Wednesday, October 31, 2012
This topic probably isn't one you'd find on a writer's blog, but then, neither is gardening, and it's hard for me to stick to straight writing topics (particularly when you're spending months working on the same book, LOL).
Anyway, as soon as it was available, I upgraded my stalwart Dell desktop to Windows 8. It seemed appropriate for Halloween--I'm a sucker for cheap terror. It's why I love this time of year and the fact that I can watch as many Hammer Studio horror movies as I want. Besides, until I quit and become a full-time writer, I'm also a computer specialist and I like to keep up, not to mention that I usually appreciate new versions of things. They're exciting and I almost always find that the media doesn't give you a really accurate assessment of anything.
The Upgrade to Windows 8
I upgraded from Windows 7 on my desktop. Took a few hours, but you don't have to sit there and watch it. It pulled over all my old programs and files, so there was no problem, there. I did use the compatibility checker and it pointed out a few really old programs that I will need to upgrade, though. No big deal as I don't use them that often, anyway.
The following won't be "news" to folks who have been following all the blogs and boards about Windows 8, but I was a little disappointed, though, to find that because I have two monitors, I ended up with what is basically Windows 7 with no start menu. I had it in the back of my mind that surely it couldn't be that stupid and it would stretch Metro across both of them.
Not so. The new Metro interface only displays on the main monitor and worse, as soon as I click on any of my installed programs (even the Office 2010 tiles on the Metro interface) it immediately flips to the old Windows 7 interface on both monitors.
Everything takes two or three extra clicks to get there. Not cool, Microsoft. You've just made it harder for me to do anything and taken away the things I'd grown used to like the clock and weather because I refuse to have to keep hiking over to the upper right corner, waiting for Charms to appear, clicking on the Metro icon to get the Metro interface back for the few seconds it stays there so I can see the clock and weather before I click on something in one of my apps that makes Metro disappear again. That sentence is as awkward as this interface.
What can't I stay in Metro?
Why won't Metro stretch across both screens?
Why do all my applications, even the Microsoft Office ones, flip me out of Metro to standard Windows?
Why can't you automatically bring back the Metro interface after I close an application, or at least when I move it to the secondary monitor, so I don't have to *blinking* go to the upper-right-corner to summon the Charms menu to bring back the interface just to *blinking* see the weather and time?
Maybe I'll just go to the command prompt and use Powershell all the time instead of any menus or interfaces at all like I do at work--because this really is irritating.
I'm still looking for a way to set it to "auto-return" to Metro after I close an app or when nothing is running on the main monitor. I mean, really, why should I have to work to see the Metro interface?
I see no speed increase and in fact have noticed sluggishness/lack of responsiveness when opening programs, so all-in-all it's kind of a blah event. It didn't do any damage, but it didn't exactly do anything for me, either. But at least if you upgrade now, it's cheap.
I have hopes that over time, they'll think about giving us more options to tailor this beast to do things like stretch across two monitors and perhaps "auto-return" to Metro so we don't have to do that all the time.
Just a few thoughts
Thursday, October 11, 2012
These roses will stay small--no more than three feet in height and perhaps that same in width. They will not throw up large canes, so you generally won’t have to worry about cutting them back except to remove dead or diseased wood.
These roses will grow into medium-sized bushes--no more than five feet in height and smaller in width. They will not throw up large canes, so you generally won’t have to worry about cutting them back except to remove dead or diseased wood, although you may want to trim them back to keep them within the constraints of your garden.
These roses will grow into large bushes and can often be used as climbers. They may throw up long canes. Most likely, unless you have a very large garden, you’ll have to train them as a short (8’) climber or trim them back. They make great pillar roses, though, if you want to add height to your garden by placing them in the middle or back.
I hope you'll take the time to visit your favorite fall rose garden and smell the roses. The cooler weather really brings out the best in them and rose gardens are great places to relax with a book!
Happy Gardening from Amy Corwin, author of Escaping Notice, a Regency romance.