Windows & PCs: apps, operating system, hardware, etc

this thread is the general place for folks to discuss PCs, Windows (Win10 and up), its applications, tips, suggestions, operating system issues, hardware and systems that run Windows, switching to Windows, etc.

for making music on windows 10, see windows 10 for music making.


Jumped on the Windows 10 bandwagon (is there a bandwagon? DM me) last week. So far so good. I’ve had some weird issues with KMix, but I’m pretty sure it’s related to @trickyflemming’s advice above - I need to disable exclusive use of it. Will experiment this week.

The company I bought the laptop from (Razer) does a pretty good job of keeping the install lean, they don’t include a lot of what previous posters have flagged as bloatware. The laptop is about the same size as a macbook pro, priced competitively and runs Live in fullscreen exactly the way OSX runs Live in fullscreen. Except, now my keyboard is backlit with rainbow colors, which I’m really into. My desk looks like Vin Diesel exploded on it. I have no regrets. In fact, in our house we tend to name things…the new laptop has been named “Vin Diesel”. It is Fast and Furious.


Why can I only heart this post once? :slight_smile:


There, I added one for you!!


which model do you have? can the less Diesel among us select a single keyboard backlight color?

The Razer 15 base model. I’m pretty sure you can turn off the keyboard colors entirely. The software is flexible. You can also hook it up to Hue lights, so…your…entire…room…can…be…crazy.


I’m giving a Huawei a test run as of this afternoon.

Unix also lacks a real Powershell terminal and .NET dev tools.

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Would definitely echo this; I moved back to PC from Mac on my last upgrade as I couldn’t justify the cost (music is very much a hobby for me).

I was pleasantly surprised with Windows 10, I’m not a power user by any means but I’m not sure I saw all that much difference to OSX for my purposes. YMMV, clearly.

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I had planned on switching from Windows(which I’ve used for 20+ years) to Mac with my most recent laptop purchase. I was finally in a position that the extra $1000 wasn’t a huge deal. Unfortunately, the lack of ports, along with the keyboard issues I’ve had with my work MacBooks made me change my mind. I ended up buying a Lenovo T480S and I could not be happier - it’s fast, has great battery life, Windows 10 feels much more stable, consistent, and clean than it did when I worked at Microsoft. (I worked on the Windows team for 8.1…phew)
All in all, I don’t regret buying another Windows laptop. For those wishing they had a Linux shell, there’s always the WSL. The experience of installing Ubuntu from the Windows store is a little surreal.
The only thing I was worried about was inconsistency in hardware vs Apple. I’ve had a lot of maddening issues with DPC latency over the years. My current setup is the T480S, a Focusrite Saffire 18i20, and Ableton Live/FL Studio. Both can run rock solid at 48Khz and 2ms sample buffer.


I’m a little less than a week into my trial run of a Windows 10 machine (Huawei Matebook X Pro), and so far so good. Haven’t done a ton of audio on it yet (it was a busy week), but VCV Rack runs well (none of the noise my 2013 MacBook Air makes), and I’ll be testing more as the 30-day countdown on my no-fee return proceeds. Only one bad crash so far (when trying to stream high-resolution video from CBS All Access on a browser somewhere with low internet speed). Only two pieces of software I use regularly so far have surfaced as non-Windows: Audulus and Ulysses. I knew about Ulysses, but I had forgotten (or never knew) the latest Audulus is iOS/macOS-only. Side note: I need to sort out how to make an em-dash, as I use them quite a bit in my writing.

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Em dashes are a pain.

I have a friend who did typesetting for law school textbooks, and at one point I asked her what the quickest way to get an em dash on windows was and she said she’d usually copy it from elsewhere in the document or google it and copy from there…


I need to sort out the least hacky hack to accomplish this.

I think there’s an alt code for an en dash but not an em dash which was even more frustrating.

It’s these kinds of details that keep me on MacOS, not lock in… There’s much more attention to useful details in the design of MacOS, like when you resize the date column in Finder and it gives you truncated but human readable and useful date/time, where Windows just truncates with an ellipses. Not useful. There are so many things like this that I never noticed before I started using both OS’s side by side regularly.

Some people won’t care, but it makes a big difference for me personally.


i use windows for the occasional non-linux software, and though generally everything is painful, what allows me to use it without getting crazy is the ability to at least type almost the same way as in linux (ie. in french with easy accents on a qwerty keyboard): i remap the capslock key to “compose” and all the characters i need. If this — is an em dash, then it is as easy as hitting “compose” then three times “-”. Whenever i’m on a Mac keyboard it feels unknown but useable until i need a pipe | (french apple keyboards don’t feature them on first level, because i guess, only in the silicon valley do people use it.). I’ll stop my post here before it gets off-topic, as in “the macbook you should buy is a used 200$ thinkpad runnning GNU/Linux” ^^’


I’m not seeing that ellipsis thing in Windows right now, but I’l keep an eye out for it. Windows is rough around the edges for sure, though a few days in (and this gorgeous Huawei 13.3" touchscreen) and the rough edges are kinda pretty in their own high-def way. :slight_smile:

I will say, there are some interactions/UX things that always made more sense to me in Windows, and I’m enjoying having them back (albeit perhaps temporarily, as I will potentially return this thing and wait for the next MacBook). A couple that come to mind:

I like that Windows treats separate windows of a program as separate instances when you tab through active programs. This way, if I have a Sublime Text 3 narrow window on the right side of my screen, it shows up rather than all of the ST3 windows when I wanna put it side by side with something else, like a browser window where I’m researching. I tend to organize my screen 3/4, 1/4. That’s with most programs open on the left 3/4s of the screen and a few (Google Keep, a Sublime Text file) in 1/4 on the right.

I like when I right click on the desktop I can create a file in a folder. Making a text file wherever I want is something I spent a silly amount of time in macOS trying to jury rig.

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Use the Windows Snipping Tool. It has an easy instant editor that pops up.


If you’re interested into easing that process on windows, faststone capture is great, I’ve been using it for as long as I can remember making screen caps and it’s got everything. Just use the “printscreen” button on your keyboard, you can choose wether main mode is “current window” or “whole screen” or pinpoint a particular space in the screen whatever, save as and you’re good (there’s also an editor if you want to crop or whatever) anyhow it’s really super simple.

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I’ll check that out. Thanks. I already had Dropbox installed before I tried my first screen shot, so I was automatically asked, when I hit PrntSc (or however it’s spelled), if I wanna save to a Dropbox folder. That worked well. (Quality-wise, it looked perfectly fine to me.)