Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Windows 7: Actually Not Bad

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  • Craig Ranapia,

    "It does," Leo agreed. "It's like it's got this aura around it. Of just working."

    Why isn't Leo in advertising? "Windows 7. Just working." Score!

    Leo says we should lock it in a box where it will stay for 700 years before being used to disable SkyNet with its unmatched ability for FAIL. That sounds like a cunning plan.

    Heh... I bet it would work on The Borg too.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    Although I'm starting to wonder if what I want is the new Dell 11z. It seems like the bastard love child of a netbook and laptop. Mmmm 1.35kg. Mmmm dual cores. And only ~$1200

    But that page says Dell's charging US$399 - at current exchange rates plus GST it ought to be NZ$600.

    I've been a long time Dell fan but Dell's NZ online sales sucks badly - they haven't tracked the NZ$ changes - the quad core laptop I lust after comes in at some silly price over $12k - and the NZ web page is so poorly configured it's not actually possible to buy it. Last time I checked their web page also requires you to choose what city you live in - there are four choices, Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Rotorua. I still get paper spam addressed to ".... Dunedin, Christchurch, New Zealand"

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    actually the Borg may be the result of locking Vista in a box for 700 years ....

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler,

    actually the Borg may be the result of locking Vista in a box for 700 years ....

    Nope, I'm pretty sure the Borg descends from Ubuntu - which is, after all, "Linux for Human Beings".

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 856 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    I've been a long time Dell fan but Dell's NZ online sales sucks badly - they haven't tracked the NZ$ changes - the quad core laptop I lust after comes in at some silly price over $12k - and the NZ web page is so poorly configured it's not actually possible to buy it.

    A smart dell (as a graduation present to myself) is just about the only expensive, non-entry lavel piece of technology I've ever purchased. One of its drawcards was the super-duper international warranty and service. So this year I found myself in Italy when the fan broke. I phoned the assistance and they told me that yes, they could see my service code in the system, but it would take two weeks for the warranty to be transferred to Italy. Okay, says I once I've processed the information, it's just a fan after all. How much is it and where can I buy it? No sir, we cannot even sell it to you until your service tag details have been transferred into the European database.

    Cue much swearing and banging of head on desk.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    (And by the way that was the machine with Vista. What made it useless to me was that none of the core software I use for work seemed to be compatible with it - it was just a matter of waiting I suppose. I didn't have too much trouble with the OS itself although it was clunky as hell.)

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Leo says we should lock it in a box where it will stay for 700 years before being used to disable SkyNet with its unmatched ability for FAIL. That sounds like a cunning plan.

    It might be needed, now.

    We live in a world where there are actual fleets of robot assassins patrolling the skies. At some point there, we left the present and entered the future.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Juha Saarinen,

    Do I have to apologise for never having any real issues or problems with XP or Vista?

    Since Nov 2006 • 529 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    A smart dell (as a graduation present to myself) is just about the only expensive, non-entry lavel piece of technology I've ever purchased.

    I'll never forget the combusting laptop incidents in a hurry.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5430 posts Report Reply

  • noizyboy,

    Do I have to apologise for never having any real issues or problems with XP or Vista?

    Probably. Although, my experience is much the same, no major problems with either, except for some older games that don't want to seem to work on Vista, no matter what 'compatibility' options I run them with.

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 171 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    So let me get this straight. We are supposed to praise, party and celebrate because the biggest software company in the world (or near enough) manages to produce an OS that is nearly as efficient as the one they produced 6 years ago?

    Oh, and you get to pay for it all over again?

    Sorry, but this is just plain bloody stupid.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    I feel a Newtown T-shirt coming on:

    'Windows 7, it's only a little bit shit"

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    Oh, and for all the "Snow Leopard is just a service pack" crowd:
    Windows 7 is really Windows 6.1. That's what the operating system will tell software applications that are trying to check which version of Windows they are running on. Windows 7 will say it's 6.1 because it's really a small upgrade from Vista, and programs designed to run on Vista should run with no problems on 7.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

  • richard,

    Russell -- Snow Leopard works well for me (and I can use some of the under the hood stuff too), but I noticed my desktop was chugging along at about 300% cpu usage this morning, and it was all due to Flash.

    Which (magnified a million times) may be costing people money -- the Nehalem chips are very smart at turning bits of themselves off when the CPU is idled, and it would be a shame to have them wake up only to run some stupid flash animation in a browser window hidden in a corner of your screen.

    Can't guess what it would cost across the world, but it could easily run into millions of dollars (and a good bit of CO_2 when it comes to that) over a year...

    Not looking for New Engla… • Since Nov 2006 • 268 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Oh, and you get to pay for it all over again?

    Cause it's new!

    It never ceases to amaze me how people will pay a great premium on something simply because it's the latest model of X.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    Nope, I'm pretty sure the Borg descends from Ubuntu - which is, after all, "Linux for Human Beings".

    You may be right

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Oh, and for all the "Snow Leopard is just a service pack" crowd:
    Windows 7 is really Windows 6.1.

    Ah. But. From the same Article Gareth, that you forgot to link to ;-)

    Contrast that with Apple Inc.'s approach. It used a consistent numbering scheme for versions 1 through 9 of its operating system. When it got to 10, the current version, it started adding the names of big cats to the sub-releases: Cheetah, Puma, Jaguar, Panther, Tiger, Leopard and Snow Leopard.

    And with regard to Global Warming can we expect a "Mud Leopard" "Sub Release" next ?.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    Yeah, copied that link even, but forgot to add it sorry!

    I was just pointing out that the Win7 crowd we're deriding SL with that call when the same argument is easily levelled in that direction.
    IMO they're both new releases of similar magnitude - SL works on the "under the hood" bizzo with a similar face, while 7 dolls itself up with the same underlying bits. Those seem to be the things that each OS needed.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    I don't think Windoze can go much further without dropping the bloody awful "Registry" and quit running parts th OS as "Services"
    but to do that would mean a total ground upward build. Which would in all likelihood end up similar to BSD, with about as many applications in the box i.e not many.
    As the vast majority of applications were written for windows a change of that magnitude would be self defeating I suspect.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler,

    I don't think Windoze can go much further without dropping the bloody awful "Registry" and quit running parts th OS as "Services"

    Not sure what you mean about services, what exactly do you think other OSes do? A Windows "service" is much like a Unix "daemon".

    but to do that would mean a total ground upward build. Which would in all likelihood end up similar to BSD, with about as many applications in the box i.e not many.

    Well I don't know about your BSD, but mine came with 20773 applications sitting just outside the box...

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 856 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    As the vast majority of applications were written for windows a change of that magnitude would be self defeating I suspect.

    There are only so many applications anyone needs, though. You might be surprised at the number of stable, useful applications there are for Mac OS, many of them ported from BSD.

    The sheer number of horrible Windows applications actually seems to be a problem to me.

    My search for a good lightweight word processor that's not Word (but can save and open Word documents) continues, though. I didn't like Apple's Pages much at all -- not least because I couldn't find a way to paste from the web into a Pages document as plain text.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    The Windows registry has been on the way out as a place to store application settings since .NET, which uses .config files. However, system settings need someplace to go (which often needs to be independent of the file system) so the registry is still the choice for things like TCP/IP settings.

    In any case, for older Windows apps to work, they need the registry, or a complete emulation thereof.

    Linux uses flat files in a wide range of formats for all config, which is by no means ideal.

    Also, like James says, services are just processes that are designed to run in background. Most operating systems of any scale have an analogue of these, and I'd suggest the Windows implementation is well designed (services can be stopped and started, have dependencies, etc. and this all happens in a consistent manner).

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler,

    My search for a good lightweight word processor that's not Word (but can save and open Word documents) continues

    I fear the requirements of "lightweight" and "can save and open Word documents" are mutually exclusive, considering the nature of the .doc[x] spec. Abiword mostly makes an acceptable job of reading it, but can't write. OpenOffice.org makes me want to hurl even more than Word itself - on my Linux desktop at work it's easier to open Word in a VM than use OOo.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 856 posts Report Reply

  • Phil Brownlee,

    My search for a good lightweight word processor that's not Word (but can save and open Word documents) continues, though.

    Have you tried Nisus Writer?
    Doesn't deal with Word's collaborative editing features, but it does everything else a word processor should.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2008 • 25 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

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