Windows 8.1

After a long day debugging access to Windows App store, spent the night downloading Windows 8.1 to my primary workstation.  A risk I know.  I typically download and test on another system first.  However, since I’ve been migrating work to Office365 Small Business I’ve less content to worry about losing, so I can focus on the applications that are on my desktop.  Sad to report Sony Movie Studio and Pinnacle Movie studio applications hang now and do not get past the startup splash.  I’ll remove and reinstall to see if 8.1 install corrupted any files, later today.

In the meantime, lost of IE add-ons no longer work, but the browser has sped up.  The UI is not much different and the “start button” in the lower left corner is interesting but I find I’m not using it much.  What will be more impressive is when/if Office applications become fully integrated into the new UI/UX.  In the meantime this weekend I’ll get back to book and office remodel

Change Challenge Part2

Today is second day using the Preview of Win8 and Office15.   I’m focused on learning the new UI.  I feel a little clumsy as I poke-around the interface.  Despite having used an IPhone and then switching to a Windows Phone this year it is still a learning curve.  I can see that once I get the hang of the UI I will be zooming around between my most common apps and tasks faster, not only because Win8 operates faster than Win7, but the UI cuts down a lot of intermediate steps.

I bought a Kindle eBook today by Jack Dunning, Misunderstanding Windows 8, to help me over the initial learning curve.  [I’m typically a hardback book fan myself.  Something about the eBook UI/UX that just is not right with me yet.  But figure once they nail it my Amazon bill will triple 🙂 even at the lower price for ebooks.].  He is obviously not a Windows or Microsoft fan as he states up front.  However, Win8 seems to be winning him over.

He points out a few tips and tricks that a “New to Windows 8” video would be great for and help many get a jump on becoming productive almost immediately with the new UI.  As I go through page by page I try these tips out to build up my muscle memory.  Breaking my old habits and creating new ones is a challenge, but I find I like the new UI/UX.  I cannot wait for the Surface Pro to come out.  I am not prone to stand inline for buying the latest and greatest, but I may have to reconsider that this time.  I expect I will get two Surface Pros. One for my wife, one for me and a plain Surface for my son who is drooling over the prospect of getting my Win7 Phone when the Win8 phone comes out. .

–Breaks over time to get back to work on a new White Paper I’m writing on how IT organizations can plan for an uncertain future.


Spent most of yesterday doing a brain dump on social networks and media for the Managing Partners of the firm. Today’s task will be to cull it down to the relevant and actionable for them to prioritize and work on.   The tough part of this assignment is trimming away to the required vs. desired.  I always believe that the background information is just as important as the action item it supports.  As I’ve been and continue to be a trusted advisor and –I hate the term—coach/mentor to numerous executives, professionals and people just starting out in their careers; the one thing I found that’s gotten most of them into CLMs (Career Limiting Moves) has been not getting enough depth to appreciate the situation.

Today, more than ever almost every situation is nuanced.  While the 5 minute manager approach may help with delegation, clearing one’s desk before the end of the day, it brings with it the risk you’ve hidden a problem that will fester and come back in a day, week or month in a more critical form.  This because one didn’t want to take the time to really listen.  If you follow the news on the economy and all the shortcuts that are being taken you can see the end results.  We seem so fixated on instant gratification and new experiences our society seems stuck in a Mobius Loop trying the same solutions with new window dressing and labels expecting a different result.  Einstein’s comment on insanity seems appropriate here. — Just a random but connected thought to my task at hand today.

What I had started to post today was reviewing my reading stack and retooling activities.  –for those that haven’t met me face to face, I’m known to be a voracious reader ~10 books a month.  The majority of these are typically business and technology books.  Many in different fields that give me insights to solving problems in my field, which is how I came about naming my company Intellectual Arbitrage Group (leveraging knowledge from one field to solve problems in another).  The picture is last month’s and this month’s current reading list.  [Not sure if I’m winning or losing, the stack keeps getting bigger]

Three of the several I’ve started this month are fairly practical are by friends: Ira Fuch’s Enterprise Application Development in SharePoint 2010, Steve Fox’s Developing SharePoint Applications using Windows Azure and David Pallmann’s The Windows Azure Handbook Volume 1.   Like the books so far, extremely jealous that they manage to write books.  I’ve about a half dozen false starts on my Enterprise Architecture book.  The best I’ve been able to do so far is contributing ideas, concepts and methodologies to others books, staying in the background or writing articles or creating methodologies and training materials.  This blog and a writing course a friend, Ken Hall at Gensle, had referred me to, is an effort to finally get what I do that friends and clients say they admire that I do into print, so they can do it too.  The other books are more theoretical, however, what I seem to be able to do for others is bridge that gap from theory to practice making these concepts actionable, thus is the life of an architect/methodologist.