By Jeremiah Hall (doddleNEWS)
It was with some trepidation that I agreed to cue up for my Windows 10 upgrade on my edit system. Don’t get me wrong, I like new software the same as anyone else. But my edit system is my life-blood, and I always get that little feeling in the pit of my stomach when I make massive changes to that particular computer. Windows 8 and 8.1 went off without a hitch. Would Windows 10 be the same great experience?
A few days ago, my laptop made the change-over, which gave me plenty of time to work with it and get used to the new user interface (UI). It also gave me time for research. My laptop is off-the-shelf, while my edit system is a desktop that I built from the ground up (check out how I built and tested it here and here). I had to be certain that all of my components would work with the new system.
The Get Windows 10 app said my system was Win 10 ready, but I wasn’t sure yet about the little things – my video card, my Wacom tablet, my Logitech G13, and my Logitech solar keyboard. The good news is, several manufacturers have already updated their drivers.
The one that concerned me was nVidia. Reading their forum, I found a number of posts with various hiccups and problems once Windows 10 had been installed. I decided that should something go wrong, I would simply revert back to Windows 8.1.
Once you have upgraded, Microsoft keeps your old version of Windows 8.1 in a separate folder on your main system drive. Should Windows 10 not work out for you, you have up to a month to revert back to Windows 8.1. After a month, the folder with your old Windows is automatically deleted (!!), so if you are going to want to revert back you need to do it within a month of installing Win 10. This will not stop you from re-installing from USB drive or disc, just from the backup on your computer.
I got the message from the Get Windows 10 app that my desktop was ready. Before I got too far in, I backed up all of my files. Then I went through a de-authorized all of the programs that required it – in my case my versions of Adobe Acrobat XI, Adobe CS6, Final Draft 9, Scrivener, as well as my Boris products. I have heard that you don’t necessarily have to do this, but I prefer to err on the side of caution.
Instead of setting an appointment, I went ahead and let it upgrade now. The process took about two hours, give or take. Your time may vary, depending on the machine, the internet connection speed, etc.
I chose not to use Microsoft’s Express installation. Microsoft’s privacy statement says the company collects information from you when you “create a Microsoft account, submit a search query to Bing, speak a voice command to Cortana, upload a document to OneDrive, or contact us for support.” I like my privacy; I also don’t like software companies looking over my shoulder.
Using the Express settings gives Microsoft permission to collect a lot of data. I used the custom settings, and read each one carefully, turning off permissions for Microsoft to collect as much data as I could. This presents a bit of a trade-off. Cortina, the Siri-like app in Windows 10, obviously collects data and sends it to Microsoft. I don’t need Cortina on my edit system, therefore I turned it off.
After installation, I did a search in settings for Privacy. I found a tabs running from General to Background apps, letting me control what is used by apps, what is shared with Microsoft, and what apps are capable of using what information – be it my contacts, my calendar, my webcam, etc. On my laptop, I have different settings for many of these. On my edit system, I shut it off. It’s one more thing running in the background that I don’t want running in the background.
A problem I had with my laptop was automatic authorization. It took a couple of days for the auto authorization from Microsoft to kick in, so I had a couple of days of not being able to personalize my laptop. Once it kicked in, I had no problems changing the backgrounds, lock screen, etc., on my laptop. It seems that Microsoft’s activation servers were swamped – can’t imagine why. The authorization on my desktop happened automatically. I was good to go.
My next step was drivers. I downloaded the new Wacom driver. nVidia’s GeForce Experience downloaded and installed the new nVidia driver. Let me say this, I have had no problems whatsoever with the nVidia driver. I will say under Windows 10, everything looks a little sharper and a little cleaner when it comes to the graphics. I downloaded the new Logitech keyboard software for my K750.
A side note – if you want a completely comfortable wireless keyboard that requires no batteries, try out the Logitech K750. They come in both Mac and PC flavors. Mac users also have a choice of a compact one without the numeric keyboard. I keep one at my edit system and one at my office.
I also downloaded the latest software for my Blackmagic Design 4K Extreme card. Once everything was installed, I was ready. Some things hadn’t changed. The software for my RAID array was left unchanged. I reauthorized my Adobe products. I reauthorized Final Draft 9 and Scrivener. I reauthorized my Boris products. I opened up DaVinci 11 – everything worked. I opened Blackmagic Design’s Fusion – no problems. I opened After Effects, Premiere, Photoshop, and Acrobat. Everything worked. I even opened up iTunes. No problems.
So what’s my opinion of Win 10? It’s peppier. My laptop opens almost immediately. Before, it would take a little under a minute. My edit system takes a little under two minutes for complete booting – not bad, considering it took a little over three and a half minutes before. The oft-criticized Metro UI is not exactly gone. It’s now wrapped up in the start button. You can move program tiles around, as well as customize the sizes. I can see my mail, news, and weather at a glance, as well as hit immediate buttons for my most-used programs. These were what I liked about Metro, but now it is located in the start button screen instead of a separate page. I also can easily find power options, such as sleep and shut down, without having to fight Windows to get to them. Microsoft Edge is a nice replacement to the long-in-the-tooth Internet Explorer. I still have Chrome and Firefox on my machine, but I don’t think I’ve opened either one since I started using Edge. There is a lot to like in this version of Windows.
Now for the downside. With Windows 10, software updates to Win 10 are automatic – whether you want them or not. You can choose to restart later, but you have little control over what gets installed. The other downside are the privacy settings. Check out the picture below.
That’s a lot of privacy to work through.
Windows 10 is free for current users of Windows 7, Windows 8 , and Windows 8.1. I think it’s safe to upgrade your edit system to it. Double check with your software and hardware suppliers first to make sure, but mine went through without a hitch.
Check it out here.