Previewing Windows 7

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I seldom write about computer stuff. Frankly, after about thirty-five years of wrestling with the beasts, I’m sick of them. I want to use my computer like a hammer. If you handed a hammer, some nails, and a couple of boards to someone who was born in a cave and suckled by bears and told him to attach the two boards together, I’d bet he could figure out how to drive a nail in seconds. From then on, it’s just repetition.

So, with minor trepidation, I installed the Beta 1 version (Build 7000, if you care) on a test machine in my office today. I have to say that it was the most painless installation of Windows that I’ve ever experienced. It took far less time than Vista and there was not a single glitch. All hardware was discovered and installed correctly.

I’d hooked an Ethernet cable up to the machine before I started and W7 found our router and had the internet running on the first pass. It warned me, of course, that it was defenceless, so I installed anti-virus software immediately. Norton Internet Security 2009 refused to install, complaining that it didn’t like the Windows version. AVG Free, however, installed and updated itself without a murmur.

Here’s the test rig:

The Windows 7 test rig

Windows immediately began pulling in updates from Microsoft and installing them. Within a half-hour of finishing the installation, I had a fully patched and protected machine. It even warned me that I should let Windows Defender scan the machine.

After only a couple of hours of fooling around, I can say without hesitation that I like it much better than Vista. It seems to me what Vista should have been. I looked for numerous items that bug me about Vista to see if they’ve been fixed. Nearly all are, but sometimes not the way I expected. However, I’ve found nothing yet that I don’t like.

By the way, it’s noticeably faster than Vista and we have to remember that it’s a Beta version, so it will probably perform even better on release.

Here’s the nifty new Theme Selector:

Windows 7 Theme Selector

I installed Windows 7 as being in the Australia region, so it gave me the choice of an “Australian” theme.

Here’s the desktop with the “Landscapes” theme and the Start menu showing:

Windows 7 desktop with "Landscape" theme and start menu showing

I could say a lot more about the prettiness of W7, but I’ll use my fancy new photo gear to show you some more screenshots instead:

Notice in the screenshot that shows User Accounts that I was entered as an Administrator without even specifying so. I don’t know whether this will be the same for the release version, but I like it. I despise the limitations that are inflicted on my by Vista when I use the default account settings.

You can easily sign up for the Beta 1 version of W7. You’ll get a 2.44GB ISO file that you need to burn on a DVD. I understand that it does not expire until August 2009.

When you sign up, you get a product key to install it. There is no registration or “activation” required.

If you try it, please feel free to leave comments on this post so that others can share your experience.

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4 Responses to “Previewing Windows 7”

  1. The Best of News Feeds #12 | Robert@PNG Says:

    […] The new Windoze gets a good rap MadDog: Previewing Windows 7 […]

  2. Saving Trees - The Stupid Way | Madang - Ples Bilong Mi Says:

    […] Have you noticed that your magazines seem to be getting thinner and thinner? The image above may represent the wave of the future. And, I’m not talking about Windows 7. […]

  3. Akshay Says:

    Is this the best way to comment?

  4. MadDog Says:

    Yes, it is the only way to reply to an article. If you want to contact me by email use: