Tag Archives: Windows 7

Newsflash: There are other countries in the world in addition to the USA

Just in case people didn’t realise, there are a multitude of countries in the world. Seems in some people’s heads that the world ends with the USA.

Reason for rant….. as mentioned before on this blog I am a host for the windows 7 launch parties. Now today I got wind that Kaspersky, Panda and Norton were offering free 1 year licenses for their internet security products. Great I though, never 1 to miss out on a good freebie especially as only earlier today I was considering installing an internet security suite rather than rely on windows firewall and windows security essentials to protect me.

Only one problem, the companies concerned seem to have forgotten there is a whole planet full of countries outside of the USA. Panda’s offer is currently down, Norton apparently gave out codes that only seemed to materialise in the USA versions of the party packs and Kaspersky appear to have harvested only USA based hosts e-mail addresses and are cross checking any applications for a license against that database.

So to all those companies, and to anyone else who seems to think the world starts and ends with the USA (rather than just the wars that start and end with them), may I direct you HERE where you can behold some of those many other countries in all their glory!

Windows 7 out in one week but is it any good??

Microsoft are due to release their new operating system windows 7 to the world next Thursday (people in the UK may experience delays though as the postmen are skiving again). After the debarcle that was windows vista with it’s sluggishness even on high spec machines and it’s numerous prompts to confirm things like deleting a file anything Microsoft would release would be a major improvement.

I’ve been using Windows 7 as my main operating system since the RC was released and I had a look at a couple of the betas too. However, thanks to the windows 7 launch party, I’ve also been running the final relase for the last week. But is it any good. I’ll be looking at some of the features, new and old

Desktop

The desktop has a totally new look and feel about it with the taskbar undergoing a complete redesign. Applications can now be pinned to the taskbar in a replacement for the quicklaunch bar and clicking their icon will lauch the application. Running applications are now depicted by their icon alone (though there is the option to revert to a more old school task bar if you prefer. The new taskbar also automatically creates keyboard shortcuts for the applications pinned to it which can be launched by pressing windows+number key where number key is the number the icon is along the taskbar (win+1 will launch the first application, win+2 the second and so on)

The new windows 7 desktop
The new windows 7 desktop

The desktop also now sports the option to add gadgets anywhere to it rather than just limited to a sidebar like in windows vista. Perhaps the coolest new feature of the desktop is the addition of slideshow backgrounds. You can now have the desktop run a slideshow of pictures from your pictures library (more on libraries in a bit) or any other location and it will automatically change the background every few minutes/seconds or however long you want. Why pay £50 for a digital photo frame when your PC can do the job on a much bigger screen!

Homegroup

Most homes these days have more than 1 PC. Windows 7 simplifies the sharing of files, media and even printers across all devices on the network with the homegroup. You simply add the PCs you want to the homegroup using a password and then all devices in that group share files, media and the printer. It will also stream media to devices such as the xbox and even the PS3. By sharing the printer this eliminates the need to buy a wifi or other network enabled printer

Windows 7 Homegroup
Windows 7 Homegroup

Libraries

Files such as documents, pictures, videos and music are now organised into libraries rather than folders. A library can span multiple folder locations on the hard drive but still display the files as though they are in one folder making it easy to access all your files of a specific type, wherever they are.

A library spanning 2 folders
A library spanning 2 folders

Virtual Operating Systems

An inclusion in the higher end versions of windows 7 (ultimate/professional/business) is a virtual environment for a second OS and a fully licensed version of windows XP to use in this environment

Setting up a new virtual machine
Setting up a new virtual machine

Once the virtual machine is setup it is a fully functioning genine copy of windows XP. The following picture shows the machine running and passing windows genuine validation.

Genuine windows XP passing validation
Genuine windows XP passing validation

As mentioned above, this feature is only available in the higher end versions of windows 7 (home premium being the main version excluded) and will only work if your PC’s processor supports the virtualisation elements it requires.

Experience index

Experience index, whilst widely being a bit of a pointless number, is a back. To make way for new hardware advances since the release of vista the scale has been regraded with a new maximum score of 7.9. As before anything over 3.0 should be able to enjoy all the features of windows vista and my netbook that has a score of 2.0 is running it quite nicely with aero turned off.

Windows 7 Experience Index
Windows 7 Experience Index

Conclusion

There is too much that is new in windows 7 to discuss in this post without me being here all day. This hopefully summed up some of the main new features. Windows 7 is a huge improvement on vista and anyone who can upgrade should do so. Windows 7 is available from amazon.co.uk and many other retailers

Cards anyone??

As mentioned previously, I am a host for the windows 7 launch parties. My pack arrived on Wednesday and I promptly installed the free ultimate edition on my desktop which is running very nicely and promptly forgot the rest of the pack until today.

Opened the free pack of cards today to discover something very wrong with my 10 of diamonds. Not sure I’d manage much bluffing in poker with this card

Half a card