Why I didn’t hate Windows RT

windows rt logo
Are you sad to see this go?

By now you’d all know that I’m onto a Surface 3 which naturally has full Windows 8. I’m sure this upgrade path is common for Windows RT users. But I’d like two minutes on the soapbox being (as it appears) a lone voice in support of the Windows RT project.

Windows RT was more than adequate for my needs while I had the Surface 2. I never expected it to be a full version of Windows and I didn’t need that; I needed a lightweight portable device with a browser and MS Office, and with the alternative being a heavier and pricier Surface 2 Pro, the Surface 2 with Windows RT was the best choice for me. I didn’t expect it to run desktop apps, because I knew it couldn’t. I didn’t expect 100% driver compatibility, because I knew Windows RT to Windows 7 was like iOS to OSX. Two different beasts for two different purposes.

Microsoft evidently wanted to make a device which could be competitive (on some levels) with the iPad, but back when they started this project (well before the release in 2012) low power x86 CPU’s like the Cherry Trail didn’t exist and weren’t even on the horizon. That this is correct is born out that the ‘right’ hardware didn’t come along until three years after the original device released. The x86 hardware available to Microsoft at the time meant a Surface Pro-like device with its weight, heat and battery drain, and no-one looking for an iPad was ever going to go for that. So their next best option was Windows RT, a stripped-down OS specifically designed for a range of CPU’s which DID have the low power architecture they wanted, i.e. the ARM range.

It’s easy to stand here in 2015 and lambast Microsoft for Windows RT, but at the time I think it was an entirely logical decision to write a version of Windows which gave people some of the features and interface they were used to in a low-power, slim package.

Would they do anything different in hindsight? No doubt; it’s been far from a blazing success and I’m sure they’ve learnt a few things in terms of timelining and marketing. But in 2012 I think Windows RT was the right decision. Equally I think its time is done now the hardware is at a stage where devices like the Surface 3 are possible.

Thanks for the work you did, Windows RT. You served a valuable purpose at the time, but I suspect you won’t be missed.

Am I jinxed?? Surface cover turns screen off but not back on

OK so you would have seen yesterday’s post where I finally moved on the Surface 2 with its screen issues and now have a shiny bright Surface 3.

Problem.

OK it’s nothing like before, but the issue I now have is that the screen turns off when I close the cover (as expected), but it stays off when the cover is opened! I Googled this and didn’t find any other people with this problem. I’ve done all the updates, restarted the machine a few times but to no avail. As we speak I’m with Microsoft support who were looking for HyperV in the Windows Features (it wasn’t there), they have run a sfc /scannow operation (which found nothing) and are now doing a device refresh.

I hope this doesn’t turn into another case of a changeover device. I’ve just installed a brand new screen protector! (Which BTW isn’t the problem because 1) it was working before and 2) it still registers when the cover is closed).

Have you experienced this? What did you do about it?

 

Hello Surface 3!

Microsoft Surface 3
Microsoft Surface 3 (copyright Microsoft)

The touch screen issue on the Surface 2 never properly went away. It would work for a while, then often after a restart it would stop working. About 50% of the time it would come back after the battery ran flat, so I got through the last ~6 months by keeping it powered up whenever the screen was working, and if it did go flat and the screen stopped responding to touch I’d let it go flat again and try again.

I had already recommended my brother to purchase a S3 which he did and he was very happy with it. So when it spent the last month with the screen stuck not working something had to happen. I got approval through work to upgrade to the Surface 3 so I utilised the extended warranty to get a refund rather than just change over to another S2 unit.

So I’ve now got a 64Gb Surface 3 with a grey Type Cover, Surface pen, video adapter and (aftermarket) screen protector. Time will tell how this one behaves!

How to teach disobedience

In last week’s post about our unplanned week at home, I promised I’d expand on an incident which occurred on Friday at a Hungry Jack’s restaurant.

playground
Where battles are won and lost…

For those who came in late, I had the kids to myself for a couple of days while my wife was interstate for a family funeral. We’d paid a visit to the hospital and, having stayed longer than we planned, found it was time to eat and we were still on our way home with no dinner started at home. On a whim I stopped at HJ’s to grab a bite and ate by the indoor playground.

A small four year old boy (we’ll call him Charlie) was near our table and was slightly interfering with our peace so his parents told him to move away. Charlie showed no signs of having heard, much less acting upon, his parents’ request, though he quickly bored with us and moved back to the playground on his own volition. Twice more his parents issued instructions while he was on the playground, both of which Charlie ignored to which his parents responded by doing precisely nothing.

Continue reading How to teach disobedience

How to live more thankfully

Steve Goodier’s posts are always thought-provoking. I got this one today…

A man lay in a hospital bed worried about whether he would live or die. He called his pastor to come pray for him. He told her that if he got well, he’d donate $20,000 to the church.

The pastor prayed and the man eventually DID get well and returned home. But no check came to the church. The pastor paid him a visit.

Continue reading How to live more thankfully

When gastro serves you a lemon…. how to use a sudden week at home

jug of lemonade
When life serves you a lemon…

For months we’ve been looking forward to Family Camp. It’s a week-long camp with other Christadelphians for parents with young children, and it’s all about helping each other raise children who learn respect, care for others and above all, love God. We’ve been twice before and loved it, so booked into this one as soon as we could.

Continue reading When gastro serves you a lemon…. how to use a sudden week at home

Consequences

Why do we discipline children? While there may be many reasons, ultimately I believe:

We discipline to teach children there are consequences to their actions.

We know instinctively that everything we do has some consequence, even at the simplest levels. If we turn on a tap over an empty glass, the consequence is the glass is filled with water. If we push a tall box, the consequence is that the box falls and possibly causes something to break. As adults we know that we are responsible for dealing with the consequences of our actions, but that’s not something children understand. As very young children we’ve done everything for them, so they see us clean up their mess at the table and put them to bed when they’re tired. They can’t take responsibility for their actions when they’re very young, but as adults they will do this almost 100% of the time. So between infancy and adulthood they need to progressively learn this.

Continue reading Consequences

The economics of squeezing your own orange juice

Orange Juice
You can’t beat fresh – but how do the costs stack up?

I’ve always been a fan of home-grown produce and supporting local producers whenever possible, and around this time of year for the last couple we’ve bought a few boxes of citrus from Fresh Citrus Direct. They’re a family citrus farm in the SA Riverland who sell their produce direct to the public rather than being forced to dance to the supermarkets’ tune where in most cases the supplier bears the cost of their ‘low’ prices to the customer. Some of our friends at church have property on the Murray and have had to dig up perfectly good orange trees because they can’t compete with the cheap imports from overseas. So I’m keen to support the producers who are left.

Continue reading The economics of squeezing your own orange juice

Surface 2 – seven months on

Microsoft Surface 2 with Touch Cover
Microsoft Surface 2 with Touch Cover

Seven months on how do I find the Surface 2? I’m still happy with it. The bugs I had with the screen seem to have gone. I’m guessing since others have commented on the problem it must be a software glitch, not an issue with just my unit, so it could have been fixed through a software update. It only came back once when I put a screen protector back on, but since that’s been gone so has the problem.

Continue reading Surface 2 – seven months on