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8 Ain't It

8 Ain't It
by Gary Woods

As the Trainer for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors the people I teach come through the door with a lot of different computers so I have to be knowledgeable about what they bring. Since last October several people arrived at the classes with Windows 8 machines. I was really confused by this operating system because it was like nothing I'd ever seen before so I went out to Best Buy and bought a Toshiba Laptop with Windows 8 on it.

You've probably seen pictures of 8 with its clever tiles some of which have moving images and changing data on them. I figured out how to move and re-size them and even make them into groups. But, there was definitely more that was not obvious. For instance, when you want to shut the machine down you have to invoke the Charms Bar, which you get by either running your cursor to the upper right corner and dragging down or pressing the Windows Key then C. Then, you run your cursor down to Settings followed by the Power button and finally choose Shut Down.

After I restarted the laptop and began opening and closing a lot of the Tiles the machine got a little sluggish so I tried to figure out why. It turns out that when it you close an Application it really doesn't shut down and if you want to see what's open you have to run your cursor to the upper left corner and pull down and there will be all the open programs. To actually close a program while it's open you have to click and hold at the top of the screen and pull down to the bottom like closing a window. That's pretty obvious, isnt it?

Finally, I found a file labeled Desktop and that brought me to what is essentially Windows 7 without the Start Button in the lower left hand corner. Once I got to the Desktop my stress level reduced markedly and I was able to start interacting with my new beast.

I've got lots more examples of the things I really don't like about Windows 8 and even a few things that I think are pretty cool but if you're thinking about getting a new computer I'd look some place other than at this Microsoft monstrosity. Besides, wouldn't you really rather buy a tablet?

If you have any suggestions or questions for me please drop me a note at or see my column on the Internet at or call me at (805) 729-0910

Gary Woods is the Computer Trainer for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. And he is a Broker/Associate at Home Realty & Investments, Inc