Windows 8 app store won’t work


So i upgraded to Windows 8.
decided to get it over with before they go back to regular pricing. currently it costs around INR 2000 if you do it online via digital download. Theyve made it quite easy to do.. you can even pay via paypal!

The installation was fairly simple except for a minor glytch in the beginning(read about it here)which i solved after a few minutes of googling.

Basically what I liked was the fact that one can install Win8 without having to wipe the drive and have to re-install all ones apps(and games.. including steam games) coz that would have been a deal breaker.

However all was not peachy.
After the 2gb download it installed and then i configured my user account etc..
but there were some errors when i tried to access basic system utilities ..and the keyboard keys for “@” and ” had switched.. so i restarted.. and its all fine now.

Started using the system. I used Blender first.. did a bit of modelling and it was fine.
worked great.. no issues

Then started up Dishonored(one of my Steam games) and there was a noticable lag.. so quit it and check the drivers.. turns out Nvidia had Windows 8 drivers available. So i installed that and started the game again.. runs smooth as butter.

i’d already tried out win 8 on a virtual machine, so was aware of the “start screen”

So now it took me 15 min to get used to working with it.. and i don’t really miss the Start button or menu. So that wasn’t as bad as the hoopla over it would lead you to believe.

so the checklist so far
1) All my apps are still there
2) They all work. including Steam and its games
3) Games work.. pretty much the same.. no real noticable advantage over win7 in terms of performance.. yet.
4) heavy tasks like 3d modelling and rendering work fine. Infact they worked fine out of the box, even before I updated the drivers.
5) Videos play, sound checks out

and then the discovery- Windows 8 App Store won’t launch.
extensive googling and trying out various “fixes”(updates, troubleshooters, user account manipulations..etc.) proved pointless thus far. The only solution that seems to work for most people(this is apparently a common issue) is to do a “system refresh“. This is a new feature introduced in win8. It wipes all your apps and sort of resets windows while keeping your settings.

No way i’m doing that. Whose going to sit and reinstall hundreds of gigabytes of games all over again? Not me.
Not for the measly metro UI and its app store.

Not until i see it do something awesome.. which I havn’t yet.

VERDICT: if you want to save some money get it now while its cheap(FYI: cheaper if you order the dvd). Otherwise don’t bother.

✩✩✩✩✩ For the few usability tweaks and other changes in win8 i give it. really don’t understand what people complain about.. when i buy the new version of a software i expect there to be changes. Infact i don’t think they did an radical enough changes.. 90% of it still feels like windows 7.

✩✩✩✩★ Ease of purchase and installation
(minor problem with uninstalling intel’s blutooth driver.. so not microsoft’s fault).

✩★★★★ For solutions to problems that occured.


Transferred Steam Games to new machine


Transferred Steam Games to new machine

opera blog

One of the headaches with switching to a new machine is re-installing all the software that you had on the older machine. This is usually manageable with your usual software.. until you come to games, specifically the digital distributed kind.

I'm an active Steam user and have a bunch of games that i got through Steam.
Now how that works is, you purchase the game, and then it downloads via Steam.. if you happen to have the steam compatible installation discs then it can be done a lot faster. In my case the only installation discs i had were for Portal(1) and the halflife2 series.. all of which i've already played.
The rest i had to download online(yes ive had various "unlimited" broadband connections for the past few years).

The games that i'm currently playing are
Arkham City(main story and several side missions finished)

Assassin's Creed Brotherhood((main story finished, all weapons acquired and upgraded).

These two games are approximately 16-17Gb each.. Downloading them once was enough.. i don't think i want to do that all over again!

So, after a few hours of research i figured out that you can manually copy the game files from
~program filesSteamsteamapps
and paste them in the steam installation on your new machine. Now when you tell Steam to install the game here.. it analyses the files already present and gets whatever else it needs and then in a few minutes your ready to play.

This was basically all i needed.. and was quite happy until i launched Arkham City and discovered it didnt have any saved game profiles or progress 😦

little bit of interweb digging and i found that to get your saved games you need to look in multiple places, including:
C:Usersxsaved games
C:Usersxgame name

i did this and relocated the saved games to the corresponding locations on my new machine.
Note: Arkham City has the "Games for Windows Live" thing which i assumed was for saving your game progress in the cloud.

Apparently i was wrong.

Arkham City still has no saved progress whatsoever.. GamesForWindowsLive is basically useless

Assassin's Creed Brotherhood saved games and profile transfered.. And i just picked up where i left off.. kudos to the Ubisoft developers

Both run great on the Dell XPS 15(config in previous post). Assassin's Creed Brotherhood is running in full glorious 1980×1080 HD.. ArkhamCity started in 1980×1080 HD but there was an audio-video-sync issue.. so i reduced some game detail.

New Dell XPS

opera blog

Got my new laptop yesterday. Was a pleasant surprise seeing as the original ETA on the order reciept and on the website was a week from now.

Have only had time to install a few games and basic apps. Was installing all my work apps today.

The full spec sheet or check list:

? U540403IN8-Dell XPS 15 Laptop

? 2nd generation Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-2670QM processor (2.20 GHz with Turbo Boost up to 3.10 GHz)

? 15.6" (39.6cm) FHD (1920×1080) B+RGLED display with TrueLife(TM)

? 2GB NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 540M graphics with Optimus

? 6GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM (1 x 2GB + 1 x 4GB)

? 1TB 5400RPM Hard Drive

? Silver Anodized Aluminium Back Cover(which i obviously am going to paint soon. see old one's paint customisation here)

? JBL 2.1 Speakers + Waves MaxxAudio® enhancement 20W peak audio performance: 2 X 4W + 12W sub-woofer

? camera with Hi-Definition Video Streaming with Skype (2.0MP, H.264 Camera)

? 9-in-1 card reader

? 1 x HDMI 1.4,supporting 3Doutput for 3D Bly Ray,3D Video Streaming and Gaming as well as 5.1 Audio

? Biometric – Fast Access Facial Recognition(which i've already disabled)

? Integrated 10/100/1000Mbps Gigabit Ethernet NIC

? Tray Load 8X DVD+/-RW Drive with DVD+R double layer write capability

? Mini Displayport (ordered and recieved a VGA Convertor.. now looking for an s-video solution)

? Dell(TM) Backlit Keyboard (looks quite nice in the dark)

? Windows® 7 Home Premium 64bit

? the Trackpad supports multitouch gestures

Performance so far:
Runs Battlefield3 at full 1980×1080 out of the box.. i lowered the texture details from ultra to high, coz there was some notable lag during frenetic firefights. so far its been ?????

Had already played COD MW3 on my other laptop.. will install it later and see how it does. Will attempt to relocate my entire Steam folder to this machine tonight,.. if that works then i'll be able to run comparisons
with Arkham City and Assassin's Creed Brotherhood.

On the work front Blender recognized the graphics card and now the Cycles render engine is using the GPU. will post a video or something later.

Batman Arkham City


Was a bit anxious after reading terrible reviews of the PC version of Batman: Arkham Asylum.. but i had no choice, i'd already preorderred it months back.. so just had to wait and see what i got.(all screenshots were taken from my machine using Steam's Screenshot feature)

The technology:
Was a bit painful to begin the game.. Mainly because of the DRM.. Games for Windows Live had to do a few updates before i could actually start the game!..

the menu is fantastic..its made up of freeze frames from a shot of batman leaping off a roof.. when you click a button it plays through a few seconds and freezes at the next screen

i quite enjoyed going back and forth.

i played a few minutes in the default settings.. which looked pretty decent.. but there was a terrible audio stuttering issue. Not to mention some jerkyness during the fight parts. So i restarted the game.. but with a reduced resolution.. left all other settings switched on default. That did the trick.

The Storytelling
the story blew me away from the start. You start with catwoman fighting some thugs near a vault somewhere in Arkham City.. and then she gets captured by Two Face. The story then shifts to the entrance of the prison city, where Bruce Wayne is holding a press conference and protesting the existence of the controversial prison.

He gets captured by some stormtrooper/commando types(working for Hugo Strange) and is taken to Hugo.

the following screenshots will be enough to prove that all batman fans need to play this game! The game looks great on my 2-3yr old dell! …