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Windows 8

Discussion and questions about Cumulus weather station software version 1. This section is the main place to get help with Cumulus 1 software developed by Steve Loft that ceased development in November 2014.

Will you be running Cumulus on Windows 8?

Yes, definitely
No, definitely not
I'm undecided
Total votes: 238

Posts: 19
Joined: Mon 12 Mar 2012 5:08 pm
Weather Station: Vantage Vue
Operating System: Windows7
Location: UK

Re: Windows 8

Post by SomersetJohn »

I voted undecided.

The reason is that my main laptop is running Win8 but Cumulus runs on an old laptop running Win7.

OK so why did I vote undecided, the reason is that I would love Cumulus to run on a Linux platform. I want a 24/7 weather computer which will not be too power hungry, the answer is a Raspberry Pi, so in the near future I hall be migrating my weather station (Vantage Vue) to a Pi.

Ergo - Undecided. Simples.


Posts: 166
Joined: Sun 29 Dec 2013 8:37 am
Weather Station: WMR88
Operating System: Windows 7
Location: Weston-super-Mare

Re: Windows 8

Post by westonweather »

Also undecided. Through choice, probably not, it's an awful operating system IMO. I have a laptop with Windows 8 and wish I didn't!

My weather station and web server both run on a HP server happily at the moment and I know it will need replacing in a few, maybe 5 years and I'll also be looking for a less power hungry solution. It's all about the utility costs nowadays :-/

Posts: 1
Joined: Mon 18 Jan 2010 6:00 pm
Weather Station: Davis Vantage Vue
Operating System: XP, Vista, Windows 7, Linux, OSX
Location: Nantlle, Wales

Re: Windows 8

Post by PeteB »

Now running a Mac and Linux as desktops, as an aside we use Linux or Macs at work now because of valid security concerns, I have dedicated netbook with windows 7 installed for weather station duties which should be good for a couple of years, I have reached the end of the road with Microsoft Operating Systems and want something more secure and stable hence my platform changes, don't think I would invest in Windows 8 or 8.1, but won't replace Windows 7 even if I have to run in a virtual machine,

Raspberry Pi Cumulus would be a winner for me, a simple low powered server dedicated to the job, but I am guessing this won't happen as it would mean major rewrite of the entire product and maintaining variants, not an option many of us would consider for a part time and donation based software


Re: Windows 8

Post by TNETWeather »

Voted no. That is after I "upgraded" my old primary workstation to Win8, used it over a weekend and tossed it. It was a complete disaster on many levels. Primarily, it wouldn't not run required business software and even with tiles turned off, kept wanting to put things in full screen hiding the rest of the running apps.

Win8 is not designed for power users. My wife would like it, but I typically have tons of things open and running at the same time and need to refer to items compared with other items. I hear Win8.1 is better at this but I already wasted too much time on it to take another look. MS knows they made a mistake (again) and the next whatever will most likely be better, but business doesn't like Win8 and wont buy into it.

My New workstation is using Win7 Pro (don't need more) and with a new i7 16GB RAM and 3 TB mirrored disk along with the primary disk on SSD suits my needs. Fast fast fast... and works, stable

As for a weather collection workstation... I wouldn't choose Win8 either. too much clutter. Currently still on a stand alone XP box headless. Looking at going to Win7 in a VM.. but still looking into that.

For me, the weather workstation needs to be able to do, Cumulus, WD, GRlevel3, Lightning detection etc.. needs to be all on the same box, preferable headless and rock solid stable. All data is sent to web server for display and access, I rarely log into the box itself.

Posts: 1094
Joined: Mon 09 Jul 2012 8:40 pm
Weather Station: Davis VP2 Cabled with Solar
Operating System: Windows 10 Pro
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Re: Windows 8

Post by BCJKiwi »


I too had a few issues getting to grips with Win8.
Now use it all the time in "standard desktop mode" - too much effort to go back to Win7 now.
Simple trick is to drag the tile labelled "desktop" to the top left corner of the tiles - i.e. make it the first tile. Then simply pressing enter when booting changes to the standard desktop. I run In this mode all the time. Not yet found any programs that don't run and there is still the compatibility mode for programs to run in previous OS versions.

Breaking news (via Windows Secrets newsletter of 27 march 2014);
Major update for Windows 8.1 coming soon
At next week's Build 2014 developers' conference in San Francisco, Microsoft will reportedly release its update to Windows 8.1. Apparently, Windows 8.1.1 (as it's unofficially called) will arrive via Windows Update and not the Windows Store. (Windows 8.1 could be downloaded only from the Store.)
Based on previews, the update will be smarter about the type of computer it's on. It'll boot directly to the Desktop on those computers that don't have touch screens.


Re: Windows 8

Post by TNETWeather »


The problem with that is time and functionality. It was a brand new box to replace a broken box. It had to work with all the software I use and do so properly in a stable manner. The previous box was Win7 Pro.

The required VPN software I needed to use was unsupported and did not work properly. that was the real killer but even stupid things like opening a PDF file which used a full screen display tile display made using it nothing but a pain even though I was in "desktop mode".

I didn't have time to "fix" their software to work properly. Sent the box back and got the same exact model back with Win7 Pro on it and it works flawlessly. All software works, no real tweaking to make it run properly in the right mode.

Change just to change is stupid. I find the new ribbon stuff on their products a waste of time as well, have to relearn software I have been using for years. Not intuitive, and advanced tasks I need to do on a daily basis now take extra clicks or pondering where do you think they put that function. Waste of time.

Posts: 1094
Joined: Mon 09 Jul 2012 8:40 pm
Weather Station: Davis VP2 Cabled with Solar
Operating System: Windows 10 Pro
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Re: Windows 8

Post by BCJKiwi »

I do understand and believe me I am no fan of M$.

I think the issue is that if you use all the standard OS stuff for things like pdf, pictures etc etc then where there is a "tile" version it will switch to that, if not it stays in desktop - will be interesting to see what happens to those utilities in 8.1.1

I already use mainly 3rd party tools for most of that sort of functionality in which case they are installed as the default for that file type - then it just stays in Desktop mode.

I was not trying to convert you back - just info in general for those that might come along after us. Have just recently built up another box for Cumulus/Webserver (development) and mail server - it runs Win7!

User avatar
Posts: 22
Joined: Sun 06 Apr 2014 3:14 am
Weather Station: Davis Vantage Pro2
Operating System: Windows 7 Professional
Location: Maine, USA

Re: Windows 8

Post by Freezeville »

I'll use XP until my PC won't run anymore, and I have a lot of spare parts; nearly a spare for everything in it. Might be a very long time.

Posts: 14
Joined: Tue 20 May 2014 11:10 pm
Weather Station: Davis Vantage Vue
Operating System: Windows 7 32 Bit SP1+ Apple iMac
Location: Muir of Ord, Highland

Re: Windows 8

Post by Viking »

I have no intention of using Windows 8, it is a terrible OS. I am using Windows 7 on a PC and Laptop. I recently bought an Apple iMac, which is a delight to use over Windows.

Is there any chance of a Mac version of Cumulus any time in the future.

User avatar
Cumulus Author
Posts: 26702
Joined: Mon 02 Jun 2008 6:49 pm
Weather Station: None
Operating System: None
Location: Vienne, France

Re: Windows 8

Post by steve »

Viking wrote:Is there any chance of a Mac version of Cumulus any time in the future.
I'm working on a cross-platform 'engine' which will run on Windows, OS X and Linux, with the user interface running in a browser. I can't say when it will be available.

Posts: 12
Joined: Sun 03 Jan 2010 1:58 pm
Weather Station: Fine Offset WH1080
Operating System: XP SP3 & Raspberry Pi
Location: Bredfield, Woodbridge, UK

Re: Windows 8

Post by atb »

I'll be remaining with an old XP laptop, dedicated to run Cumulus and a Webcam for as long as it holds out. It's aging battery is just enough to guard against most power outages and use of "Remote Utilities" (replacing LogMeIn Free) provides remote access for those occasions when YAWCAM glitches or the much more occasional time that Cumulus and/or WS-FTP does something odd.

Posts: 2952
Joined: Wed 06 May 2009 6:29 pm
Weather Station: Davis VP2 with Daytime FARS
Operating System: Windows XP SP3
Location: Cheadle Hulme, Cheshire, England

Re: Windows 8

Post by RayProudfoot »

In May 2009 I bought a Samsung netbook running XP specifically for Cumulus. It remains fully functional and I'll continue to use it until it packs up. I'll then switch to an older laptop still running XP until that dies. Have no desire to move to another OS for Cumulus.
Ray, Cheshire.


Posts: 5
Joined: Sat 18 Dec 2010 4:11 pm
Weather Station: WH1081 & WS3600
Operating System: Win 7
Location: North Northumberland

Re: Windows 8

Post by Paulu »

I have been following this thread with interest, like many others i to would prefer to stick with XP as a suitable OS to run on small low powered hardware platforms. Imagine my suprise when during a rebuild of a small MiniPC, XP informed me that my software was NOT LEGAL.

At this point i should add that i have just retired as a network manager and my small MiniPc was a unit I obtained that was otherwise being scrapped out as non upgradable to win7. It did however have a fully legal copy of XP installed, complete with a genuine "volume key" licensed to my employer.

It seems Microsoft is now blacklistsing genuine volume keys as XP has reached "end of life"

I suspect its a way of forcing corporate users to upgrade?.

There is however a cute hack kicking about whereby XP updates will continue, a reg fix is all thats needed, it effectivly catagorizes your machine as an POS "point of sale system" many of which still run XP and therefore would otherwise be subject to security issues should their updates stop.

Be interested in anyone else noticing similar issues. Perhaps this action is currently limited to "Volume Keys" In the mean time i think reinstalling OS updating the service Pack then turning off all futher updates (to block the "Genuine software Validation Patch" may solve this problem.

Cheers, Paul

Posts: 80
Joined: Wed 01 Jan 2014 7:54 pm
Weather Station: Davis Vantage Vue
Operating System: Raspberry Pi: Raspbian Stretch
Location: Rudston, North Yorkshire

Re: Windows 8

Post by martinu »

Having set up Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8 PCs for many clients over the past 10 years, and having used XP, Vista and 7 extensively myself, the user-interface of Windows 8 seems a horrendous mistake. It is the height of arrogance on Microsoft's part to say to all its existing customers "here is a new way of doing things; we think it is better and so we are going to force it on you with no way of doing things the way that you know already".

Microsoft should have offered two different user interfaces, so the user can choose whether to use Modern (Metro) apps with no maximise/minimise/close buttons and no menu bar, or to use traditional apps with all of those essential controls. Likewise the user should be able to choose whether to boot directly to the desktop (which *must* include a Start button and menu) or whether to boot to the "mess of tiles".

In other words, the user needs to control whether Windows is optimised for a real computer with a large screen and a keyboard/mouse or whether it is optimised for a "toy" computer such as a tablet or phone. Tablets and phones have their place - they are more portable and can be used one-handed - but they also have their restrictions (lower-res screen, no mouse or keyboard) and hence need workarounds to overcome these restrictions. But I wouldn't consider using a tablet or phone for anything serious which involved typing more than a few characters or using the computer for more than a few minutes.

I'm sure that behind the scenes Microsoft have made many improvements, increasing speed and security, but the change in UI makes what could well be a better OS that Win 7 into one that is very hard to use.

Thankfully the most serious deficiency of Windows 8, the lack of a Start button/menu, can be overcome with a third-party app called Classic Shell. It is also necessary to go through Control Panel | Default Programs | Set File Associations and make sure that all commonly-used file extensions (JPG, PDF, etc) are associated with classic apps rather than the new Metro/Modern apps. This avoids invoking a Metro app by mistake and then being at a loss as to how to close it.

Before using Win 8, there are two keystrokes which are essential to learn:

Alt+F4 to close an app
Win+R to bring up the Run menu for invoking a program which is not already an icon on the desktop

Also, be aware that the Shutdown option of Turn Off does not actually turn the computer off such that it will boot from afresh when it is restarted. Instead it is similar to what used to be called Hibernate/Sleep. So if the PC enters a Strange State, Shutdown will not clear that and start from cold. To achieve that you need to select Reboot (or is it Restart) instead.

User avatar
Posts: 277
Joined: Mon 08 Nov 2010 5:51 pm
Weather Station: WH1081 (Maplin)
Operating System: windows 10 64bit
Location: Paignton Devon UK

Re: Windows 8

Post by Orion »

My weather station runs on a old dell latitude
Windows XP Pro 32bit
cpu intel atom N270
1gb ram

Microsoft seem to bring out 1 good OS then 1 Bad OS

win ME bad
XP good
Vista bad
win 7 good
win 8 ?

So having just built a new PC I just bought a new copy of Win7