Archive for the ‘Windows7’ Category

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Windows 7 / Microsoft

October 24, 2009

I have been running Windows 7 now for a few weeks after getting a TechNet Plus subscription. This was the cheapest way for me to upgrade all of my machines. I like windows 7 a lot and have no major issues with it however I will say I never had any major issues with Vista either.

On to what this post is about its me have a good old whinge basically but what the heck sometimes its good to have a whinge πŸ™‚

  1. The upgrade pricing for Windows 7 is too high when you consider the current economic environment. It would have cost me over $AU1500 to upgrade all my machines hence the TechNet subscription.
  2. Microsoft Australia provided no low pre order pricing as happened in other markets and at this stage have not committed to having a family pack license for Windows 7. The loyal windows user was treated with disdain it was only if you bought a new machine or bought a copy of Vista in the 3 months leading up to its release you could at least get a low cost upgrade but the loyal user was just asked to bend over and take it. In general the marketing and pricing of Windows 7 in Australia has been pathetic.
  3. Vista Ultimate users – Microsoft raised the cost of the upgrade on this and as part of the upgrade you lost any Ultimate extras you may have had. You couldn’t upgrade to another version of Windows 7 you were stuck with Ultimate. Ask Microsoft about this and all you get is silence. Very bloody poor Microsoft.
  4. Minor niggle this one but a niggle all the same. Windows Media Player 12 like previous versions has no support for Podcasts. There is a half assed RSS method of getting podcasts but compared to getting them in iTunes its pretty much in the dark ages. I however has used WMP11 as my main music/podcast player in Vista and loved the WMP toolbar that you could anchor on the right of the taskbar. This is missing in WMP12 in windows 7 and is a PITA. It made me go back to using iTunes as my music/podcast player as it has a toolbar.
  5. I am not a fan of the new taskbar (in fact I have set it up so it behaves like it did in XP/Vista and restored the quick launch bar) it comes across as Microsoft trying to make their own Apple Dock something which I am not a fan of either.

That’s about it like I said nothing major just a good old whinge.

Currently listening to : When All Is Said and Done – Toni Childs (from the β€œKeep the Faith” album)

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Upgrading my PC

July 4, 2009

Every 12 to 18 months i go thru the process of upgrading the motherboard and CPU. For a small cost I get a performance upgrade. Depending I my needs and what I have changed since the last upgrade there may also be an upgrade in memory, graphics card and HDD. In the last upgrade I did all this plus installed a bigger power supply. I have been using the same Antec case for the last 3 years. Its big and give me plenty of room to move.

The specs before my upgrade were

  • O/S – Vista Ultimate (64 bit)
  • Processor – Intel Core 2 Duo – 6600 @ 2.40GHz
  • Memory – 3GB
  • Video – Nvidia GeForce 8600GT – 512mb
  • HDD – 1 x 120GB SATA (Primary) – 1 x 500GB SATA  – 1 x 1TB SATA
  • DVD/CD Combo reader/writer
  • Memory Card reader
  • Monitors – 21β€³ Samsung 215tw(1680 x 1050) – 24β€³ Dell (1920 x 1200)
  • Keyboard & mouse – Logitech MX3200 wireless
  • Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS
  • Altec Lanseng 621 Speakers

The specs after the upgrade are (new parts in bold)

  • O/S – Vista Ultimate  SP2 (64bit)
  • Processor – Intel Quad Core Q8300 2.5 GHz
  • Motherboard – MSI P45 Neo3
  • Memory – 8GB DDR2
  • Video 9800GT – 512mb
  • HDD – 1 x 150GB 10,000rpm (Primary) 2 x 1TB SATA (1 of the TB drives is new)
  • DVD/CD Combo reader/writer changed from IDE unit to SATA unit
  • Memory Card reader
  • Monitors – 21β€³ Samsung 215tw(1680 x 1050) – 24β€³ Dell (1920 x 1200)
  • Keyboard & mouse – Logitech Wave 2.4 /  Logitech MX1100 Mouse  both wireless
  • Altec Lanseng 621 Speakers
  • Power Supply -OCZ StealthXStream 500W SLI

IMG_2660

It runs nicely and scores 5.9 in all categories on the Windows Experience Index. The fast primary makes program opening very snappy. One of the TB drives is a β€œGreen” drive and there is a 1-2 second delay before the drive spins up. Not a major issue but I wouldn’t use one as a primary.

A majority of the parts where sourced online or from a local contact. For online I can recommend PC Case Gear.  Great prices and great service.

My next upgrade may or may not be to Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit. The pricing of Windows 7 upgrades (I want to do 3 other machines as well as this one) is on the high side. I was running Windows 7 RC on my HTPC (built between main PC upgrades) and really liked it but I have not had any issues with Vista on any of the 3 PCs that run it (one older one runs XP – this will upgraded later this year) and with the pricing on 7 I find it hard to justify the OS upgrade. It will be a wait and see on the OS upgrade.

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Windows 7 Beta – early impressions

January 13, 2009
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I downloaded the beta of Windows 7 on the weekend and installed it in a virtual PC. There was no issues there the install was smooth and straight forward. So far its been pretty good and certainly very stable and cant be that far off of being fully cooked.

Now a couple of things that I donΒ’t like.

01 –Β  Windows Media Player 12 – no podcast support still and I couldn’t find the media player toolbar that shows when I minimize it as it does with Vista/XP with media player 11.Β  There is no excuse for this and I can only hope this will be rectified before the final release.

02 – the second is the new taskbar. I gave it a chance but I prefer the way I use the Taskbar and Quick launch bar combo in vista and XP. With windows seven it appears to a combination of the taskbar and the quick launch that feels like a step backwards to me. To see what is running it is not always obvious because the indicators on the taskbar are so subtle. With some programs if I want to launch a second instance I cant click on the taskbar that just max or minimizes the currently running instance. I have to go thru the menu to launch a second instance.

Image3
this is how I work with the taskbar / quick lauch bar in Vista/XP. I can see what is running easily and can launch new instances quickly and with one click.

whereas the Windows 7 bar looks like this.Capture
Here you can see firefox running but when you have a few apps running it can be harder to pick.

At this stage I wouldn’t be looking at upgrading from Vista straight away. The taskbar feels like a step back and like Microsoft is trying to emulate the Apple dock which am not a fan of either. It just feels like its half complete and as a result is half as useful

Update: I have learnt of the centre mouse button press to launch a new instance. In someways this is even worse when in Visual Studio and FireFox I middle click to close tabs