I know a lot of non-techies read this blog, and between the Perfessor and Walt, only one of them is a certified geek.
Hi. My name is Walt. And I’m a geek.
I could go on and on about the Windows 7 hoopla that’s hitting this week, but I figure you have already either boned up on the new software and made your decision or you have a good reason not to care.
If you don’t care, now’s the time to move along.
I have many friends who own and love their Macs, and I can tell from the server logs there are a few Linux users out there that hit this blog from time to time, but [looks at server logs] 82% of the Cuppacafe readers use Windows, and this post is dedicated to them.
I know where many of you are. You’re viewing this on a computer that’s three years old, and it’s running Windows XP. And you think you’re safe. You don’t go to any whacko websites, you don’t download anything you shouldn’t, and you’re machine … well, it doesn’t run as fast as it once did, you’ve resigned yourself to stay where you are — after all, how much faster does your browsing really have to be, anyway? You mostly do things with your old copy of Word, and that wouldn’t perform one iota better on any machine, anyway. You’re not only stuck in your groove, you like it. Not one damn thing is going to make you change.
I have news for you. You’re absolutely right.
You’ve got no reason to change from your old computer with it’s older XP into your older computer with Windows 7.
And this upgrade isn’t for you. Do you want to know why you have to do a “clean install” and completely replace all of Windows XP? Because so much of the coding has changed. The guts of the software has been replaced. This isn’t a new skin on XP, which is pretty much what XP was to Win2000. They changed out the kernel, the core. And then they altered it again. Why did they do it twice? Well, they screwed up the first time. That mistake was called “Vista”. While Vista and Windows 7 share many things including the architecture of many of the drivers, parts of what made Vista suck when it was loaded with large projects has been dumped and replaced for Windows 7. (You see, as long as you didn’t do anything tough with Vista, it was hard to see that it sucked.)
So, XP users on older machines, keep ’em runnin’. Windows 7 may not really improve your workflow and it’s got a cost and that frustration of the upgrade process which you shouldn’t have to endure. Sure, XP has issues with security — hell, we’ve all chuckled at the Apple ads whose main selling point is that virus makers focus on Windows — but with constant vigilance you can probably keep your data safe.
You’re probably saying that I’m going to tell you that Vista owners should run, not walk, to upgrade their Vista machines.
And you’d be right. There are ways of getting a cheaper Win 7 license, if you have an .edu email address.
But even if you have to shop around to get a decent deal, upgrading from Vista will be an improvement.
I’ve done all the different upgrade paths to Windows 7 — clean install on top of XP, (keeping the XP in a different boot sequence), fresh install from formatted hard drive, and an upgrade from a Vista install.
My only recommendation is to have your computer hooked up to the internet during the process. It makes for a more idiot proof process.
But say you’re going to upgrade from a Vista install. Is there any reason to do a “clean install” and completely wipe Vista?
No. I don’t think the average person needs to.
Here’s the Vista upgrade to Windows 7 procedure:
Turn the machine on, let it boot to Vista all the way.
Plop the DVD in the DVD player, and make like with the playing of the disc-y thing.
Follow the prompts on the two or three screens.
When it starts to do its thing on its own, walk away.
If you have little on the machine, it’ll be done in 30 minutes.
If you have a bunch of MP3 files on the thing, it’ll be done in 90 minutes or so. Give or take.
When it’s done, it will want to update itself with the mothership. Let this happen.
Don’t play any audio or video files until the first internet update is done.
The paranoid among you should reboot the machine for the first time at this point.
All of your files, settings and passwords will be in the same place.
Add the free Microsoft’s Security Essentials as a virus protection program. AVG Free has just come out with version 9, but I’m switching everyone I know to MSE. If you’re a geek like me, you’ll search out what’s best for you in regards to virus and malware protection.
You deserve a treat! Get yourself some new desktop wallpaper. If that doesn’t lift your spirits, try ice cream.
Business users. Yes, upgrade those dying machines. Now is the time. But those skinny little HP and ASUS computers don’t have room for the standard video card to add to the native one. If you have two monitors, like some people I know, getting a skinny format computer limits your choice in add on video cards.
XP users that are fed up with their old machines — If you’re buying new, focus on the machines with DDR3 memory. That’s not a panacea for not doing any research, but it is a signpost to a computer that’s not a piece of crap. Looking for DDR3 will cut down on the number of machines you need to price out for yourself. The machines with DDR2 are mixed in with the others, and while they may be fine, the machines capable of handling DDR3 are probably going to be slightly finer.
I’m sure this won’t be the only place you look for Windows 7 advice, and I’m not a professional geek — I just play one on some blog.
Go do some homework – you’ve got some work to do! Choosing that flavor of celebratory ice cream is hard!
I’ve been on Windows 7 for many months now, and while I kind of miss XP, I know that