Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

A Tech’s First Impression of Windows 7 RC

Like many people, I downloaded the Windows 7 “Release Candidate”, and I have been running it for a few days now. I will now describe to you, Dear Reader, my initial impressions of Microsoft’s newest operating system, as I did for Windows 7 beta. (drum roll please)

Win7RC (For those of you who would like to get a copy, please see, Click here to download Windows 7. For those of you who would like to read my earlier statements on Windows 7 first, please see, A Tech’s First Impression of Windows 7, Part 1. Also, please read this warning Windows 7 RC gets its first bug, and it’s a doozy before you install)

Let’s get started: I opted to install the 32-bit version. I installed a “clean install”, though I could have “upgraded” an existing Vista or Windows 7 install (I recommend ‘clean install’ as a General Rule Of Thumb).

Microsoft is calling Windows 7 a whole new OS, and is expecting it to replace Vista.. in the same way that Vista is replacing Windows XP. I can tell you that it is not a whole new operating system. I can also tell you that it does not give us the new file system (WinFS) that was originally promised as one of the “three pillars of Vista”.

The install itself: My “clean” install on a freshly formatted volume took just 27 minutes, and involved three automated reboots. I then transferred in my settings tweaks and customizations, all my installed programs (except for my antivirus) and games, files and photos, etc., from the Win 7 beta in 20 minutes using Windows Easy Transfer.
It would have taken less time had I migrated the User Profile via my network, but I used a USB storage drive instead.

No device driver issues: I installed Windows 7 on a recent-vintage machine (it shipped with Vista Home Premium) and I had to install zero, zip, nada, device drivers — and this is a beta! Every device worked out of the gate. Microsoft claims Windows 7 is the most ‘backwards compatible’ OS yet and I believe them. A beta.. and no device driver installs??? Amazing.

In case you’re not following along.. From inserting the CD, to a fully tweaked, loaded, and ready-to-go state in 47 minutes.. without the use of 3rd-party programs, tools or special cables.

That is simply… OUTSTANDING! (Yes, I’m shouting.)
MyWin7_RC_Desktop

In my earlier series, (see link above) I wrote “My experience matched that of other reviewers: it was by far the fastest, smoothest, easiest Windows installation I’ve ever had. That this is a beta release makes this fact all the more remarkable.
The RC beat it handily .

Folks, I cannot count the number of Windows Installs, re-Installs, and User State Migrations I’ve done — I am a Support & Repair Tech, after all — but this last was something I had previously only dreamed of.

I’m going to stop here but I will add this statement — I will delay buying my next computer until they come with Windows 7 on them; and I advise you to do the same if you can. (Can you tell I’m impressed?)

More Windows 7 RC “impressions” to come..

Today’s free link(s): see second paragraph, and – if you’re thinking of installing Windows 7 and your machine is a little bit older (say, 2 or more years) please see Download Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor – Can You Handle The Ride!

Today’s free download: see second paragraph.

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved. post to jaanix

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May 9, 2009 Posted by | computers, Microsoft, PC, performance, tech, Windows 7 | , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Leopard wins title of "best"

You might be aware of the long-running debate known as Mac vs. PC (personified by Justin Long + John Hodgman on the humorous “I’m a Mac” commercials). And you may be aware that there’s a debate whether XP isn’t a better OS than Vista. And, you may be aware that there’s a free OS, known as Linux, which has a few proponents who claim theirs is the best.

Which one’s the best? There’s an awful lot of opinions out there (and if you agree with mine, you’re really smart!), but has anyone every done a true, impartial test to determine which one really is the safest/fastest/most features/cost-effective/easy-to-use operating system today? Well yes, someone has– and the latest comes from PC Magazine‘s March issue.
[Yes, PCMag has long been accused of being a Microsoft puppet and/or shill. Look at the name, though: it’s “PC”, not “Mac Magazine” (and, yes, there’s one of those, too). But how do you write about personal computers and NOT write about Microsoft? Hmm?]

The article compares Mac OS 10.5.1 (the latest “Leopard”), Windows XP SP2, Vista, and Ubuntu 7.10 , and it compares them in these areas:
*Price
*Installation (ease)
*GUI (the graphical ‘look’)
*Bundled Software
*3rd Party Software
*Drivers/Hardware
*Networking
*Security

As you might expect, each OS won some categories, and lost in others; for example, Ubuntu is free, so it will clearly win the Price category, and since it doesn’t have a huge budget for graphic artists (and Linux folk aren’t afraid of the command line) it loses the GUI category. To see the results chart, click here.

The scores in each category were totaled to produce a winner, and the “Microsoft shill”, PC Magazine, proclaims Leopard the winner. (And, perhaps more interestingly, XP and Vista tied.)

My two cents: There are a few flaws in this comparison ‘test’ that shouldn’t be overlooked.
*Vista was tested before Service Pack 1
*The first three categories are largely non-factors: Price and Installation are largely irrelevant to most people. Most people buy a new computer, not an OS Install CD/DVD. And a GUI is a GUI– how pretty it looks has nothing to do with your computer’s operation.

I believe the most important factors are Security and 3rd Party Software.. followed by Drivers/Hardware.
In Security: Leopard wins.. not because its armor plating is more bulletproof, but because less than 3% of the world’s computers are running it and so hackers ignore it.
In Drivers/Hardware: XP SP2 wins.. but time will move Vista ahead as more drivers get written and pass MS’s WHQL.
In the all-important 3rd-Party Software category: XP SP2 wins.. but again, time will move Vista into the lead.

So clearly PC Magazine is wrong. XP SP2 is the better OS.. for now.

How can I say that? Games, baby. Games. There aren’t any for Macs.
And of course.. other programs. Walk into a store that sells software some time and look at the size of the Mac section and then the size of the PC titles. That tells you all you need to know.

OS’s and you: But which one is best for YOU? I agree totally with the author of the article in PC Mag (Eric Griffith): it depends on what you use your computer for.
If all you do is surf the Web, and you’re on a budget, Ubuntu is probably your best choice. If you’re a cutting-edge gamer, you probably will have to struggle with Vista for Direct X 10 titles. If you’re a network admin.. Red Hat is probably your OS (are you ready for Server 2008?).

But the fact remains, the OS you use will be the one that came with your computer. And as I mentioned in “Mac Myths“, which brand you decide to buy will probably be decided by which ‘camp’ you joined.. way back in the early days.

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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April 25, 2008 Posted by | advice, Apple, computers, Gaming, hardware, Linux, Mac vs PC, PC, shopping for, tech, Vista, Windows, XP | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment