue in text form. As I don’t yet have a normal video camera to record a vlog style entry. Eventually that’s where I’ll be heading down the road. For now, text will still suffice. Which brings me to my current roster of upcoming reviews, and there are quite a few of them. Some new, and some apart of the classic movies revisited category.

Here is that list:
(Note: This is not the order they will be in, it’s just a simple list of what’s coming).

Modern:

Captain Phillips
Escape Plan
Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters
RIPD
Red 2
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Thor 2: The Dark World
2 Guns
Gravity
Noah
Captain America: The Winter Soldier + Agents Of Shield Tie in.

Classic Movies:

Red Heat
They Live
Demolition Man
In The Mouth Of Madness
The Thing 1982
Prince Of Darkness
The Punisher 2004

The videos will be the gameplay highlights from Twitch, and maybe the podcast. I’m still working that out with Ike. For now, that’s what has been happening and what’s to come. I’ll probably have the Captain America and Agents Of Shield tie in review done first as its fresh in my memory. Hopefully. For now I’ll sign off, have a good one people.

Some mini reviews – DVD rentals

Recently I watched both The Hangover Part 2, and World War Z. So, I decided to try to put some more content out there by posting some more mini reviews.

the-hangover-part-2-movie-poster-01

The Hangover Part 2

So for comedies, very few times will a sequel be very good. They tend to suffer from what many call “Sequel-itis”, where the movie is just there to cash in on the fame of the previous movie. As such, this movie has that same issue. The Hangover was meant to shock and awe with its humor, and show us things that we wouldn’t have seen in most comedies. To push the envelope of people’s expectations, as it were. This one retraces those steps, very delicately, following the same formula set up by the first one, just with different circumstances.

The only funny parts I found were in the stupidity shown by the characters in their “logic” of the situations they’re in. A lot of the humor has been lost because its recycled from the previous movie, so it’s not a huge shock. It does have other plotlines in the movie, but they’re just there, not given any depth and the twists are expected and predictable. All-in-all, if you’re just into these movies to have a cheap thrill, you may enjoy it, but overall it’s just another sequel to a movie that was better.

World War Z poster

World War Z

I was surprised at this movie. I’ve heard the issues this movie had during development, between Brad Pitt and the director having disagreements over the direction of the movie. (Warning, here is where the *spoilers* begin). While it is supposed to be based on the book by the same name, the author has come out and said the movie has nothing to do with the book other than a couple of characters and the title. As from what I’ve heard, since I have not read the book yet. Is that the book is set years after the main event which was the zombie apocalypse. This movie, is set within I guess you would call the same “universe” but does not use a lot from the book.

The movie chronicles the events involving Brad Pitt’s character, where he is a family man whom has retired from his previous job with the UN. He would be sent out to try to figure out what caused an event and find a way to stop it from getting out of control. In this movie, he’s doing that, but with a viral/bacterial plague that is infecting the population of the earth, and nothing so far has been able to stop it. The only thing governments and people have been able to do, is save as many as they can, and barricade themselves in isolated areas to keep as many alive as possible. Brad Pitt’s character goes around to figure out how the disease began, how fast it moves through the body, and find any means of stopping the infection from spreading.

Many people hear different things about the origin of the plague/disease, some think it’s from Korea, some think it’s from India, but in the end no one truly knows where it came from and how it evolved to create the Undead/Zombie epidemic it became. The movie is great, Brad Pitt gives a solid performance as Gerry Lane. The movie keeps us informed, but doesn’t point out the obvious all the time. It is an enjoyable flick that anyone can watch, as long as they’re not squeamish. I liked the movie, I thought it was an enjoyable experience. At least from an outsider’s point of view for the lore of the book. It has elements of Contagion mixed with 28 Days Later, with a little bit of Left 4 Dead in the mix. I’d definitely say give it a rental at least.

I’ll try to have some more posts up, to give my blog some continuity soon. I’ll put some news up soon, regarding thoughts on next-gen properties for games, and the evolution of the industry.