Monthly Archives: January 2013

Well, the holidaze are over and the last of the bowl games – at least the ones that really matter – have been played so it’s time for me to get back to blogging and annoying readers like you. Here are a few items concerning Windows 8 that have come across my desk over the past week .

  • Not for Old-at-Heart PCs – Walt Mossberg is a regular contributor to the Personal Technology column of the Wall Street Journal and those columns are echoed on the Dow Jones’ All Things Digital site which is, BTW, powered by WordPress. While I don’t always quite agree with what Walt has to say, his opinions are well wroth considering. In his column for Jan 8, 2013, Walt discusses the perils of upgrading to Windows 8 on not-so-new hardware. By way of example, he mentions his trials and tribulations in upgrading a 2008 Lenovo laptop and a 2009 Hewlett-Packard touchscreen desktop. To cut to the chase, Microsoft’s Windows 8 Upgrade Advisor told him that both machines were good to go when in fact, they were not. Why am I not surprised? In the case of the Lenovo, 4 years is a good run for a laptop and by this point in time, the hardware is old by PC standards. The HP has – in theory – a couple more years left in it but in both cases, the manufacturers have apparently decided not to update the various drivers to handle Windows 8. Reading Walt’s column on this subject is well worth your time.
  • Windows 8 hardware ‘overpriced’ – Microsoft, Dell, Lenovo, et al have launched a slew of new devices to take advantage of Windows 8. Market analyst, Shaw Wu, believes that growth in the PC market as a result of Windows 8 will only be 2% rather than the 7 – 9% that everyone else is predicting. The reasons include confusion because of all the different form factors that have been put on the market to take advantage of – or cope with; your choice – Windows 8, the price points for this new hardware – Microsoft’s Surface tablets are a fine example – and the fact that these new machines offer “no clear benefit in switching from iOS or Android.” ZDNet’s Adrian Kingsley-Hughes will fill you in on the details.
  • Coping with Windows 8 – Adrian has also published a post that features two down-loads that make Windows 8 work as nature intended. One is Classic Shell which Dr. Data uses on his test machine and the other is RetroUI. Classic Shell is free but does not have all the features that RetroUI offers but it still has plenty of options. RetroUI, however, is not free and costs a budget busting $4.95! Either way, these add-ons are a big help if you use Windows 8 on a desktop or laptop sans Touch. Read Adrian’s post on ZDNet.
  • Dr. Data contemplates moving to Windows 8 – Yes this is a shocker but I have reasons that will be discussed in a future post. (Talk about a teaser!!!)

I thought that with the end of Campaign 2012, we were to be given a break from tales of  unbelievable lunacy. Apparently that is not the case.

On January 3rd, The Washington Post carried a story about a boy being suspended from school for a day. Now, there’s nothing new about a boy – or girl – being suspended from school; it happens all the time. What caught my attention was the age of the “perp” and his crime. The boy was six years old. There’s a number of things that will get a six year-old tossed such as bringing his mother’s underwear to class for show and tell, flipping off his teacher or passing around the interesting magazine he found at the bottom of Daddy’s sock drawer. Sadly, none of those infractions took place.

Instead, the boy was shown the door for the outrageous crime of – mothers, please avert your eyes – pointing his finger like a gun and saying “Pow”. The boy’s walking papers said that this was a threat to shoot another student. Oh, the humanity! I must have been the Al Capone of DuPont Elementary school as I did this kind of thing around once a day back then. Probably the only reason that I – and every other boy in Mrs. Merner’s class – was not hauled in for questioning is that back in those days, adults had more important things to worry about. Things like impending nuclear annihilation. Those duck-and-cover drills apparently had a much higher priority.

There has always been a certain degree of dumbness amongst school administrators but those in Montgomery  County, MD deserve their own room in Ripley’s Believe It or Not museum. The question is, “Who ratted the boy out?” Was it “Big Brother”? Did the student who was “threatened” flee in terror to the principal’s office? Or was it a teacher? I do know that in 1958, Mrs. Merner would have said something to the effect of “Howard, we don’t do that in class.”

The boy’s parents are – and rightfully so – seeking to have this heinous crime erased from the kid’s permanent record which, as we all know, follows you for the rest of your life. I sincerely hope that the parents have retained competent  legal counsel as there is obviously more than one person in the Montgomery County school system who would really benefit from unemployment right about now. Thankfully, they didn’t confiscate the “weapon”.

Since things are slow for me at the moment, I magnanimously offer my services to the Montgomery County school system. I may not have an education degree but I certainly more than make up for it in the common sense dept.


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