Tag Archives: windows 7 beta

Windows 7 beta – again

Played with the Windows 7 beta again last night (I put ear plugs in so the fan noise didn’t get to me).  What can I say, either Microsoft are pulling a fast one and this is a fake version of Windows designed to run really quick, or it’s actually pretty good.  I installed Firefox and OpenOffice on the the machine yesterday and both are quick and responsive.  OO starts pretty smartly and dragging windows around is pretty quick (not very scientific, but let’s be honest, the way I use a machine these days I’m all about how responsive the UI is).

The access protection stuff doesn’t really get in my way, there’s a couple of dialogs to click on when installing stuff (‘do you want App_01 to make changes to your system?’) but otherwise it’s pretty seamless.

I don’t like the file dialogs.  I’m a big fan of files and directories, and I much prefer just seeing a real representative list of what the structure looks like, rather than all the ‘fake’ entries, but I guess that’s because I’m a command-line geek at heart and that as things develop that view is going to go away entirely (it’s not really necessary any more I guess).

File sharing works fine, I picked ‘work’ as the network location, popped the machine into a workgroup and I can happily drag files off my XP machine, haven’t tried the other way around yet.

I tried the Kaperskey trial anti-virus thing this time instead of AVG, and the installer is very annoying with about 14 features I didn’t like the sound of so I turned off.  Otherwise it installed and seems fine.

I’ll probably not post anything else about Windows 7 – as far as I care these days it works fine for me.  I used to demand a lot more from the OS and spend a lot of time configuring and tweaking, but these days I’ve turned into much more of a casual OS user.  As long as I can browse, install apps and manage photo’s I’ll be fine.  Actually, I might try and get Lord of the Rings online installed and running just to see how it copes since I guess games are the other thing I do, if I make any progress or fall foul with that I’ll let you know.  Otherwise, I’m confident that when I have to upgrade from XP, Windows 7 looks like it’ll be fine.

Of course, I don’t intent to get rid of my Linux VM’s, I can’t give up my command line just yet.

Windows 7 beta – not in a VM

I installed the Windows 7 beta on my old PC (Intel P4 3GHz, 2GB memory) and it’s really responsive, it’s easily as quick as XP even with all the funky Aero stuff running.  I admit, I didn’t run up 10 huge apps and see how it handled Firefox with 10 tabs (the machine for some reason, drives the fan really really hard when the graphics card is working overtime and it’s basically too loud to use these days), but in general it’s clearly useable.

Windows 7 Beta – file sharing

I suspect it’s because of how I’m running Windows 7 beta under Sun’s VirtualBox, but I can’t at the moment get file sharing working working between the beta and my XP machine.  That’s not an issue in it’s own right (I suspect I know why it doesn’t work), but it does highlight an area that frustrates me.  In their effort to simplify the sharing of files on Windows, Microsoft just confuses the hell out of me.  Three different types of network connection (Home, Work, Public), different behaviour in each, some new (maybe it was in Vista?) network sharing thing that’s not Workgroups, but it might kinda support workgroups as well.

I just wanted a single network options dialog with clearly explained options I can tick or cross.  Where’s the ‘trust me’ option?

Windows 7 Beta in Sun’s xVM VirtualBox

Windows 7 Beta System Information dialogSo I never used Vista.  I heard too much negative press before it was released and too many negative comments from people who did use it after it was released.  Our PC’s came with XP and we were quite happy thank you very much.

But I’m not an out and out Microsoft hater.  They get a lot wrong, but on the other hand, XP does what I want it to do.  I wish it was more secure, but when you’re a target the size of Microsoft with the install base it has you’re going to be under constant attack anyway.  They could be better, but I’m not sure the products are as bad as some haters claim.  Yeh, the company has some terrible practices, but the product isn’t the worst.

I was amused at how quickly news about Windows 7 turned up, it really looks like Vista failed, and I wanted to get a look at it and see if it was something I could move to in the future.  I managed to nab the public beta this morning, and although I doubted it would work I tried installing it into Sun’s xVM VirtualBox – and lo and behold it works fine.

Windows 7 Beta Performance RatingsAnd despite only having 768MB of memory it’s actually pretty usable.  I’d get naffed off if it performed like this all the time on my main machine, but I should imagine given it’s full complement of CPU and another 1.2GB of memory it’ll perform pretty well.

I had one problem installing it into VirtualBox, initially I created the virtual disk as an auto-expanding one and the install crashed half way through (taking out the install, VirtualBox, my machine, three quarters of my desk and creating a small worm hole).  Creating the disk at the full size before installing fixed that and it went on pretty quickly.  You can install the VirtualBox extensions by running them in XP Compatability mode, and you can install the network by telling Windows 7 to look at the VirtualBox extensions CD.  Once the network is up and running, Windows 7 chugs out to the ‘net on it’s own and grabs the sound drivers (as part of windows update).  It was pretty slick.

I’m writing this from Firefox running on the Windows 7 VM (Firefox installed fine, regular version).  There’s a free version of AVG which runs on Windows 7 which is running (link checker turned off).

Clearly I’ve not had a chance to really use any major applications, or push the OS hard, but I have to say Microsoft may have learned the Vista lesson.  I’ll play with it a lot more, maybe see if OpenOffice installs, and let you know.