...to Windows 10.
I confess, I am not very tech savvy. However, I am brave. I’ll take on just about anything on my computer because my brilliant son once told me, “Computers only do what you tell them to do. You can’t hurt it unless you throw it across the room or take a hammer to it or dump a cup of coffee on it. So just Google what you want to do or watch a YouTube video, follow the instructions, and you’ll be fine.” The kid is just a few months shy of getting his PhD, so I trust him.
I think it's important for writers not to be intimidated by their machinery--we could still be doing this stuff on typewriters or on a legal pad or on the wall of a cave with a chunk of charcoal. Your computer is your friend. Just about anything I’ve needed to do on my computer, I’ve been able to figure out or at least follow directions to make it happen. So the Windows 10 upgrade didn’t really intimidate me all that much. I started with my desktop PC because Husband uses my laptop and even though he’s a genius engineer, he does sometimes get daunted by all the new technology. He graduated from college in 1971—the year floppy disks first appeared. When he began his career, it was still all punch cards and giant mainframes. He balks at the frenetic pace of technology in the twenty-first century. He's cute and he does dishes, so I just hug him and do what I can to help him be comfortable with new apps and operating systems.
The upgrade to Windows 10 was pretty darn smooth. Microsoft held my hand through the whole process and I came out of it with a much friendlier desktop. The Start menu is back—yay!! Oh, those annoying Win 8 boxes are still there, but they’ve been miniaturized and tucked neatly next to the Start menu, so finding applications and files is easy peasy. And you can even pin apps to the Start menu, so eventually, that menu is going to look very much like the one you knew and loved back in Windows 7 and earlier.
Another totally cool feature is the Action Center that slides from the right side of the screen and shows you notifications—places you’ve been, files you’ve worked on, people you’ve emailed, updates you’ve made—all kinds of useful information. I really like it! You can also schedule your restarts and even ask Windows to let you know when you need to reboot after updates. It’s pretty nice to be in the driver’s seat on that. The app store has a handy icon in the task tray and this is minor, but the calculator app has a brand new, snazzy look as well. And you can manage your notifications by picking and choosing what you want to be notified about, really make it your own. Just go to Start menu > Settings > Systems > Notifications and actions.
There are a couple of features I haven’t had time to explore yet—one is Cortana, the digital assistant from the new Windows Phones. Sorta like Siri from your iPhone. She’s kinda nosy and because I’m really reluctant to let Microsoft have all kinds of information about where I am, what I do on the Internet, and whom I email, I haven’t messed with her yet, but you should decide for yourself how you feel about Cortana. However, there is a dandy little Search box right next to the Start menu (Cortana resides there, but if you tell you're ignoring her, she goes away) that works just fine for looking up anything at all on your PC or on the Web. Just start typing in the box and voila! Your item shows up, click it, and there you go. Neato!
I also haven’t gotten into Edge—the new browser that will probably replace Internet Explorer—mostly because I’m Firefox girl and I’m not interested in changing. Here’s one extra-cool thing about Windows 10—Solitaire is back! You don’t have to order it from the Windows Store anymore!
Have you done the upgrade yet? It’s free from Microsoft, so go on, give it a try!