Installing the Certificate Authority certificate on workstations

The certificate is distributed to the workstations by copying the cacert.pem file to the workstation.

Installing in Internet Explorer

We install the certificate by accessing the Content Tab under Internet Options and clicking on the “Certificates” button, followed by clicking the “Import” button, selecting the cacert.pem file and “Trusted Root Certification Authorities” as the Certificate Store.

Installing in Google Chrome

We install the certificate by accessing the advanced settings under Settings and clicking on the “Manage Certificates” button under the HTTPS/SSL section, followed by clicking the “Import” button, selecting the cacert.pem file and “Trusted Root Certification Authorities” as the Certificate Store.

Installing in Mozilla Firefox

We install the certificate by accessing the Encryption Tab under Options – Advanced and clicking on the “View Certificates” button, followed by clicking the “Import” button under the Authorities Tab, selecting the cacert.pem file and checking the “This certificate can identify websites” option.

Running Office 2013 on Windows 8.1

Office 2013 on the Start Screen

Office 2013 on the Start Screen

The installation of Office 2013 ran smoothly as can be expected, without any issues whatsoever. The process is also exactly the same as per the installation on Windows 8. The only difference that can be seen is when we add the icons to the new Start Screen, as shown above. With Windows 8, the background color of the icons were all the same, unlike what we can see from the above screenshot.

Running Office 2013

Running Office 2013

The integration with SkyDrive also ensures that our customizations are synchronized to all our installations once we are logged into the application, as seen here.

Updates are also installed via Windows Update, as can be expected.

Some new features and enhancements to Windows 8

New Start Screen

New Start Screen with new tile sizes and quick access to All Apps

New Start Screen featuring new tile sizes and easier access to All Apps

The user now have a choice of up to 4 tile sizes. This includes the new Small (can you say Windows Phone?) and Large sizes, which helps in organizing the Start Screen and highlighting certain applications.

The user have easier access to the “All Apps” area as well – where you had to use “right-click” before and then select “All Apps”, there is a down-arrow available in the lower left corner of the screen.

Weather

Weather

Weather

The weather application has been updated to provide not only the data provided by Weather Decision Technologies as in Windows 8, but also data provided by Accuweather and Foreca. This provides the user with the option to compare the different providers and therefore be able to form a more informed opinion.

PC Settings

PC settings

PC settings

When accessing the PC settings, the user is presented with a “dashboard” of the current settings, enabling easy access to the settings. These include which applications have access to the user’s location as well as whether charms should be displayed when navigating to the upper corners of the screen.

Desktop

Desktop

Desktop

One of the new features in Windows 8.1 is the addition of the Windows start button again – this takes the user back to the Start Screen and allow them to launch their applications. Another change on the screen is also the renaming of “My Computer” to “This PC”.

The dawn of a new Windows 8

I downloaded the ISO of Windows 8.1 Preview, but only once I’ve installed version 4.2.16 of Oracle VirtualBox I was able to setup a virtual machine for it – being an IT consultant I can’t afford any downtime with my physical hardware, so I will only ever test software in a virtual environment.

The initial installation of the Operating System went by in a breeze and is very similar to the Windows 8 installation – I’ve opted for a virtual machine with 2GB of RAM and 50GB of disk space. During installation, the installer downloads all updates to the Operating System, ensuring that the latest and greatest are installed.

Express Settings

Express Settings

The express settings would cater for probably 95% of the users – and the settings are catering for an as safe as possible system, with automatic updates being installed, tracking disabled in Internet Explorer thereby improving the user’s anonymity, and making use of page prediction to preload pages in Internet Explorer. Devices and their software required are also automatically installed.

User Accounts

User Accounts

The default option for Windows 8.1 is to use a Microsoft account. This allows for the automatic setup of Windows Mail, Calendar, People and Windows Store, enabling access to all purchased applications as well as the contacts for the account. Favorites inside of Internet Explorer are also synced to the account, ensuring access to these, no matter which device are used.

SkyDrive Integration

SkyDrive Integration

Windows 8.1 also features tight integration into SkyDrive, which allows the user to store documents and pictures in the cloud, as well as the settings of the device. Once installed, the synchronization settings of SkyDrive can be customized, which includes the quality of the pictures uploaded as well as which Personalization Settings and Application Settings should be synchronized.

Start Screen

Start Screen

Once installed, you are directed to the new Start Screen of Windows 8.1. Firstly, there are 4 tile sizes available now, which is fantastic. Also, quick access to the “All Programs” is provided through a little arrow that pops up on the left hand side when you hover underneath the left-most bottom tile. Also, each group can be “named”.

And this concludes today’s posting. Keep an eye out over the next few days for more information on my experiences thus far.

Windows 8 – that’s the way ah-ha-ah-ha I like it…

So, after the ranting in my previous post, I got Windows 8 to work the way I like it… yeah baby, yeah! The installation went like a dream, installed the necessary drivers up to the point where I need to fix the Dell Broadband card and thanks to Ren Baskura’s post, I got the broadband card installed in no time whatsoever. And once that was done, the Vodafone software installed seamlessly and it just connected out and made me a happy chappy!

Having a blast with Windows 8…

Since Dell decided to release their drivers for Windows 8 for my Dell XPS L502X as per my previous post, I figured that it would be a good thing to install these and resolve the final “Unknown device” in my Device Manager. Everything *should* be fine, right? RIGHT!

So, firstly half of the installers doesn’t want to launch and then complains, but maybe it was just me being a silly billy and installing them in the wrong order – no worries! It was always my intention to rebuild it in any case when the drivers became available – so after a lot of clicking and installing and rebooting, all my devices were perfectly happy. Great… This time around I put a little sticky note in my head that maybe it would be a good idea to capture the list of devices inside of a Visual N++ (Notepad for the non-programmers out there) file – just to be sure; rather safe than sorry, right? Damn straight!

So… after a reboot and installation of the Operating System, the silly willy Dell Wireless device is giving me the finger; yes, installing the broadband driver from Windows 7 does fix it, but then they want me to use the broadband manager that shipped with Dell – hey, I’m in the new Windows 8 UI (whatever the okes feel like calling it this week) and would want to use one of the apps from there… like the one directly shipped by Vodafone, considering that I am using a Vodafone SIM card… Lets just say it ended up with me uttering a few words and deciding to show it the finger on Saturday night and rather spending a relaxing Sunday out in the winelands.

And here I am, back on Sunday night retracing my steps on the installation – this time around, I did become a bit more sneaky; pulled out all network connectivity first and install from the Windows 8 media only. The initial installation ran very smoothly and then the network cable was plugged in and the 1st 500MB of updates installed without a breeze. Now onwards and seeing how everything pans out – one thing that I am just very happy about is that I have an uncapped broadband connection; else I would’ve climbed out the walls already!

Windows 8 Dell Drivers

So, I’ve logged a call with Dell Support during the week and was expecting a response back from them regarding the driver downloads that was unavailable. Pity that I never got a reply back from them, but I figured to try the links out tonight and they made my drivers available. Such a wonderful surprise – and a download queue of almost 600MB, but what the heck – its worth every single bit!

Now that I have the drivers, I can finally see what I’ve been missing on my laptop!

The lesson I’ve learned from all this? I am definitely downloading the drivers for the desktops before trying to run the installation on the desktops!