So I’ve had a look, installing it into a VirtualBox environment…
The focus of this article is on one difference, the Windows Experience Index, mine is shown in the screenshot in the top right.
Win8 Control Panel
Well yes and no. Apart from the much talked about “start” button (not) re-instatement, the control panel throws out some differences for sure (see screenshots)…
Win8.1 Control Panel
….. notably the Windows Experience Index (or Performance Indicator) (or Assessment), a Microsoft gauge of the “goodness” of your machine.
Well in Win 8.1, it’s gone! See highlight…
Or Has It?
WinSat Usage -not all shown!
Actually, it’s still there under the command line… All you need to do is add a switch (I chose ‘formal’ as it does the lot).
The actual file that does the work is called winsat.exe and it’s in the System32 folder. Give it a ? switch from the command prompt and all it’s inner options and usages are revealed! (see left)
So fire up your command line and run:
…then watch the process stream past.
There no nice GUI web report, of course. The results are still there, tucked away (as they always were) as a set of XML files in the Windows directory. Go to:
Win8.1 System Assessment Files (cmd process finished in background)
..to find them. The screenshot right shows the files I’ve just created and you’ll see that the process has just finished in the Command Line window and that it took 2min 49.59 secs to run all the tests.
WinSat Win8.1 CPU Results
Running all assessments has produced 7 files.
The screenshot here on the left shows the end of the CPU one.
The time it took is plainly visible along with the plainly poor CPU assessment (well it is in a virtual environment after all!!)
Windows Performance Index is not dead and buried in the new Windows 8.1 – it’s only been buried.
In the spirit of the recent government diktat from dorky Francis Maude for all motorists to get into their cars, then queue for hours to buy up all available petrol, I’ve decided to jump the gun on the water shortage!
I’ve now run round the house turning all the taps on and put the lawn sprinklers on full blast because I’m just outside the hosepipe ban area.
My partner plans to have five baths today as well.
This will ensure that all the water is gone before the ban starts!
Reasons, Nazis and Jews – What are Neonicotinoid Pesticides?
IG Farben (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
There are many candidates for CCD and pesticides are just one possible or contributory factor. Things like bee predators, mites, electromagnetic radiation, loss of habitat…. it’s quite a long list.
However, the two studies above seem to be pretty secure controlled studies that looked at one factor (the neonicotinoid pesticides), examining the bees in isolation both with and without the expected non-lethal local dosage of the chemicals so as to eliminate the other possible causes.
Acetamiprid – Aventis (French conglomerate inc. Rhône-Poulenc, Hoechst and others)
Clothianidin – Bayer, Takeda
Dinotefuran – Mitsui
Imidacloprid (the most widely used insecticide in the world) – Bayer
Nitenpyram – Novartis (formed from Zeneca, Ciba-Geigy, Sandoz)
Thiacloprid – Bayer
Thiamethoxam- Bayer, Syngenta (another entity formed from Zeneca, Ciba-Geigy, Sandoz)
Fritz ter Meer (1884-1967) at the Nuremberg Trials. Ter Meer was I.G. Farben official, member of NSDAP. This photograph of ter Meer (probably as a defendant) was taken by US Army photographers on behalf of the Office of the U.S. Chief of Counsel for the Prosecution of Axis Criminality (OUSCCPAC, May 1945 – Oct. 1946) or its successor organization, the Office of Chief of Counsel for War Crimes (OCCWC, Oct. 1946 – June 1949). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
What’s interesting from this list is how often Bayer pops up in the neonicotinoid (a neuro-toxin) story.
It famously made Zyklon B, which made a poison gas and was one of the main methods of murdering Jews and others by the Nazis during WW2. It did this under the conglomerate business name of IG Farben which was broken up post war by the allies into the original business entities, Bayer being one, and it’s still around now!
What I see as a reason for the bee decline ultimately relates to our overall karma.
It is not retribution against individuals directly. The bad karma affects us all, now, because we have continued to allow processes to continue which harm ourselves and our environment. The disappearing bees are just one manifestation of this.
Ter Meer got his nice job back at Bayer, probably because he was the best person to do it, especially at this critical period of rebuilding Germany. We could say that he continued his life’s work of creating death by chemicals (which I’ve cunningly yet disingenuously alluded to in order to attract your attention!), but it must be remembered that alongside Zyklon B, the same businesses created many products which are essential to our productive farms and lifestyles. Aspirin, for instance. Fertilisers as another.
In fact, Fritz Haber, whose academic work was enthusiastically taken up at IG Farben and others, demonstrates the dichotomy of human nature by inventing chemical warfare while simultaneously inventing a process to fix nitrogen from the air to make fertiliser (or explosive, since it’s the same thing). One gives life benefit, one removes it completely. As it says on Wikipedia,
“The food base of half of the current world population is based on the Haber-Bosch process”
Haber’s karmic retribution was swift and fast. Whether he knew or felt it is beside the point. It happened.
His wife shot herself because of her guilt over his personal supervision at the 1st gas release on the Western Front.
Their son who found her, was so appalled by this and his father’s actions, that he committed suicide in 1946 (like survivor guilt, I suppose.).
Haber was Jewish, rewarded by the Nazis who used his gas Zyklon A, developed into Zyklon B to murder Jews and others during the holocaust.
Many members of Haber’s extended family were killed in the Holocaust.
Direct Karmic Attention
A honeybee on an apiary, spreading feromones to ‘call back’ her collegues, showing her nassanoff-gland. Location: Tübingen-Hagelloch. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
But now we can easily see, that by continuing the bad processes, by continuing the bad ideas, by continuing the bad attitudes of the past, the actions of the past have started to hit us all full in the face.
Bees are just part of it.
Our disjointed energy & food policies of “live today, pay tomorrow” are just larger examples of the wider issue.
To fully understand how we should proceed in our lives and how we interact with others and our environment, we need look no further than some key Buddhist principles, laid out before us a very long time ago by Siddhārtha Gautama. He said:
This is called The Noble Eightfold Path, and if we all paid attention to it and acted sincerely with it, then we’d all be a lot better off.
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.
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
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….
You make a virtual machine in Virtual Box
You set it’s parameters – processors, memory size, footprint size, IDE/SATA storage etc
You set the downloaded ISO image to boot from in the settings.
You boot by “Starting” the virtual machine.
You install Windows into the filespace that you’ve previously set aside for it – I gave it a dynamic sized 50Gb.
After that, let windows do it’s thing. It took 10 minutes or so.
Let it reboot.
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!
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
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
Obviously, this is a development preview release, and we can expect more of the same to come.
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
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.
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
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.
…when mankind left the gravitational confines of our Earth.
A poor boy from the steppes, Yuri Gagarin, simultaneously became the first man in space and the first man to leave Earth and orbit it completely. (This is something that took NASA several steps before John Glenn finally emulated the feat).
While of humble background (like Jesus), his father was a carpenter (like Jesus) and his mother read voraciously (as Jesus knew the scriptures). Obviously, Gagarin wasn’t Jesus, but he did die in his mid-thirties which parallels Jesus’s early death.
I was alive when Gagarin stunned the world by being shot into space. I remember very few photos of the man or the event. The West was naturally very embarrassed by being overshadowed by a dictator-led communist state. Most scientists were just astonished. Most politicians and the mainstream media were extremely alarmist in public (and fully actioned in private) because the inter-continental aspect of chucking a nuclear weapon sized piece of machinery aloft at the height of the cold war was paramount in their minds.
What struck me then and since was the fact that Gagarin always seemed to have a happy cheeriness about him. When we now see his pre-flight pictures, his confidence is astounding, because remember, before the voyage, mankind had conflicting ideas about the very survivability for a man in the entirely hostile and unforgiving environment of space. Some said that a man would die within half and hour from radiation….
Of course, the Soviet scientists had tested these theories with mammals (dogs & ape) and knew that even though the animals died on their space-flights (and were destined to die, by design), they knew that a man could survive the flight and if a return to Earth could be made, he’d live to see another day. They’d also done a small step-by-step approach to their rocketry so even though the rocket was made primarily as an ICBM, its designer was actually more interested in getting men into space and had designed accordingly. (see this article on Sergei Korolev and his space-flight dreams).
This, Gagarin duly did, by re-entering the atmosphere in his capsule and then, when the speed had sufficiently reduced, by opening his capsule and leaping from it to then descend on a conventional parachute.
Amazingly, this all worked, perfectly.
International Space Station
We now see the benefits of this early Soviet work because for the next few years, transport of people to the International Space Station (ISS) will be done by the Russian Soyuz spacecraft alone now that the NASA Space Shuttle is grounded for good.
The Soyuz is a direct descendant of Gagarin’s early capsule and the subsequent work and deaths of Soviet cosmonauts. Later joint work with NASA and their own accidents and astronaut deaths have made the Soyuz platform very reliable, in space flight terms. See this Wikipedia article for a full introduction to space-flight of all kinds.
Google, characteristically, have celebrated Gagarin’s achievement (and that it was, make no mistake, he was a very, very, brave man), with a decorated main page which I’ve copied for posterity above.
Hooray For Gagarin.
So it was 50 years ago today. An event that changed the world and our perception of it and ourselves in the universe.
It’s only people some years older than myself who actually remember the previous world where people remained fixed to the planet and could only dream and wonder about the reality beyond. For myself and folks younger than me, we can only to imagine what that world was like because we are part of the world that Gagarin’s bravery opened up for us..
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