Friday, January 4, 2013

Windows 8: The Great Debate

The Great Debate isn't great at all, but Windows 8 has indeed weighed on my mind since the arrival of my new laptop.

I'm an uncomplicated techie: Out of the box, I tend to love every new computer but hate every new operating system.  Historically, within a day or two I figure out where things are and how they work, and  then end up on board with the new OS.  I'm on Day 4 with this laptop and the jury is still out, but I'm coming to the conclusion my real beef isn't with W8 at all (per usual, I'm finding more things to like about it every day). 

As expected, I had a number of updates to install as soon as I fired her up.  That sorted all my wireless issues.  The touchpad is still touchy even with its update but that is simple user klutziness.  Microsoft Compatibility Center claims at least one version of Firestorm works with Windows 8, although some Residents are using the Compatibility Wizard and running FS as though on Windows 7. My real problem seems to be with my graphics.  I didn't expect any great shakes from an integrated graphics card, but considering the Intel HD Graphics 4000 is capable of running on Ultra settings,  I expected more (a lot more!) than I am getting.

Having installed both Catznip and Firestorm, I've discovered I'm not the only person whose viewer is COMPLETELY FREAKING OUT, no matter how low I drop my settings or whether my ethernet is plugged in or not.   Both viewers installed and loaded without issue, yet both are behaving the same way:  the borders of the viewer are flashing, tabs are flashing, and the entire screen gets sporadically taken over by the equivalent of one of Torley's Scifi Windlights.  Clearly, something is very wrong but I have yet to figure out exactly what the problem is.

Meanwhile, my poor little avatar's appearance has been suffering.  With the distraction of a) a faulty graphics card b) a graphics card that might be in the process of melting c) a simple fix that I haven't yet discovered d) something else, I neglected to refine my viewer and some of my graphic settings, including adjusting antialiasing filtering.  Hopefully, with the most recent changes my next log in will no longer show my av as having jagged edges:
Or a face so grubby and grainy it would embarrass a Babbage Urchin.

Despite the difficulties I've been experiencing, at least I haven't had to fuss with lag or log in issues or any of the other issues that typically gets the Lab reamed two ways from Sunday. 

The Misadventure Continues...

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