First Impressions: Windows 7, a keeper!
Monday, May 11, 2009 10:29 PM
Last weekend I bit the bullet and installed Windows 7 on two, yup, you read that right, TWO computers! Read on for my experiences.
This past weekend I broke down.
I swore I would never, ever, EVER install an alpha/beta/RC version of any operating system! It's just too risky! GPFs, blue screens of death, misery, frustration abound! And that's when things go smoothly! Past Windows "public betas" have been notorious for glitches, hiccups and equate to nothing more than unpaid testers! And waiting for the first serivce pack (SP1) is released is common practise for paying corporate customers! So what's up with Windows 7? What's different you ask?
I'm not quite sure, maybe it's cause Vista's (unfairly IMHO) getting bad press and people are just itching for the next version no matter what flavour it looks like! But the tech trade rags are touting Windows 7 Release Candidate (RC) to be quite stable. Some are even saying it'll be better than Vista!
At this point, let me say, I like Vista! Microsoft duped a lot of peope into looking at "the next version of Windows" in the Mojave Experiment. Now, I might not like how they rused all those people into giving their flaming comments on Vista but yet gave their GLOWING reviews of "the next version of Windows" being demoed to them, but it does show how powerful the trade rags can be with convincing the public with their bias. I've used Vista, and ya, I've had some hiccups with drivers, but there are work arounds and solutions!
Ok, back to my review! When you goto download Windows 7, you'll be given a license key, write it down! If you think (like me haha) you'll be able to save it to a file and get it back later, you'll be disappointed and have to go get another key. Next, you'll be downloading an ISO file, that's an image of a CD or DVD. You'll need some type of tool to convert that ISO file to your DVD. Once you've done that (I used my copy of Nero, but SB says MagicISO is the best and easiest to use), you can easily install it to your computer of choice!
For my first trick, oh, install, I installed it on my laptop. Now, this thing's the most under rated piece of hardware I've seen yet! It gets no respect! It's got the most crippled processor (Atom), 1GB RAM and a 160GB HD but the best thing was it was CHEAP!!!! For a few hundred bucks, I have a laptop that can run Office AND VS08! It's simply AWESOME! For the few seconds I'm going to lose with compiles or screen refreshes, I remind myself, at least I'm able to do compiles AT the presentations I've giving! It's AWESOME! Ya, know, it took me longer to write this much of this blog than it did to install Windows 7 on that very same laptop! I kid you not, 15 minutes, it was done! That's not including the time it took to copy the DVD over to my USB key (the laptop doesn't have a DVD drive). It was done lickity-split!
Now that machine had XP on it. Microsoft upgrade path for XP? Repave, or start over from scratch. There is no easy upgrade path from XP. No biggie for me, I had just gotten that machine, so I hadn't become attached to anything on that machine yet anyways.
Now my desktop machine, that's a different story. Windows 7 is made to upgrade Vista boxes. Score! If I was going to have to repave my main dev box, it would take just too much time to rejig it to my liking, not my idea of a good time. But Windows 7 brags about being able to upgrade Vista boxes, so away I went!
The first hiccup was trying to boot with that DVD. Don't do it! After picking the upgrade option, it tells you to reboot, log in and THEN pick the setup program. Interesting workflow, are they trying to protect my data? What happens if I just reformatted it without logging in? Anyways, after doing what it said, it worked just fine (after getting another license key cause I forgot to write it down again DOH! ARGH!).
The only problem was it took over three hours of chugging away. Doing what? I can only surmise it was enumerating all my hardware and software and making sure to upgrade it all properly. But three hours? Seems a bit excessive to me. Anyways, I figured it was too late to turn back after the first half hour, so I just let it go. After it was done, it was great! In fact, I'm writting this blog on that very same box! So, everything is working fine!
The only hiccup was Win7 didn't pick up my NVidia video card driver. I had to download and install the Vista version of those drivers. The ONLY thing I can't seem to figure out is how to change the darn bootup/shutdown and logon screen pics of the darn birds! Now, if I could only just fix DotNetNuke's blog module problem with navigating away from blog entries too easily (this is my fourth attempt at this entry cause of DNN's lack of a chicken switch for when you accidentally click your mouse's back button!). Now that I'm dont, it's time to go grab a coffee and get coding!
2 comment(s) so far...
By Sylvain on
Tuesday, May 12, 2009 9:48 AM
Re: First Impressions: Windows 7, a keeper!
Well I glad you like the OS I introduced you too! I have it on almost all my machines (1 is still a Vista). There is still much to learn though, I heard about this XP mode and I think I will try that over the weekend. There is many things I have learn't over the last week of using the operating system, so just ask. As far as the log in screen wallpaper you may want to look at this link (http://www.blogsdna.com/2698/you-can-customize-windows-7-logon-background-officially.htm). I have already brainstormed a utility to do this where you give it a large image and it will make the other images (size) accordingly and do the registry portion. I also have a laptop without the cd/dvd tray and your little trick worked like a charm when it came to the USB. Another side note, my wife was very good with Vista and she has sinced moved to Windows 7 without asking one question!
By phenry on
Tuesday, May 12, 2009 9:58 AM
Re: First Impressions: Windows 7, a keeper!
So what are you saying? Your wife's smarter than you?! HAHA LOL! Very cool tool! I'll try it out tonight, I can't decide between these two pics though?
There used to be this one, but it's no more good (unfortunately).