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Windows 7

Sorry if things get a bit technical for this bit of Babble but bear with me.  I know a lot of you couldn’t care less what happens under the hood of your computer as long as it’s ticking over well but keep tuned all the same.  Lack of attention will mean a trip to the Principals office!

The stats from my blog tell me 71% of my visitors use Windows XP, 21% Vista and the rest use a mixture of others.  I’m now using the new Windows 7 Release Candidate 64 bit version in a dual boot setup with Vista but I’ve found Windows 7 to be so good, I’m using it all the time now.  Microsoft lets you download a fully function evaluation copy of Win7 which expires on 1 June 2010 but the final release is reportedly due out in October this year so I’ll definitely be getting a licensed copy then.

Is it worth upgrading?  I’ll tell you my experience with it and you can decide.

I started out dabbling in computers in the DOS days 25 years ago and the first GUI OS (what you see on your screens now) I came across was the beast, Windows 2, followed by the better Win 3.11, then Win 95, 98, 2000, ME, XP and Vista.  Some of you out there can relate to the battles we had setting up devices to run with the early OS’s, hacking around with the autoexec and config files to get a teny bit of memory to function properly or a modem or printer to do something.

Well it’s got to the stage now that even that idiot from yesterday’s blog could get things working as you just plug in a device and off it goes.  Vista was good setting up device drivers but Win7 is amazing.  I have an old HP Laser printer which I’m happy with, but under Vista, HP wouldn’t write a driver for it and said, tough titties, get a new printer.  Lack of driver support for older equipment was one of the criticisms of Vista.

Up yours, Jack, so I hacked around and managed to get it working via devious means.  When I loaded Win7, it detected everything that I have attached, modems, scanners, the cat, PDA’a and even the correct driver for my printer.  I expected to have to load drivers for the network, video and sound cards, but it was all done.

Baa, where’s all the fun gone!

More on my experience with Windows 7 next.

PS. Something to relieve the monotony.  These creatures seen on our walk yesterday.

  1. Muppet's Mum
    May 20, 2009 at 9:56 am

    The cat? Since Windows 7 is so good and you don’t need to spend time fixing your own computer, you’ll have plenty of time to deal with the grumpy old men at the neighbourhood centre!

    Muppet’s Mum – I wondered who’d notice the cat!

    Hey, my garden blower and cordless drill both blew up this week so don’t talk to me about fixing things. Grrrr!

  2. thomashouseman
    May 20, 2009 at 10:14 am

    I’m using Windows 7 RC-1 on an Athlon XP 3200 with 2gb of RAM.
    I find it bluescreens a lot more regularly than XP. (On average once every 24 hours or so) Admittedly I do a LOT with this pc. i.e. Host my own email/web server etc. and it’s on 24/7.

    I’m sure Microsoft will improve it more over the coming months. I was also in the Vista beta testing and didn’t bother buying that and stuck with XP after the beta for vista expired. Yes, I like Windows 7 a lot more than Vista, no I don’t think it’s as stable as XP…YET. But yes, I think I’ll buy it once released as it’s way better than Vista. (Even though quite similar)

    I think Vista will go the way on Windows ME and fade relatively fast.

    Oh… Win7 did have issues with my 1tb external Hard drive and pci slot 4 port usb card, but once I unplugged it from the PCI card and plugged the drive into one of the PC’s USB ports it worked fine.


    Thomas – I’ve been running Win7 for a couple of weeks now without one BSOD or a crash of any sort and I’m flogging it hard. Maybe the Intel Core i7 and 6Gb of DDR3 RAM helps. I found that my crashes on Vista decreased considerably from XP but Vista became awfully slow until I did a reinstall a couple of months back.

  3. thomashouseman
    May 20, 2009 at 10:14 am

    p.s. EEEP at the crabs!

    I went to take a closeup video and they all disappeared into the mud.

  4. May 20, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    I am watching with great interest, I’ve noticed the computer magazines are starting to get excited by Windows 7. I backtracked to XP on both my new computers rather than keep Vista. I remember DOS as being bloody-minded with that awful question it kept asking, and I never knew how to answer it. I do remember my first computer had a “huge” hard drive of 40 mb, and backing up to floppy disks. I started with Windows 3 and graduated to Windows 3.1, and thought it was wonderful, except for that awful ‘blue screen of death’, and having Norton Utilities to look after the hard drive, before the days of viruses. At least by the time I got to XP I really appreciated its stability. On reflection they were not ‘The Good Old Days’

    muscat55 – 40Mb hard drive. You go back a long way too.

  5. May 20, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    My first PC ran the CP/M os, which fit on one side of a 5.25 190-Kb floppy. The PC had a whopping 64Kb of RAM.

    Now on this machine, I’ve got MS-Vista, plus 8 different Linux distros on a 500Gb HD, with 2Gb of RAM.

    What will it be like in another ten years?

    — Randy, your Adelaidian reader

    Randy – A new commentor. Thanks for visiting and you go back a really long way! We’ve come so far in 20 years I hate to imagine what 10 years down the track brings. Sorry, I mean I’d love to see what it brings.

    If Mr Moore has any say, a bloody lot! I only hope I stay around long enough to see it all.

  6. Muppet's Mum
    May 20, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    Hey, what happened to my comment?

    MM – I’ll book you into Frank Denahy asap!

  7. May 20, 2009 at 8:09 pm

    I’ve commented twice before, the old codger over here in Adelaide who was running Linux and using the Opera web-browser. Except I used a nickname those times and I don’t remember what name I chose back then on the spur of the moment. A senior moment, if you will. 🙂

    Randy – Of course! A senior moment for me too. I scoured back through the comments and I think you used “Him-in-Adelaide”. You are one of 14 Linux visitors just behind “Unknown” at 15. I think that’s me with Win7 as I cleared my cookies and forgot to put a stopper on my visits.

    Opera visitors are 3 @ version 10 and one each at 9.64, 9.63 and 9.62. Maybe that was just you upgrading all the time 🙂

  8. Muppet's Mum
    May 20, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    It disappeared for a while there, really it did.

    Yeah, yeah!

  9. May 20, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    “Him-in-Adelaide” was me. Most likely all those Opera hits are me. Opera-10 isn’t officially released yet, it’s in ‘alpha’ at the moment, so that’s definitely me. And I’ve used all of the Opera-9.x series off and on.

    I also use the “FireFox3.6alpha1pre” builds too (and FireFox3.5beta4pre), which aren’t official releases. I’m FireFox-3.6 today btw.

    I just drift back and forth as the wind blows. ;). Same way with Linux, as I have multiple distros installed on this computer. Mostly Debian and SIDUX variants. So I may be some of those other 14 Linux people too. Confused yet?

    I’ve been a long time lerker. I first came out when you asked us lerkers to identify ourselves. Not much of a commenter though.

    Randy – Seems I found a subject to drag the lurk out of you. 🙂 So you delve into the alpha nightlies etc for a look see. I started doing that awhile back and got tired of hacking my extensions all the time. There is a couple like Roboform toolbar that I could get to work so I ended up tired of the experimentation. Might have another look.

  10. May 21, 2009 at 12:29 am

    I don’t know if this works in MS-Windows; but in Linux, I unZIP the extension and extract the “install.rdf” file. Use a text editor to set the “em:maxVersion” value to “4.9.*”. Restore the modified “install.rdf” file back into the extension and ZIP it up. That fixes its little red wagon (usually).

    Of course, occasionally, an extension just doesn’t like getting too far ahead of the pack and it falls over. Then one can try going to the extension developer’s website and hope that they too have a “nightly-build” for their extension. Or try to find another extension that almost does the same job, like replacing “Mouse Gestures” with “Fire Gestures”.

    It’s all part of the fun of skirting along the “cutting-edge”. I like to tinker. I wouldn’t be running Linux if I didn’t. 🙂 And hopefully it keeps the Alzheimer’s at bay.

    Randy – That’s exactly what I was doing to hack my extensions and it works in Windows too. Anyway, I’m having a look at Minefield at the moment and I like to tinker around with things too. It’s good to keep that memory disease thingy (I can’t remember it’s name) at bay. I tried Ubuntu awhile back and it looked good but didn’t persist with it. I have a good motherboard and HDD hanging around so might build another system just for tinkering.

    Not enough time in this retirement to get all these things done!

  11. Muppet's Mum
    May 21, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    I consider myself to be computer literate but you guys might as well be saying blah blah blah blah de blah blah blah … (or should that be babble babble babble de babble babble babble???) 😉

    MM – We’re all computer literate, some just more nerdish than others.

  12. May 21, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    A youngster like you are shouldn’t need to worry about the memory thing quite yet. 🙂

    I, personally, don’t care for Ubuntu, don’t like the Gnome desktop mainly — but that’s pure personal preference, akin to which automobile one likes, or which mobile phone, or which wine.

    “http://distrowatch.com/” lists 301 different active Linux distros in its database, so there’s enough to cater for everyone’s tastes.

    Minefield has its good days and its bad days, so don’t get discouraged if you hit it in a “buggy” phase. I’m using the May 1st nightly, as later ones have been a bit crash-prone. Although, in truth, it’s been a week or so since I last tried a new nightly.

  13. May 21, 2009 at 10:47 pm

    Randy and DB… you’ve lost me with all that techno-talk. (Just thought I better come out once in a while too). Hi 🙂

    TL – Oh, you are still around!

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