I’ve just ordered my first Windows computer. After 33 years of being a loyal Macintosh customer, this comes as a bit of a shock.
Not too worry though—I don’t plan to use the Windows machine for anything but testing multi-platform support for the PteroDAQ data acquisition software. In order for it to be a maximal stress test, I needed a Windows 8.1 platform, and I don’t have access to any that I know of, at home or at work. So I bought an HP Stream Laptop: 11.6″ Laptop/11-D011WM-Magenta (Refurbished), for $120. This is a slow machine, having a benchmark rating from cpubenchmark.net of only 1006, compared to 2233 for my old, slow MacBook Pro.
I had considered buying a used laptop locally, but the only used-computer store I found in town has such terrible reviews online that I did not want to support them, even if they are local (and I didn’t trust them enough to buy used stuff from them).
I should get the machine in a few days, then I’ll put Python on it and go through the installation instructions that we wrote for PteroDAQ to see if they actually work on Windows. The Linux and Mac OS X instructions have been tested, as have the Windows 7 ones, but Windows 8.1 is a notoriously difficult system to get mbed software working with, so we really need to test. (Note: the P&E Micro bootloader for the Freedom boards is so far out of spec for a flash drive emulator that no one has yet found a way to make it work with Mac OS X, so far as I can tell. P&E Micro claims that their newer versions work with Linux and Mac OS X, but they seem to be lying about that, as I’ve tried their latest and it still doesn’t play nicely with my Mac 10.6.8 system.)
I suppose I’ll run into a bunch of new problems this year, with students getting Windows 10, but I suspect that most of the bugs will be inherited from Windows 8, so if I figure out the installation workarounds there, I’ll probably be able to figure them out for Windows 10.