Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Update: The Emotional Journey of Upgrading to Windows 8

So, in the wee hours in the morning I had the impulse to upgrade my Samsung Series 7 Slate to Windows 8.  Upgrading was quick and painless.  Playing around with the Tiled interface was interesting and tablety, moving stuff around viewing pics, visiting the Windows Store.  But then my troubles soon began when I realized it had severely broken the Touch/Stylus interface on the Desktop. Also broken was the Samsung Motion Sensor driver used for Rotation (not compliant on W8.)  I was in a state of Buyer's Remorse that first morning and pretty much all day Friday.  I seriously contemplated finding some way of reverting back to Windows 7, a major effort since I think it might have wiped the factory image.  Friday was spent Searching boards on information to revitalize the functionality of my beloved Slate.

Palm and Stylus not cooperating with each other in Manga Studio.
Even less so in Photoshop
Saturday gleamed some useful information as I found that I could Rotate again with a simple driver update from Microsoft.  I was still majorly worried about the Palm Rejection issue, as I had not found anything useful in the forums or searches.  I spent hours trying to use old Wacom Drivers, installing, uninstalling, reinstalling to no avail.  It was a huge annoyance and frustrating to say the least.

Sunday came around and in a forum post, it was like the Storm Clouds Had Parted and Rays of Sunshine Warmed My Face. Provided in the post was a link to Samsung's Windows 8 drivers (not before seen on the SS7 Slate Support Page.)  It was for one of their newer W8 tablets, but since they were pretty much the same, could be used for my older model ("older" being last year :P)  I could have just downloaded the new Wacom Digitizer (7.1.0) but decided, hell, install everything.

Testing out the new Wacom driver was like Mana from Heaven (almost)!  I could draw with the stylus and have my palm resting on the screen at the same time (for the most part).  I was so overjoyed that my main issue was solved that I didn't realize there was some quirkiness with the way the stylus behaved now.  One was that Manga Studio was severely laggy.  There was a noticeable lag in laying down brushstrokes and drawing tight circles looked more like ancient vector video games than a smooth circular path.  The program even took a while longer to close than in Windows 7.  Going in and disabling Touch relieved some of the lag, but it was still there for the most part.  Only after setting MS to XP Compatibility Mode, adjusting the Tablet setting in the Manga Studio, and uninstalling some of Samsung's unneeded progams (Touch Launcher and all that comes with it), the lag issue while drawing was gone.  Shutting down the program still seems to take a bit longer than it should though.

Downloading all the Samsung software also provided an amusing tool for those who really, really, really miss their old Start Menu.  They call it the Quick Starter, and it puts essentially a taskbar widget at the top (or bottom) of your desktop.  It can bring up a Classic Start like menu if you don't want to deal with going to the Tile interface.

What was wrong with the Checkbox in the Pen/Touch control window?
So the weekend installing Windows 8 was filled with Anticipation, Excitement, Disappointment, Remorse, Determination, Frustration, Elation, and finally Acceptance.  There is still some quirkiness to be had, and some features like an easy way to disable Touch to start drawing with the stylus is nowhere to be found.  I have to go into the Device Manager and sift through the Human Interface Device list and hit the right one (4th one down... most of the time. ;P)  In Tiles, I  can't get the Photos App to sort by File Name instead of Date Created.  It assumes everything you're looking at is going to be a photo, not a drawing, or a comic page which can be created out of order but put in order by File Name.  Otherwise, the Photo App would be a terrific (and free) comic book/manga reader.

Now that I have that out of the way, I was able to play around more with the Tiles Interface.  The store is meager to be sure at the moment, hopefully more apps for what I use in my regular browsing will be made.  Two of them Newegg and eBay were available as of this writing and decided to check them out.  Using the Newegg app is quite a different experience than looking and browsing through the website, though it is still familiar and intuitive.  It is easy to browse through categories  check info and even sort (using the pop up menu at the bottom).  The app looks great in either Landscape or Portrait mode.  I have yet to try to go and purchase anything or use the Cart, but that'll probably happen in time.  All in all a great experience.

The eBay app on the other hand, seems very limited in what you can do.  From what I could figure so far, there is no way to get into your account to look up Saved Sellers and other things.

The Netflix app was also a pleasant experience, easily scanning through my Instant Queue and Recommendations.  Search was to be had through the Right Side Windows Menu and was easy enough to do.

Sometimes it's nice to be able to just go where you want to go instead of having to open up your web browser and then jump to your site.  It's what the tablet stuff is all about anyhoo.  After the Emotional Rollercoaster I've had Installing Windows 8, I think I can finally settle down and start Enjoying Windows 8. :D

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