Windows 8, My First Looks (and Beware of OpenDNS)

Sometimes it’s a horrible thing being a nerd… I probably wouldn’t be as disappointed in the PC version of Windows 8 if I wasn’t. I built a Windows 8 box, just so I could see what all the hubbub was really about, and to give myself at least a base working knowledge of the OS so when I started seeing it on client’s systems, I wouldn’t be caught totally flatfooted.

I can see how the new interface would likely be fantastic on a tablet or a phone. But on a PC, I have to admit my impressions are not that enthusiastic. The start or home page, is great – if you aren’t a power user and used to doing things to your system. And once I dug in past the start page, so far, all I can say is it sure looks a lot like Windows 7, which is probably a good thing.

I also had a gotcha and it took me a bit to figure out what was going on. I run OpenDNS as my preferred DNS servers at home, having the OpenDNS server IP’s programmed into my router (I have a 14 and 9 year old at home still, and I like that OpenDNS does such a great job of filtering the seedier side of the Internet for free). When I first loaded Windows 8, I had no internet connectivity. At all.

DHCP was working, and I could log into the router. I could see and connect to my laptop via Remote Desktop. I could even see and print to the HP LaserJet CP1025NW that’s out on my LAN. But I could not connect to the Internet. In fact, in the network center, it was showing the local network as private! I even went as far as installing a different network card, thinking perhaps it was some weird compatibility issue with the drivers. When that didn’t work, I started going through the properties of both the network card, and the IP4 connection. For some odd reason, I suddenly remembered I was using OpenDNS, so I manually added Comcast’s DNS servers to the IP4 connection and within 30 seconds, I was surfing the Internet!

Maybe I’ll warm up more to Windows 8 as time goes on. But as of this weekend, all I can say is, if I wasn’t interested in learning Windows 8, there would have been no compelling reason for me to upgrade the desktop PC from Windows 7, to Windows 8.

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