Saturday, February 6, 2016


Been awhile since I have posted here. I wanted to chime in on the Microsoft surface. I realize that it has been out for a few years now but up til about 6 months ago I didn't really have any experience using it or even exposure to it. Recently however all that has changed.

I have to say overall though the experience has been underwhelming to say the least. Now just to be clear the one that I have been using is running Windows 10 and yes it has a stylus and the type cover. I mean first and foremost it is full Windows. Which Microsoft touts as a great selling point, but as someone who most often uses and Chromebook or Android device it just feels outdated and slow. Even when I am doing more heavy duty tasks like photo editing or video production my weapon of choice is a Macbook Pro. Which is far more elegant.

My major problem with it is just the fact that Microsoft chose not to innovate or or even freshen Windows post Windows XP for so long that the world moved on without them. I mean yeah you can use full office on the surface among other things but with options like Google Docs out there why would you need to. Yes it will run full desktop programs but I found them to be slow and buggy. This no doubt would have been better on the Surface Pro but again as some perfectly at home in the Google universe of web based apps, why?

As a tablet its less polished and slow than other options. As a laptop replacement it is plagued by the problems Windows has had for decades, malware, constant updates, frequent reboots, degrading performance over time,  and general lack of innovation. Add to that underwhelming battery life, a less robust web store, and a big price tag when compared to comparable android devices. In the short time I have dad this one I have had to completely reload the OS in addition to fixing other software issues.

I would say don't bother.

Published by Joshua Nicholes
www.joshnicholes.com


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Life with a Chromebook


Wow, it's been a year since my last post. Anyhow about a month ago I bought a couple of C7 Chromebooks, (Right after that they released the new generation, figures.) I have been using it now for about a month.It has been my primary machine all that time. Extremely happy and very impressed. For the first two weeks I used it as it is out of the box no modifications. I am very impressed overall great battery life, extremely portable, and very feature packed for the price. 3 USB ports, HDMI, VGA, and even Eathernet. The wifi is very solid and truly the screen is pretty decent for the price. I did notice that the computer really did need more memory as it always seemed to operate at the upper end. Although I like the keyboard, I'm am used to Macbook Pros with lighted keyboards. So a few modifications. 

1. Upgraded to 4 GB of ram $25
2. USB mouse for playing games $0 (already had it) 
3. Glow Keys to make the keyboard easier to deal with in the dark $10
4. Turned on swap space to improve performance
5. Turned on the beta channel to get new features faster

Here a link to some hidden features -- and swap space.

Well worth the $199 price tag also Google sweetens the deal by giving you a 100 GB of free Google Drive space for 2 years. This is a great daily use computer or for those that are non-power users or kids. The apps available in the Chrome Web Store keep expanding   and really I have not found much of anything that I can't do with it. Windows PC's are dying fast and I have been really impressed since the first time that I saw this video and am pleased to report that Google has delivered the OS that just works on this low-end hardware. 

Posted by: Joshua Nicholes

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Windows 8 RTM Review



I've spent a few days playing with the new Windows 8 RTM ahead of the release. I am still missing the start menu but I will say that you can get used to the Metro style interface given enough time. Still it is obvious that this is intended to be a touch driven OS, and I see this being the most useful on a tablet or touch enabled device. I like the full screen style apps very clean and simplistic. I especially like the mail and calendar apps. Still not an IE fan but using Google Chrome is full screen is pretty awesome. I really like some of the new sync features and the fact that it syncs with some third party accounts like Google and Twitter. The app store has a lot of potential but still has too few apps to be truly exciting. This new OS is a bit overwhelming at first becuase it is so drastically different but it does kind or grow on you. I am very  surprised to see Microsoft drop Aero and go back to a more simplistic user interface. I was pretty critical of Windows 8 in my previous post and I will say with the RTM it is definitely more polished and usable.

Here is a short video from CNET to tell you a bit more.

Posted by Joshua NIcholes
www.joshnicholes.com

Friday, March 9, 2012

Windows 8 Consumer Preview Review


Have you downloaded the Windows 8 Consumer Preview yet? I have and I have been testing it for about a week now. Overall it seems to be pretty stable and on par with Windows 7 as far as performance is concerned, The full screen apps are interesting and the webstore is a bit sparse but after all this is a beta release. So this is likely to get bettter by the actual release date. Overall it seems to be a decent OS. All that said there is one thing that I hate, the Metro interface. Please Microsoft give me back the start menu. I admit that I can see this working on a tablet but not a notebook as I am running it.

I did give it a try, but on a non-touch interface I just couldn't stand it. I added a start button using a program called VIStart you can get it HERE. And now that I have a start button all is well, pretty much. I am missing the ability to right-click start menu items but I can live with it. Otherwise the interface is a little more polished and seems to have generally the same features as Windows 7 with some now shortcut features at the right and left of the screen. Metro is better as an add-on than an interface. You can download and try Windows 8 HERE.

Enjoy!
Posted by Josh Nicholes

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Google Plus Really is Better than Facebook

I have been using Google + for awhile now. I thought it was about time to give some impressions. Overall I like it much better than Facebook. Here's why:

1. Nice clean interface no ads
2. You have much greater control over what you share and with who
3. Circles allow you to group contacts easily and logically
4. People can follow you and see public post and you don't have to see any of there's
5. No annoying friend requests
6. It is far easier to find interesting people and pages
7. Hangouts are awesome

Bare in mind that Google + is still fairly new but there are still a few improvements that I would like to see:

1. More of a presence on the web Facebook is everywhere, Google+ not so much... yet
2. Tighter integration with the rest of Googles products
3. More fully featured mobile apps
4. Ability to share more than just links, videos, and photos
5. Ability to post and share via Gmail
6. Ability to access and post to my product pages for mobile apps and browsers

As with most of Googles offerings. Google+ is defiantly awesome. And will only get better.

Posted by: Josh Nicholes
www.joshnicholes.com

Monday, October 3, 2011

Windows 8


A few weeks ago I downloaded a Developer Preview of Windows 8. You can get it HERE. I have been playing with it some and overall I am not that big of a fan as far as using it on a laptop goes. It borrows a lot from the windows phone 7 and is clearly aimed at touch screen devices. I am having issues without having a start menu. Who knows how much its likely to change between now and its release. I guess we'll have to wait and see.

This VIDEO does a decent job of running you through the basics. Stay tuned.

Posted by Josh Nicholes

Create A Hackintosh Server in Virtualbox




I recently set-up a OSX Snow Leopard Server running in Virtualbox.

What you need:

A computer running Virtualbox w/ at least 3 GB of RAM
An Internet Connection
An Apple OSX Snow Leopard Retail CD
*This is for testing only and not met for production.

First I installed OSX 10.6 following this article.
Once that was done I created an inexpensive server using this guide

enjoy : )

Posted by Josh