Last evening I finally succumbed to pressure and installed Windows 8 for the first time on one of my boxes.

Yes, I've finally succumbed to peer pressure.
Yes, I’ve finally succumbed to peer pressure.

Since I need Windows to play my PC games, I’ve been happy with Windows 7. Thinking that I need to move with the times, I picked up an upgrade, and installed it. Oh boy.

Mark says he suspects that I sometimes screw up our computers just so that I can spend hours fixing them again. Like, I’m bored so I’ll give myself the task of fixing a computer.

But alas, the first thing that happened was that the laptop I put Windows 8 on started to behave very strangely. Swapping resolutions seemingly at random. The laptop has switchable graphics so that when it is connected to the grid it uses one graphics card, but when it is on battery it switches to a low-power lower-spec graphics card. Both are AMD cards. But they have custom HP drivers from AMD.

You can’t use the standard regular ones which you can download from AMD. You have to download them from HP’s site, and as that computer is a couple of years old now it was delivered with Windows 7, HP has no such driver for Windows 8 and is unlikely to pay to have such drivers developed. I seemed doomed to the default Windows VGA drivers, which were flailing wildly.

But them’s the knocks you get when you try to keep up with the times. What I hadn’t prepared for was that Windows 8 is apparently so modern that it can’t load into safe-mode without a hell of a lot of trickery. The trickery consists of starting from the install discs, going into the COMMAND prompts, and writing a totally oblique set of commands to put it into ‘legacy mode’ at boot.

So, yesterday evening I spent a lot of time on my pad, reading through obscure blogs and forums looking to find out how the hell I should get into Windows safe-mode and fix my graphics issues. I eventually did, of course, since I’m writing this on the laptop I ‘upgraded’. But now, of course, I’m also relying on muscle memory which is a bit off, and I have to spend time cursing when things don’t happen like I’m used to. I keep clicking on the start button, but instead of the menu popping up, I’m thrown into the tile-set on the start-page, and that is certainly not very organised at this point. So, I have to spend precious seconds looking for the button which will get me back to the desk-top.

I will get used to it, sometime, but for now I’m mainly laughing at myself because many times I’ve sniffed arrogantly at people who curse Windows 8, and thought to myself that they should move with the times. And what happens when I install it? I sit here raging at my screen, expecting it to do things I want, and then it does something a little bit different.

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