Big Brother changes it’s operating system

Ever since I’ve been playing with computers it’s been a love hate relationships with Bill Gate’s Empire and I’ve flitted between operating systems like a humming bird on speed on occasions.

Now the big dilemma arises when the dialogue box pops up in the system tray on your PC saying “Get Windows 10”!

Do you sell your soul to Satan or stick with what you’ve got?

After much umming and ahhing I’ve let one of my PC’s update to Windows 10. The logic on this is, at some point support for Windows 7 will end, in a similar manner to the demise of Windows XP which countless companies and institutions still use. The snag is a lot of ham radio software was crafted on XP and is very happy and stable in that environment. When you try and move it to a newer 64 bit operating system they tend to get very upset and stop working, so it’d be useful to know what’s going to break ahead of the party!

So after backing everything up (gone are my cavalier, throw caution to the wind days!) I lit the blue touch paper and let it do it’s thing!

I sat waiting for the inevitable blue screen of death to appear!

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Surprisingly things didn’t take too long before I was rewarded with ….

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Ok … Now what? Where’s everything gone?

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We’ve got a start button which does something, unlike the complete abomination which is Windows 8.

After a few seconds …

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In a similar manner to a very annoying advert for a certain brand of makeup available at a well known high street retailer based in Nottingham, “Ta Dah!”

It does take a while for the new installation to find everything that was there and put it where it should be.

Things to look out for!

1. In this big joined up world everything wants to bombard you with adverts and track you. http://bgr.com/2015/08/06/windows-10-privacy-tips-and-tricks/ provides some very useful advice on switching all that off.

2. Windows 10 has at last caught up with the Linux side of things and supports multiple virtual desktops. http://winsupersite.com/windows-10/windows-10-tip-move-apps-between-multiple-desktops for more on this. Grudgingly, I must admit it does it reasonably well. I’ve used third party apps previously to achieve the same result with the overhead of a continuously running app which wants to take over your PC.

3. Probably most importantly, you need to check that Windows Defender is running or you’ve got some virus guard/anti malware running. http://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/5918-windows-defender-turn-off-windows-10-a.html explains more. I’m still trying to get this working because Windows won’t switch it back on for some reason.

4. Edge wants to rule the world. Not U2’s guitarist “Mr The Edge” but the new incarnation of Internet Explorer. Thankfully the first time you run Chrome, it takes you to a nice little video which shows you how to restore the balance of things!

5. It’s quick. I’ve seen a marked improvement in speed just playing with it for the last 30 minutes.

Now thankfully, RealVNC works perfectly (I would have been annoyed if it hadn’t) as does RemAud (written by an enthusiast and the current version 1.7 hasn’t been updated since 2013) so playing radio over my VNC connection is business as normal.

I need to have a serious look at whether SDR packages (HDSDR, SDR Console & SDR#) work before letting this thing anywhere near my radio box. Perhaps the biggest issue may be the virtual audio cable solutions. Remember Virtual Audio Cable doesn’t work correctly on my SDR system despite it actually providing an audio output, hence the use of VB-Audio Cable. It’d be a real shame to watch that go bang as a result of migrating to a new operating system.

All things being equal the early indications are good. I’ll post an update after some serious testing.

By way of a test I took the radio for a spin and bagged a SIM31_PSK contact with CT4KO/QRP in Portugal! I was very surprised with that as I’m still tweaking the software which is a little bit clunky in places, but it worked nicely!

Screenshot 2015-08-09 09.28.17

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