blue screen of temporary illness

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PC demo zone on Windows8 launch dayEver since the Cupboard’s face got smashed in I’ve been asking friends and colleagues for advice on what I should do – what sort of computer I should get and when.

My UK friends give diverse advice which naturally mirrors their own preferences. Though the IT professionals quickly get side-tracked onto talking about virtual machines – getting terribly excited at the thought. They seem to run substantial Apples with dual-boot from which they control lots of virutal machines. Not really for me.

I’ve also been popping into local shops that sell computers – Currys, PC world, Comet, John Lewis .   In these stores I get the pleasure of chatting to young handsome fellows who’re very excited about the prospect of being able to save up for an Apple iPad. Cute, but not actually too helpful for me – they aren’t good at ucovering my criteria and herding me towards one of their products. I’ve got wads of dosh in my pocket for something special, yet no-one’s selling to me. They’re selling to themselves. Most bizarre.

On the day that Windows 8 released I pootled along to Currys to play with a copy on their display machines. Everything started well:

  • No queue outside the store of people waiting to get their sticky hands on the new fancy OS. Such good fortune. I do dislike all the jostling and the lack of diversity when everyone plumps for the same thing. Even the store’s Demo stand was enticingly empty.  I felt good.
  • 5 assistants all ready to help me and the other customer in the PC section of the store. wonderful. I do like having someone on hand to spend time chatting with me – especially if I’m planning on spending more than £200.
  • A queue around the Apple stand.  Baffling.  Such ugly and expensive machines. Still not much choice – they’ve side-stepped having to make all the decisions that I’m about to take on…. which manufacturer, which processor type/size etc. More spacefor me to explore!

Store copy of windows 8 on release dayI wandered over to the windows 8 laptops that looked about the right size and design funkiness. Oh, a small blue one with ripples on the lid (Acer Aspire One).  My first experience of Windows 8 was a message that says:

 “Automatic Repair couldn’t repair your PC

Oh how I laughed!

A young assistant noticed my standing looking at the computer, giggling,  he swooped in and offered his help.

wendy: is this manufacturer installed windows 8 or a windows 7 machine that’s been upgraded in the store?

assistant: it came from the manufacturer with windows 8 on it

wendy: it’s not working, that’s not good on a demo machine is it?

assistant: it just means it didn’t shutdown properly, that’s all, I’ll just reboot it


I fell over


(no broken bones)

blue screen of temporary illness
2 votes rating 5

7 bits of lovely banter on “blue screen of temporary illness”

  1. von lx writes:

    Hello. Visiting via Scarlet Blue.

    As I understand it, Win8 is geared toward tablets and computers with touch screens. As such, I see no reason to “upgrade” my non-touchscreen laptop or desktop from Win7. As for my tablet, it’s an iPad.

    PS: I note in the Play Nice section that witless and pedantic may be a problem. My posts and comments tend to be both. Sorry.



    wendy writes

    von lx, Welcome! I’m impressed that you noticed then read the play nicely section 🙂 Good to hear you have a clear conception of where windows8 (doesn’t) sit in your computing world. Most ‘normal’ people wouldn’t upgrade – its a totally geek thing to do….



  2. ExpatEgghead writes:

    Very amusing and slightly worrying at the same time. The famous phrase ‘I’ll just reboot it’. When WXp came out one of it’s selling points was that it could stay up and running for around 1,700 hours before it died. Well, it was better than the previous generations.



  3. wendy writes:

    with win8 mybe a selling point is that it automatically repairs itself without even letting you know that it broke – except when it cant fix itself. One of my gripes with Vista and 7 has been the poor implementation of the sleep/hibernate processes which is a mix of hardware/software and applications playing well together – but I read this as the still haven’t made it work naturally…



  4. ExpatEgghead writes:

    I agree with von lx. If I wanted a tablet interface I would buy a tablet. Having seen a video of turning Windows 8 into a more conventional interface I don’t think I’d bother with it. I can wait until Windows 9. As for automatic repair, well, I shudder. Given badly behaved hardware, the drivers that you end up with that all sounds very quixotic. I make my living developing software and I’m still exploring Windows 7 and will be for a year or so yet.

    von lox is not witless or pedantic. I might be though…



  5. wendy writes:

    Expat, I really like it when one commenter agrees with and supports another, that feels a bit like ‘community’. I will update the ‘play nicely’ desciription to include this as a positive example.

    I’ve assumed that the blocky displays in windows 8 would be like gadget roll-up of program content – cound’t work this out by playing with it in store because the devices were not connected to the network and the programs had no user content. Anyhows, if this is true it seems like an ideal visual ‘tracking’ display that could be used on a 2nd monitor when my laptops at home, with the more traditional desktop on the first monitor. Not sure if this is possible. When I saw the ‘Desktop’ veiw my heart did sink, it did feel like two user interfaces in one OS and the ability to flick between them – Windows have shipped a “Classic” feel which usually looked like battleship grey of Win2K



  6. wendy writes:

    John, I like your attitude, and I’ve found Sparkle (new laptop) has an Acer installed disc imaging software so imaging (to revert if necessary) then upgrading is looking like a real possibility….



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