Posts Tagged windows 7

Magic Trackpad on a non-Apple computer

I’m sitting at an AMD Fusion-powered nettop, writing this post. The computer sips power, yet is still respectable enough to drive light workstation tasks on my 24-inch, 1080p monitor. I’m confident enough about this rig’s performance that I’ll be ordering another LCD soon…but I digress. The topic of this post revolves around the fact that, in addition to a trusty lowish-end Logitech mouse, I’m using Apple’s much-hyped Magic Trackpad as a fully functional pointing device for a computer that’s never seen an Apple logo. Read the rest of this entry »

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What Microsoft Needs To Do With Windows

Yes, it’s a ThePirateBay link. If you feel bad about downloading it, don’t do it unless you already have a valid Windows XP install on the computer on which you’re downloading this for. Tortured sentence structure I know, but it’s 3 a.m.

What Microsoft should do is take this torrent, tweak the ISO just slightly to improve usability (very, very small things like bringing back the SendTo menu and having the option in the context menu to open a command prompt at whatever location), then package it up and sell it to end users via download for $30-$50.

If users want more applications or features, Microsoft should bring back the “Add Features” control panel option, a la Windows 98. This time, however, features will be downloadable online rather than from CD. It’s a 21st century thing. If they want drivers, Microsoft has Windows Update…just get more manufacturer support so all the drivers are in one place. Speaking of which, control panels should be separate from basic drivers; a computer should have full capability to work with no third-party icons in the system tray. None whatsoever.

With a few optimizations, such an OS could run full-fledged in under 1GB of disk space. Well under, even. On top of this platform OEMs can slipstream drivers (required) and crapware (optional, just like the extraneous Windows features) as needed. At any time, aside from required drivers, consumers should be able to distill Windows down to bare-metal elegance.

If you want to complain about user choice and such, the easy way out is to allow for feature installation during Windows setup, which will otherwise be a very short process in such a small installation (five minutes in a virtual machine…more on that later). A la the usual in regular software setups, have “Standard” (regular WinXP if you must), Minimal (Performance edition) or Custom as installation size options on regular install discs, with OEM products built into the standard and available in the Custom profiles. For the $30-$50 version, standard becomes a non-option and custom doesn’t have as many options. Something akin to “Windows Anytime Upgrade” can be used later on if Microsoft wants to charge users to upgrade to a fuller experience.

In case you’re wondering, WinXP Performance Edition runs wonderfully in a virtual machine with 768 MB of memory…it’s fast enough that all but the most graphics-intensive activities feel like you’re using them bare-metal on a system that’s two-thirds the price of whatever you’re actually using. That is to say, absolutely usable, even speedy. This is on VirtualBox, Sun’s free virtual machine product. I have VMWare Fusion on my Mac and stopped using it…VirtualBox plus XP Performance Edition is significantly faster than either Parallels or VMWare running even XP.

The bottom line is this: I don’t thik I’m alone in wanting an operating system that just works. I do’t need bells and whistles, and the OS can look like Windows 98 for all I care (preferably Windows XP in Classic mode with search in the Start menu, however…P PE, but for the search box, does nicely). I just want something that will run any Windows app I throw at it, and that will run that app quickly and efficiently. If I need extra features, I’d like to be able to get them, but they don’t need to come standard. I want a cheap operating system that I can get legally. I want something that will fit on, and run perfectly from, a $10 USB drive.

XP PE pretty much is what I’m looking for, with one problem: it’s on the torrents rather than on Microsoft’s onlinestore page. I do use it anyway, but I’d love to pay for something even slightly more refined.

In conslusion, Windows 7 promises to be to Windows Vista what XP PE is to XP. It delivers on this promise, however that’s like saying your new product is much more enjoyable than a swift kick to the balls…you’ve got a low standard to rise above. Windows 7 is not as light as Windows XP, though it does run better than standard XP in a virtual machine, at least that’s what it seems like from here. In short, Win7 is a big step in the right direction after Vista (which isn’t bad, it just isn’t good enough to go out and upgrade to if you have XP in 99.99% of situations), no doubt. However Microsoft would do well to slim down Windows 7 until it has the same system requirements as Windows XP, or release WIndows 7 alongside “Windows LE”, aka a legit, low-cost, supported version of Windows XP Performance Edition.

NOTE: This post has a comments section. Use it!

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How To Get Windows 7 Right Now

BREAKING NEWS: More features have been unlocked for Windows 7 by Rafael Rivera over at WithinWindows. Check it out!

IMPORTANT UPDATE: I’m out of keys! However, check the comments (it’s WAY down in there); one person has an old WIndows Vista beta key and that might work. Please post in the comments of your experiences when using it.

Again, I myself have no more keys. Also, if you like this post, share it, digg it, whatever…the ad money I get goes to paying for a seedbox so everyone’s WIndows 7 downloads go faster on the torrent that I’m linking to. Speaking of downloading faster, please seed this torrent as much as you can!

Heard of Windows 7? Yeah, it’s the new Microsoft operating system that’ll be out in time for school next year, looks like. But would you like to check it out right now?

Don’t worry; unlike previous versions of Windows, Windows 7 (which I may call Win7 in the rest of this post) is built so that, no matter what build, you’ll be getting a rock-solid product. Certainly not feature complete…the lower the build number, the more it’ll look like Vista…but the features that are there are solid.

The current build of Windows 7 seems to just have a lot of under-the-hood changes to increase performance and reliability over Vista, to the point that running Windows 7 in a virtual machine with 1.5 GB of memory assigned is a pleasurable experience. The same can’t be said of Vista. Nice job, Microsoft dev team, keep up the slim-down. There are other minor enhancements at this stage as well.

One thing to be forewarned of: you won’t get the shiny latest version of Win7 that was shown at Microsoft’s Professional Developers Conference. That’s build 6933, and that build didn’t get given to conference attendees. Thus we only have build 6801, the one that came on a free-with-conference-ticket 160GB hard drive at the PDC, and the one that has now leaked onto BitTorrent.

Another thing: this install requires activation. For that you’ll need a key. See below to get that key…

So here are the steps to get Win7…

1. Download the torrent. You’ll need a BitTorrent client (Mac Win) to do this.
NOTE: I’m seeding this on a “seedbox” account so download speeds should be reasonable. Please seed the torrent as well if you are able.

2. Extract the RAR file. You’ll need an unRAR program (Mac Win) to do this.

3. Burn the DVD. If you’re on Windows and don’t have something like Roxio\Nero\Sonic, you’ll need this.

4. Install Windows. It’s just like installing any other version of Windows, whether you’re installing into a VMWare machine on a Mac or regular-style onto a PC or Mac. Keep that in mind. Ask if you have trouble getting your mind around this concept. When the installer asks for a product version, you want Ultimate. When it asks for a serial number, leave it blank for now.

5. Activate Windows. You’ll need a key for this. Find a key from the old Windows Vista beta program (an RC1 or RC2 key will work). Or ask me…I have two keys, each of which can be used on up to ten computers. Counting my systems in, that leaves 15 computers worth of activations for people who can do me some random internet favor.

That’s it. Have fun with your new Windows 7 install. Realize, however, that it will expire on August 1st, 2009. On the other hand, that’s probably around the time WIndows 7 will come out. If not, there will doubtless be a newer\beta\release client version between now and then, at which point I’ll post updated instructions on getting the goods.

Hope this helps! I’m off to replace Windows XP with Windows 7 on my Macbook Air 😀

UPDATE: I’m typing this from Windows 7 on my Macbook Air. I had to install the Boot Camp drivers, plus manually grabbing the Realtek audio driver from first the Boot Camp CD, then the web. Audio is a little shaky, and hibernate mode has BIG issues, but otherwise the experience is amazing.

UPDATE 2: This post has been dugg. Digg it good, folks!

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