Microsoft Heavy

So this week one of the new things I have been playing with include Microsoft visual studio and Windows 10. So it has been a very Microsoft heavy week this week, and I must say I’m not regretting it. Microsoft has copped a lot of flack over the years and a lot of it has been deserved, I can’t say I liked the Ballmer years very much but they are now over. Windows 10 I would say to many people is a modernisation of Windows 7, and there is nothing wrong with that.

Windows has become very familiar and safe to a lot of people. While OSX offers an environment where people feel they can do no wrong, Windows offers an experience that is the same as always until you start playing. Everything is just a little more integrated now, while this can be a little scary and I highly recommend that you turn off some of the internet connected options, like websearch for the start bar. Overall these features make the whole system seem faster and more productive, like my Skype account knowing who I am because I logged in with my Outlook account.

While I still hate apps, true to Windows form you can mostly ignore them. I have Windows 10 installed on both my laptop and desktop computers now and I can tell you there are few things more annoying to me than an app locking you to one screen when you have a dual screen setup. I just find the apps generally to be inefficient when considering multitasking and I absolutely loathe when I accidently open the app version of one note compared to the full version. The app only loads pages on demand so I am waiting for them to download and the menus are drastically simplified which makes it annoying if I want to do anything like math (yes I use one note for math).

Overall my transition from Windows 7 & 8.1has been very smooth and generally uneventful. There have been only two issues that have really bothered me, firstly on my laptop as Windows keeps wanting to update to the latest drivers. This is great except for the fact that the latest synaptics touchpad drivers have a glitch where on some models (mine included) you can’t change the defaults so my touchpad is stuck with reverse scrolling enabled. Secondly on my desktop for the last week the numlock has been disabled by default. THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE why would anyone ever want to turn numlock off? I can think of no reasons at all. So I had to as the internet for help, open up regedit and change a default and everything seems to be fine now.

As mentioned earlier the other thing I have been playing with this week has been Visual Studio. This is another thing I have been avoiding for the longest time. I remember playing with visual basic more than a decade ago and it wasn’t what I would call an easy or refined process, to be fair programming is rarely easy or refined. Visual Studio is like Visual Basic except it has more. One of my courses this term asks its students to use Visual Studio to build projects that are dynamic websites. I am not exactly proficient with PHP so it was off putting, however when the project half built itself and I saw that JQuery was already installed for the project along with Bootstrap I suddenly felt like I was in more familiar ground. As mentioned I am not a huge fan of object oriented programming I have become a little better as I have been doing more with python in my private projects but I would still say I am not very accomplished with it. C# is heavily OO just like Java and this is very daunting for me however how ASP passes information through form its aspx files its cs files makes things very easy for me to follow. There is a whole system where each element of a website has its own code file attached to it and you can push the variable values to it and back again though the use of div ids. This may sound a lot like JavaScript to you and in many ways it is however in reality it allows for server side processing but lets the pass though happen easily.

The true brilliance of this is that once you know how to do the C# processing you can use the same code with a desktop application. I could be wrong about this but I am of the impression that this also is able to be used in phone app creation as well though the use of Xamarin. Version control is a breeze as you can link to your github account natively though Visual Studio. You can also link to a Visual Studio or Microsoft Azure account to back up or even deploy your project to. This is the sort of integration I was talking about before I can literally work on a project and once I’m happy upload to Azure servers with no mucking about with making sure the database is installed or that your framework is set up properly. Generally speaking if it worked for you locally once you push it to Azure it all works as you have seen before.

While I will continue to learn this for my course it has made me tempted to use .net systems for my personal website but we will see how I feel once I have enough time to delve into all of that again.

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