Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Windows 7: Actually Not Bad

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  • Gareth Ward,

    Apple NZ finally realised the USD/NZD ain't 50c anymore - everything (new and old) got a decent price slash (about 20% for Macbook Pros and the new Macbook).
    A 27" new iMac for $2900 seems stonking value when you look at the old 24" prices which sat around $3.5-$4k (although that says more about the old pricing than new value)

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

  • mark taslov,

    What's wrong with XP?

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    I need to use Windows 2000 on one of my projects. I bought the disk from off of Trademe, but no serial key came with it, dam it.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4414 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Which makes XP, what, Clinton?

    Would explain those stains on the BSOD.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19719 posts Report Reply

  • Morgan Nichol,


    Blob of Sperm On Dress?

    Auckland CBD • Since Nov 2006 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • Morgan Nichol,

    I am clearly the only person in the world running Vista on both a desktop and a laptop with no problems at all. I have never had a blue screen of death, a crashed anything, or issues with my three browsers and multiple tabs running concurrently. I feel deprived of prime bitching-on-the-internet possibilities!

    Not really. I've been running Vista 64 rock solid without a crash since I installed it ~18 months or so ago.

    Best OS I've ever used. Which makes these "hateful fucking Vista put centipedes in my vagina!!!" threads a bit bizarre.

    I have a (lovely looking) iMac next to my (serious looking) Dell workstation, it's used... sparingly.

    The only thing that's ever fucked me off is the lack of a good Cisco IPSEC compatible vpn client, Cisco's own explicitly blocks installation on 64 bit OSs, and a free alternative I found has a completely insane configuration scheme, which I haven't ever managed to navigate. So instead I built a few (sexy as fuck) ssh tunnels (using plink, which is so goddamn good I can barely stand it), to handle the few little things I need to be able to get into the work LAN to use.

    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.

    I'm a fan of google docs. Use OpenOffice as well, it's ok. I guess it doesn't count as lightweight to you? Maybe an upgrade is on order. You have my permission to buy the new iMac.

    Auckland CBD • Since Nov 2006 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • Tony Siu,

    Quietly putting my hand up...
    Running Snow Leopard on a MacBook Pro right now. Everything is going swimmingly. Re-learning shortcuts as I go. Yes, I was the one 4 months ago going on about Snow Leopard as a service pack. Guilty.
    Now, how on earth to I import an opml file into Mail so I can read my feeds?

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 82 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    Like many Mac owners I collect Word Processors, searching for the elusive perfect creative tool. To handle Word means being able to more or less replicate Word's page layout features (and bugs), so nothing that comes close is lightweight. But other honourable mentions go to:
    Mellel- best multilingual, best long structured academic docs word processor, but with only limited word compatibility it is for "lone wolf" writing projects were you are passing exported copy as rtf or pdf (it is also on sale via macupdate.com for the next day or so by chance).
    iText Express- best free word processor by a long way. It actually does footnotes (in wrap to page mode). With the document window open the word count will update as soon as you stop typing (to be fair, Mellel's info window count is live). My daughter wrote her first magazine article using iText Express.
    NeoOffice- probably the most Word compatible one. But to use it daily, erugh.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,


    I hated Leopard - it fouled often. I miss AppleWorks (which I could make do pretty well anything) - and find Pages - meh. Snow Leopard has done - yeah, under-der-hood stuff - but not a lot else *for my purposes*-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    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?

    Yeah, that thought kind of occurred to me as well...

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • Zach Bagnall,

    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

    I took delivery of one on Monday. The larger 6-cell battery gives it some junk in the trunk so it's quite a bit more than 1.35kg and sits high at the rear, but it's still super portable. Seems quite snappy and the speakers are surprisingly good. Multitouch works beautifully - a little too well in fact as it renders the clickable buttons practically useless. But I'll live with it - I bought a slightly (*cough* £580) cheaper laptop to leave budget for a nice 24" Dell ultrasharp LCD and good wireless mouse. Best of both worlds. I'll be requesting a Windows 7 upgrade as soon as Dell sorts out their site; it's not accepting my service tag right now.

    end geekout

    Colorado • Since Nov 2006 • 121 posts Report Reply

  • TracyMac,

    Abiword works well for me. And yes, Zoho or Google Docs if you're happy with the cloud.

    People who use docx when they aren't working in the same organisaton (with Office 2007 presumably installed everywhere) ought to be shot. I was sending docs around in Word 6 format for at least three years after Office 97 came out.

    But anyway, I save the doc files into the Abiword format to edit them, and then export them into doc format when I'm done. Although editing regular doc files goes ok as well.

    Regarding bloody flash, it's hilarious that it runs better on Mint Linux for me than it does in the 64-bit version of Firefox in Vista. Because, hello, there's no 64-bit version of Flash for Windows yet. GAH.

    Also, Vista is running fine on my very sexy Dell Studio XPS with the LED screen. I'm waiting for my Win 7 disk as we speak (I only bought the machine last month as it was eligible for the Win 7 upgrade free of charge).

    Oh, and @Zach, while Dell laptops are fine, and their desktops are ok, I was reluctant to buy from them due to their dire support. This view was entirely vindicated by the fact that it took 16 emails from me to fix up the details of my machine on the upgrade site so that I would receive the Win 7 Ulitmate upgrade I was entitled to. Just amazing. Still, the machine is very nice. I can fix it if it has an OS problem and most physical problems, which was why it was worth the risk.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 701 posts Report Reply

  • Zach Bagnall,

    Yeah I swore I'd never buy another Dell after the xps m1330.. but here we are. They do know how to deliver bang for the buck. Email support is the way to go. Phoning Dell is practically impossible.

    Plus their rigorously polite email manner is hilarious.

    Colorado • Since Nov 2006 • 121 posts Report Reply

  • richard,

    The new iMac does look nice.

    I am also amused by the new Mini server -- I actually have a Mac mini that runs OS X server that serves my research group's website and an internal wiki for file and code sharing. Lovely little thing and it perches cheerfully on the corner of my desk.

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

  • Just thinking,

    Talking about systems upgrades.

    In 1866 Christchurch and Nelson chess clubs compete by telegraph, one of the first uses of this method in the world.

    Communications tool used for frivolous time wasting since 1866 - love it :)

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1158 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    Starving kids in Africa? Windows 7!

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    BTW: I've had reasonable Dell support service (I am really hard on laptops and sadly for them always buy the 3 year warranty - all the silver paint's wearing off this one, down to the beige plastic underneath)

    My one attempt to try something else (Sony) was much more of a disaster with them refusing to honor their warranty in the 3rd year (they'd sold the servicing contract to someone else and there was lots of people pointing fingers at each other)

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    Mint Linux

    I just want to ack ack what is probably the first reference to this very interesting distro on PA.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    As it's Friday I thought I'd post this little effort wot I put together last night with extranormal's State text to movie.
    Apologies to all concerned. ;-)

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Tony Siu,

    Finally, am I one of the cool kids now that I installed and migrate most of my stuff to the new Mac (support for my Nokia 6300. Woah!)! I just need to re-learn the shortcuts and (not) missing Outlook, Mail is slightly fuzzy in terms of menu layout for me. The only thing I missed from my windows is OneNote and Notepad++. Does anyone know is there a good notes taking, PHP/Javascript editor and RSS reader?

    Next step, Windows 7 with Boot Camp: http://www.macworld.com/article/143446/2009/10/windows7_bootcamp.html

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 82 posts Report Reply

  • Alistair McBride,

    Click to Flash plug-in has sped up my net browsing amazingly whether using Safari or Firefox. Nisus Writer Pro (or Express) is a good second tier Mac OS X WP programme. I started using it way back at 4.1.3 and it has been very dependable all along. It dovetails very nicely with the Bookends bibliography tool – much more simply and smoothly than Bookends does with Word 2004 or 2008.

    Hamilton • Since Dec 2006 • 21 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    In 1866 Christchurch and Nelson chess clubs compete by telegraph, one of the first uses of this method in the world.

    You mean we invented internet gaming? Cool.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19719 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    ack ack

    Wrong thread, old chap. :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19719 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Although I'm starting to wonder if what I want is the new Dell 11z.

    I've stayed away from Dell since I recommended my parents get one as a cheap computer, and they didn't even get four years out of it.

    I've been reasonably happy with Vista for over a year now. Minor buggering around, but I don't abuse my home machine too much. My work machine is a Mac 10.5, and that's been well and truly put through the ringer (still works very well, apart from speed opening applications).

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

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