A PC for the Post PC era?

Windows RT first Impressions

So prior to using it I kind of had a mind set that Windows RT was going to feel like using Windows CE’s big brother (which technically maybe you could argue it is) but in practice what I have found so far is that the experience is EXACTLY the same as standard Windows 8.  I am emphasising that because it does feel like the same O/S and not some kind of cut down little brother (which again, technically in many ways you can argue that it is).  So what does that mean? I guess in the first instance it is good news for Microsoft.  It means RT devices are more attractive than they otherwise might be and bodes well for the future (though I do wonder how long it is until the Intel chipsets match ARM for battery, cooling and  ‘small device’ opportunities – making RT nigh on redundant).  At this point I should mention the Elephant in the room – you cannot run legacy Windows Apps on Windows RT, but what is surprising is at this early stage, and even with the limited (10k+) number of apps available this fact is maybe not such a big deal after all.  Most of the devices I have seen so far fit firmly in the iPad competitor category and when viewed in this light the story for RT devices is very positive.  Microsoft have been very smart in including what feels to me like a full version of Office with Windows RT – making it a even more compelling than if it only supported  Windows 8 apps (which is does extremely well!). 

So the overall initial impression of RT is very positive. If you want something that offers iPad like weight and size (or lighter/Smaller) with reassuring levels of Device*, Office and PC compatibility and a relatively low price point then I would urge you to check out these devices now! 

* The device support in terms of things like printers, scanners, mice etc. looks to be good but with some limitations with older equipment – so check this out first if you want to use RT with any third party hardware that it getting a little long in the tooth.

Update – where do I see myself using my RT device?

My own RT device (Surface) will live its’ life on a day to day basis in the family lounge.  By day it will be the target device for the development of new Windows 8 Apps, by night it will become a leisure device for the whole family to use (Browsing the web, Skype calls, etc.) .  It’s portability also makes it a candidate for taking on holidays or business trips where its’ note taking and office / calendar functionality will come to the fore.

”The Hollow Crown” – Extras

My eldest daughter returned home from school with a note saying that they were looking for children to audition as extras for the BBC and that she would like to go along.  So we (the family) combined this with existing plans to meet up with friends in town at the venue in question seemingly for coffees and a chat. Luckily on the day we arrived early and avoided much of the queues while the BBC processed over 500 potential extras for their major new season of Shakespeare plays – “The Hollow Crown”

Henry IV. Gloucester 2012

So some time passed and I got a phone call saying that if I was available the BBC could make use of me as an extra in a couple of upcoming films (Henry IV and Henry V).  Great,  that sounds interesting thought I and I went along the following Tuesday for a ‘fitting’.  This involved dressing up as a Nobleman, complete with heavy robes, wig and floppy hat!   Great fun!

imageOn the day of filming I met up with my friend and we spent the best part of 12 hours being made up then, for the most part, walking ‘in to places’, ‘through places’ and ‘out of places’ within (and without) the magnificent Gloucester Cathedral – many, many times over while the Director ensured that everything was up to the mark.

Highlight of the day was having the fortune to be the last extra walking out of Henry V’s last resting place.  As a result of this I was singled out for attention ‘as though I be an actor’ – I was the only extra in the scene (with a dead Tom Hiddleston / Henry V) who had indeed to ‘spring into action’* when the director called for the same (This I managed to do several times without tripping over).  That said, anyone who knows me will know that I don’t really care for being singled out for attention so when I noticed that John Hurt was standing next to the camera with eyes focused intently on me (or so it seemed) I nearly shat myself. Thank god all I had to do was walk a few paces! (Now most people when they think of John Hurt in an acting role will probably think of “The Elephant Man” or “Caligula” or even Quentin Crisp but for me the association is with one of my favorite films which goes all the way back to 1979 … Alien! )

On the set of Henry IV

In discussing the day my friend remarked that appearing in such a film, even as an extra, is a once in a  lifetime experience, and I have to agree, it was a fantastic day (albeit quite a tiring one, those robes were  heavy!).

Oh, and before anyone gets too excited about my being singled out for a starring role in the production, I am sad to say that all you will maybe see in the film is my legs, walking, albeit slowly, and then, I suspect, only very fleetingly …

UPDATE – 22/7/2012


Spotted myself around 2 minutes in then settled down to watch  the entire production & was in awe!  Very proud to have been a part of this great series of Shakespeare plays.