Upgrading to Windows 8: PhotoFunia, Facebook Games & More


It pains me a little bit to type this but I’m just going to spit it out and move on, okay? Last weekend I upgraded to Windows 8, taking advantage of a deal they are running that lets you upgrade for just $40 until the end of the month (full retail price is $199 so that is one heck of a bargain). I think this was the first time I’ve ever been grateful that I had Windows 7 on a separate partition over the past year instead of completely wiping the whole drive when I quickly switched to Linux after buying my current computer.

Blah, blah, blah. Geeky blathering aside, so far I have to say the newest OS from Microsoft is not that bad…. Their whole tablet friendly start screen is still taking some getting used to and we’ll see how I feel after more than a couple of days using it, but so far I’m content. They’ve made something that feels fun and personalized but still runs pretty efficiently and mostly makes sense. And it was kind of glorious to be able to download Picasa onto my computer without being all MacGyver and tricking it into thinking I was running on a different OS and then still not quite getting the whole program working properly. Installing Picasa on Windows was so easy, so painless, so glorious… I think I might have just forfeited my Linux Geek card by typing that, but it’s true.

So aside from just trying to get my documents moved and settle into a new OS environment and go about my usual techy day of blogging about my latest book obsessions and playing Fashion Week Live on Facebook (shut up, I’ll do what I want), I’ve also been trying to take some time to explore the Windows 8 start screen thingy (I’m not sure what the actual name is and I’m too lazy to look it up, but its the word that my husband keeps saying and then I give him a blank stare and he says “you know the start screen thingy?” and I nod yes and we move on) and look at some of the apps that I can use.

Although it seems ridiculous to download an app on my personal computer, I have found at least one app that has been a fun time killer, called PhotoFunia. It’s a photo editing tool that lets you run all sorts of fun and random effects and filters over your pictures. This app goes way beyond sepia tone and blemish removal (actually there is no blemish removal – this is not a tool for people that want to touch up their photos, it’s more of just a fun filter app for your pictures that lets you put your face on a magazine or billboard or inside a picture frame in someone’s hands… Or turn a picture of your child into a framed portrait hanging in an art gallery (see photo at the top of this post).

So… there, I’ve said it. I’m using Windows 8 and sort of having a good time. I can’t guarantee that next week I won’t threaten to throw it out my actual window when it starts misbehaving, but for the moment I am mostly content in my computing world. ::knock on wood::

– update – Windows 8 is totally calling it a Start Screen so now I’m not sure what I was talking about. This is what happens when I smile and nod and pretend I was paying attention. I have no idea what my husband was talking about now.