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Is IT your friend or foe?

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Welcome to my very first City College Peterborough blog on all matters IT. Over the coming months I hope to encourage you to explore the wonderful world of technology.

Do phrases such as account set-up, login, password, social media, download and upload fill you full of dread or do you embrace today’s world of computers like a bear hugging a tree?* What if I press the wrong thing, will I damage it? How do I use iCloud? Do you shop and bank online with confidence or are you nervous of it?

Here are a couple of thoughts I’d like to share with the beginners amongst you:

Wouldn’t it be great if you could talk face-to-face with your friends and family who live away, even overseas. Well, does anyone remember Thunderbirds when Dick Tracy called up Thunderbird 5 at the space station and he popped up on a live video link on screen? Gerry Anderson’s creative prediction is common practice in today’s world of technology. Does Skype sound familiar?

When I think back to my early days as a new graphic designer, I could spend hours on a drawing board creating something, then, make one mistake which took me back to square one. Well, not anymore. Those days have long gone, ever since the explosion of Apple Macs and PC’s, with software such as Photoshop at our fingertips, changes to my work can be made, saving me hours of sleepless nights.

Just two great examples of the wonders of IT.

And for the more advanced among you particularly disgruntled Windows 8 users…

For those of you who have struggled with Windows 8 – here’s a little snippet for you. The fat lady has finally sung for Windows 8. With a list of non-features slated to be rolled out in what was once called Windows 8.1 Update 2, Microsoft has made clear its given up on improving the struggling operating system, and is instead focusing on Windows 9.

Microsoft had originally planned to have Windows 8.1 Update to improve Windows 8.1 with the addition of a new Start menu, but the long-awaited update 2 that will go live next week won’t include a Start menu. The features that it will deliver are so minor, you won’t even notice them. In fact, Microsoft is backing away from even calling it Windows 8.1 Update 2, and says it’s not much more than a normal monthly update.

As for the long-awaited Start menu, that’s apparently been put on hold until the next release of Windows, currently code-named Threshold but which might eventually be called Windows 9, likely due in the Spring of 2015.
It’s clear from all this that Microsoft has given up on Windows 8. And that’s the right thing to do. This is an operating system that continues to go nowhere fast.

Microsoft is doing the right thing. There’s simply no way to salvage Windows 8, and Microsoft should be devoting all of its resources instead to making the next version of Windows much better.

In closing this first post, I’d just like to say to all you beginners out there, “be brave, come and join us at City College and have a go. You’ll be amazed at what you can achieve and what IT can do for you.” And to those who are already well along the technological path, “keep up-to-date by joining one of our more advanced groups, or tell us if there is something you would love to learn.”

Keep clicking that mouse or tapping that iPad!

*Koalas hug trees to keep cool, so hugging your laptop must be a cool thing to do!

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