Windows 8

I’m looking to buy a new Lap-top. Almost all of them use Windows 8. The opinions are generally against Windows 8, although very few are based on actual hands-on experience.

Anybody here using Windows 8? What is your experience as compared with Windows 7 or XP? Keep in mind that I have very limited computer savvy and can barely understand a simple operating system like XP.

Of course, I need something that I can use to maintain my cartridge catalog, as well as posting photos on the Forum.

Any help or advice would be appreciated.


I can’t answer your question but here what you should keep in mind (including all users of XP):

Be aware that the support (updates, including security) will end in April 2014.
I do not know for Windows 8 but I think everybody should be on Windows 7 by then at least.

Our specialists here (webmaster?) may get us a proper assessment of this.

I’ve heard that too.

I’m no expert when it comes to computers, but it seems to me that “new” does not necessarily mean better. My kids all have lap-tops - none of them have the old fashioned towers. My grandkids all have the small devices that fit into a pocket or purse. None of them have lap-tops. The trend today seems to be to text, take photos, share on Face Book, etc. For the most part, they do not even use email. Not the kind of thing us old guys need to photograph and catalog our cartridge collection.


Ray, with what you have described as needs a Mac mini tower with all the needed software already loaded. And no one has a virus for macs just too low of a profile. Just HMO. Vic


Agreed. But, for what a Mac costs I could buy three PCs, or a bunch of cartridges.

The neighbor widow has a Mac that belonged to her late husband. He and I were good friends and she would probably give it to me just to get rid of it but I’m not sure I want to learn new tricks at my age. ;-)


The Mac is not that more expensive if you consider the preloaded software and no need for a virus protection software and there is compatible soft ware. The best is it is the most intuitive operating system. They invented the icon system.

I bought a tower system with Windows Seven last year. Everybody that I talked to said, “Buy a note book, towers are on their way out”. I figured that is true and bought a tower for two reasons:

  1. If I ever started toting a note book, I would surely walk off and leave it somewhere.
  2. If some Generation Xer burgles my pad, the last thing that they would steal is my old fashioned tower.


Laptop vs Tower is a simple question of what you want to do with a PC.

Not talking about any young people who just need a laptop to do their Facebook thingies and merely gossip (waste of time in my eyes) - but still; if it is their pleasure it shall be like that. There may be people which need more space (hence towers) to accomodate more hard drives for back ups and managing huge amounts of documents etc. (like many of us).
Even some of the youngsters need towers as the modern high end graphics cards for games do require the tower space with all that goes with it (don’t want to bother you all with details on that).

Have to say that I have a laptop as a back up if the tower breaks. I just can switch within minutes to a fully working system within minutes and still have all my data (if proper back ups were done before).

Not the initial question here but maybe worth to mention as I am surprised how many people do not have back ups of their data. I urge everybody to care for a data backup. The measures are very simple and inexpensive nowadays (external USB hard drives for example). If somebody has no such thing arranged for him he shoud not wait a single day to arrange for.
Always keep in mind what a data loss would mean for you!!!
As I have to loose 20 years of work I have 4 back ups of my data for example.

Ray–Windows 8 is primarily oriented to Touch-Screen programing. It is mainly designed for Facebook, etc. If you want to do things that work well with a Touch-Screen, then Windows 8 is superior to Windows 7, but for most data entry (Collection Catalog, etc.) Windows 8 is very poorly designed. A friend of mine got a new computer with Windows 8 and could hardly use it. He returned the computer and bought a Dell tower, which was the ONLY brand that would sell him a Windows 7 machine. The problem is that Microsoft is making it almost impossible for companies to buy OEM Windows 7 as they want to push their new OS. For Microsoft the money is in the younger generation who are really into Touch-Screen. So, good luck even finding a Windows 7 based new computer. Of course you can always buy a new Windows 7 OS in the box and install it, but that is an extra $800. Beware of many (most) OEM Win-7 packages available cheaply online as, I have been told, that Microsoft is blocking the Key Numbers for these packages from being able to be registered. So, in the end you may have to learn to live with Win-8, with all it’s shortcomings. Personally I think Win-8 is going to be a total flop, like Windows 2000 was and Microsoft will be forced to put out Winows-9 in a year or less.

Ron; I think Vista was the Flop. Odd they never learn from mistakes. Do they really think they can dictate?

Unfortunately, yes!

I bought a mac 10 years ago at the behest of a friend who saw how much trouble I was having getting a PC that worked properly. It did take a bit of time (not much) to learn my way around and it was a bit more expensive but the thing lasted for 9 years with two software updates and a bit more memory … imagine a PC that you can easily and simply add a new OS to.

In the end I had to buy a new mac mini … but only because web pages are now so huge that my old mac couldn’t cope. The old mac is still going but I only use it to run my scanner as the software for that won’t load on the new machine. It also gives me another hard-drive, in addition to an external one, on which to back stuff up.

Horses for courses, but Microsoft has always been shoddy stuff, being the market leader … well, the only person in the market … allowed them to be lazy, to treat the customer as a ‘beta’ tester and to leave the system full of holes for the ‘bad guys’ to run through.

Just my tuppence worth.


The other thing with a tower system is that it can be easily repaired at relatively little cost if parts fail. This is not true for laptops with built in screens, keyboards etc. If you look around, you can even get parts for free. Many people will simply go out and buy a new computer if they get an easily repairable fault.

I am currently running a “scaveneged parts” system. A friend of mine who works for a computer company got me a machine that a customer had returned for repair. The owner decided to buy a new one so it was surplus. I repaired it with second-hand parts and here I am still running it four years later with Windows XP.

My brother is a devoted Apple user who keeps telling me that I should switch to Mac. I have tried his, and they are definitely easy to use, and there is also a much-reduced risk of viruses.However, I can’t justify spending over £1000 on a Mac, when all I really use my computer for is email, internet, forums and ebay.

I admit that I’m quite technologically backwards for someone of my generation. I don’t even have a facebook account.

I will agree with EOD about regular backups. Nowadays remote online storage is also an option.

You also have to consider your peripherals (printer, scanner etc.) If they are “older” Win7 & 8 may not support them, then you are looking at replacing them also.

Try Ebay or your local pawnshop for a second hand machine. My 5 yr old Dell that I’m typing this on cost $1,000.00 new, bought it on Ebay for $150.00 two years ago.

As a pro, I can say:

Yes, the Mac is rediculously overpriced.

Windows 8 is nice in combination with the latest tablet/PC combo’s with touch screens. It is mostly useless on a normal desktop/laptop without touch screen. In that case, Windows 7 is the better choice.

If you use the computer mostly for browsing, and do not require heavy duty applications, you can also consider a decent tablet.

Nice alternatives nowadays are the TV systems with internet abilities, and TV addons like Google TV, Apple TV and the likes, that allow you to turn a TV into a true multimedia platform.

Desktop computers and old style laptops are rapidly disappearing from the household inventory, as more pratical alternatives for daily use become available.

Vlim, it still depends on what you want to do with it. When going somewhat special a TV or all substitutes will not do.

Falcon, remote back ups are dangerous. Never trust your data to someone else for the sake of saving the money for 2 external hard drives. That’s not worth it.

I bought a new Lenovo Thinkpad laptop a little over a year ago, loaded with Windows 7. So far, neither the laptop nor Windows 7 has given me problems, as opposed to my experience with Vista on another laptop computer my wife has.

By the way, if you do get a laptop, make sure it has an HDMI output terminal. That allows you to plug it directly into your flat screen TV with no hassles, using just an HDMI cable. We watch a lot of movies directly off the internet.

I have to agree with the previous posters.
With out a touch screen, Windows 8 is a pain in the rear end.
Windows belongs on a cell phone or tablet, not a laptop or a traditional desktop PC.

I bought a “last year” leftover new Gateway tower case computer with Windows 7 online, when I could not find a new tower case PC that did not have Windows 8 on it, at any of the local stores.

If you do not like using icons to do things on a computer, get a older “new” system with Windows 7 on it.
They are still available, but you will have to buy it on line.


Thanks to everyone who replied. I’ve learned a lot. I hope to find a Windows 7 lap-top soon. As Gregg said, they are still available on line. It will take some searching to find one at a decent price.


Yep, Windows 7 Home Basic version with all fancy animation and themes switched off is very similar in behavior to XP, and is more stable
I use Win 7 whenever possible (my work notebook, home PC, wife’s laptop) and think it is adequate for all intended purposes
I also set up Win 7HB on my parents PC, after their old one (with Win XP inside) went kaput. Looks like my mom and dad had very little trouble switching from XP to Win7, once i tuned out all unnecessary gizmos and animations of the latter, and set up “Classic Windows” theme for desktop properties

Interesting - if somewhat confusing!

My computer uses are mainly text typing in Word, emails or on discussion forums like this one (so I need a proper keyboard), plus maintaining my website (I currently use Microsoft FrontPage, which I know is now obsolete), some Excel work, photo editing and storing, producing PowerPoint presentations, scanning and printing. I don’t use social media, or smartphones.

I currently have a desktop running Win7 and a cheap little notebook running XP - I use the notebook as a backup (I duplicate all important files onto it) and also to carry with me when away.

I am satisfied with what these two offer but my rather old desktop is getting cranky and sometimes needs two or three attempts to start it up, so I’ve been looking at alternatives in case it falls over. As far as I can see from the adverts, just about every PC these days is offered with Win8, without the option of anything else. What I’ve read in this thread confirms my suspicion that Win8 doesn’t really offer anything that I need.

I’m interested in the good reports that Macs get, but most of the software I use is Microsoft and I can’t easily change it since I swap lots of files around with other people (especially Word and Excel). I gather that you can use such programmes on Macs, but how advisable is that?

Incidentally, while I’m interested in the All-in-One designs as I have a rather cramped workspace, I wouldn’t have a laptop as my main computer. I did at one time, until I accidentally splashed some liquid into it and discovered the hard way there isn’t a waterproof membrane protecting the workings… this happened immediately before going away on a long holiday, and by the time I got back it was beyond retrieval.