Friday, 31 July 2015

Windows 10 - can I make it a bit like XP?

Everytime Microsoft releases a new operating system version my heart sinks: will it muck up my way of working? will my software work? will I have to throw away all my peripherals? Will I have to learn new ways of doing things or find work rounds for no particular good reason?

And so as Windows 10 arrives I am thinking - how late to do I leave it to upgrade so they can iron out all the bugs and remove the stupid 'features' and do I have to upgrade anyway, what will happen if I don't.

So I decided to upgrade one of my render machines to check it out. The box has no mouse or keyboard or monitor and I control it remotely over VNC.

I followed the instructions here:

Virtually all of the upgrade process and questions happen after all the relevant software has been downloaded and before the computer reboots. The computer said it wanted to restart, I said yes and I went down the pub. When I came back new windows 10 was finishing preparing and everything was still visible through VNC. Sat in the pub I was really worried I would have to drag a monitor etc out and save the computer from an installation hell but it was not the case.TightVNC is working fine as the new Windows 10 starts without me doing anything.. which is marvelous!

The only thing I did need to do was sort out the graphics driver for the Nvidia GT560ti. Blender reported there was no 3D graphics card installed. I ran the Nvidia Experience, it downloaded a new Windows 10 driver and everything was fine. I guess this is how they have sorted out the Nvidia driver update conflict that happened to a lot of people on release date.

Using Windows 10.
I used the new Start Menu for about 3 minutes before installing Classic Shell. The new start menu is geared towards what Microsoft wants you to use so best get rid of it. The Classic shell menu looks a bit ugly and it was then that I realised that WIndows 10 has lost a lot of the nice refinements like Aero that made earlier versions look sexy. Playing with settings and themes improved things a bit.

You can remove the Search bar from the task bar by right clicking and selecting Search/Hidden.

You can install the Quick Launch Bar :D the same way as with Windows 8.

Settings is a similar mess as was with Windows 8 and to be honest I am not sure how you get to a lot of the old Control Panel panes like Device Manager without Classic Shell. There is access to the 'new settings' via the Notification bubble.

All in all its OK but the GUI does look a bit like a slimmed down version of Linux in terms of polish.

I shall not upgrade my other computers until I need to but at least I know I can make it a bit like XP :)