I’ve been working with computers since Bill Gates was in high school. (He’s seven months older.) The difference is, he went on to Harvard, and I got sick with overwhelming headaches due to a chronic illness that is now identified as Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, although, back then it wasn’t even recognized yet.
I spent over two years mostly secluded at home. My main links to the outside world were Perry Mason on TV at noon and my subscription to Popular Electronics magazine. When the January 1975 issue arrived showing the Altair 8800 computer on the cover, I dug out my HP BASIC programming notes from high school and dreamed of owning my own computer.
As my health improved, I eventually got an unofficial project at IBM in Portland, Oregon writing a data tracking and reporting program in IBM BASIC. This was on IBM’s “small” computer before the IBM PC, named the IBM 5110.
After eight years of programming and managing computers as an employee, I began a career as a self-employed computer consultant, now in my 25th year. It’s definitely been a challenge to keep up with the constant changes in technology! There are often conflicts and shortcomings that need to be worked through. I admire and use Bill’s software, but my tactic has been to wait while other people get stuck and figure things out. Then I benefit from their experience and share it with my customers. This time is different…
The almost free Windows 8 upgrade offer had some of my customers talking about upgrading to Windows 8 as soon as it came out! Others are sure to buy new Windows 8 computers before the end of the year to deduct from their 2012 taxes. I decided that I’d better install Windows 8 and get started on finding solutions to the problems and questions that will be sure to come up.
My first impressions of Windows 8 were not positive. Windows 8 looks so different from previous versions of Windows that I felt lost. The very first change in looks begins at the beginning – Windows 8 opens up to a full screen picture with no place to type and nothing obvious to click on. It felt like a barricade. I tried the touch screen. Pulling down, pulling sideways left and right, and tapping it. Ah, pulling up – like lifting a window shade (ha, ha) worked! After I typed in my password, I was at the start screen. Another puzzle was before me. A block of multi-colored tiles with a color scheme I find unappealing. I could see places to click, but not what I wanted, which was the control panel. (Wanna see a real life experience of a man befuddled by Windows 8?). I couldn’t see how to check my network, install my printer, or even shut down the computer! I felt so frustrated, but I’ve gotten past that, and have even started to appreciate some of the new Windows 8 features.
I wanted a way to keep track of all this new information I’ve been absorbing for my own benefit and to share with my clients, and then I thought “why not share with everybody?” So I’ve decided to blog about where I get lost, what I find in Windows 8, and help others in the same boat.
It is my hope that you will find these posts a valuable resource and aid to your problems and annoyances in trying to cope with Windows 8. Feel free to contact me with your questions about Windows 8, and I’ll find answers to share. If you live in the Willamette Valley and need help with your personal or business computers or networks, contact us at Performance Computer Services for a solution to your computer problems.