Wors World
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Windows 7 Comes To Wors World

This is a big subject so I’ll document my initial thoughts and return to it later….

I finally decided to get round to having a look at Windows 7 after reading a few bits and pieces about it on the web and seeing that there were a growing number of Twitter users (@harbars, @AndrewWoody, @joeloleson, et al) having a crack at it.

So I downloaded Windows 7 RC from here.  Thankfully MS used download manager to facilitate easy stop/start/pause download – why oh why can’t all MS s/w be delivered using this – IE downloads are the pits!  I burnt the ISO image to a dvd using ISOBuster and I was good to go.

Inserting the DVD into my laptop (1.5Gb Ram, Vista Business service packed up) started the installation process.  I’ll show the screen shots of the process so you can see what’s what.

 

 

 

At this point my screen shots went a bit off piste and these are all I’ve got 🙂  Still it shows the number of screens that need to be waded through til Windows carries out it’s “unattended install” ;->.

 

 

All in all, the process took about 2 hours.  It was a completely unattended install once I’d clicked Go – it just got on with it, rebooting 2 or 3 times and there were more images I would have liked to have captured to show what was going on but it wasn’t possible.  Part of the process was “Converting my files” – what ever that means.  In that last sentence I pressed the quotation mark (“) key and was greeted with an at symbol (@), so it appears that Windows 7 has dicked around with the international settings but that was soon put right by selecting the correct one from the language bar

As part of this blog entry, I’m going to document a few tests that I have ran since installing Windows 7 RC.  I’m going to look at the s/w that was already installed on my sacrificial lamb laptop and any new s/w that has been installed as part of the Windows 7 package.  The s/w that was already installed is not very demanding and some of it is a version behind (Office 200 for example) but it might provide an insight for someone who is running these s/w packages.  I’m also attaching a couple of hardware devices to Windows 7 to see what it makes of them and I’ll document what I’ve found.  There is far more h/w and s/w (Sharepoint 2007, Visual Studio 2008, Office 2007 etc.) to be tested by me on this platform and I’ll return to them at a later date…..

Existing Software

This is not an exhaustive list of all s/w installed just a selection of apps I’ve decided to look at neither are the tests that I’ve carried out of a scientific nature, I just wanted to know what seemed to work and what didn’t.  Don’t forget that the official release may change these findings…….

AVG 8.5 free edition

Virus protection was one of the areas that I was most worried about and after using AVG for more than 5 years I am loathe to change – just cos I can’t be bothered to remove AVG and replace.  So it was with much interest ( 🙂 ) that I set about testing this.

The definitions updated correctly and I launched a scanning of my laptop.

Whilst scanning the resident shield service failed

At this point I’m not sure whether AVG 8.5 is a Windows 7 version of the s/w or not.  I’m gonna look for an update and try again, if that doesn’t work I’ll look for something else and try that.

BTW, the manual scan that I kicked off continued to run and completed without incident.

IE8

Seems to work fine.

The 1st time I started it up I saw this:

Clicking check online brought these

 

Finish took  me to the Skype website with a Version 4.0 download page loaded.  I was just about to click the download link when I decided to try the Skype version I had installed already (3.x).  I clicked the Windows “start” button on the task bar and selected Skype.  The windows installer kicked off and declared that it was configuring Skype 4.0!  How/when this was installed I have no idea, but configured it was and I was asked to either create a Skype account or sign inot an existing account (where had my Skype details gone?).  So I signed in…..

Skype

The familiar Skype startup sound “Aaaaahhhhhhhhh” played and I was in,  There were all my contacts, I called one and it all just worked fine.

Live Messenger

Now Twitters around who uses this anyways?  Still seems to work in text conversations and I never used it for voice as I prefer Skype.

Live Writer

Used to write this blog entry so seems ok.

While writing this entry, I attempted to edit an image by right clicking it and choosing edit I received a couple of these errors

I had to start Paint from the Start menu to get round this.

Paint

Seems to work with the above Live Writer issue as a proviso.

iTunes 8.1.1

iTunes could see my iPhone and I could move contacts, music etc. back and forth without incident.

Wordpad

Works.

Limewire 4.16.7

It works fine.   Obviously, this was an academic exercise only.  🙂

 

New Software

Homegroup

I skipped reading this (who does?) and clicked next from the Homegroup dialog.  The next screen was this

It provides you with a password (obscured in the screen shot above) which is required when connecting other computers to your “homegroup”.  I haven’t got round to connecting any other machines (and they likely need Windows 7 of which I only have 1 setup) so I’ll park this for now.

Games

There’s a new Games Explorer icon on the start menu.  Clicked it nothing (noticeable) happened.

Hardware

iPhone 3G

I plugged in my iPhone via it’s USB connection and Windows 7 sprung into action and installed the necessary without input from me.   I was able to browse the iPhone and view my pictures without incident.  I haven’t  tried iTunes

Maxtor Touch 500Gb USB Drive

This is a powered USB drive which when I connected it to my Windows 7 laptop just worked – no bother!

 

Neat Bits & Pieces

Apps on the task bar have new way of grouping

Hovering your mouse over the thumbnail on the right causes that IE to flick to the front, moving back restores the previous IE – nice!

Performance

To see what’s going on in Windows 7, I started task manager and clicked Resource Monitor.  I was surprised to see that SearchFilterHost.exe was taking almost 50% of the cpu cycles and a quick Google turned up a number of possible reasons from the Index service doing it’s first indexing run through to the indexing of xml files being the issue.

Anyway, I’ve decided to leave it for a while and see if it settles down.

 

Performance even on this poorly speccd laptop seems good – seems to be bit more responsive than Vista was but only time will tell……

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