Tag Archives: windows 8

Got Wii U and Windows 8.1

With the release of Wind Waker HD Nintendo released a Wii U bundle with a “limited edition” Zelda Wii Gamepad, so I thought it was a good chance to get that Wii U that I intended to buy but never really did because of the lack of games.

Wii U Wind Waker bundle box

Box shot of the Wii U Wind Waker bundle

Zelda Wii U Gamepad and Zelda Wii Motion Plus controller

The Zelda Wii U Gamepad next to the Zelda Wii Motion Plus controller from the Skyward Sword bundle

That being said, there still is a lack of really good games for the Wii U. I bought Nintendo Land (which has at least a few multiplayer games that are quite fun) and also ordered Assassin’s Creed 3 which I look forward to playing on the Wii U just to see how much better it feels to have a map on the gamepad instead of having to go into the map screen every 10 seconds. Oh well, honestly I’m not in a hurry to get more games, but I do want to get a few more party games before I get too bored of playing Nintendo Land!


Windows 8.1 was released a few days ago, and while my Acer Iconia W511 could automatically upgrade from the Windows Store, my stationary computer had to be upgraded with an installation DVD because it was installed using a corporate version of Windows 8. And it took a long time to download the Win8.1 DVD from Microsoft’s website, probably because a gazillion people are downloading it right now. But I eventually managed to upgrade my stationary too.

It is nice that I can now boot directly to desktop, see my desktop wallpaper on the start screen, and that it is slightly easier to move icons around on the start screen. Though honestly I don’t really use the start screen for much except searching for programs, which is why it is still a bit cluttered in my screenshot.

Start Screen Wallpaper

Now you can choose to keep your desktop wallpaper on your start screen

The search is supposed to be improved in 8.1 too, now it automatically searches across all apps and files. I did try just now to search for one of the songs on my computer, and Windows did find the file quite quickly. Selecting the file started playing it in my default audio player (Mediamonkey). When I say supposed, it’s only because I never really tried “advanced” searching much in Windows 8, so I wouldn’t really know what has changed.

Oh and now you can dock more than two Windows 8 apps on the screen at the same time (as long as it’s larger than a certain resolution), and you can also dock apps on more than one monitor at the same time (in Windows 8 I could only dock things apps on a single monitor, and the Start screen would insist on opening up on that screen when I had something docked). If nothing else, I can at least now keep the Facebook app docked on some edge of one of my monitors. Yeah I might be kind of a FB junkie.

In Windows 8.1 you can now dock apps to multiple locations and also still use the desktop at the same time

In Windows 8.1 you can now dock apps to multiple locations and also still use the desktop at the same time

While chatting in the Facebook app for Windows 8.1, I noticed that Microsoft still hasn’t fixed the issue of spell check being enabled in apps even though it’s disabled in the PC settings… I think I noticed this in Windows 8, but because I didn’t use so many apps before, I forgot about it. Until now that Facebook made an app. Eventually I gave up chatting using the app and installed the desktop version of Facebook Messenger. Because I do chat a lot more on FB than on other services nowadays.

Oh and yeah, they did add the start button back to the desktop task bar. I don’t really care since pressing the Windows button on the keyboard is 10x times faster than using the mouse to click on the button, but I did notice that they added a bunch of shortcuts to useful system settings if you right click on the Windows button! Which could potentially be useful. I guess.

So I guess now it’s about time for me to start making Windows 8 apps! As soon as I finish Wind Waker HD. And Fez. Also I ordered the new Pokemon game. Oh well, soon.


Posted by on 2013-10-19 in Rambling

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Windows 8 First Impressions

I have now been using Windows 8 on my main computer at home for a few days. It seems to work quite smoothly, and when not taking the new Start screen into account, is not really that different from Windows 7.

Screenshot from my Windows desktop. You can dock new Win8 apps on the side even while using normal desktop mode! Although if you then start another Win8 app, it'll take over the rest of that monitor.

Screenshot from my Windows desktop. You can dock new Win8 apps on the side even while using normal desktop mode! Although if you then start another Win8 app, it’ll take over the rest of that monitor.

I’ve read that many people hate the Start screen and I also know there are lots of Start menu replacement programs that can be used to simulate the old Start menu. Personally I don’t really mind the new Start screen though.

The biggest reason is that since Windows XP, I have almost completely stopped using the Start menu for starting programs, instead using Launchy, a launcher app where you type name of the program you want to start, and it’ll start it. (Usually I only need to type the first 2-3 letters of the name before it finds the correct one.)

In Vista and Windows 7 I used the built-in search in the Start menu, and in Windows 8 the Start screen still has the same search function: If you start typing while on the Start screen, it’ll show a list of programs matching the letters you typed.

Searching in Windows 8

I also like the way you can have live tiles on the Start screen showing various info without having to start them up. So I can always check the weather just by pressing the Windows key. And the People tile shows the latests updates from Facebook, while the Calendar tile shows the events of the day. So just like the old desktop gadgets/widgets that I have used a bit on and off over the years. Hopefully there’ll be more useful live tiles in Microsoft’s app store as time goes.

Start screen

Still, it kinda irks me that for new Win8 apps, they have to take over one whole monitor. It helps that I’m using two monitors at home, but it’s still distracting whenever I decide to start one of Windows 8’s built-in apps, and it covers everything on that monitor. It is possible to dock one app on the side and keep using desktop mode like shown in my screenshot, but once you open any more it’ll take over that monitor. I guess the easiest solution for that is to avoid using Windows 8 apps, and use programs that runs in regular windowed mode instead.

Some new features that I found amusing so far in Windows 8:

  • You can now show a taskbar on each of your monitors
  • You can set the taskbars to show only the programs/windows that are running on that monitor
  • In Windows 7 you can set a group of wallpapers for Windows to switch between automatically. In Windows 8 you can even make it use different wallpapers from that group on each monitor (like in my screenshot).
  • Picture unlocking is a neat function. In case you just don’t feel like typing stuff. You can choose a picture and then make three mouse actions on it to use as a password for unlocking your computer. For example clicking on one spot, then click and drag along another spot, and then click and make a rotation in a third spot.

Posted by on 2013-01-01 in Software

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