Category Archives: Article

Kill Shakespeare comic a must read

Kill Shakespeare

“Kill Shakespeare’s” fun and interactive website.


“A man can die but once.”

If only these words of the memorable character Feeble, from Henry IV Part 2, rang true.

Kill Shakespeare brings beloved (and hated) characters together in a mash-up world where the Bard’s greatest heroes and darkest villains are pitted against each other in efforts to find the mysterious wizard, William Shakespeare. Pretty cool premise, huh?

If you’ve never heard of the series, Kill Shakespeare is like what Fables did to fairy tales and Unwritten did for young wizards and the world of Harry Potter. Created by Anthony Del Col and Conor McCreery, and illustrated by Andy Balanger, Kill Shakespeare brings to life an alternate universe where the Shakespearian cast of characters meet up. All the action, adventure, murder, tragedy, romance and comedic humour that defined modern literature thrives once again.

Kill Shakespeare’s Premise Explained

The comic opens with false starts and shaky beginnings. Half the world believes everything that has gone wrong in society (all tragedy, death and grief) is committed by the wizard William Shakespeare, while the other half believes he is actually the all-powerful creator, and if they wait long enough for him to show up, all the drama will be resolved…

For more, read the rest of my review here.

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Swept Away: Meditations on the Uncommon Genius of Stephen King

“You cannot hope to sweep someone else away by the force of your writing until it has been done to you.”
― Stephen King, On Writing


My growing collection of Stephen King novels.

From The Shawshank Redemption to The Green Mile and from Pet Sematary to It, author Stephen King is best known for leaving readers variously horrified, disturbed, or disgusted – yet equally captivated. King’s novels, short stories, audiobooks, essays, movies, comics (deep breath) poems, screenplays, and television shows, are among the undisputed classics of contemporary horror, suspense, science fiction, and fantasy.


  • His works have sold over 350 million copies worldwide.
  • He has published another 200 short stories (to date), and under the pen name of Richard Bachman he has written seven fiction and five non-fiction books.
  • He has been awarded the Bran Stoker Award, the World Fantasy Award, and the British Fantasy Society Award – to name only a few. His novella, The Way Station, was also a Nebula Award novelette nominee.
  • And his accolades keep rolling in.

My first foray into King’s literary world was in high school, with his science fiction series The Dark Tower and its first book,The Gunslinger. I had heard of Stephen King before, of course, and had seen his many books lining the library shelves, but I hadn’t read any of his novels before picking up this book at a sale.

For those who haven’t read the series, let alone this novel: Go.


It’s brilliant. King himself describes this series as his magnum opus.

King’s masterful blend of fantastical horror and old-school western, touched with advanced technology – travelling between worlds, anyone? – results in an intriguing world and kickass characters. Oh, and there’s magic, too! The first novel introduces us to Roland Deschain of Gilead, the last living member of a knightly order known as Gunslingers. He is also the last in line of “Arthur Eld,” which is this world’s equivalent to the mystical tales of King Arthur. Roland’s quest is to find a fabled building known as the Dark Tower that is said to be the nexus of all the universes. Of course, along the way he stumbles across: a fanatic preacher he comes to call the Man in Black; some epic battles; and many, many questions.

The Gunslinger is a wonderful introduction to a crazy world; the book adeptly sets everything up for the forthcoming novels, of which there are eight in total. Admittedly, the first novel is sparse on details of Roland’s motives, goals and, well, personal life, but it does set up the remaining installments nicely.

A short story, “Little Sisters of Eluria,” was also written as a prequel, while the eighth book (or book 4.5, according to King), The Wind Through the Keyhole, was written in 2012 – eight years after the series officially concluded. A series of prequel comics were also published after the Dark Tower series was completed in 2004.

It just keeps going.

Soon after I finished The Gunslinger, my aunt surprised me by delivering a box of books – not just any books, but practically the entire collection of Stephen King novels available.

I was in heaven.

And then I realized that there were movies.

The more critically-praised King adaptations include The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile. Where Shawshank tells the story of a banker in prison for the death of his wife and a money laundering operation, The Green Mile looks at a death row supervisor and his encounters with supernatural gifts (healing, empathy). But of course many of King’s other literary works have been adapted into films or television shows: more than fifty, at last count.

The first such adaptation, Carrie (1976), revolves a high school girl who discovers she has telekinetic powers. A shy girl who is bullied and abused both at home and at school, she eventually exacts a shocking revenge on those who teased her. The image of Sissy Spacek in a delicate white dress with pig’s blood streaming down her face and off her arms is not easily forgotten; and a remake featuring Chloë Grace Moretz in the title role will hit theaters in October, 2013. Other notable King film adaptations include The Shining (1980), Children of the Corn (1984), Misery (1990) and Apt Pupil (1998).

On television, mini-series made of King’s works have long been acclaimed (It, Salem’s Lot, The Tommyknockers, The Stand). Most recently, after a tense few months of uncertainly, Syfy has announced thatHaven will get a fourth season this fall. Based on King’s “The Colorado Kid” and much lauded for its creative and quirky sci-fi whims and humor, Haven follows FBI agent Audrey Parker (Emily Rose, Jericho) and her journey to Haven, Maine to complete what appears to be a routine case but instead places her in the center of an enclave of people who possess a range of supernatural abilities. At this point, her past, which she can’t seem to recall, starts to emerge and the townspeople’s dormant abilities begin to express themselves.

The latest adaptation of King’s work is Under the Dome, based on his 2009 novel. Cloverfield’s Mike Vogel and Twilight’s Rachelle Lefevre lead an impressive cast that includes Breaking Bad’s Dean Norris andSabrina the Teenage Witch’s Beth Broderick. This series has debuted to mixed reviews; the general consensus has been that though its premiere was riveting, the following episodes proved lackluster. Where King is able to provide a subtle dimension to his characters in his novel, many viewers feel (and I concur) that the acting falls flat—which is a shame, since the pilot showed so much promise.

The novel of Under the Dome is a sociology experiment depicting how residents of Chester’s Mill, a small American town, cope with the sudden appearance of a transparent dome around their town. Yet despite the initial similarities, showrunner Brian K Vaughan noted the show aims to veer off course with a different ending than the novel. Despite the changes to the story – which were made with King’s approval – the author wrote in a letter to his fans: “If you loved the book when you first read it, it’s still there for your perusal. But that doesn’t mean the TV series is bad, because it’s not. In fact, it’s very good.” Good or bad, the first season of Under the Dome is slotted for 13 episodes, with each episode costing around $3.5 million. The fate of the series beyond the first season will depend on whether or not the pace picks up, but it’s still up in the air.

I’ve found that King’s novels range from featuring thought-provoking societal issues to disturbingly creepy situations that leave goosebumps trailing up my arm. There are some that I can’t put down, while others I can’t bring myself to finish. And there are some that I just cannot read at night. Between my overly active imagination and his vividly eerie worlds, sleep becomes the last thing on my mind.

Which is why I’m still working my way through the 823 brilliant but terrifying pages of The Stand.

Originally posted inGeek Speak Magazine.

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Museums create interactive tech for disabled youth

In addition to creating audio-tactile maps to the Descriptive Video Exchange, Dr. Joshua Miele has another project — to improve the museum experience for disabled youth.

Miele is working closely with the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) to create a program where people, specifically blind youth, are able to interact with pieces within a museum.“A lot of museums are things that you largely look at and you don’t have an opportunity to interact with them,” explained executive director Mark Roccobono of the NFB. “There are a lot of great technologies out there that can provide descriptions about the items you’re looking at, and it would be great for blind people who visit museums.”

At the moment, art museums have a different set of problems than science museums, but the issue of the lack of accessibility to the works still remains.

Miele and the NFB are hoping to enhance access to several science museums for blind youth and their families with the help of the National Science Foundation.

In its first month of a three-year project, the Museum of Science in Boston and the Port Discovery Children’s Museum in Baltimore are currently involved. Roccobono hopes more museums will come on board later.

“We’re trying to inspire and engage blind youth in science, but also create a relationship between blind people on the local level and the science museum by working specifically on making some exhibits accessible,” said Roccobono, noting it’s a chicken-and-egg problem. “A museum says, ‘We never see any blind people in here so it’s hard to work on access for blind people,’ while blind people say, ‘We never go this museum because they never have anything that is accessible.’ If they do something accessible, it’s done cheaply so it’s not meaningful.”

The project is also looking to build a relationship between the museum and its visitors. Ideally the visually impaired can evaluate and provide feedback on what’s happening and the museum can work to integrate tools and techniques already available.

“It’s important that mainstream technologies are also accessible to blind people and that we have to recognize technology is not what makes people successful, but rather technology provides access to information we haven’t had before,” said Roccobono as the project continues to surge forward.
Overall, Miele and Roccobono agree the vast majority of work that needs to be done is making and providing people with better access in a manner that’s more mainstream and not just focused on the technology.

“I’m here developing these innovative tools and talking about how we can use these to make information more accessible, but I’m kind of out ahead of where most things need to be,” said Miele. “There’s a lot of basic work that needs to be done and most of it isn’t incredibly hard to do. It comes down to awareness and people understanding the problems.”

Future goals for Miele include accessible maps and interactive areas not just for public transit or museums, but also places like the airport that see a lot of traffic and is in need of good information.

Also in Assistive Technology

The series explores how advancements in assistive technology are helping the visually impaired and the disabled.

Originally posted in TechPageOne.

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How B.A.R.T. helps the blind get around

What started nine years ago with the creation of the Tactile Map Automated Production (TMAP) system for California’s Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system has developed into an audio-tactile graphic map to increase accessibility for the visually impaired.

Dr. Joshua Miele and his team at the Smith-Kettlewell Video Description Development Center are once again working alongside San Francisco’s LightHouse organization to make travelling easier with easy access to information.

“BART maps has been one of the ways I’ve been working on making information more accessible,” said Miele. “I developed a tool in 2004 called TMAPs and it was and is the only way a person can get the tactile feel of anyplace they want.”

Most people can go to Google Streetview or Google Maps and retrieve a lot of information, but those with visual impairments cannot get that same spatial context and information hence the creation of TMAPs. However, much of the Braille maps now are too cramped with information and certain areas are not labeled due to lack of space.

Miele and LightHouse are now working to launch the audio-tactile graphic maps in 43 of the 44 station stops. The project is a few months from being released.

These new maps allow people to explore the area through Braille, as well as audio stimulation. The maps incorporate Braille into its design, but it is not dense with information.

To get a more in-depth experience, you can employ a smart pen to touch the graphics and a computer will inform you about the part of the map you are touching. The use of smart pens is particularly adaptable for uses outside the public transportation system.

“There has been a lot of positive responses and the interest continues to grow,” said Frank Welte, information resource specialist and strip map coordinator of LightHouse. “A lot of people, not just the blind, are excited for the audio-tactile maps to help with their orientation of where they are and have to be.”

The importance of this technology is that once these maps are implemented, they’ll not only be useful to transit, but for other maps as well, added Wente.

“You can almost incorporate a guide book into the map, which is a future possibility,” he said.
The technology already exists in various forms but needs to be applied everywhere, said Mark Roccobono, executive director with the National Federation of the Blind, which is a membership-based organization of blind people in the United States.

“If we can get engineers and others to design technology with accessibility in mind from the beginning, we can then use technology that everybody else can use. It would be the same information, at the same time, at a different price, though we would access it through Braille or audio,” said Roccobono. “The importance of public transportation and having the technology make it accessible is helpful.”

He pointed to the audio and visual cues that most buses now have that announce which stop is coming up. In this case, audio cues are also helpful for visitors to the city or if English isn’t your first language.

There are other companies and organizations working to make information more accessible to blind people around the world, but Miele added that those projects aren’t currently at the scale of his team’s projects.

However, Roccobono noted the biggest problem facing blind people isn’t blindness itself, it is more the public attitudes toward blindness and technology doesn’t change that.

“One thing it (technology) does change is access to information,” he added.

Also in Assistive Technology

The series explores how advancements in assistive technology are helping the visually impaired and the disabled.

Originally posted in TechPageOne.

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DVX: More content accessible to the visually impaired

Created by Dr. Joshua Miele and his colleagues at the Smith-Kettlewell Video Description Development Center in San Francisco, California, the Descriptive Video Exchange (DVX) provides an audio descriptor narrating the scene or moment in the program.

DVX is still in early development where large load balancing and optimization of geographic use doesn’t require multicloud use at this time. However, Miele noted it’s called cloud-based because it helps people understand that the project is all on the Internet and not a program that runs on one’s PC or smartphone.
What’s important to note is that the server itself does not store the original videos; rather, it holds only the descriptions, identification and timing information, and works in time with a video player that plays whatever video you want to watch.

At present, those who are visually impaired are able to access videos, such as movies or television shows, and listen to the dialog and music it contains. However, what remains missing is a certain visual context that is currently unavailable for most videos.

“We are looking into the future, where the vast majority of video will not be consumed via broadcast media. It will be consumed over the Internet,” he explained. “We are looking at a day coming very soon when electronic textbooks will contain embedded video.”

Though video description was invented in the 1970s as a way to give blind people access to information on what’s occurring digitally on the screen, it was mostly for entertainment.

However, video description isn’t only about the luxury of entertainment now, said Miele.
“Now there’s a great deal of education and job training and healthcare-related information distributed to video,” he explained. “If you don’t have access to the information on the screen, blind people won’t be educated or have the same access to job training as sight people do.”

Miele points to websites, including YouTube, where people can upload their own videos that have changed the landscape of accessibility for those with visual disabilities.

In order to create a described video, users would previously have to get permission from the copyright holder, he added.

“We’re interested in the idea of crowd-sourcing video description so that anybody anywhere can describe any online video for anybody anywhere else,” said Miele, adding they are currently looking into the legal and fair trade aspects of the project. “We aren’t redistributing or copying the video, we’re not doing anything to the video other than playing with it simultaneously with the described content.”

DVX is currently available upon request.

Along with creating DVX, Miele is working with his partners to create, which will provide audio descriptors for popular YouTube videos.

The site itself has a little over 100 videos currently available to watch with audio descriptors, but it allows the public to record their own audio descriptors before sharing the result to the public.

Here′s a sample of a descriptive video.

Also in Assistive Technology

The series explores how advancements in assistive technology are helping the visually impaired and the disabled.

Originally posted in TechPageOne.

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SMBs use multi-clouds to ramp up customer service

Transferring and storing data has never been easier with the assistance of cloud services, something that allows companies to streamline their work and increase efficiency toward customer service.

Businesses are able to use each cloud service provider to improve their end game and customer service, explained Michael Zafiris, a software specialist and Google Apps Certified Deployment Specialist at InterlockIT.

Where larger cloud providers target business, Dropbox and others such as SugarSync and ADrive have targeted the general consumer market.As one of Canada’s two Google Apps Premier SMB Resellers, InterlockIT’s primary business operations revolve around migrating companies away from “traditional” email systems (like Exchange or Lotus Notes) to Google Apps, which is a suite of applications that enable business to work much more efficiently and more cheaply than their old systems.

Along with using Google, Zafiris pointed out InterlockIT also uses Microsoft Office 365 and cloud services that enable the company to automate a lot of the work.

There are a ton of benefits that come from using nearly any cloud computing product, said Zafiris.

“Obviously there are cost savings as there’s no hardware to keep updated and no need to ever buy new servers since the provider takes care of all of that for you,” he explained. “This results in reduced overhead so your IT staff can focus on things to make you more efficient. We’ve helped many customers become server free. Cloud computing is a disruptive way of work that provides cheaper, more convenient, and simpler business solutions that work.”

The most valued aspect of using a cloud provider is that it isn’t specific to any job, trade, or industry. A company is also able to access it anywhere around the world as long as there is an Internet connection.

For Ontario-based Enliten Energy Services Corporation, the use of cloud allows company technicians a convenient and efficient service to tether and upload directly. Not only does it instantly sync the information across everyone’s accounts, it provides instantaneous information and knowledge of the situation and how it can be fixed. This in turn enables the company to efficiently address a client’s needs.

“In this way, our central base and our coordinator has instant access to our real-time data and can immediately spot problems,” explained technician Chi-Linh Dinh. “Before, we used a very slow-form procedure of sending attachments at the end of each day. Now, all we do is add our information to the cloud and our coordinator has everything nicely synced up and ready to go.”

Dinh noted the company also uses Google Apps for business in conjunction with Google Drive, where everything is time stamped with the user who fixed the files.

As a result, this keeps all the modifications straight. The fact that the we have a backup copy of our files ensures that it doesn’t matter which techs on which days goes out to which sites; they can access the same information in the field as everyone else,” she added. “This boosts efficiency down the chain.”

With the world increasingly become more adept at focusing resources through online means, Zafiris pointed out everything will soon be accessible from everywhere, with no need to maintain local resources since someone else will do it for you.

Originally posted in TechPageOne.

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68% of CEOs lack presence in social media

A new study reveals less than a third of CEOs at America’s 500 highest-grossing companies use social media.

Conducted by, a news site for CEO-related content and business software company DOMO, the study compiled data after searching for the top 500 CEOs on Twitter, LinkedIn, Google and Facebook between May 6 and May 20, 2013.

However, the news isn’t surprising to Arend Kersten, CEO for Flamborough’s Chamber of Commerce.

“I can’t say I’m surprised by the survey results,” he said. “Typically, if you’re a CEO of a Fortune 500 company, you are at the pinnacle of your career. At those levels, CEOs typically have huge staff (that) look after the social media requirements of the company.”

Part of the resistance is that CEOs value their privacy and time, he added.

“There’s a cost attached to that in terms of lost of privacy,” said Kersten. “However, smart CEOs do understand the changing world with regards to social media and marketing but they have armies of underlings that will do that for them.”

The study noted only 32 percent of top CEOs have at least one account on a social network, while around 68 percent have no social presence at all.

According to the study, most CEOs are active on LinkedIn, with 27.9 percent (140 CEOs) with LinkedIn accounts. Facebook interactions amongst CEOs is at 7.6 percent, down from a year ago.

Twitter is much less used by CEOs, with just 5.6 percent (28 CEOs) with an account and only 19 considered “active.” An account is considered active when they have tweeted in the 100 days prior to the study, with around one tweet per day. Eighteen percent of adults in the U.S. use Twitter.  Only 5 CEOs use Google+.

Peter Aceto, CEO of ING Direct Canada, is an avid Tweeter and also participates on behalf of the company on Facebook but said whether or not CEOs are engaged is a different battle.

“What’s changed over the last few years is how people have acknowledged how essential social media is to a business,” said Aceto. “When it comes to personal behavior and personal time, a lot of CEOs aren’t prepared to take the jump at this time.”

Each social media forum does have its own personal conduct and interactions with customers, which is something companies have to keep in mind. For ING Direct, it all depends on the types of engagement they want to have with customers and the community.

“When there are conversations occurring on its Facebook page, I’ll show up and weigh in there and I’m sharing with customers and potential customers daily,” he added. “What you can communicate and do on Twitter is different than what you can do on Facebook, so the dialogue is very different.”

Nevertheless, the study did note some of the CEOs who do have Twitter accounts have “fake” followers, with some profiles also proving to be fictional.

More importantly, the strengths of social media, especially the reach of Twitter, is something all CEOs should take note of.

Social media, such as Facebook or Twitter, are vital to businesses and companies cannot afford to disregard its importance.

“(Social media) is an absolutely essential and crucial part of any business and it has to be a part of anyone’s business – someone who doesn’t engage with social media won’t be in that position for long,” concluded Kersten.

Originally posted in TechPageOne.

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Creative marketing has its place amongst big data

Collecting data has never been so easy with super computers and data processing, but the creative market maintains its still has a role.

With so much information about individual consumers at marketers’ fingertips, big data will deliver products that customers are looking for. But not yet.

There may never be a time where big data trumps creative marketing, argues Mark Warren, president of Warren Business & Technology Integration.

“It would be like putting every meal you’ve ever eaten into a blender – the end result would be as palatable as an attempt to replace creative marketing with a distillation of a virtually infinite blender full of data,” he explained. “I think the solution is that there will always be a requirement for creative marketing.”

Big data, otherwise known as large and complex data sets, is now readily available for companies to access. Whether it’s through determining user activity on social media or how many viewers tune into a Super Bowl ad, big data has changed the way communication and advertisements are marketed.

Companies are able to look through analytics and compare large data sets captured using improved software tools over a period of time or duration.

As Chief Technology Officer for Factor[e], a design and marketing firm, Adrian Duyzer agreed, noting the big data would have a difficult time replacing creative marketing.

“I don’t see where those things overlap,” Duyzer said. “It’ll be hard to ever replace the duties of a creative marketing team.”

Homework into any marketing endeavor with big data is also vital.

“A good creative marketing team will do their homework which will include the analysis of the available data (so big data probably has a place here),” said Warren. “(However), the ‘creative’ part of creative marketing will find synergy between data analysis and ‘adding just a pinch of…‘ art-meets-science approach to their recommendations on how a product or service should evolve to meet and anticipate market needs.”

Part of secret may be determining how to create a great ad may lie in the art of knowing which data should be excluded, argued Warren.

Originally posted in TechPageOne.


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Cosplay store opens in downtown Hamilton

What started as a booth at an anime convention five years ago has blossomed into a bricks and mortar store for sisters Toni and Jo Thomas in downtown Hamilton.

Toni Thomas holding a pillow in Cosplay-FTW.

Toni Thomas holding a pillow in Cosplay-FTW.

Cosplay-FTW (for the win) has finally opened its doors on King Street East after moving from its small Mountain location.

“Though there was high traffic in terms of cars and vehicles (on the Mountain), there wasn’t too many people walking in from the streets,” explained Toni Thomas. “The store itself was also really small, it was like a closet. Four people would be in there and it would be packed like a tiny elevator. We thought it was about time to expand to a bigger location.”

The store focuses on selling cosplay accessories, which is short for ‘costume play’ where people dress up as their favourite fictional/animated characters, and anime merchandise, including plush toys, pillows and figurines.

The idea of starting their own booth during an anime convention began when the pair started looking for circle lenses, which changes the colours of one’s eyes. It turned out their friends were also looking for Sharingan lenses (eyes from a character from Naruto).

“My mom actually managed to hook us up with a contact in Korea and they pushed us to Geo Contact Lens and we started buying lenses from them,” said Thomas, noting anime characters generally have large, bright or unique eyes, and it was very difficult to find special effects lenses at the time.

“We thought, if we were looking to get these lenses, there were probably a lot more people looking them too, as well as cosplay supplies and other cute Japanese items.”

Cosplay-FTW finally opened its own store on the Mountain three years later after much pushing from customers, which was aided by the large cosplaying community in Hamilton, she added.

“We were kind of pushed into it from our customers; they would ask if we had a location and we initially said no, but then thought, we may as well,” Thomas added. “So we started with the little place on the Mountain and then it grew from there. We built up a clientele – even though there wasn’t a lot of walk-ins, people would outright search for us and come down to visit us.”

When the pair noticed a vacant storefront beside Gameopolis, Hamilton’s newest board game and café, they jumped at the chance to move to a bigger location.

“We thought this would be the perfect location: it’s a bigger place and it’s right by another store that would have a similar target market,” said Thomas. “We thought the stores would complement each other.”

The sisters have already noticed more walk-ins at their downtown location and business has definitely grown since they first started out with simply a table.

In the near future, Thomas hopes they will be able to venture into providing cosplayers with prosthetic ears and fangs.

Cosplay-FTW is looking to set up a booth at Hamilton’s newest convention, the Hammer Town Comic Con to be held in October.

The store will celebrate its grand opening on Aug. 3 and Aug. 4.

Originally posted in Your Hamilton Biz.

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Microsoft responds with 8.1

During its Build 2013 conference in San Francisco, Microsoft released a preview of Windows 8.1, returning the Windows Start icon and introducing better apps and upgrades in search features. This incremental incarnation of Windows, which was crowd sourced from a wealth of user feedback, looks to address problems of its predecessor.

Though the experience on Windows 8 was initially confusing, Darren Kitamura, a senior web developer with OverAir, noted that the shortcuts made navigating the system easier. Customers were finding ways around the missing Start button with a paid app.“There is also a free program you can download that creates a start button and mimics the actions of the start button in Windows 7 which makes the system more tolerable,” he said. “On the upside I have found Windows 8 slightly faster, and more responsive with better native support for devices and multi-monitor setups.”

At the moment, Kitamura runs Windows 8 on his main desktop PC and Windows 7 on his laptop. He works on developing near field communications (NFC) on both machines but has yet to preview Windows Blue. Windows 8 received mixed reviews from operators, with its emphasis on touchscreen capabilities and apps, when it initially launched last October.

Kitamura believes much of the grief Microsoft suffered was due to the removal of the Start button and the Metro interface. “I can totally understand where Microsoft is coming from,” he said. “Consider an Android phone or an iPhone where all your applications are laid out for you, which is exactly how Windows 8 does it. This would work perfectly for touchscreen devices but for a lot of people who don’t have that, it isn’t as good for a mouse and keyboard.”

So why the return of the start button?

“Part of the reason for Microsoft to do this was to create a unified interface across their devices,” explained Kitamura. “Consider iOS and OSX with how they are distinctly different – if you took a WindowsRT tablet and then your PC which runs Windows 8 it is a basically seamless transition to the experience.”

The unification of their systems, though aimed at a segregated market, should consider desktop users instead of removing the items they loved, he added. Kitamura is looking forward to experimenting with Windows 8.1, but isn’t sure if the changes will affect his work. He does, however, believe the changes will facilitate day-to-day operations.

Windows 8.1 is a beta release, meaning it’s testing software that the average user shouldn’t install on his or her production device. Microsoft says it will release Windows 8.1 in the third quarter and it will be free for customers who own Windows 8.

Originally posted in TechPageOne, aNewDomain.

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