Windows

Winter 2016/2017 Update

Oh man. I was sick for like three months so I didn't get nearly as much done as I had hoped. I managed to do a write up for AMD's Ryzen 7 announcement, and Nintendo finally revealed more for their crazy new Switch console.

On the video side things got... interesting for me. I happened across a segment of YouTube that opens Pokémon cards and products. I became certifiably addicted to watching them. I ended up buying a bunch of stuff myself and started making videos too.

Microsoft also had the surprise announcement at the end of the year of Windows 10 x86 emulation on ARM. The implications of this are huge, and I talked about it in a video.

Finally, I started using Android phones last year. The experience has been... interesting, for sure. I went ahead and reviewed the Nexus 5X, talking about both my problems with Android and the hardware of the 5X.

Fall 2016 Update

As the year wraps up I manage to crank out some cool stuff.

On the writing side I wrote up a post for the Nintendo Switch announcement. More interestingly, I also recapped Microsoft's 2016 Windows 10 event where they announced the Surface Studio and Creators Update.

My first research article was about HDR technologies and ultimately how HDR televisions and screens have come about and what to look out for when looking to buy one.

Then as far as videos go I also did a video recap of the Windows 10 event.

I finally made a video review for the Band 2. I wish I made this much sooner than I had. I also kinda felt like I was just going through the motions as I was shooting it. But in the end I'm happy with how it turned out.

I also made a desktop computer this year. I bought a case that was highly recommended by many, and was really well reviewed. But I had a lot of issues with the NZXT S340, and ended up getting a different case. The problems I had with it weren't mentioned by anyone from what I saw, so I made a video review so that others could know about these potential problems.

Windows 10 is the future, and the future is almost here.

Finally, Microsoft is backpedaling from all of that Start screen tablet nonsense and are making Windows good again.

That’s what it may seem like to the layman or someone that only uses Windows on a tradition desktop computer. But in actuality Windows 10 is a continuation of the work started in Windows 8. On the surface of Windows 8, Microsoft shoehorned the Windows Phone start screen and app model onto Windows proper. While improvements were made over time, it was implemented poorly and not well received.

However, under the hood of Windows 8 magic was happening. Microsoft continued to trim down the OS, and even made a version that runs on ARM chipsets. In a world where mobile devices are king, this was paramount. Windows was now capable of running on mobile devices and had a touch screen interface. This groundwork was necessary for what’s coming next.

Windows 10 is one OS. Everywhere. The same, on all devices.

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Now, on a technical level that’s obviously not true. But from a functionality, user interface, and apps standpoint, it is. Windows 10 has true universal apps, and Windows will now simply scale to the screen size and inputs of the device it’s running on. It will even scale on the fly if the screen or inputs are changed. This is what Microsoft refers to as Continuum.

It’s more of a concept than anything else because what happens to the UI is different for every device. Let’s take a 2-in-1 device like the Surface for example. When the Type Cover is attached there is a trackpad and keyboard as input devices. But if the cover is flipped back or removed, the touchscreen becomes the only input. In Windows 8.1 this means nothing. In Windows 10 it can automatically switch to tablet mode. In this mode the new Start menu becomes full screen to look like Start screen, and all apps (which now run in windows on the desktop) will automatically open maximized.

Even Windows phones will be capable of transforming. With compatible hardware, phones can mirror the desktop to a screen and the phone’s Start screen becomes the Start menu on the second screen. Apps opened in this mode scale to the larger screen. They look and behave exactly as they would on any other computer running Windows 10. When you pair a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard to the phone it’ll be as if you’re using a real computer. But that’s the thing. You WILL be using a real computer, because every device running Windows 10 is a PC.

Phones and tablets now have the computational and graphical power to run complex apps, as well as run multiple apps at the same time. These phones and tablets are being more commonly used as a person’s only computer(s). The devices we carry around in our pockets and bags are treated as computers, so why should they be limited by a mobile only OS?

If Windows 8 blurred the line between PC and mobile, Windows 10 is like a magnificent wave crashing down and washing away that line.