Another Christmas day has come and gone and I'm really "digging" the Christmas present I gave to myself! I am sure many of you Dads and Moms are in the same mental place I find myself at Christmas … where you have come to grips with the fact that you must spend a significant sum of money on Christmas presents and then just be satisfied (yourself) with the joy those gifts give to others.
I'm sure this bread winner dilemma has existed since the beginning of time, and I can remember first seeing it as a youngster. My parents were divorced and my Dad achieved his serenity over the holidays by driving up to Reno, NV at Christmas for a couple of days of playing poker. That used to perplex me but now I can see what he was doing … taking care of himself. Me, I buy myself a Christmas present.
Well the present I gave myself this year was purchasing the Windows 8 upgrade for my laptop. The upgrade is something I've been thinking about since I started seeing those cool Microsoft commercials (did I actually just say that?) over the summer. If you read my blog post titled "Operating System Bigamy Bliss" a few weeks back you will recall that an integral part of my self-imposed operating system trinity is Windows and my home computer was the weak link in my tech infrastructure. So, I was staying in my own home for Christmas day and have seen the movie Christmas Story more times than I can remember … the timing for an operating system upgrade was perfect.
At the risk of dating myself I will share some recollections from my technology past that went into this decision to upgrade. I was always an early adopter of operating system updates and changes starting back in the 1980s moving from DOS to DR DOS then to early versions of Windows in the late 1980s early 1990s. Some updates were painful and some were simple, but I always found enhancements and improvements that made upgrading worthwhile. But, nowadays I question whether I have the energy or patience that it once took to do what I used to have to do. How many of you can remember adding a new program to your computer then having to go in to the autoexex.bat and remark (REM) everything out and add them back in one at a time after rebooting to determine what was causing the problem?
Well what the heck … I'm not going anywhere and I have all day Christmas to make this work so let's give it a try. Plus, my laptop despite only being about a year old was running slow despite all my best efforts to troubleshoot with a combination of disk maintenance, AVG Anti-Virus, Malwarebytes', and CCleaner. Just maybe this upgrade can rejuvenate my laptop to the point where I can show it as much love as I had been giving my iPad over the last 6 months.
Well here I am typing this blog post the day after Christmas and I am excited to get home to play with my Christmas present to myself. The upgrade went well … though the pessimist in me was a little stressed throughout the 45 minutes it took to install. After the upgrade the normal "time suck" of playing around with the new shiny object commenced. Initial thoughts are that Microsoft did things right with Windows 8 by introducing a completely new Metro USER interface while maintaining the old familiar desktop within the framework.
I am liking how the Charms Bar provides an interface that spans the gap between the otherwise separate Metro and desktop experiences in Windows 8. It is available from any interface—the Start screen, PC Settings, any Metro-style app, and even the desktop—and it consolidates many important system-level capabilities and often-needed features into an easily accessed user interface that isn’t taking up any valuable onscreen real estate.
OK, here's the part you can't tell my wife … after the successful upgrade I felt compelled to also give myself a gift of Office 2010. Just snuck it in there like the clothes presents of Christmas' past that I claimed to her, "No Babe, these shoes aren't new, just haven't worn them much." But by adding Office's OneNote 2010 to my laptop I can now synch effectively on my laptop. That laptop I've been ignoring the past six months is starting to look pretty sexy to me now.