I've been rather pleased with the enthusiasm shown by my eldest for doing more than simply playing Club Penguin or Moshi Monsters on the computer. We had a very productive time with the visual programming tool Scratch, culminating in the brilliant win of her coming up with a way of using it that I hadn't thought of.
This weekend, she turned to me as we were playing Skylanders and said that she wanted to have a go at programming. Sounds good, I said, what do you have in mind. Oh just something like Skylanders she replied. The wonderful thing is, that this might not be so far out of reach as I first thought.
There, I said it. Blearily packing up my bag before CES 2013 I thought nothing of a suggestion to cover the world's biggest technology show using Windows 8.
"It'll be fun - and be a good chance to really put the operating system to the test," someone opined.
Many people argue that Windows 8 is a tipping point for Microsoft - a pivotal moment that will define the company's future for better or worse.
That's because Microsoft recognises the importanc eof the growing tablet market, and has developed the latest version of Windows with that type of device primarily in mind, although one of the Computeractive team who has been using it on a non-toucscreen computer for some time says the Windows 8 Start screen works perfectly well for him.
But this is the reader blog, so let's bring on Chris Read, who bought a digital download of Windows 8 on the day it launched.
"Having previously backed up my data, the Update Assistant led me through the upgrade process which really couldn't have been easier," says Mr Read.
"Everything worked perfectly and, within about 45 minutes, my old laptop was transformed into a rapidly booting and swift-running system. No glitches, no missing device drivers and a quick look at the new Task Manager told me that Windows 8 was using far less memory and did not put as much strain on the processor, compared with Vista.
One of the most common complaints we hear about the new Windows 8 operating system is that it's designed for touchscreen computers and tablets, and so not of interest to users of 'normal' computers with a keyboard and mouse or touchpad.
Today we put this to Microsoft Senior Product Manager Rob Epstein, and the response was clear: "Windows 8 was built for keyboard and mouse as much as it is for touch", he told us.
He added that people who have upgraded to the new operating system "don't find it an issue at all", and that "It's more intuitive and faster than people believe".
"The main thing we'd like people to do is try it", he said. "It's a better Windows 7 than Windows 7 - more secure, and faster underneath".
And, to an extent, I can see his point.
The voice on the line is distant and echoing, the words read awkwardly from a script: "Hello, I'm calling from Microsoft and there is a problem with your computer."
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