Sunday, March 18, 2012

Who Reads Instructions?

Okay, I have always been an early adopter. And that extends to the recent introduction of Windows 8 (Metro)  Metro seems to be designed to be a GUI that is an enlarged smartphone screen. It is meant to be used on a touchscreen tablet.

Perhaps  Redmond intended Windows 8 to be sympatico with Windows phone users even though that market is still very immature and follows on a merger (purchase) of Nokia by MSFT.  Nokia as you will remember almost tanked with it’s now defunct Symbian OS. 

Loading the OS as a self installing .exe file from a USB stick was straightforward, even though it took several reboots and several long pauses with no indication whether it had crashed.  Patience paid off and the opening screen appeared. Warning the opening screen is a mono-color with a strange looking fish in the center. For aquarium lovers, you already realize it is a ‘siamese fighting fish’.  There must be some hidden meaning in that logo. Perhaps the code spells out Steve Jobs.

I bring this up on Health Train Express because there are probably many of you who are tempted to try Windows 8. I don’t think I would rush to use it for your office systems as yet. Reserve it for playtime.

Have no fear, despite the warnings of non support, I have not needed it thus far and have used it for almost three weeks.

I took out my backup insurance by copying all my important documents, photos, and personalized settings to an external hard drive and also to the cloud. In the past I have had some very bad experiences whereby a backup program in one OS was incompatible with a recovery in another new OS.  With that in mind, all went well, and because I use the cloud now for 90% of my computing both online and offline.

Beginning with blogger I have steadily migrated to more and more of Google’s offerings because of it’s synchronicity and it’s overlap of social media, document sharing, email and it’s android relationship.  In the near if Google’s chrome becomes more prevalent the need for Windows is less.

Because I blog and work in social media a great deal of the time, Chrome presents the most usable means of switching from Google + to twitter and Facebook.  The addition of Google Hangouts is the pudding in the pie.  Don’t forget YouTube as well.

Other than not working with my AIO HP all seems fine. It has a generic HP printer driver that shines. Printer drivers are the acid test for compatibilty, since printers are very finicky and exacting.

The only thing Google needs to do is develop a HIPAA compliant secure video conference and you have a low cost ready made teleconferencing solution that could alter the cost equation for healthcare.   What used to cost about 50,000 for a telemedicine set up now costs not much more than a laptop or tablet pc. P.S. it also works on a smartphone reasonably well.

Two projects in which I am directing are the use of it for a “Virtual Photo Walk” and “ Blind Veterans Help Desk”.  The later seems like an oxymoron, however I have a dedicated Veteran’s Advocate who convinced me it was worth a trial.  It seems useful for partially blinded patients to socialize.

Finally, I am glad I did not read the instructions, especially since there are no really official instructions, or accompanying help file.

It took about a week of experimenting with all the icons, buttons and learning to swipe using the mouse on a laptop. Microsoft promises a new $ 75.00 dollar swipable mouse pad in the near.

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