Just a quick update

I have a couple of posts in the works. I’ve been focusing a lot of my time on my youtube channel doing video tutorials. I’d appreciate it if you checked them out. http://youtube.com/captainworthy.

I’m a Technology Architect for Rockfish Digital. I’ve been there since 2007. I love coding and spend most of my time in C# and JavaScript. I’m a firm believer in the Full Stack Developer.

WorthyD’s CSS guide for Rookie CSS Devs and Backend Devs

I’ve dug around for a long time for CSS best practices. I’ve found tons of contradicting and wishy washy rules. Most of these only make sense to people who are in CSS every day and are highly debatable. I’m going to try to give an overview of what I see as most important and explain why in a way most developers can understand. This should point you in the direction to get you into more advanced CSS and not drive your cut out people insane with sloppy CSS.

I’m going to go ahead and throw out that I firmly believe that you should easily be able to completely re-skin your web content without needing to roll HTML updates. I believe class names being specific to the content and not packed with a bunch of generic classes.

Know the basics

Know the best way to include style sheets.

There are two ways to include style sheets.
Method 1 – The Link Tag:

<link rel='stylesheet' href='a.css' />

Method 2 – Import:

     @import url('a.css');

For performance, only use method 1. Method 2 will block parrallel downloading of style sheets and slow down the rendering of the page.

Do not use any inline styles. Period. EVER!

Inline styles kill re-usability and maintainability . It’s super easy to tack on inline styles if you don’t want to dig through a thousand line CSS file.

Avoid using style tags at a page level

This is mainly for tidiness. If you need to modify styles specifically for a page, create a style sheet for that page and reference it with a link tag.

Stay organized

Combine & Compress your CSS

Personally, I like having multiple CSS files to keep things organized. For production, I’ll combine and compress them into one file. This helps avoid having a CSS file several thousand lines long that is difficult to maintain.

  <link rel="stylesheet" href="main.min.css" />
  <link rel="stylesheet" href="reset.css" />
  <link rel="stylesheet" href="base.css" />
  <link rel="stylesheet" href="forms.css" />
  <link rel="stylesheet" href="buttons.css" />

Keep your CSS Selectors organized

Section off your style sheet so people know what they are looking at. You can use comments to help identify what section they are looking at.

.logo {/*RULES*/}

#nav{ /*RULES*/}
#nav li {/*RULES*/}


CSS selectors are the key to having clean and maintainable CSS. There are some pretty simple rules you can follow to ensure you don’t end up with a bunch of messy CSS.

Classitis and Specificity

Classitis is having to rely on many class rules to select your element.

.nav .navItem .navElement{
<ul class="nav">
     <li class="navItem"><a class="navElement" href="#">Home</a></li>
     <li class="navItem"><a class="navElement" href="#">About</a></li>
     <li class="navItem"><a class="navElement" href="#">Login</a></li>

The example above contains a lot of classes in the HTML that can be condensed. The selector also is longer that needed. You can clean up like so.

.nav a{
<ul class="nav">
     <li><a href="#">Home</a></li>
     <li><a href="#">About</a></li>
     <li><a href="#">Login</a></li>

Now this is only ideal if the ul.nav element will never have additional child a elements.

It’s also important to keep your selectors as short as needed. A selector with 5 or 6 selector elements isn’t ideal. You can control this by understanding CSS Specificity. Here are two articles that do a better job explaining it than I could. CSS Specificity: Things You Should Know & Specifics on CSS Specificity

Naming Conventions

Selector naming conventions are another religious argument that can be debated all day long.

.navMenu {margin: 10px;}

.nav-menu {margin: 10px;}

.nav_menu {margin: 10px;}

All of these are valid by the W3C and pass CSSLint. The important thing is to STAY CONSISTENT!!!! Personally, I camel case because jQuery UI uses hyphens. It’s easy to see what rules are mine and what is theirs.

Utility Classes

Avoid use of utility classes. The class names aren’t always descriptive enough and relying on them could cause you to need to roll both CSS and HTML in your site updates.

/*Common Utility Classes I see that bug me*/
.fr {float:right}
.fl {float:left}
.mb15{ margin-bottom:15px;} 
/*what happens if you're asked to move the content? 
Make another class for margin-bottom 13 and update your HTML?*/

Using utility classes will speed up your coding, but will hinder the maintainability of you code. You’re HTML elements could also end up with 4 or 5 classes on one element.

Understand Child Selectors

Using child selectors can help prevent the need of overwriting parent element styles. These aren’t supported in IE7 and below. Use when you can, because they can help prevent a lot of headaches.

ul li {color:blue; margin-bottom:15px}
ul li ul li {color:#fff; margin-bottom:0px}
			<li>white no margin</li>

We can re-write the CSS selectors and not have to overwrite the margin-bottom rule by doing it this way. It’s a real primitive example, but I run into this issue daily.

ul > li {color:blue; margin-bottom:15px}
ul ul > li {color:#fff;}

Read more about Child and Sibling Selectors

Chaining Classes

Chaining classes can be really helpful. But like child selectors, it doesn’t fully work in IE6 and IE7. You can also end up with an element that has a ton of classes attached to it.

   .icon{background-image: url(sprite.png);}
   .icon.save {background-position:-10px 0}
<input type="button" class="icon save" value="Save" />

Read more about mulit class selectors

Have Clean Properties

Your selectors are really only half of the CSS you have to really pay close attention to. You need to have clean CSS properties. Here are something things that will help cause less grief for the person coding after you.

Alphabetize Your Properties

.selector {
	width: 100px;
	margin: 10px
	border: 1px solid #000;
	padding: 5px
	float: right;
.selector {
	border: 1px solid #000;
	float: right;
	margin: 10px
	padding: 5px
	width: 100px;

You can find properties a lot quicker when they are alphabetized. Web browser tools will also alphabetize them in your DOM inspector. It took me a long time to get this down, but has helped out a lot.

Use Shorthand Properties

Short hand will help out on your file size and makes it more readable.

	margin-bottom: 5px
	margin-left: 10px;
	margin-right: 10px;
	margin-top: 5px;
.selector{ /*Same rule, but in shorthand*/
	margin: 5px 10px;

Read more on CSS Shorthand Properties

Zero Values

Don’t use px on zero values. Several reasons to do this, but it’s just a lot cleaner code and the “px” isn’t required.

.selector {
     margin: 10px 0px 5px 0px;
.selector {
     margin: 10px 0 5px 0;

Image Reference

It’s important to use caution when referencing CSS. This isn’t an issue if you are 100% sure where your site is going to live. If you do your development on blah.localhost and your site ends up being hosted on blah.localhost/blah/ your image references will be broken if absolutely referenced.

/*image reference will break if app is moved to a sub directory or file is hosted on cdn*/
    background-image: url(/content/images/img.png);
/*this image reference makes  your CSS more portable*/
    background-image: url(../images/img.png);

Do not use CSS hacks and avoid using !important

Back in the day, it was really common to use browser hacks to fix IE specific issues. This should be avoided at all costs. You can use conditional comments to target specific versions of IE if you need to. In the last few years, I’ve only had to use conditional comments a couple of times.

Using !important after a CSS rule jumps the specificity all the way up. Learn about CSS specificity to avoid using !important. ONLY use if if you have a nasty javascript plugin that writes out styles you don’t like.


There are tons of CSS and Javascript frameworks to help you out with layout, feature detection and all sorts of other fun stuff. There’s Mondernizer and Bootstrap to name a few. Out of the box, these frameworks are potentially dangerous for the performance of your application.
Modernizer has a TON of feature detecting, but lets say you aren’t using Canvas or Video tags. Do you really need Modernizer to detect those and include all the code to detect them? Go get a custom build of it to plug into your site.

Well that turned out a lot longer than I had initially expected. I hope you found something useful. Please fell free to leave any feedback and I’ll do my best to keep good stuff coming.

I’m a Technology Architect for Rockfish Digital. I’ve been there since 2007. I love coding and spend most of my time in C# and JavaScript. I’m a firm believer in the Full Stack Developer.

My opinion on the events around the Fez 2 cancellation

If you’ve been keeping up with recent news in the gaming industry, then you have probably heard that Fez 2 has been cancelled. This is the result of a bunch of exchanges over twitter and stuff. Totalbiscuit (TB) summed up the situation pretty well on his Content Patch for July 29th and gave his option from a gaming media perspective. I’m going to come from a different side.

The high level overview of the situation. “AnnoyedGamer” Marcus Beer calls out a couple of indie gaming developers for not providing an opinion on some of recent updates on the XBox One Indie publishing announcements. Beer insults them pretty thoroughly. One of them is Phil Fish, designer of the game Fez. The two exchange a bunch of tweets and Fish “rage quits” game development and cancels Fez 2.

I knew nothing of the situation going into watching the Content Patch video. TB mentions that Fez was featured in Indie Game The Movie. I own a copy of it on Steam and it’s available on Netflix. It is a pretty good movie. The movie primarily features three games. Braid, an early and very successful game, Super Meat Boy, a game that was in the process of being published, and Fez, a game in heavy development. You get to see all the aspects of success, failure and all the struggles with indie game development.

Phil Fish really caught my attention when he was on screen. He is very animated, opinionated and pretty vulgar. His game, Fez, was first demoed in 2007, and wasn’t released until the middle of 2012 on XBox and 2013 on Steam. In the interviews he mentions getting a lot of hate for continually delaying the game. He also demoed the game at a convention. The build of the game for the convention was a new build from the previous day and had a game breaking bug that resulted in the game needing to be restarted anytime someone played it.

I know game development and design is difficult. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, but my programming journey took me into another direction. I do understand the development life cycle and management of projects.

Delaying the release of a product over and over will only spark frustration to your potential client base. I remember seeing the 2007 game footage of Fez and was pretty excited about the game. The lack of a solid release date really killed my attention span. It’s not appropriate for every game to have a “beta” version that that can be purchased and played. I purchased Minecraft while it was in beta and the full release date was heavily ignored by me. The continuous updates to the game kept my attention. Fez may not have been a good fit for that model. Fez’s delay may have been due to continual scope creep (addition of features), lack of discipline, or having too high of standards for your work. A product that is in development typically doesn’t have income outside of investors. Investors will only invest for so long before pulling funding. A product can never be successful unless it’s published.

Bugs will happen. One of the greatest things about the software industry now is patching. Video Games consoles didn’t have patches or updates until the more recent generations. That means your SNES and NES games had bugs the whole time you owned the game. Developers had to make sure that their code was 100% before the game was physically made. Now, developers are very use to being able to push out bug fixes quickly. Starcraft 2 has had a ton of patches for bugs and game mechanics. With all that being said, you can’t let that ease of fixing destroy how you code. If you have a demo or any sort of public showing of your product, make sure it’s buttoned up. I typically use source control branches to keep a stable version of what I’m working on. I can publish a working product at any given time using this strategy. I’m not an expert at presenting stuff, but I would feel a lot more confident in a demo if my product lacked a few features and didn’t crash.

Something that is unique to indie game developers are their target market. Gamers can be and frequently are some of the most immature, critical and evil people on the planet. Don’t believe me? Go play some ladder games of SC2 2v2 or League of Legends and see if you get out without being raged on. Trying to please the masses in this industry is darn near impossible and you have to do your best to accept that. You may see your game as art, but they are going to play it and see it completely differently than what you expected. They will berate you for simple things like not being able to change the controller scheme or character dialog. You can’t wear your heart on your sleeve when dealing with gamers on Reddit, forums or anywhere else on the internet.

Finally, arguing on Twitter is the dumbest thing ever. Three years ago, I was told by one of the co-founders of Joomla that I didn’t know HTML. I had complained on twitter that the editor wrapped my content in 4 font tags and was going to switch to WordPress (this was for the Boy Scout Troop’s website I was working on). I tried to reply saying I’d rather use a text area field than a wysiwyg editor and he retorted back saying “garbage in garbage out”. I then realized that arguing on Twitter is REALLY dumb, especially between adults. How can you make a valid argument about something in 140 characters and it be civilized?

Anyway, It’s 2am right now and I’m really tired. Lily has been rolling around in her crib all night. Side Note: Get a camera in your nursery if you have a little on in a crib. Its kinda cool watching them sleep ^_^.

Yay, for indie game developers! It’s definitely not for everyone.

I’m a Technology Architect for Rockfish Digital. I’ve been there since 2007. I love coding and spend most of my time in C# and JavaScript. I’m a firm believer in the Full Stack Developer.

Microsoft Build Conference Day 3

I drug around most of today. We had a lot of information in a really short amount of time. Here’s a quick overview of my sessions for the day.

Developing High Performance Websites and Modern Apps with JavaScript Performance Tools

This was a pretty fun session about how to use the new F12 profiling tools.

Visual Studio 2013 for Web Developers: Deep Dive

This session was packed. I had to watch it from an overflow room and barely got a seat in there. Mads Kristensen went over some of the really cool features that are now pulled out of web essentials and plugged directly into VS 2013. He also published the VS 2013 Web Essentials Preview AND published the GitHub project for it.

Reusing Your Web Development Skills in Windows Store Apps

This session was good, but I found it a little misleading. It was mainly how to use what jQuery you already know properly in Win 8 HTML apps.

I didn’t make it to our last session. I decided to spend some time in the Sponsor area. It was pretty empty so I spend a good amout of time talking with people from Xarmin, Nokia, Parse and some people with Azure.

Scott Hanselman and Damian Edwards were hanging out at the Azure booth. I really love the fact that most of the speakers hang out and socialize with the other devs throughout the conference. Both these guys decided to try to chain 128 USB hubs, that were being given away by Azure, to power a mouse. They got all of them together, all the lights came on, but power for the mouse only got to about the 5th hub. It was pretty funny and it drew in a really big crowd.

The conference was essentially over at 3. We decided to head over to Fisherman’s Wharf and do a little sight seeing. We saw Alcatraz and a little bit of the Golden Gate Bridge. Fog prevented the bridge from being seen, but I can now say I’ve seen the bridge and the main setting from The Rock and Escape from Alcatraz.

It’s been a really fun trip, but I’m ready to be home with my girls. I’m getting up at 3:30 tomorrow morning to catch my flight. Here is to safe travels!

I’m a Technology Architect for Rockfish Digital. I’ve been there since 2007. I love coding and spend most of my time in C# and JavaScript. I’m a firm believer in the Full Stack Developer.

Microsoft Build Conference Day 2

Busy, but awesome day in tech at Build. Going to be short but sweet.


Lots of good stuff shown off for VS2013, Azure and Office 365.

What’s New in ASP.NET and Visual Studio 2013

I wont lie. Scott Hanselman is one of the reason I love coming to dev conferences. I find him extremely inspirational and he does such a great job at making his sessions fun. I’ve watched a lot of his sessions twice.
Scott dove into all the great new features coming to VS 2013. Showed off how asp.net is moving to “one” asp.net with seamless integration between MVC and .net forms. Developers will be empowered to build their own templates a lot easier.
This was the session of the event for me. Due to some long demos, these sessions were shifted back a little bit. Scott entertained us with Ascii street view, http://letmebingthatforyou.com/, youtube videos and tons of other fun stuff. He actually favorited my tweet.

This was absolute nervana for me. My coworker and I saw him in the dev area. We wanted to go talk to him but we both felt like we would be this Chris Farley character.
I really didn’t feel up to embarrassing myself like that. Go watch his session, even if you don’t code. You’ll get a good laugh.

Scaling the Real-time Web with ASP.NET SignalR

This was a very informative session that answered just about all of my questions about scaling SignalR. Damian did a really great job demoing all the scaling tools.

Fast Apps and Sites with JavaScript

This was a great session. It put me in my place that I’m not nearly as good at javascript as I thought I was. I normally focus on maintainability and best practices in code. This session was kinda like, to heck with all that! Lets make everything run SUPER FAST! It was pretty mind blowing for me.

Create Fast and Fluid Interfaces with HTML and JavaScript

This was an extension of the what’s new for WinJS from yesterday. Paul went over a lot of the new features, why they decided to improve them and went over code for them.

Today was full of tons of great info. I’m really ready to be home though. I miss my family a great deal. I hid in a corner and tried to face time with Amanda and Lily. The wifi wasn’t so great and it ended shortly. I found several other people doing the same thing a couple hours later. It was good to know I wasn’t the only one missing my family.

Here is where I’m planning on being tomorrow:
9:00AM to 10:00AM
Developing High Performance Websites and Modern Apps with JavaScript Performance Tools
Jonathan Carter

10:30AM to 11:30AM
Visual Studio 2013 for Web Developers: Deep Dive
Mads Kristensen

12:00PM to 1:00PM Sessions
Reusing Your Web Development Skills in Windows Store Apps
Jonathon Sampson , Ralph Whitbeck

2:00PM to 3:00PM
Building REST Services with JavaScript
Nathan Totten

I’m a Technology Architect for Rockfish Digital. I’ve been there since 2007. I love coding and spend most of my time in C# and JavaScript. I’m a firm believer in the Full Stack Developer.

Microsoft Build Conference Day 1

Day 1 was pretty awesome. I’ve included links to the sessions on Channel 9. Videos of the sessions should be up in a couple of days. I’d encourage you to check them out when posted.

Day 1 Keynote

Line to get into the keynote of day 1
Line to get into the keynote of Day 1
Keynote stage was like a nerd rock show
Keynote stage was like a nerd rock show

Keynote showed a lot of good information about Windows 8.1, Bing Apps, and Spark.

8.1 has some really cool features that a lot of people feel should have come with Windows 8. There is now a good blend between Modern apps and Desktop apps. You get the start button back. There is better multi monitor support and multitasking modern apps.

We had time to check out the vendors, device labs and other areas before the sessions.

Sweet prop gun you can win by using certain APIs in your Win 8 app.
Sweet prop gun you can win by using certain APIs in your Win 8 app.
Extremely busy partners area. Tons of goodies for grab.
Extremely busy partners area. Tons of goodies for grab.

Session 1 – Windows Phone: Design for Developers

As a developer, this was a great session. Corrina show a lot of great tools that any developer can use to help make apps look better without having to know all the ins and outs of designs.

Session 2 – New Platform Capabilities for Advancing Web Development

This session was packed, but there was a ton of good stuff. New features in video DRM, in browser encryption, and immersive graphics with WebGL.

My favorite part of this session was the demo of the new tool features of IE’s dev tools You no longer need to refresh your DOM with dynamic content, CSS shorthands can be expanded into individual properties, and you can search the DOM based on CSS selectors. I really see this as my new development browser of choice.

Session 3 – What’s New in WinJS

I got a lot out of this session. I’ve tried to do a lot of stuff in Win 8 apps. A ton of the features I was trying to do are now included. There are also drastic improvements by simply upgrading to WinJS 2.0.

Session 4 – Windows 8.1 in the enterprise

This session had some pretty exciting stuff. There are great improvements in BYOD and security features of 8.1. I can’t speak in great detail on these, but they are pretty awesome. You can setup an RT device to access your work files without adding it to the domain (if setup properly) by using a dual authentication process. You sign in normally and then you get a secondary auth by phone.

There is also file encryption that can be utilized to de-auth access of a lost device or a specific set of files. The example was you use and HR app on your RT device, but then leave the HR department to work as a PM. Your server administrator can revoke access of the HR app and not the whole device.

Hackathon participants got an exclusive work area.  Experts roam in the area to help out.
Hackathon participants got an exclusive work area. Experts roam in the area to help out.
One of the many 3D printers on display
One of the many 3D printers on display
End of day swag pickup.  The line wrapped around the entire meal area and all the way to the other side of the convention center.  We waited in line over an hour. It was worth it though.
End of day swag pickup. The line wrapped around the entire meal area and all the way to the other side of the convention center. We waited in line over an hour. It was worth it though.

It was a really great first day. I’m pretty worn out, but I’m ready for tomorrow!

Where I’ll be tomorrow:
11:30AM to 12:30PM
What’s New in ASP.NET and Visual Studio 2013
Scott Hanselman

2:00PM to 3:00PM
Scaling the Real-time Web with ASP.NET SignalR
Damian Edwards

3:30PM to 4:30PM
ASP.NET Web API 2 – Web Services for Websites, Modern Apps, and Mobile Apps
Daniel Roth

5:00PM to 6:00PM
Windows Phone: Learn from the Winners

I’m a Technology Architect for Rockfish Digital. I’ve been there since 2007. I love coding and spend most of my time in C# and JavaScript. I’m a firm believer in the Full Stack Developer.

Microsoft Build Conference Days -1 and 0

Microsoft Build doesn’t officially kick off tomorrow, but I’m going to go ahead and fill you in on my trip so far.

Day -1

I’m not the biggest fan of traveling. I’ve always relied heavily on my wife to get me where to go in airports and while driving. I’ve been pretty nervous the past few days. This is going to be the longest I’ve been away from Amanda since we got married almost 6 years ago and it is definitely the longest I’ve been away from my 14 month old daughter Lily.

To make this extended time apart as easy as possible, we spent the whole day together in Tulsa. We went to the Zoo, the mall, Baby’s R Us and just enjoyed each other’s company. I really needed it and I wasn’t interrupted a whole lot by work.

Day 0

Amanda and Lily dropped me off at the Tulsa airport where I flew to Huston then to San Fran. Tulsa to Huston was awesome. It was one of those 3 seats per row and I got the seat by the window all by myself. I worked on a power point presentation on code branching strategies.

From Huston to San Fran was a different story. Exit row with no seat in front… in the middle of 2 guys who liked the elbow rest. Not fun, but it could have been worse. I started reading American Sniper and napped.

Getting to the hotel was fun too. I got lost and got a real culture shock. You’re not really use to the kind of stuff you see in San Francisco in North West Arkansas. I met up with the other guy from Rockfish who is attending the conference and we’ve setup our battle stations in the hotel room. I was really hoping to get to play the new Borderlands 2 DLC that came out today, but the internet connection is pretty slow. It’s been downloading for four hours now and it’s only a gig.

Tomorrow starts off the big day. I’ll do my best to post frequent updates on my twitter account @WorthyD.

Sessions were posted on Channel9. Here is where you’ll most likely find me.

11:30AM to 12:30PM
Windows Phone: Design for Developers

2:00PM to 3:00PM
New Platform Capabilities for Advancing Web Development

3:30PM to 4:30PM
What’s new in WinJS

5:00PM to 6:00PM
Windows 8.1 in the enterprise

I’m a Technology Architect for Rockfish Digital. I’ve been there since 2007. I love coding and spend most of my time in C# and JavaScript. I’m a firm believer in the Full Stack Developer.

Minification Made Easy with VS Web Essentials for Visual Studio 2012

Why do we care about minification?

Minification is the easiest thing you can do to your websites to improve the performance of the front end. Minifying is going to take all your code and cram it into one line. This can decrease the size of the file by up to 40%. That is a lot less for your browser to download and will speed up the rendering of your pages.

Why choose Web Essentials?

VS Web Essentials provides the easiest way to setup minification. The extension can be installed without leaving Visual Studio and it’s very easy to find in the extensions and updates portion of Visual Studio. There are no build events to configure. The minification can either happen on save or be done manually. There isn’t a complicated configuration file that you will need to setup. The extension generates an easy to read config file.

Web Essentials provides a TON of features that make CSS and Javascript coding a lot easier. The extension is very useful even if you are not interested in the minification functionality.

CSS Tricks

You can enable an option to prevent the minification from removing CSS comments that have been marked as important. This will allow you to keep your version numbers and licensing in your comments. I’ve tried to hunt down other minification processes that wouldn’t remove important comments and I couldn’t find any.

Javascript Tricks

You can enable Javascript Source Maps that will allow you to use your minified JS file in development and easily find what line bugs are occurring on. Below are some great articles on Source Maps.

This is the first time I’ve done any video demos before. I’d really appreciate any feedback that would help me improve my presentation skills.

I’m a Technology Architect for Rockfish Digital. I’ve been there since 2007. I love coding and spend most of my time in C# and JavaScript. I’m a firm believer in the Full Stack Developer.

Weekend Tech Reads For 3-22-2013

It’s been a little while. I’ve been really busy and been sick. Let’s get this ball rolling again.

Asp.net / Asp.net MVC

@Html and beyond – This article goes over extending the HTML helper in asp.net MVC.

Web Development

Native form elements – This is a great resource for getting all the native form element types. You can also use this to see what browsers support what HTML5 elements.
How to Lose Weight in the Browser – This is a really great guide to learn how to optimize front end performance.

I’m a Technology Architect for Rockfish Digital. I’ve been there since 2007. I love coding and spend most of my time in C# and JavaScript. I’m a firm believer in the Full Stack Developer.

Windows 8: H8ers gonna H8

I’ve been running Windows 8 for several months now. All I see on the net is a bunch of hate for it. I’ve been trying to read these with an open mind, but most of them are just ridiculous. Even I believed the “Every other OS is junk” theory. I still feel that Vista wasn’t great, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as what people thought. It was awesome if you had a beefed up dual core PC. Making fun of Microsoft products is far past beating a dead horse. IE9 and 10 are awesome, but nobody knows that because they are too busy using Chrome or Firefox. A lot of people don’t like change either. Windows 8 has a lot of changes, but I wouldn’t say it’s for the worse. Anyway, I’m going to get off my soap box and go over some of my favorite Windows 8 features.

It boots super fast.

I don’t think I’ve ever had a computer boot as fast as my Windows 8 machine. I use to go and get coffee when I was booting up in Windows. I now generally just get my iPad out and check my email on it.

You don’t need your start menu

I’ve seen a lot of people complain about their start menu being gone and how everything has to run in the Metro style theme. You can avoid the Metro styled stuff completely if you don’t want to use them. The start menu is replace with a start screen that provides a really good visualization of your apps. It’s very easy to customize and much more usable than the original start menu. I have almost no desktop shortcuts now. I had about 15 items pinned to my start menu and was about the height of my screen. I got rid of my quick launch bar because it’s faster to use the new start screen.

Cloud Saving Your Settings

I use to always do a bunch of stuff to have consistent desktops, lock screens and stuff. Windows 8 saves all these things to the cloud. I signed into a Windows Surface tablet and everything came down without needing to do anything. This is a really minor thing, but it is one of those small nice to have items that gives Windows 8 a great fell.

Great Multi monitor Support

Holy cow, the multi monitor support in Windows 8 makes it completely worth the upgrade. You can span your task bar to every screen and the task bars will only show what applications are on that screen. This was a feature in a tool called UltraMon that I really liked using. It makes multi monitor multi tasking really easy.

I really feel like Windows 8 is a step in the right direction. You have to be willing to accept change and put a tiny bit of effort to learn how to do some stuff again, but it’s totally worth it.

I’m a Technology Architect for Rockfish Digital. I’ve been there since 2007. I love coding and spend most of my time in C# and JavaScript. I’m a firm believer in the Full Stack Developer.