Editorial – August 2015: I’m beginning to think of August as computer month.

There are times when being first isn’t an advantage.


Hello everyone

Before I change to a different subject, for those interested in the transition to my new laptop, things have worked out nicely. Dell do a nice laptop and I’ve discovered more RAM and even more RAM in a video card has made drawing graphics easier at last. I can finally do a soft pencil line when I thought there was just a glitch in the software. Expect some coaching tips when I settle down and do some real examples of applying what I know from canvas to digital. If you are planning to experiment, then these two things should be at the top of your list in selecting your specs when buying a new computer. Memory rules.

Actually, I decided to only change the topic only slightly because the month of August is going to be the change to Windows 10 for most of us PC users here. I suspect Microsoft chose August because with people on holiday, things would be a little quieter. Saying that, I still reckon there’s going to be a long wait for many of us.

Having only used Windows 8.1 for a few weeks, I can understand the need for change. Even using it for a brief few weeks, it feels like a castrated Windows 7, although I did find a shell that made it have a start menu. However, outside of the beta testers, I’m sure most of us are nervous about being first or at least first amongst the people you know to install W10, all depending on how long it takes to download. I wish Microsoft had at least announced earlier a counter app to show how much has been downloaded, although their latest email does say something like it is available now but not readily downloaded. When you consider that W8 is about 25gB, you would have to be on-line continually for a couple days or more to do it in a single sitting. On top of that, how are you going to know there were no hi-cups if there was a problem with installation? Not that I want to put that thought in your head because I suspect it’s there already but please read their website pages for anything you might need in preparation. I’ve already added a couple USB memory flash drives and a microphone to my collection ready for use and bought before the price goes up.

Some of what I say here is going to appear in a separate piece, ‘A Geek Guide To Your Computer’ as well but although I suspect most of you will read here, the main article will undoubtedly be the one most referred to on the search engines.

There are some things you should have done or prepared to do. If you’re nervous about making the transition, then make sure you make your 3 DVD rescue disks or copy to a 32gB USB flash drive first of your current Windows and remember you’ll have to do the same for W10. Just for emergencies but I like to err on the side of caution. Of course, you could always do it cross-combination and have the older Windows rescue on DVDs and store W10 on USB or even do it for all, those of you have a nervous disposition. This must surely be high on your list as we’re not getting W10 on CD. If it makes me nervous, then I’m sure you’ll feel like that as well. All it takes is for one byte of info to be out and things might not work. With so many gb, I tend to think things might be more problematic, even with check sums double-checking, it would be on top of my fret list.

Looking at the Microsoft website, one thing I do think should be done by one and all is read up on partitions because they make a strong point to make copies of all your important documents in case they are lost and to actually create them on your computer if you haven’t done so already. The emphasis there to create partitions means that W10 is either going to make them or you should to preserve your files there. I doubt if it will erase settings from your previous Windows so it’s more like they’re edging their bets against liability for file loss.

It’s interesting that although W7 has had the ability to make partitions, few people actually do it. In fact, it’s a wonder why it doesn’t do this automatically, especially as you have to defragment before hand and then put the documents directory there rather than in the Windows partition. Anyway, more details elsewhere how to do it in ‘A Geek Guide To Your Computer’.

Did I say don’t forget to back-up your Internet Favourites directory because most people forget that one and what would you do without us? The same applies to the ‘My Documents’, etc. Hopefully, it should be doing everything the same way and removing the potential for some hardware sellers’ version of Windows to wipe the entire hard drive on a reinstall.

Having some knowledge of little things to do or get ready in the meantime can also make you look better prepared or organised with the most important change of technology in your life. Hopefully, I won’t be doing it with too much technical talk so it can be handy to all. Those of you who are expert in such things, aren’t likely to need it although I hope they add comments of things they found helpful and can be added to.

The one thing I am grateful for is not being the first to use W10 because it means if there are faults or problems with the download, then its someone else’s problem that we can learn from. There are times when being first isn’t an advantage.


Thank you, take care, good night and don’t sweat too much when W10 wakes the first time and the new Cortana asks where is Skynet? It’s not on-line yet.

Geoff Willmetts

editor: SFCrowsnest.org.uk


Observation: For those who remember the Lynda Carter ‘Wonder Woman’ and her costume changes, she was probably the only super-hero to have her clothes on spin.


A Zen thought: Sometimes the simplest things are the best solutions.



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