Tag Archive: AMD

Testing Windows 8 Developer Preview Version

Windows 8 Developer Preview

Win8 Dev Logon Screen

Win8 Dev Logon Screen

I’ve finally decided to test the next Windows edition, probably to be called Windows 8, although things like that are never certain in Microsoft-land.

Virtual Box

Win8 Dev VirtualBox Installation

Win8 Dev VirtualBox Installation

I did a Virtual Box install, which is fairly straightforward.  There are many tutorials on-line now which show how to do this, so I won’t do a walk-through. I installed the 64-bit version which I downloaded from MSDN using my licence.  You can get the installs from the Microsoft Website here, which come in ISO format.  You can also find out more from the horse’s mouth here.

You can also set aside a partition on your hard-drive and install to that.  However, Virtual Box is the safe way to go should the partition install fail and corrupt your current installation somehow.

What I will say, is to use more memory allocation to the virtual installation than recommended elsewhere or as the default,  and to use as many virtual processors as your host machine has.….. My machine is an AMD 955BE, which is quad-core running at around 3GHz.  In other words, if you don’t want it to run like treacle, give it plenty processor and memory room;  at least the recommended values for Windows 7.  You can see all of this in the VirtualBox settings screenshot above.

Fast Install (added 24/11/11))

Windows 7 vs. Windows 8 time to upgrade

Windows 7 vs. Windows 8 time to upgrade

Microsoft, on their MSDN blog, have made a big thing about the rapid installation for Windows 8, particularly for the upgrade route.  See Improving the setup experience.  I can say now that the clean install into the VirtualBox environment was very fast….

Briefly:

  1. You make a virtual machine in Virtual Box
  2. You set it’s parameters – processors, memory size, footprint size, IDE/SATA storage etc
  3. You set the downloaded ISO image to boot from in the settings.
  4. You boot by “Starting” the virtual machine.
  5. You install Windows into the filespace that you’ve previously set aside for it – I gave it a dynamic sized 50Gb.
  6. After that, let windows do it’s thing.  It took 10 minutes or so.
  7. Let it reboot.
Win8 Dev Loggged On Screen

Win8 Dev Loggged On Screen

Following this, you get a green screen from which country specifics are added, a username and finally, you enter your Live.com identity, if you have one, and if you want to!

Appearance

It’s a big green screen.  I don’t have a touchscreen, but it’s obviously designed for one.  It has massive buttons to a host of online services like weather & stocks, plus a few to your computer’s functions.

Win8 Dev Logon Screen

Win8 Dev Logon Screen

If you log off, you get presented with an American Rockies vista of a lonely winding road.  Essentially, the entry into Windows 8 is like a smartphone.  But what’s it like beneath the surface?

Windows 7 Legacy, and Vista Too!

Win8 Dev Double Click Control Panel Screen

Win8 Dev Double Click Control Panel Screen

Obviously, this is a development preview release, and we can expect more of the same to come.

Win8 Dev Double Click Explorer Screen

Win8 Dev Double Click Explorer Screen

But most work has gone onto the main intro screen because beneath the surface, all the various apps and settings controls are the old (current) Windows 7 interface.

Bizarrely, some screens even have vestiges of the green Vista, notably the main screen itself.

Personally, I think it’s very, very dour.  I can’t believe that two years of effort has gone into doing something that Android does on a more than twice-annual cycle….

Win8 Dev Left Corner Hover Screen

Win8 Dev Left Corner Hover Screen

Accessing the menus is the most unintuitive thing I’ve seen for ages!  Following on from the impressive Windows 7, it’s truly not just a user let-down, but somewhat infuriating as well…….    Whereas previously I just typed into the run bar to do almost anything, now I can’t even find programs or files!   No doubt there’s a way – but after Win7, it’s not intuitive and not helpful either.

I hope that’s not the end of the run box, because that feature in Windows 7 is awesome.

Control Panel

Win8 Dev Double Click Control Panel Screen

Win8 Dev Double Click Control Panel Screen

I haven’t checked through many apps (except a few desktop ones like the weird child-like paint thing and the weather which won’t do anywhere except California) but this is the control panel.

Win8 Dev Control Panel More Settings Screen

Win8 Dev Control Panel More Settings Screen

You then drill-down to get the old Win7 control panel on “More Settings”.

Initial Investigation Ends

Well that’s it for now.   To say I’m un-impressed by the big green monstrous front doesn’t give my opinion justice.  There doesn’t appear to be an easy way out of the front-screen apps and to have an app made for a  3-inch screen sat on a 23 inch desktop monitor really demonstrates the infantile  apps for what they are.

Way back in the nineties Microsoft tried their in-house Microsoft Network (MSN) which was a disc install that gave you a black desktop that gave dial-up access to features giving almost the same as this big green toy-town monster.

Not happy.

Watch this space as I delve more….

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Try Firefox, Nightly, 64 bit

Testing Firefox 64-bit Right Now!

Actually, I tried the 64 bit installs of Firefox and Internet Explorer soon after I installed this Windows 7 64 bit Operating System.  They were both pants and summarily removed from my hard drives and I haven’t revisited for over 2 years….

Firefox Nightly

Firefox Nightly

But now things seem on the up.

64-bit is now mainstream with a large 64-bit user base and fewer and fewer 32-bit applications seeing regular usage against the 64-bit versions.  This is Firefox’s “about” info (above) from this browser.  It’s called “Nightly”, and actually (whispers to one side), it’s very good…!!!   Miles better than before, which made the machine crash….

It’s….

  • Faster
  • Worked first time
  • Installed okay.
  • Needed Flash plugins which were directly available, and work!
  • Worked okay with all my current plugins – Web Developer, Flagfox, Quirk SearchStatus and the rest.  Amazing.  They all worked!
  • Got it’s own icon
  • Installs into it’s own folder separate to Firefox
  • Carries over all Firefox settings & shortcuts.
  • Carries over all Firefox add-ons & plugins, if they work.
  • only needed a new Flash install to get it working the way it was on 32-bit

So now I’m going to try 64-bit browsing as a real test.

Extra Information

Download Links
32 v 64
  • You need a 64-bit Operating System as well as a 64-bit processor to run 64-bit applications.
  • 32-bit Windows running on a 64-bit AMD processor (for example), won’t work.

 

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Vote for Crawling Chaos!

Introduction

AMD Phenom II x4 955 Black Edition

AMD Phenom II x4 955 Black Edition

CPU-Z Mainboard

CPU-Z Mainboard

In the Russian Dolls virtual world of my PC (I’ve currently upgraded to a AMD Phenom II 4x core 955 Black Edition which now allows me to run at least six Operating Systems (OS) concurrently – at the last count!), I have a Remote Desktop Connection (RDC) inside two virtual versions of Windows XP connected to work with drives and printers mapped every which way and also via a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

CPU-Z CPU

CPU-Z CPU

I’m running Windows 7 and the two virtualization programs are Windows Virtual PC (using XPMode) and the much better, Sun VirtualBox.  It’s hard to keep track of it, what’s real and what’s not, if you see what I mean…?

Q. So what?  I hear you ask…

Well I got a Google Alert today which flagged a mysterious call to vote.  It pointed here:

Vote Crawling Chaos for Congress in Jeollabuk-do! (click)

Intrigued, I followed, and you can too….

Vote Crawling Chaos for Jeollabuk-do and Imperial Sun party for eJapan!

Vote Crawling Chaos for Jeollabuk-do and Imperial Sun party for eJapan!

A. It’s a virtual world where people can virtually vote for virtual political parties in the constructed world called ERepublik (100% free and only minutes to sign up, it says).  All the papers have been talking about it and so far it appears that ~10k folks from each actual country are signed up.

Me? The real world is virtually enough.  It’s more like The Matrix by the minute!  So, welcome, to the real world!

– and vote for Crawling Chaos! ha ha.

Crawling Chaos Official Website

Crawling Chaos Official Website

Of course, my extra computing power now allows me to see the background animation for the Crawling Chaos website.  Wahay!  It’s a slow moving background colour change, which, bizarrely, is something I planned but never implemented as subtle room lighting when Crawling Chaos were in The Pits Studio.

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