For the past month, I have been trying to get a Windows 8 machine ready for Windows Phone 8 development. Luckily, the WP8 SDK has been delayed.
I guess it is my fault for using two laptops I had lying around rather than buying a new machine. I have been able to install Windows 8 on both machines, but currently I have both of them in an unproductive state.
So what happened?
Machine one was a HP laptop that had some issues with Windows 7, so a clean install of Windows 8 should clean up the software problems. Machine two was an old XP tablet. It had been a great traveling companion. The 10″ screen would pivot around an I could use it in the cramped quarters of an airline seat. At home I cold connect it to a 22″ monitor and then there was loads of sscreen real estate for using Visio or Visual Studio.
Initially, Machine one was slower than my new Windows 7 laptop and a slug compared to Machine two running Windows 8. Yes, I had both machines running Windows 8. I did some poking around and Machine one was having hard drive issues, so I did a hard drive transplant from a spare HP laptop that is sitting under my desk. My daughter was nice enough to provide the spare laptop by trying to close the screen of my wifes laptop on top of the power supply – the screen shattered. Even though the two laptops are the same model, they differ enough that I can not use the power supply or the battery. At least the hard drive worked. So, after the transplant, Machine one was now a reincarnation of my wife’s laptop. So a day was spent making sure that all important files were backed up (you can never have too many backups) and reinstalling Windows 8, then another two days installing Office 2013 and Visual Studio, I had a semi working machine. It complained about the installation of Office 2013 and seemed to have developed a problem with some system services. Of course it was not going to say what services. Hmmm, ever since I gave it a hard drive from my wife’s machine, it is constantly complaining and nagging. That must be coincidence. So now the state of that machine is that it has the environment, but not in working order.
So if the XP tablet was running circles around the HP, what is its’ problem? Since it was a clean install, some of the special hardware on the machine did not. The key one was that the external monitor was not recognized. I was confined to running Visual Studio on a 10″ screen. So I dug out all the special Vista drivers and started to install. Remember, this was an XP machine and the company only provided new drivers up until the Vista age. The drivers worked fine in Windows 7. (Yes, I can hear Mitch saying – I told you it would work 😉 ) So I was able to restore some of the functions on the tablet and get the external monitor to work. Sort of…
When I opened the charms to power down, the green split screen came out, but was empty. No buttons. So a bit more adjustments to the NVidia drivers were required, but I was then unable to get the charms or the shortcut to the start page (Interesting that the shortcut is in the lower left where the start button should go). At one point, with Windows C, the charms would appear and then quickly disappear, then reappear, then disappear…
In previous versions of Windows, you could play with the screen to resize it, but in Windows 8, there is some formula that determines if things slide in or out ahd if you do not have things set up properly, it just does not work.
At least tomorrow, I can enjoy a real turkey.
John Marshall… Visio MVP Visio.MVPs.org