To Windows and Back Again.
Just like the Hobbit’s tale I had a short trip there and back again, but mine was to Windows 8.1.
My Decision to Switch
There was a couple of reasons that resulted in moving my main computer to Windows 8.1. The main one was I write software for companies and use Visual Studio. This has not been a problem in the past as Virtual Box is fine for that but the convenience of not loading another OS to work was a plus.
The next reason is ac1900 network hardware only being compatible on Windows as of now. Even for wireless n, the RT2800USB driver seems to send large files corrupt for the USB-N53 [Ralink RT3572] adapter in Linux and the proprietary driver crashes the current Linux Kernel.
The last reason is being able to use the PC as a second screen in XBox One using Smart Glass.
I bought a Windows 8 CD and installed it. It worked well and had an “interesting” interface. I updated the OS to Windows 8.1 straight away and did all of the updates. This worked great as well and I was starting to get used to the new interface. All was going well until…
I was not able to use the Windows 8.1 Smart Glass for my games and just complained it was not a tablet, also…
I got the black screen with the white cursor many people are complaining about when booting into the OS. I then called Microsoft and complained who in the end blamed it on hardware. I said I would update ALL of the drivers and firmware for all my hardware which I did.
Not long after that I was getting different BSOD errors and worked out this was my USB wifi adapter and booting my computer with my monitor turned off. I was persistant in living with this because the computer worked well “when it was working”.
After a while my PC started to freeze for a few seconds when loading the web browser tabs and other tasks. The one thing I could not live with was the OS temporarily locking up while “thinking”. This started happening only 3 weeks after install.
The Road Back
I really wanted to use Ubuntu Gnome but I found to get the interface the way you wanted it, I had to edit CSS and other files. Even though I work as a software developer, The last thing I wanted to do was waste my time making my computer interface look “pretty”. A lot of the gnome extensions are buggy and I could not get it to look the way I wanted to. Mint does the this a lot better by being able to edit the bar.
Ubuntu with Ubuntu Tweak and Unity Tweak makes it easy to get your interface looking great. I am using the zoncolorBrave gtk theme, zoncolorSlate icon theme, zoncolor cursor theme and zoncolorXtra-Basic window theme. I think it looks really good. I used to turn on wobbly windows etc. but did not bother this time.
I did miss the terminal console and many other Linux features while in Windows 8.1. It was a quick trip to Windows land and back, but I am glad I am back.