Windows 10

February 27th, 2015

Yeah, I’ve been gone a while and the only people looking at this site are the frustrated script kiddies trying to hack their way into the admin page. Sometimes I get upwards of 500 alerts in a single day! It’s almost flattering… almost.

Anyhow, I’ve been running the Windows 10 Technical Preview on my spare workstation, an older AMD Phenom II X4 2.6GHz, Quad Core with 8GB of RAM and an older generic Radeon HD 4600 series graphics card with 512MB of DDR3 video ram and a pair of older Sata II HDD’s. I figured it would run okay- my guess was that Microsoft would not let Windows 8 happen again (though to be honest, 8.1 ran acceptably on this rig as well).

Let me tell you- this thing absolutely screams. It loads nearly as fast as my newer machine with the SSD main drive! MS did some slick engineering with the boot kernel to get the system up and accessible while loading the rest in the background. When I dropped in an old 120GB SSD as the primary… the POST takes longer than the OS load. I have had ZIP, Zero, Nada compatibility issues even with my ancient, creaking Paint Shop Pro 5. The video drivers were not in the OS, but the generic Radeon drivers for Windows 8.1 work just fine. Netflix sucks using the store app and the included IE browser, but is just fine in Firefox.

The Start button and menu are back! A little funkified, but MS cannot resist the urge to change things. The OS is smart enough to know if you have a touch screen and adjusts accordingly. Love Metro? You can have it with a minor tweak… oh, and Metro apps can now run in less than full-screen. Multi-monitor support is so far flawless, but I’ve only tested on a single machine.

I first installed this as an in-place upgrade from Windows 7 Ultimate x64 because MS promised the days of “wipe and install fresh” were over. So far, they have been right. I re-installed after a few months because I swapped in the above-mentioned SSD.

I use the spare workstation to VPN to work when I work from home. The Windows Store provided a version of the VMWare View client that frankly sucked, but downloading the latest from VMWare fixed that up instantly. Cisco AnyConnect VPN works just fine, but I generally use a PTP VPN over an ASA so I can use my VoIP phone so my experience with that is limited to testing for curiosity’s sake.

I am currently on Build 7879 and I’ve got to tell you- this will probably be the first time in a very long time that I will upgrade my OS as soon as the new version is available commercially.

Other software I have been using with this Tech Preview:

Office Libre
Avast Free AV
Standard Chrome
Standard Firefox
Tor Browser
Office 2010 Pro plus
Office 2013 Pro
TrueCrypt 7.1a
Second Life (got to try at least one game, after all)

I haven’t yet put my Steam account on it- I may upgrade my current graphics card in my main machine and move my GTS 550 ti over to the Tech Preview machine and give it a try, assuming I can find something dirt cheap better than the 550.