Windows 7 Beta

by on Jan.13, 2009, under Windows

I have to say, Microsoft really did a great job here. The beta version of Windows 7 (Build 7000) is far more usable at this stage than Vista ever was. All my issues (see here and here) with Vista are not present here.


  • Wireless worked immediately; during setup, no less! (screenshot)
  • All my hardware was detected and drivers automatically downloaded from Windows Update, without my intervention. (screenshot 1: All drivers installed; screenshot 2: Installing my SATA card)
  • User Account Control is 100% less intrusive, and doesn’t hang while blanking the screen.
  • Aero is Beautiful in this release.
  • Paint got a complete overhaul (screenshot: menu) and can do something similar to Word’s AutoShapes.
  • Progress bars in the taskbar. (screenshot)
  • Calculator now has a “Programmer Mode.”
  • It’s fast, in both setup and use.

Minor Issues

  • Address bar icon in IE8 doesn’t support PNG transparency properly. (screenshot)
  • Folders no longer display the size of their contents unless the contents are selected. (screenshot 1: Windows 7; screenshot 2: Windows XP)
  • Paint uses the Ribbon Interface (not an issue, just hard to get used to). (screenshot)

While the beta expires in August of 2009, I foresee great things for Windows 7.

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Vista Woes Pt. II; What gives?

by on Sep.26, 2008, under Annoyances, Windows

Getting wireless working in vista sucks. I’d rather BITE MY OWN ARM OFF. What gives?
Getting vista to accept a non-signed device driver sucks. What gives?
Getting the Group Policy editor to work sucked (had to remove system policy file).
I was running on battery power until my computer died, and vista never even told me.
It just sat there and then shut off, degrading the capacity of my battery further. What gives?
30 GB volume, I barely have anything on it and it’s got 10 GB free. What gives?
Right this moment I have a restart pending for reconfiguration and a program that says “Cancel pending.. Please wait.. This may take several minutes. Please do not exit from this operation.” (Not like I can exit, or anything.) What gives?
Installing the windows update for my video card caused it to shut off and not start up anymore: boot = windows failure = poweroff. Safe mode to the rescue. What gives?

Point of Note: I still don’t have wireless working. At all. It connects to my router, and that’s it. Its dumb ass can’t get an address from DHCP, when everything else (including older versions of Windows) can.

I choose Bite my Own Arm Off. It really would be less painful and time-consuming.

I believe I’ve restarted this thing 30 times in configuration.

For some reason, Vista boots through GRUB?
Not even kidding. My Grub -> Vista GRLDR -> Vista BootMgr.
I don’t remember installing that. Is that legal?
It appears GRLDR is a giant GRUB binary. It contains the stage1, stage2, every stage1.5 AND a menu.lst configuration file, all in one. Neat.

Anyway, I’m staying up all night or something.

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I decided to install Vista.

by on Sep.16, 2008, under Annoyances, Windows

I attempted to install Vista (Really Windows 2008 Server Standard) once-
On my 12 GB partition.
It said “This drive requires at least 9978 MB free!”
Alright, I figure that’s fine and reformat it; there are well over 12000 MB free.
It then says “Windows suggests that you have at least 17000 MB free on this drive.”
I figure again that that’s okay, it’s just a suggestion!
Apparently not. “Windows could not find any suitable drives.”
That was some weeks ago.

Today, I tried again (new hard drive, 30 GB windows partition, etc.)
The install completes without a hitch.
Then, I start installing drivers. 300 megs worth of drivers. Wonderful! (This is still downloading, btw.)
Sounds worked out of the box, so did my touchpad + scroll and cardreader, it was pretty amazing.

Windows shuts off when I close the laptop (like, when the phone rings and I have to check the caller ID)- Minor annoyance.
Windows asks me for permission to do EVERYTHING- Minor annoyance.
I disabled Administrator and made my account the administrator (just so there weren’t two). Fine.

I’m apparently not allowed to shut the computer off?
“Restart [tooltip: This power option has been disabled by the administrator.]”
Excuse me? I am the administrator, and I sure as hell did NOT disable this.

Internet Explorer comes pre-configured in super anal high security mode!
“Internet explorer wants to warn you about going to”
“Internet explorer will not allow you to download this file from”
[Repeat last message for 15 different firefox mirrors: I add one of them to the whitelist and click 15 more times until I get lucky and it tries to use the one I whitelisted.]
Annoyingly enough, I CAN’T DISABLE THIS MODE!
Screw IE.

I’ll have more updates as time goes on (Still getting everything set up and downloaded and such. Jesus.)

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