Windows 8 from a translator's perspective

Are you thinking about upgrading to Window 8? Maybe you’re wondering if it’s worth your while or thinking “what if my CAT tools and favorite programs aren’t compatible?” Changing operating systems can be stressful and entails loads of time consuming work on your part. These factors become even more important if you’re running your own business. So if your PC or laptop is running Windows 7 and everything is running smoothly, you probably don’t need to run off and get the latest version of Windows. However, if you’re thinking about buying a new laptop that comes with Windows 8 pre-installed, I say go for it.
In my case I upgraded an older laptop running Windows Vista. Considering the many drawbacks of Vista I figured I had nothing to lose and in fact I gained quite a bit. The upgrade is straight forward and fairly quick and easy; plus the download only cost me 40 dollars. The setup tool even analyzes your computer and lets you know which programs will need to be re-installed and which ones are compatible and will remain after the upgrade. In my case I formatted the hard drive and reverted to factory default in order to get rid of as much clutter as possible.
The thing that worried me most was compatibility. I am currently working with Trados Studio 2011 and I’m happy to say that the program, along with service pack 2 installed, is running perfectly. I also installed Trados 2007 which I still use for some clients without any problems whatsoever. A couple of other important programs that I use frequently and are installed and operational are Dragon Naturally Speaking and Adobe Dreamweaver CS5.
There is also a helpful trick which I picked up reading Jost Zetzsche’s highly recommendable “Tool Box Newsletter,” which is “Compatibility Mode.” If you right-click on the installation file, select “properties” and then “Compatibility,” you get a list of earlier versions of Windows. Just select the versions that you know is compatible and continue with the installation.
Once the update is complete this new version will take a little getting used to, but I can’t say that I agree with what I’ve read about a steep learning curve. The familiar desktop is not readily visible, but there is a tile on the main user interface that takes you there. For quicker access just hit Windows key + D and you’ll find yourself in familiar territory. Then you’ll notice that the “start” button is missing. There’s still no reason to fret, from the main user interface (reached by hitting the Windows key) just start typing the name of the program and the tile for that program appears instantly. But what if you need to remove a program or personalize certain features? Without the “start” button you no longer have access to the essential “control panel” button. All you need to do is hit Windows + x and you’ll get a list with all of the options that you need.
I believe that with these essentials squared away you’re ready to get to work. Now just let that natural curiosity that most translators are born with kick in and explore. You can have the latest version of Windows installed on your computer and remain as productive as ever.


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