Notes on Windows 8

13 Oct

Windows 8 Start ScreenLast week my hard drive crashed and though the data could be recovered, the boot sector could not be. (I did have a backup waiting in the wings, though. Every hard drive crashes eventually!) As long as I was going to have to do a clean install anyway, I thought, why not try out Windows 8? Here are notes from my personal experience with Windows 8 and Creative Memories scrapbooking- and business-related software. Keep in mind that I have only been using this for one week. Your experience may differ, and as of this writing Creative Memories does not support Windows 8, which is due to be released later this month. (A preview is available now at Microsoft’s website.)

Before I begin, I’d like to offer a quick shout-out to Hewlett-Packard. I’ve been using the same GT813AV notebook for nearly five years, longer than any other I’ve ever had, and this is its third version of Windows. And I do a lot of photo- and video-editing. Though a replacement Windows 8-native machine is on my Christmas list, I have been very impressed with this PC’s ability to be upgraded, both in hardware and software.

Upgrading

Windows 8 DesktopI wasn’t planning on running Windows 8 so soon. It seems as if it would be perfect for a Tablet or Slate PC with a touchscreen (on said Christmas list). The new Start Screen (at the beginning of this post) is built for them. The standard desktop, however, is a quick keyboard shortcut or click away. So you don’t have to learn about all the new things right away while getting your feet wet. There is one feature of Windows 8 that I think is absolutely fantastic, though…

File History: the best thing about Windows 8 for us scrapbookers

Windows 8 has a new program in the Control Panel called File History. Plug in an external hard drive, turn File History on, and all your files in your Windows Libraries will automatically back up every hour. As you’re working. I love this! And if I disconnect my external drive and take my laptop somewhere else, when I return and plug it in, everything I worked on will be backed up next time it runs. It even keeps different versions of your files! (Maybe they took notes from Memory Manager. :) As long as your Memory Vaults, StoryBook Projects, and Art Kits are in My Documents or Public Documents, and you haven’t removed those folders from your Windows libraries, all of your digital photos and StoryBook projects will be backed up with this very handy feature.

If you have folders that you’d like backed up that aren’t part of the Documents, Music, Pictures, or Videos libraries, you can make your own library and include those folders in it! File History backs up everything in your Windows libraries, desktop, contacts, and favorites.

Big corporate businesses will probably not be using File History, because the backups are not secured with any encryption. If anything were to happen to me, though, I want my family members to have access to our family photos and files. I think it’s perfect for my situation.

I always make sure I have at least 2 copies of my photos before emptying my camera. File History is set to automatically back up each hour as a default, but if you want to run it now, after importing photos into your vault, you can. When it’s done, you should be safe deleting photos off your camera.

Note that if you use File History to back up your Memory Vault and Memory Manager’s Shadow Copy to do the same thing, you will be using at least twice the space on your backup drive. If both programs work for you, I would choose one or the other.

Memory Manager 4

Select Camera or Card Reader DialogMemory Manager is working beautifully for me under the new OS–editing, organizing, facial recognition, etc. The one thing I have to be careful of is importing videos from my camera. Just as with Windows 7, some file types under some import methods won’t show up in the Select Items to Import dialog. So when you take video with your still camera, make a mental note to check that each clip is being imported. If it doesn’t show up one way, try another (e.g., connecting camera with a cable vs. memory card in a reader, one video file format vs. another, or the generic vs. specific description for your camera/card, as in dialog shown). I do think this is an issue of how the operating system presents volumes and files to software programs; I’m not sure CM can change it. So find out what works for you and stick with it!

StoryBook Creator 4

Moving Left Edge of SBC WindowI’ve run into only one issue with StoryBook Creator. It’s just weird, not problematic. When I start SBC4 under Windows 8, the program window’s title bar is in the virtual area above my computer monitor, and I can’t grab it to move the window. However, if I hover my cursor over the left edge of the SBC window till it becomes a 2-way arrow, and drag the left edge further to the left, the top of the window pops down and shows the title bar. Weird. I would expect a fix to this s0-minor-it’s-miniscule issue in an update.

BusinessMate

This software is for CM Consultants with downline team members. It took me awhile to get this one running, but that didn’t have a lot to do with the new OS. Don’t forget there is an upgrade at the CMC Network (I did). Don’t forget your password isn’t the same as on the CMC Network (I did). It needs administrator privileges, but unlike the information at CMC-Network, once it is installed and registered, I have not needed to leave UAC Notifications anywhere other than the level Windows recommends (and I think it’s potentially dangerous to minimize them). Keep in mind, though, that I only use BusinessMate to download genealogy PV and GV information–I have not used it for mass emails and its other features.

Memsoft Instructor

I got this reliable inventory- and sales-tracking program a few years ago. Even though it’s built on an old database engine, it is running just fine! It runs like it did under Windows 7, and will need to be set to run with administrator privileges. If you want your data from Instructor to be automatically backed up with Windows 8 File History, choose My Documents (or a folder inside it) as the destination folder for the backup from within the program. (ETA: this is not completely automatic. You still need to give Instructor the go-ahead to backup when it reminds you, so set its backup settings to remind you at regular intervals.)

© Carolyn Gordon and Cropping with Care, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Carolyn Gordon is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Carolyn Gordon and Cropping with Care with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Carolyn Gordon is an independent consultant and the opinions and content on this site are not necessarily endorsed by Creative Memories. Memory Manager and StoryBook Creator are trademarks of Creative Memories. Windows is a trademark of Microsoft Corp.

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5 Responses to “Notes on Windows 8”

  1. RedWrites October 29, 2012 at 7:10 am #

    SO GLAD I found this! i just ordered a new laptop because my experience using my CM software on my current machine is beginning to drive me nuts. It’s just too slow to be fun! Anyway, the new laptop comes with Windows 8… and it wasn’t until this morning that I wondered if my Storybook Creator and Memory Manager software would work ok. Sounds like it will be fine, with some minor issues easily worked around. Whew!

  2. AislinnsMom October 29, 2012 at 7:12 am #

    So glad I found this! My new machine (purchased because my current one ruins way too slow while scrapbooking) comes with Windows 8… and I wasn’t thinking about compatibility with Storybook Creator 4.0 or Memory Manager when I made the purchase. Glad to hear that with the exception of a few minor issues, I will be back to digital scrapbooking in no time!

  3. Kristi Wilson December 14, 2012 at 10:49 pm #

    I have a question, I just loaded MM 4.0 and SB 4.0 on my new lap top with Windows 8. They are both running properly, but Windows 8 doesn’t seem to be recognizing my Memory Vault. I have it on an external hard drive, always have, and it still opens on my old lap top with XP, but when I plug it into the new lap top and try to open the vault, it isn’t there in “vault format”. I see a regular folder instead of the vault icon and there are individual pictures in there, but I can not open it as a Vault. Any advice?

    • Carolyn Gordon December 17, 2012 at 2:51 pm #

      Hello, Kristi! I am able to open a Vault on an external hard drive with a similar setup. I think your situation may require a call to CM Tech Support. Their number is (866) 440-2420. Sorry I couldn’t help!

      • Kristi Wilson December 17, 2012 at 4:50 pm #

        Thank you Carolyn for trying! I appreciate your help!

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