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The Surface RT Challenge

surface rt microsoft laptop

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#46 OP +DConnell

DConnell

    Madman with a blue box

  • Joined: 16-July 04
  • Location: Honey Brook PA
  • OS: Windows 8.1u1, Win RT 8.1u1
  • Phone: Lumia 1520 running Windows Phone 8.1

Posted 25 June 2014 - 14:31

Day 16:

 

    More routine use - Facebook, forums, light typing. I'm really thinking I should set aside some money for a Type Cover. Or use my wireless keyboard more. The Touch Cover can be annoying at times.

 

    Has anyone tried letting Windows compress old files on the RT? I'm a little hesitant to try it, even though the function is offered. I'm concerned that whatever space savings I'd get would be offset by worse performance due to decompressing the data.

 

   I've got a very interesting custom external hard drive on the way that I ordered at Wizard World. It'll likely be used for additional storage for the Surface, or maybe backup. I'll probably be posting a review when it arrives - if the product is as nice as the couple doing the customizing, then they deserve some publicity.

 

    I'm currently backing up my data to a share on my tower using File History. Does anyone have any more robust suggestions? I'm not keeping anything critical on the Surface yet, but if it becomes my main portable machine that could change.




#47 OP +DConnell

DConnell

    Madman with a blue box

  • Joined: 16-July 04
  • Location: Honey Brook PA
  • OS: Windows 8.1u1, Win RT 8.1u1
  • Phone: Lumia 1520 running Windows Phone 8.1

Posted 26 June 2014 - 13:01

Day 17:

 

I thought of a consideration that might make me hold onto the laptop: connecting to and working on my router. A wired connection is best for that, and the SurfRT only does wireless. I've looked at USB to Ethernet adapters, but haven't found one that will work with the RT yet. So I might want to hold onto the laptop for maintenance tasks, even if I don't use it often. Maybe set the laptop up as an XBMC device so it's not just sitting idle in the bag?

 

Hooked up my wireless keyboard to the RT. As expected, it's a much nicer experience for typing. I might use this when I'm keeping the Surface stationary, and just use the touch cover as a cover, and when I'm out with the Surface.Or I could pick up one of the $90 type covers on Amazon. Unless someone knows of any better deals going on right now?



#48 OP +DConnell

DConnell

    Madman with a blue box

  • Joined: 16-July 04
  • Location: Honey Brook PA
  • OS: Windows 8.1u1, Win RT 8.1u1
  • Phone: Lumia 1520 running Windows Phone 8.1

Posted 27 June 2014 - 14:49

Day 18:

 

 I got a suggestion on another forum about how to get a wired connection on the Surface. I gave it a try with the USB-Ethernet adapter I have. It didn't work, but I would have been surprised if it had. So it looks like I may be keeping the laptop for network maintenance. And maybe I'll set it up as my XBMC device as well.



#49 _dandy_

_dandy_

    Neowinian Senior

  • Joined: 07-May 04

Posted 27 June 2014 - 15:17

From your Day 16 message:  I'm not convinced letting it compress files will result in much of a performance hit.  That may have been true in years gone by (pre-GHz CPUs), but even the lowly CPU in the RT should be able to keep things running smoothly.  Especially if it only compresses old files that are never touched--aside from the time required to perform the initial compression, what's the subsequent hit?

 

As for backups:  I haven't tried File History myself, but from my understanding of it, you're pretty much already doing it the way it's intended to be used.  I've been using robocopy.exe for years, and it's all I use to keep files in sync.  The .exe has been in the system32 folder for a number of Windows versions--I just checked on my RT, and it looks like they recompiled it for ARM.

 

However, unlike File History, it's not automated...though you can use Task Scheduler to invoke a batch file that'll run it, say, at 2:00am...or multiple times a day...or whatever suits you.



#50 Stup0t

Stup0t

    Neowinian

  • Joined: 08-August 07
  • Location: UK
  • OS: Windows 8.1 Pro x64
  • Phone: Nokia Lumina 520

Posted 27 June 2014 - 15:55

I have replaced my laptop with a RT and havent missed a thing, the only issue is the type keyboard, not as responsive as a proper keyboard, but for portability it gets the job done.  Thinking of getting one of those wallet covers with a semi proper keyboard.  Apart from that one issue I havent looked back to my laptop at all.



#51 OP +DConnell

DConnell

    Madman with a blue box

  • Joined: 16-July 04
  • Location: Honey Brook PA
  • OS: Windows 8.1u1, Win RT 8.1u1
  • Phone: Lumia 1520 running Windows Phone 8.1

Posted 30 June 2014 - 13:38

Day 19/20/21:

 

I've decided to keep my laptop for network maintenance & repair, but I'll use the Surface as my primary recreation machine.

 

I set up my laptop as a media center - set it to boot to desktop and run XBMC on startup, and then gave it a thorough test (movie marathon.) So far its working well.

 

Meanwhile, I was using my Surface for other stuff - reading TVTropes about the movies, shopping for a smaller wireless keyboard that would be less cumbersome as a remote. I'd like to find one that I can hold in one hand, besides I'd rather use this keyboard with my Surface.



#52 Dashel

Dashel

    Disgustipator

  • Joined: 03-December 01
  • Location: USA

Posted 07 July 2014 - 14:58

You can't beat MS's new media keyboard for an HTPC.



#53 OP +DConnell

DConnell

    Madman with a blue box

  • Joined: 16-July 04
  • Location: Honey Brook PA
  • OS: Windows 8.1u1, Win RT 8.1u1
  • Phone: Lumia 1520 running Windows Phone 8.1

Posted 07 July 2014 - 15:11

You can't beat MS's new media keyboard for an HTPC.

 

Is it a compact design? I'm thinking of something the size ballpark of a large remote, so it doesn't look too out of place on the coffee table.

 

Small keys are ok, as I wouldn't be doing too much typing. A decent touchpad and direction keys would be the main things I'd need.



#54 Dashel

Dashel

    Disgustipator

  • Joined: 03-December 01
  • Location: USA

Posted 07 July 2014 - 15:30

Its not the smallest available but its slim, balances well on one leg, and fits in my recliner's newspaper pouch.  The touchpad is large and has a good feel, which most smaller units I looked at didn't integrate (well).  I've tried many remotes but its still the best fit currently for me.  The Wedge is an awesome keyboard but no pad.  Why not just go with a wireless mouse if you need slim and simple nav?

 

http://www.microsoft...yboard#overview

 

My chagrin is that controller support is still non-existent, along with a 'SmartGlass' option.



#55 Dinggus

Dinggus

    Neowinian Senior

  • Tech Issues Solved: 1
  • Joined: 11-January 05

Posted 07 July 2014 - 16:59

I would have picked up a Surface RT but I need java. i was told you can alter the coding and it'll run it.