Personal computing discussed

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WhatMeWorry
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Son off to college with laptop: Win 7 or Win 8.1?

Tue Jul 08, 2014 11:36 am

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Ryhadar
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Re: Son off to college with laptop: Win 7 or Win 8.1?

Tue Jul 08, 2014 11:39 am

Does your son have a preference at all?
 
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Re: Son off to college with laptop: Win 7 or Win 8.1?

Tue Jul 08, 2014 11:52 am

8.1 with Classicshell installed and disable Metro default apps.

It's not that hard.
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Re: Son off to college with laptop: Win 7 or Win 8.1?

Tue Jul 08, 2014 11:59 am

8.1. The technical differences make it worth it, whatever your start menu preferences are.
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Re: Son off to college with laptop: Win 7 or Win 8.1?

Tue Jul 08, 2014 12:03 pm

Ryhadar wrote:
Does your son have a preference at all?

Agreed. Has he tried both, maybe even tested the Surface Pro 3?
 
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Re: Son off to college with laptop: Win 7 or Win 8.1?

Tue Jul 08, 2014 12:14 pm

I have long hated Windows 8 and have been sticking with Windows 7 on my machines. I recently switched to Windows 8.1 + StartIsBack. I love it, basically Windows 7 with an interface boost and security/performance improvements under the hood. No reservations any longer about migrating over.
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Re: Son off to college with laptop: Win 7 or Win 8.1?

Tue Jul 08, 2014 12:19 pm

If your son has no preference, get W8.1, install Classic Shell, and disable Metro features. The result is basically the Windows 7 interface with all the under-the-hood fixes of the newer OS.
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Re: Son off to college with laptop: Win 7 or Win 8.1?

Tue Jul 08, 2014 1:12 pm

How far is he going for school? I subscribe to the KISS method when it comes to remote support. If possible stick to an OS that on-campus support will deal with. Use the OS that came with the PC and skip the third-party add-ons that you'd be stuck supporting over the phone should they ever quit working.
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Re: Son off to college with laptop: Win 7 or Win 8.1?

Tue Jul 08, 2014 1:36 pm

For what it's worth, I'm about to build a computer for my sister-in-law and I recommend she get Windows 7 (coming from XP). She's not tech-savvy, and I wanted to reduce the amount of tech related questions that would no doubt arise from Windows 8.1's new UI alone.
 
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Re: Son off to college with laptop: Win 7 or Win 8.1?

Tue Jul 08, 2014 2:43 pm

OS X so he doesn't get laughed at by the college hipsters.

Or Linux so that he is accepted by the mouth breathers and neck beards.

Or how about FreeDOS because the love you have for your son is entirely subjective?
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Re: Son off to college with laptop: Win 7 or Win 8.1?

Tue Jul 08, 2014 2:54 pm

There are more than enough performance and stability enhancements in Win8.1 to make it worthwhile; and the start menu thing is a personal preference issue that is easily rectified. Really, at this point there is no solid reason to go with Windows 7.
 
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Re: Son off to college with laptop: Win 7 or Win 8.1?

Tue Jul 08, 2014 3:10 pm

Now that large IT departments are standardizing on Win7 and most mainstream software programs are being updated appropriately, Win7 is probably the better bet for the next few years, similar to how XP long out-survived Vista.

But in general, Win8 is not going to break anything that runs on Win7.
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Re: Son off to college with laptop: Win 7 or Win 8.1?

Tue Jul 08, 2014 3:12 pm

I wouldn't wish Win8 on anyone. Every time I try to fix something on my daughter's laptop it drives me insane just trying to find basic things and do basic tasks.

Stick with Win7.
 
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Re: Son off to college with laptop: Win 7 or Win 8.1?

Tue Jul 08, 2014 3:50 pm

What is he planning on majoring in?
 
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Re: Son off to college with laptop: Win 7 or Win 8.1?

Tue Jul 08, 2014 4:00 pm

Buub wrote:
I wouldn't wish Win8 on anyone. Every time I try to fix something on my daughter's laptop it drives me insane just trying to find basic things and do basic tasks.

Stick with Win7.

Have you tried search? It's done the same way as in Vista and 7, click on the start button and start typing.

Or right clicking in the lower left, where most of the power tools can be easily accessed now?

Methinks your lack of experience with it is the only problem.
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Re: Son off to college with laptop: Win 7 or Win 8.1?

Tue Jul 08, 2014 4:34 pm

There's no reason not to get windows 8. Just install StartIsBack first thing.
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Re: Son off to college with laptop: Win 7 or Win 8.1?

Tue Jul 08, 2014 8:18 pm

Savyg wrote:
Buub wrote:
I wouldn't wish Win8 on anyone. Every time I try to fix something on my daughter's laptop it drives me insane just trying to find basic things and do basic tasks.

Stick with Win7.

Have you tried search? It's done the same way as in Vista and 7, click on the start button and start typing.

Or right clicking in the lower left, where most of the power tools can be easily accessed now?

Methinks your lack of experience with it is the only problem.

Uh yeah, that's the first place I repeatedly end up. And even that's more onerous than it should be, because it's separate from the desktop. But search doesn't always find stuff because you have to know what you're searching for is called. Try looking for Windows Update using either of those words.
 
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Re: Son off to college with laptop: Win 7 or Win 8.1?

Tue Jul 08, 2014 8:53 pm

I just use three letters and it found it, just as it did with Vista or 7.

You can also get there by right clicking on the flag that pops up in the systray.
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Re: Son off to college with laptop: Win 7 or Win 8.1?

Tue Jul 08, 2014 8:57 pm

Buub wrote:
Savyg wrote:
Buub wrote:
I wouldn't wish Win8 on anyone. Every time I try to fix something on my daughter's laptop it drives me insane just trying to find basic things and do basic tasks.

Stick with Win7.

Have you tried search? It's done the same way as in Vista and 7, click on the start button and start typing.

Or right clicking in the lower left, where most of the power tools can be easily accessed now?

Methinks your lack of experience with it is the only problem.

Uh yeah, that's the first place I repeatedly end up. And even that's more onerous than it should be, because it's separate from the desktop. But search doesn't always find stuff because you have to know what you're searching for is called. Try looking for Windows Update using either of those words.


It's one of 5 results when I search for it in 8.1, the other 4 being things like settings for Windows update and history. Did you even try it or know what the results were before posting the knee-jerk anti-Windows 8 comment?

Also, something cool this made me notice with the search results: it lowers the brightness of the exact words (and parts of words) you type in search, leaving the words you didn't type in a brighter white. This is a slick little way to allow you to quickly differentiate the results based on what you didn't type, which makes perfect sense to more quickly find the specific result you're looking for.
 
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Re: Son off to college with laptop: Win 7 or Win 8.1?

Tue Jul 08, 2014 10:02 pm

To be fair, original Windows 8 did not have the "Everywhere" search scope but it featured a seemingly totally arbitrary separation of Apps, Settings, and Files. To me it is a regression from Windows 7 (which is essentially a combined search) and really my only gripe. Back then you would indeed not be able to find stuff. 8.1 brings back combined search so I can work my way around it without any Start Menu replacement.
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Re: Son off to college with laptop: Win 7 or Win 8.1?

Tue Jul 08, 2014 10:14 pm

My stepdaughter's brand new computer suffered the 100% CPU bug when I finished all the updates to 8.1. A quick google of "windows 8.1 100% cpu" will quell any claims that this is isolated. I spent way too many hours trying to fix that, and never did. Since she hadn't even gotten a chance to do anything on the system, I just did a wipe/reinstall. I haven't even done any Windows updates yet because I'm not ready to deal with the aggravation a second time. If it happens again, she's got a $400 paperweight until I have the time and/or money to invest in getting it right.

Color me unimpressed with my first exposure to Windows 8. I can't get the stupid UEFI motherboard to boot to a Windows 7 DVD (never mind the hours I've spent reading forums and watching youtube and it STILL won't work). Yay "progress."
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Re: Son off to college with laptop: Win 7 or Win 8.1?

Tue Jul 08, 2014 11:57 pm

kvndoom wrote:
I haven't even done any Windows updates yet because I'm not ready to deal with the aggravation a second time.


Ok, I can understand part of your thought processes, but DEAR LOVING GORD, why would ANYONE send ANYONE out into the world with an unpatched Windows machine? Did you knit sweaters that said "kick me" on them, or give them condoms with holes pre-poked???

Sure, in this one particular case, there was something wrong, and rather than fix it, you burned it down. OK. Sure. I've been frustrated myself, and often, and the thought processes become deeply impaired by rage. Sure.

But then you intentionally AVOID patching and call that a fix? That's negligent at best, and criminal at worst. My doors kept squeaking, and I don't have time for that. I ripped em all out and stored them in the garage till I have time. In other news, lots of my *$^@ seems to be missing, and I have new roommates. Seems legit.
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Re: Son off to college with laptop: Win 7 or Win 8.1?

Wed Jul 09, 2014 4:34 am

Forge wrote:
kvndoom wrote:
I haven't even done any Windows updates yet because I'm not ready to deal with the aggravation a second time.


Ok, I can understand part of your thought processes, but DEAR LOVING GORD, why would ANYONE send ANYONE out into the world with an unpatched Windows machine? Did you knit sweaters that said "kick me" on them, or give them condoms with holes pre-poked???

Sure, in this one particular case, there was something wrong, and rather than fix it, you burned it down. OK. Sure. I've been frustrated myself, and often, and the thought processes become deeply impaired by rage. Sure.

But then you intentionally AVOID patching and call that a fix? That's negligent at best, and criminal at worst. My doors kept squeaking, and I don't have time for that. I ripped em all out and stored them in the garage till I have time. In other news, lots of my *$^@ seems to be missing, and I have new roommates. Seems legit.

You really should calm down. You missed the "paperweight" part apparently. She's not using it at all. She hasn't touched the computer since a couple weeks ago when she told me "everything is really slow," which started all this in the first place. She doesn't have her account set up yet, and doesn't know my admin password.
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Re: Son off to college with laptop: Win 7 or Win 8.1?

Wed Jul 09, 2014 11:48 am

Ah, I misunderstood. My apologies.
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Re: Son off to college with laptop: Win 7 or Win 8.1?

Wed Jul 09, 2014 12:19 pm

Who's your son going to call for tech support? If it's you, I'd go with whatever you prefer to work in. If it's campus IT, I'd shoot them an email and ask what they officially support. Connecting to campus wifi/network resources shouldn't be too onerous, but some library resources/online catalogs break in fun ways if you use a browser/OS that's newer than expected.

Personally, I think going with Win8 plus custom shells is asking for a late-night phone call because no one knows how to troubleshoot his laptop and that final paper's due tomorrow.
 
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Re: Son off to college with laptop: Win 7 or Win 8.1?

Wed Jul 09, 2014 1:25 pm

Support for Windows 7 ends in January 2020 (meaning, most importantly, no security patches after that). It's honestly not that uncommon for people to hold onto systems for 5 years or longer. Knowing that, I really feel like you have to go with Windows 8.1 at this point, unless its your own and you know it's going to be replaced/rebuilt.

As others have said, install a 3rd party start menu add on or not, depending on preference. But stick with what's current.
 
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Re: Son off to college with laptop: Win 7 or Win 8.1?

Wed Jul 09, 2014 1:52 pm

absurdity wrote:
Support for Windows 7 ends in January 2020 (meaning, most importantly, no security patches after that). It's honestly not that uncommon for people to hold onto systems for 5 years or longer. Knowing that, I really feel like you have to go with Windows 8.1 at this point, unless its your own and you know it's going to be replaced/rebuilt.

That may be the scheduled date at this point in time but it will be pushed out due to business adoption of Win7 and collective "meh"-ing of Win8.
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Re: Son off to college with laptop: Win 7 or Win 8.1?

Wed Jul 09, 2014 1:59 pm

ludi wrote:
absurdity wrote:
Support for Windows 7 ends in January 2020 (meaning, most importantly, no security patches after that). It's honestly not that uncommon for people to hold onto systems for 5 years or longer. Knowing that, I really feel like you have to go with Windows 8.1 at this point, unless its your own and you know it's going to be replaced/rebuilt.

That may be the scheduled date at this point in time but it will be pushed out due to business adoption of Win7 and collective "meh"-ing of Win8.

Actually, if Win8+1 or Win8+2 turns out to be popular, they will try to push those instead. So I would not count on 7 enjoying the same leniency as XP.
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Re: Son off to college with laptop: Win 7 or Win 8.1?

Wed Jul 09, 2014 3:34 pm

ludi wrote:
absurdity wrote:
Support for Windows 7 ends in January 2020 (meaning, most importantly, no security patches after that). It's honestly not that uncommon for people to hold onto systems for 5 years or longer. Knowing that, I really feel like you have to go with Windows 8.1 at this point, unless its your own and you know it's going to be replaced/rebuilt.

That may be the scheduled date at this point in time but it will be pushed out due to business adoption of Win7 and collective "meh"-ing of Win8.


Far from a certain thing. Now that they've been through this process with XP, I feel like they're less likely to do it again.
 
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Re: Son off to college with laptop: Win 7 or Win 8.1?

Sat Jul 12, 2014 8:32 am

Personally I'd say stick with bone-stock 8.1 and call it a day. It is perfectly workable for anyone, and power users can add the little Metro skipper if they want. Personally I like it stock.

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