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How to avoid Frustration with Windows 8

Updated on July 10, 2013

Assuming you have just upgraded from Windows 7

Windows 8 seems to be an improvement over 7. It took over two weeks to get my first Shockwave Flash crash and I wasn't even there to see it. I left my computer running and went grocery shopping.

I have been using PC’s since the advent of the 286 chip, Harvard Graphics, Lotus 123 (DOS version), WordPerfect (also DOS), Word 1.0, Pagemaker, etc. etc. etc. etc. (see My First Computer) So I have had my share of frustration with computers. Although I have had the urge to throw this glorified calculator against the wall and vent that boiling feeling inside, I come to my senses and realize that a computer has no intelligence of its own. It can only do it what you tell it to and it isn’t very good at deducing your commands and taking the right next step (although there have been a lot of improvements since the early days of DOS).

I recently purchased a really fast computer with Inteli7Core chipset, 16 GB of memory, a 2-TB hard drive (I guess you could use that up one day) and an AMD Radeon graphics card so it hums along very nicely. (My first business computer was an IBM 286, with 30MB hard drive, 640KB if memory with one of those green screens. I don’t remember which version of DOS was used nor do I remember the graphics card set-up (i think it was EGA before VGA). By the way, it set the company back 3 or 4 thousand dollars). So if you purchase a new PC today, it gets loaded with Windows 8 whether you want it or not. I was just getting very comfortable with Windows 7.

I’m one of those people that learn almost everything in life by poking around and seeing what happens next. That can be dangerous at times if you aren’t careful but this is not working with open wires, volatile liquids or any other life-threatening situation. It’s just a computer (a calculator on steroids) so you aren’t going to hurt yourself and you aren’t going to hurt it by poking around. Today’s computers and software give you lots of warning and just about everything is recoverable. The only way you can really damage a computer is by throwing it against some hard object so try to avoid that but if you are new to Windows 8, it will be very difficult to resist that urge. Also, don’t drink coffee right next to your keyboard. Try to have your cup a reasonable distance from the keyboard so you don’t accidently tip it over into the keyboard. If you use sugar in your coffee, it gets worse because the sugar gets into all the little connections in there and can’t be removed successfully so it just eats away at everything so your keyboard is now toast (and no you didn’t just make a breakfast snack). It is now time to replace your keyboard in that instance.

Time for a better keyboard

Not so bad really when you look at it. For Windows 8, one of those newer Star Wars type keyboards is a good investment. Get used to locating the Windows hot key which is the one with the little Windows icon just two keys to the left of your spacebar. Mine happens to be one made by Logitech with some extra buttons like the ones on the left that let you zoom in and out and a task changer. I’m older so my eyesight is tested in Windows 8 so I got used to using the zoomers very quickly for things like the chat window for support chat.

And with the new computers, make sure you have a decent magnifying glass handy. When it comes time to connect your speakers or make other connections you will find that the instruction manual isn’t much help because they do it graphically to save money on all the translations required. The sound connections are also jammed together and the icons are next to impossible to figure out without the magnifying glass.

It’s mostly in the corners

My first frustration with Windows 8 was the Start menu (it actually is pretty good once you rearrange it and move their junk or just unpin it from the start screen). There are often better choices for their little apps than the ones Microsoft makes. Navigating Windows 8 is not very intuitive and I learned after a lot of frustration that everything you need to do is in the corners of the screen or along the edges with either a left or right click of the mouse so poke around with that to figure stuff out.

Use the Desktop for now

But before you really get messed up in that, find out where the desktop access is on the start menu and use it for now to do stuff on your computer. With a new computer there is a lot of stuff you have to do to get it fully operational so using a familiar interface will make that easier. You are going to want to learn about sharing stuff in your home network maybe so you don’t have to reload your entire iTunes library on your new computer. You will just share those and you keep both computers on to do so. I had to load a lot of software related to music composition. One of my hobbies is to record complete songs. I have been playing guitar much longer than I have been using computers but I have found that they go together quite nicely especially when you learn how to play the keyboard fairly well (well at least with the right hand).

I had to install my sequencer Cubase Artist 7 and a bunch of sound files from Native Instruments. Both companies allow you to load that on two computers so it didn’t have any additional cost but you have to have an Internet connection to do that in their website so you need your browser access. I like Google Chrome for just about everything. And you have to jump back and forth between their website and install programs so now is not a good time to learn the ins and outs of Windows 8 start menu. Stay in the Desktop mode which looks and feels more like Windows 7. Most of what you need is in the taskbar that likes to hide itself so learn to move your mouse down to the bottom of the screen.

Clean Up the Start Screen

Once you get a lot of the grunt work done like setting up your email and loading software that you want on this computer, you can start to work on the start screen and how it functions. It is actually a good thing but Microsoft gets greedy and puts there stuff in the prime position on the left so the first thing you will learn to do is to move that stuff further to the right. So you will just drag and drop those icons anywhere you like for now. Then you are going to want to load the browser that you want to use from the desktop and then set it up on the left side of the start screen. The key is in the right corners now (apps) and you can just type a few letters of the browser name and you want to pin it to the start menu. So right click the browser icon that shows up and then move your mouse pointer to the bottom of the screen where you should see some options and pin this to your start screen. Now go back to your start screen (move mouse pointer all the way to bottom left corner of the screen and click the start screen icon). Now find the browser icon and drag and drop it into the 1st spot on the upper left of the screen. Everything will shift and you will play with this all later when you get more stuff setup like Word, Excel, your favourite non-browser game, etc.

I may not have got all the right sequences and positions right here but you will get the hang of it and soon be more comfortable with the start screen. I forgot to mention here that I don’t have a touch screen and won’t use touch (sorry I had to leave and go to control panel to shut off the Canadian keyboard option. Seems it thinks I want a French e with the little accent on top when I hit the ‘ key) so if that is how you use your computer this will only be of partial use.

You see them using those huge computer screens and tables on NCIS: Los Angeles and Hawaii-5-O. Did you ever look at the credits for those shows? Microsoft is a partial sponsor along with the car companies. They both do it to advertise their products since they become an integral part of the show. I tried to find the price for something like that but I couldn’t find anything on the Internet bigger than 27”. The highest price model was just under $900.

No one types for any period standing up or leaning over their screen so to me it is just another gimmick that will be replaced by something better when it comes along—another 8-track or beta tape program developed by manufactures. And with touch you need to learn a whole new language similar to signing for the hearing impaired. Give me a break!!!

OK enough on this subject. Go back to your computer and slowly work on getting it the way you like it. Be patient. It will get better and you will find the positives in Windows 8. Apparently Bill Gates doesn’t have enough money or his power/ego quotient isn’t being fed at the rate he wants so we will most likely see Windows 9 sometime in the future. Learn to live with the change and just make it work for you the way you want it to. Despite all their attempts the consumer ultimately decides what is best for them.

My chat tanked again. Maybe I will leave it for later or call them on Monday during normal business hours. I am reluctant to call any help line nowadays. I don’t want to talk to India, or China or Hong Kong. Yes, it is in English but I sure have difficulty understanding it and that is not a good fit for dealing with technical issues. I’ll write about that in another hub.

The good news with Windows 8 is that it will grow on you over time. Have a great day!!!

I had a problem writing this hub because my computer has been infected by spyware from something called Deal spy which ends up posting links in the copy which happened here. They tag keywords and create the links that way and they were for!!!. There is always some idiot on the Internet trying to make a quick buck out of their scam. You will see keywords that are in colour that are links to their bogus deals. Norton was no help but I think I was chatting with a service out of India just like McAfee. (I confirmed that with Microsoft who resolved this problem) The antivirus protection stuff is all there no so talking to a live person is pretty much a waste of time. I think the spyware is more annoying than potentially damaging but who really knows.

The problem has disappeared but I think the culprit did that and I am trying to get hold of the web administrator to discuss this problem. It might appear on your hubs. It hasn't affected any other hubs.

Since then I have found out that there were two different problems and they were resolved with several online chat sessions with various major software companies and their support system. I am going to cover that in a separate hub yet to be written, I just finished pretty much a whole day on this problem and mostly online chatting. Talk about frustrating but I did learn a lot of valuable information and confirmed some of my suspicions about tech support and I will share that in the hub, The title link will be here if the guy who stops editing my post with his own links for doesn't use it. He seems to only have them hooked up in the wee hours of the morning.

I really would like to know how someone can access your hub and edit it. (Any feedback there, hubpages people!!!!)

The procedure that Hubpages has for this type of infringement was certainly written by lawyers. I will let it go for now since the "intruder" hasn't come back. I have removed the links and no new ones have been posted.


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    • Bozoplay profile image

      Bozoplay 4 years ago

      Alex has a quick but destructive approach and it works fine if you have the OS on disk. In this case this is a brand new HP computer that was purchased online with an OEM version of Windows 8 that Microsoft will tell you that is technically out of warranty. The problem with Alex's approach is you lose everything that is on your disk. Microsoft ultimately fixed the problem at a cost. I'm working on that hub now.

    • alexmk profile image

      alexmk 4 years ago from Canada

      I wouldn't trust a windows install after it has been compromised by spyware. I would just do a format and re-install the OS.

    • jabelufiroz profile image

      Firoz 4 years ago from India

      Impressive article. Voted up.