Thursday, July 16, 2009

Windows 7 review

I've installed windows 7 RC again. Not the beta on a VM, but a real machine. I figured, I'll run it through the workstation test.

So far the results of the tests are (for windows based OSs)

1st place: Windows 2008 Server / workstation
2nd place: Windows Vista 64 bit ultimate / home premium - strictly for media center purpose, which is important.

Pros and cons of Vista

Let's revise the pros and cons of Vista before we proceed with Windows 7. And I mean pros and cons, because after using Windows for so long, I can't determine if it's a bug or a feature.

1. Time to boot

Yes, vista takes ages to boot, but after it does, don't shut it down. simple solution. Yes, we don't know where everything is, but it's a searchable

2. Driver problems

No salvation there, I bought a mac to solve that problem, but I still kept the vista 64bit ultimate windows desktop for my xbox media center extender. Now that PC has broken sound, but that's another story and I don't think I'm going to bother fixing it, although I am starting to question the use of the machine, since I hardly use the media center extender these days.

3. Lots of software

Sure, plenty of windows software out there that is 32bit and still installs into the Program Files (x86) directory. Compatibility mode is alright and there are tools to help developers determine if the OS can run the application (ACT).

4. All round good stuff

So, if there is anything you learn about Windows, it doesn't play well with just about anything. you need to go look for some logo somewhere, but since machines are just about self sufficient and you really don't need to plug anything in, e.g. usb midi interface, it's a safe and fun computer to use.

Verdict on Windows 7

And if you think I spent all this time talking about Vista for no reason, that's because, all the niffy stuff I like about Vista is in Windows 7. The boot time is great in windows 7 but it was good with XP for the first few months also, so I'm not holding my breath. So while using Windows 7, I do get all the vista flashbacks, so I can't say there is much of a change other than the boot time and response. Maybe it's like the iphone 3g 'S' thing.

What I did to get it off the ground:

Installed, and it was pretty quick, CD image didn't work though, so had to use another cd. Ok, that worked, decided to install cloneCD so I can load my software ISOs.

It's a funky non certified driver but Vista dealt with that. Windows 7 went all crazy and kept restoring itself to before the driver was installed and it also took out my ethernet card, so i couldn't get back on the network.

After a few reboots, mad clicking and selecting rubbish, I left it powered off for a week or so before I started again at a wireless access point and started patching it. (yes wireless still worked for some reason)

I've installed all the essentials things that most people will install and more, windows live messenger, firefox, office, visual studio, sql server 2008 and yes, it complains and its a series of weird patches to get it going. In fact it's still going. I need to update to all the SP1+ before it can be used.

So while I wait for my visual studio sp1 to be downloaded and my sql server 2008 install (still launched and waiting for requirements), I can conclude that while it's a flashy operating system, it's not for the weak hearted. Debugging is still necessary and there will be times you find yourself very lost.

I would recommend that you take this time to consider ubuntu or the mac os for personal use, or if you have limited or work requirements, this is still a good OS to use and I'll stick with it after all the pain I went through.

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