9:30 - 10:20
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Wednesday, January 23, 2013 Meeting9:15 Set up your computer
9:30 Beginners Lesson 2: Safty tips and getting comfortable with your computer.
10:30 General meeting: Users account types, protecting your computer. Site http://bgrcc.com/070219.pdf . Six years ago I prepered this presentation.
There is a Free subscription I recommend for all Windows users. WINDOWS SECRETS is sent out weekly by a team of 8 or so Editors and Contributors by email. Their history goes back to 1998. Over the years several writers have merged their talents to form the current team. At this time they have over 400,000 subscribers. Past articles are available on line and can be searched with key words. You may subscribe to a larger newsletter for $15.00 but the free one is more than adequate for non professionals. Go to http://windowssecrets.com/ and enter your email address in the upper right corner.
Another good Free subscription is Ask Bob Rankin. His newsletter comes out several times a week. He has over 40,000 readers. You will find his articles interesting. View several past articles http://askbobrankin.com/ or Subscribe http://askbobrankin.com/subscribe.html
Windows 8 – What You Need to Know
Sandy Berger, CompuKISS www.compukiss.com
sandy (at) compukiss.com
Recently Microsoft released a new version of its operating system. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve already heard about Windows 8. So today I’m going to give you the facts – just the facts….focusing on what you will need to know about Windows 8.
First, all versions of Windows 8 have a new interface, which is radically different from any previous versions of Windows. The traditional start menu is gone. Now when you start your device you see a colorful conglomeration of squares and rectangle called “tiles.” These are not small squares like you might see on an iPhone or iPad, but are rather large. You touch or click on these tiles to launch programs and/or apps. Some of the tiles are “live” meaning that you can set them up to see real-time information like the weather, stocks, email, or news.
I can assure you that when you start using Windows 8 you will be stymied as to how it all works. So be sure to allow yourself a little time to investigate the new operating system. It may take a few weeks before you feel comfortable with the new interface. Yet, after using Windows 8 for a few months, I can also tell you that that this version is far superior to Windows XP or even to Windows 7.
The second thing that you need to know about Windows 8 has an underlying interface that is very similar to the Windows 7 desktop. In Windows 8, it is simply called “Desktop.” You can switch to this Desktop at your discretion (just click on or touch the Desktop tile). You will be switched to the Desktop automatically if you start a program like Notepad, Word, Excel, etc.
You might have heard that Windows 8 is made for touch screens and that is true. Yet every finger motion has a corresponding mouse and a corresponding keyboard motion. So it can also be used on a regular computer. I have used Windows 8 on a computer with touch screen and also on a computer with only a keyboard and mouse. It is very workable on both.
The third thing that you need to know is that Windows 8 comes in four flavors: Windows 8 Phone, Windows 8 (called RT) for tablets, Windows 8 (standard), and Windows 8 Pro. The Windows 8 Phone works only on smartphones and will come preinstalled. The Window 8 Pro offers extra data protection, remote desktop, and the ability to join corporate domains. It will mainly be used for businesses. So you, as an average consumer, only have to worry about two versions, RT and the standard version, which is referred to simply as Windows 8.
The RT version will come preinstalled on certain tablets. You won’t be able to upgrade to it. Windows 8 will come on almost all new computers and, if you have a newer computer or laptop, you will be able to upgrade your computer to Windows 8. Windows 8, however, will also come on some tablets and laptop-like computers. That’s where the confusion lies.
If you purchase a tablet you will have to know if you are purchasing a tablet with Windows 8 RT or Windows 8 because there is a big difference between the two. The colorful new interface is the same on both and both can run the apps that can be found in the Microsoft app store. The biggest difference is that RT can run only Apps. It cannot run desktop applications like Photoshop, Quicken, and Family Tree Maker. Yet Microsoft has been very smart about this. They have developed their main Microsoft Office 2013 programs as Apps. In fact when you purchase an RT tablet, Microsoft Office Home and Student Preview Edition comes preinstalled. When the Final version is released, it will automatically be downloaded and installed at no cost. So while the RT version can’t run full-blown programs, it can run Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote and actually comes with all of these. The Office Apps automatically appear in the Desktop interface that looks like Windows 7. If you have used any of these Office programs on your Windows XP, Vista, or Windows 7 computer, they will look and feel pretty much the same. Of course there will be some new features, but most of the features of the older desktop versions of these Office programs are available in the Apps. The two exceptions that I found were that the App versions of Office don’t support macros or add-ons.
If you purchase a new computer with Windows 8 or the Windows 8 upgrade, which is currently available online through Microsoft for $49, you will not get Office for free. You will either have to make that a separate purchase or use an older version of Office that you already own. (Microsoft says older versions, even those as old as Office 2002 will work fine with Windows 8.)
Besides the new interface, Windows 8 boasts some key improvements including longer battery life for portable devices, faster boot times, and a smaller memory footprint. Most full-blown programs that run well in Windows 7 will also work with Windows 8 (not with Windows 8 RT). Once you are used to Windows 8, you will probably find it easier to navigate than previous versions of Windows. So there are many reasons to upgrade or to purchase a new computer with Windows 8 preinstalled.
Making the move to Windows 8 will be beneficial, but there is a learning curve, especially on a non-touch desktop or laptop computer. Also, with Windows 8 RT completely based on Apps, the number of Apps available in the Microsoft App store is very important. Right now their store has only about 7,000 Apps in the Microsoft store compared to 100,000 in the Apple App Store. While some of the major Apps like Evernote and Kindle are already available, others like Words with Friends and Angry Birds are not. Of course, if Windows 8 is popular, the number of Apps is sure to increase dramatically and quickly. Because of the learning curve and the wait for Apps, I expect that acceptance of Windows 8 may be slower than expected.
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