Changing the Windows

Windows 10Windows 10 has appeared on the scene and if you have a qualified computer; one with a legal version of Windows 7 or 8 on it, you will notice a new little icon in your taskbar near the clock. If you hover your mouse over it, it will display “Get Windows 10” like a prophet or oracle or demanding boss.

We have a variety of computers and all of them but one was exhibiting the temptation to upgrade. The hold out was my little ASUS netbook. However, after reading a multitude of articles that ranged from “What the hell are you waiting for?” to “Don’t upgrade until Windows 7 dies a slow death”. I really was going to procrastinate longer, but then…

Our kitchen computer, better known as Ron’s workstation or our guest computer started having issues. None of the six USB ports would recognize the mouse. At first, we thought it was a battery issue. Three sets of new batteries did not resolve a thing.

Checking for updates on USB port drivers showed they were all current. Examining the device manager proved fruitless; everything was fine. Windows updates had nothing to offer. Multiple Google searches produced various options, which resulted in nothing but more failed attempts to resolve the problem.

Ron went and bought a new mouse. It did not work. Just for the heck of it, I tried the mouse from my netbook. Crazy! It worked, but only in the front USB port. Aside from this issue, the computer itself has been making noises reminiscent of a death rattle. It seemed it was time to go computer shopping, but with the Oslo trip approaching, I wanted to wait.

There was nothing to lose, so I decided to try Windows 10. When you click on the icon in the taskbar tray, it only puts you in line for the program when Microsoft decides you deserve it. If you want it now, like all good immediate gratification needy people, there is an option. Click over to the Verge article for the How to Guide.

At first, I thought I would experiment with the netbook to see how complicated the process would be. It didn’t work well at all. When I shut down the computer though, I noticed there were 32 updates that were going to be installed, so the computer should not be shut off. It had been some time since the netbook has seen the light of day. It must have been starving for updated info all this time.

One thing I did for my own peace of mind and security with Ron’s computer was to move everything I wanted to save, such as documents, photos, and media, from the C drive to the secondary drive in the computer. For those without, use an external source like a USB stick. Once again, I ran Windows Updates just to be certain nothing was missed.

That was the key. Once the updates completed, I tried again. There are two different versions of Windows 10, based on your system: 32 bit or 64 bit. Both of these experimental computers are 32 bit. My laptop and desktop are 64 bit and I have not tried updating either one yet. Using the article above, you can get the correct media tool for the download you need. The only pain in the procedure is the time it takes to download and then install the new program. It is a test of patience. However, it not only updated Windows, it updated all the drivers. The sound on the netbook is 150% better than it was before.

One of the reasons I hesitated with an upgrade was I thought it would look like Win 8Windows 8.1 with all the boxes, which I hate. Well, there is the best of both worlds. There are the boxes, but there is the option to modify or remove them with a couple of mouse clicks. However, the desktop can look like you want it to with whatever icons you choose. The boxes are hidden under where the Start button used to be.

It has taken relatively little time to teach Ron how to use the new program. The computer seems to be working better as well. One thing I like is that it is possible to integrate Gmail, Google calendars and Facebook all into the start box, which provides all the mail, events and FB updates in one place without having to sign in each time. You also sign into Windows using a pin code. It is easier than some complicated password. Family or guests accounts can be set up very easily.

If you decide to try it out, you have a full 30 days to play with it before it becomes permanent. At any time before then you can revert back to Windows 7 or 8.1, whichever one you had prior. An article explaining how to dial it back is here.

The VivoStick below seems really interesting and is available on Amazon.com here.

After completing my Ed.D., the frustration of finding a teaching position where I was willing to live, led to Ron and I leaving the country. We intended to travel for a year before settling somewhere in MA or RI. We left the US without any credit card debt, no car payments and our house mortgage paid by renters. We had $10,000 in the bank to make our way through a year.