GEEK! has been placed on an indefinite hold for the foreseeable future as I've ran out of time to keep it up to date. For the mean time it will remain alive at this address in archive form. You can reach me via @geekonthepc. Thanks to everyone who read and got involved with the site! Who knows - when I get the chance I might start posting again! Wish me luck at Oxford Brookes University studying Mobile Computing! :)
Quick note: Really sorry I haven’t blogged for a while – been busy with other things! Will try and keep a vague schedule for posts going.
I read in the news recently that Microsoft are stripping back some of the built in features that will be included in Windows 8. Windows 8 is Microsoft’s new flagship operating system that is expected to reach computer screens in the last quarter of 2012.
Two things came to my attention as I read these two (one & two) blog posts by Microsoft.
First of all, Windows Media Center is going to be an extra add-on to Windows 8. This means, unlike Windows 7, you’ll have to pay for it on top of the price of the core OS if you want – no matter whether you have the home or pro version of Windows 8. Whilst this won’t bother most people, for anyone using TV tuners on their computer (ie me), this could be a huge downfall. Media Center has a fantastic interface for TV and the EPG is great too – so I’ll be rather peeved if I have to pay for Media Center.
Secondly, Windows 8 will not be able to natively play DVDs or Blu-Ray discs. Why, you ask? Well, I’m not sure, but it does make some kind of sense to an extent. The key idea of Windows 8 is that it will be usable on tablets – which, in most (if not all) cases, won’t have a DVD or Blu-Ray drive – so Microsoft are probably thinking they don’t need to waste money on licensing codecs to decode the discs. However, this is no good for anybody who is planning to use Windows 8 on a laptop or a desktop.
I fear that Microsoft are going to fall into the same trap with Windows 8 as they did with Windows Vista/7. Windows 8 will be fantastic on new devices that have it preinstalled, but Microsoft will face the backlog of people using their existing machines with Windows 7. Then, years after Windows 8 has launched, there will still be a vast majority of people on older operating systems that are still supported.
At the moment, I can’t see any huge reason to upgrade to Windows 8. There’s nothing in it for me that stands out and makes me think “I really want that”.
Ah well, Windows 7 is going to be supported until 2020, so I think I’ll stick with that for now.
Ok, so I’ve only had ICS on my phone for around a day – so it’s hardly the time to be too judgmental about it, but I thought while I have half an hour spare I’d share my thoughts so-far.
Overall, I love it – it is so much faster than Gingerbread was. It really is like getting a brand new phone six months after buying it. The interface is faster than ever, memory management is decent, apps load quickly and power consumption isn’t too bad either. The actual interface design hasn’t actually changed hugely – you get a new homescreen, new menu and new settings interface – but most other things are reasonably similar. The lock screen has barely changed at all – but for the fact that notifications now show a contact image and you can use face unlock, it’s all the same.
In terms of functionality, I’ve found a couple of minor niggles but otherwise it’s pretty decent. My first problem is that I’ve lost HTC’s autocorrect functionality on the keyboard in many third party apps such as Twitter – this is a nightmare and causes a lot of problems when writing half-hearted tweets. There are also a couple of spelling mistakes within the software – and whilst this really isn’t a problem it is something I’m very OCD about. This, for example. Somebody at HTC must have forgotten how to spell.
Put the minor niggles aside and there’s nothing you won’t like about Ice Cream Sandwich. It’s always been a question to me whether the new update would mean better battery life, and whilst I haven’t had the chance to test that out many people are reporting much better standby time. I’ll see how it goes – I’m too much into the habit of leaving the phone on charge for half the day so I’ll need to creep out of that habit a bit.
The update is available now for all unlocked, unbranded HTC Sensation and Sensation XE phones in the UK so grab yourself the download if you’re ready to upgrade. It’s around 300MB and you’ll need to do it OTA so make sure you’re connected to a wi-fi network if you haven’t got unlimited data. The upgrade took me around 20 minutes, but I ended up doing a factory reset after I’d upgraded. I sort-of wish I hadn’t really reset it – many people recommended that you do but after doing so I don’t think it’s actually made much of a difference. Other than the fact I’ve wasted hours of my life putting it all back together, it hasn’t really done me or the phone much good!
Still, go get it if you’re phone can. You won’t regret it – just make sure you do a backup of your phone just incase anything goes wrong.
I had a nice surprise today when I got home from college. My flat’s broadband is typically about 1.8Mbit per second down and has been since I moved in. However, as BT have been promising free fibre upgrades to people who can get it, clearly I’ve had an upgrade.
This is the new speed that I’m very much getting used to:
Well, now we’re less than a month away, I’m beginning to think about whether it being worth it upgrading from Vista.
At the moment, I’m actually not too bothered about it. I think I will upgrade eventually, but I don’t think there’s and rush to do so. Windows 7 only has a few major features over Vista – speed and a couple of handy interface upgrades. But for now, I think I can wait and will do the upgrade towards the end of the year.
What are you thinking of doing? Of course, if you’re planning to get a new PC or laptop, you’ll get Windows 7 included – either by a free upgrade on October 22nd or included automatically after that date. But what if you already have XP or Vista and you’d like to upgrade. Do you think it is worth it? Can you see any big advantages in Windows 7?
I’m kind of stuck in the middle – not sure what to do. I do really like the new Start bar and the cool interface, but I don’t really want to spend £60 (or whatever it is) to upgrade…
WordPress is brilliant, undoubtedly, but there are some things that really drive me insane.
Ever since WordPress 2.8.1 was released, I haven’t been able to use the automatic upgrade feature in WordPress because it simply does not work. This problem has been identified by many other WordPress users, but I know that not everyone has the problem.
Here’s what I mean – every time I try to upgrade WordPress the following problem arises:
It is as simple as that. No error messages, no PHP warnings, just “Installation Failed”.
I’ve been searching everywhere for a fix but I can’t find one anywhere. It’s beginning to really annoy me now. I’ve just ignored it for a while and upgraded WordPress manually – but it really drives me mad having to take down GEEK! and then put it back up.
Has anyone found a fix for this problem?
Update 13.9.09: A big thanks to “lujcas”, who has posted a comment with a fix to this problem. I’ve tested it and it seemed to work for me. To make it easier for everyone, I’ve uploaded the file he added to the GEEK! download server, so you can download a copy here. You just need to unzip the file and place it in the wp-includes directory on your WordPress install and overwrite any previous file.