Updated review (27 November 2012)
Overall, Microsoft has radically changed the user interface to cater for tablets and touch-screen devices.
For experienced desktop PC users, it would seem to be a slight backwards step. Standard use of the keyboard and mouse to achieve basic commands are more time consuming.
Examples of this are: the extra mouse clicks required to shutdown the system; the new video player is difficult to navigate and something as simple as closing some apps can also be difficult.
It remains to be seen if end users embrace this over time and perhaps there will be future service packs to make it quicker to navigate around the system.
On the positive side, it is pleasing to the eye and it even makes all existing applications look just that little bit better. The animated tiles are a good feature providing a launchpad for applications as well as a live feed of information streamed from the internet. However, this requires a second desktop, independent from the normal desktop we are used to in Windows 7.
From what we can see, everything that we had before is still there.
The most exciting aspect is the speed. Having said that, we tested Windows 8 (64-bit) on a new Intel Core i7 laptop with a solid state drive (SSD). This is one of the fastest PC’s on the market today with a boot up time of less than 10 seconds!
Here are some notes regarding the applications supported by Scaffolding Software.
The new Windows 8 start menu
All modules run well with the interface looking identical as before.
The installation and operation is identical as before with no incompatibilities. Some of the resizable dialog boxes show up a little small, cutting off some of the text but they can easily be resized to correct this. I believe this to be a minor bug in Windows 8 which will probably be corrected in future service packs.
When running on a solid state hard drive, the Process Invoices module runs very quickly. Processing 100 invoices is almost instantaneous so it could be said that operation using current technology is lightning fast. In general, the end user does not have to wait for anything.
iScaf setup with Windows 8
We tested a redeployment of three iScaf systems at a client site on Windows 8 with AutoCAD 2010. There are no known incompatibilities with the installation process and operation is identical as before, also with no known incompatibilities. Remember to reboot after the installation of AutoCAD and then reboot after the installation of iScaf. The general operation of iScaf is identical as before.
For Windows 8 the hardware lock device driver did not need to install. It just worked without any installation of drivers. Very Easy!
The Initial Report printer dialog for the material list quotation is cut off at the bottom – a simple window resize corrects this. This is possibly due to a bug with Windows 8 which may be corrected in a future Windows service pack.
iScaf runs noticeably quicker with all automatic ladder towers and stairs building 3D very quickly but perhaps not as quick as we would have expected.
Large build3D performance test case
Initial Speed Test results:
iScaf Build 3D from plan design on a huge 50 meter (164 feet) x 50 meter x 50 meter high building / deck every level / all handrails / side brackets everywhere / 3D view during build.
NEW HP i7: Autocad 2010 : 11mins 31secs
NEW HP i7: iScaf Lite: 2mins 5secs. Performance Tip: iScaf Lite builds 3D at least 3 times quicker than with AutoCAD
Dell PC Core 2 Duo (2.53GHz) : iScaf Lite : 3mins 50secs
HP Core 2 Duo (2.53GHz): iScaf Lite : 4mins 20secs
Large build3D zoomed closer. There were 37688 components in this scaffold drawing!