Archive for September, 2009

A few more weeks after Windows 7

September 17, 2009 1 comment

I made an earlier post about my first day with Windows 7. Now I thought I’d give my update.

Sadly there hasn’t been any moment where I have been using Windows 7 and something has happened and I’ve thought to myself “Oh, that’s nice.” Not a thing.

The first thing I would like to mention is how you have to run commands from the start menu slower. I’m used to hitting the Windows button typing out a command and hitting enter. Most of the time the Start menu will not have finished searching, but that’s fine because in Vista it will execute the command once it’s finished searching. But in Windows 7 if the search hasn’t caught up to my typing it’ll open an explorer window that’s searching my documents. Ech! that’s not what I want! The official resolution to my issue…. Type slower. Ewww! Ewww! Ewww!

The next item that sticks out is the tree view in Explorer. In Vista as you open up directories the tree view will follow your descent down the directory structure. In Windows 7 it’s an option to do that, but it’s not on by default. So on my desktop computer I have explorer configured to do that, but my of time is spent on lab computers where that’s not configured. That’ll catch me off guard about twice a day.

The next item is an issue that I haven’t experienced personally, but my co workers have issues with. When resuming from sleep or hibernate, once in a while the computer becomes non responsive after a few seconds. What happens is my co worker will resume his computer, log in, maybe start to look at something and all of a sudden Service Host (svchost) and explorer will start taking up all of the CPU and page faulting itself to death. This will go on for two minutes, and then the computer will become usable again. I remember with XP the desktop would load up in an alright amount of time, but it will take what felt like forever before it would become responsive, and there never was a clear indication as to when that would be. People complain about Vista’s boot time, I’ve never had an issue, but I’ve always had a responsive desktop once it showed. It’s not the most responsive at first, but it’s better than XP.

The last item is one that drives me insane. Once in a while the window in focus will lose focus for no reason that I can see. As long as I click on the window nothing happens, it doesn’t regain focus. I have to click away and then click back. When this has happened I’ve hit alt+tab to see where it is in the focus order and the window I had in focus is always second. I don’t know what that means, but it’s very interesting.

So it looks like that Windows 7 is giving everyone a better first impression. Apparently that’s what drives the market. I now have about eight issues where I think “why can’t that be like Vista” and I have yet to use Windows 7 and think to myself “I sure wish Vista had this” (okay, maybe the device menu, but I saw Vista that had demos where that worked).

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Stupid Outlook Connector

September 3, 2009 Leave a comment

Previously if one paid for Hotmail Plus they got the ability to sync Outlook with Windows Live Hotmail. There are other benefits that come from Plus, but that was the one which I wanted the most. On September first they disabled the ability. Apparently the protocol they used is called WebDav. Now personally I don’t like WebDav and was happy when I learned that Exchange dropped support of the protocol. I didn’t know that was the protocol which Outlook used to connect with Hotmail. For the last few years, the Hotmail team has been offering the Outlook Live Connector. I tried the connector before and was so horrified by the results I uninstalled in two days.

The reasons are because calendering goes straight to crap, and all syncs go through send and receive. The new calendering experience is nowhere nearly as nice now, and I have to do a send/receive to sync even the simpliest changes, just has moving an email to a different folder where I didn’t have to do that before.

I realize this change is better for the servers, but I sure don’t like it. Maybe it’s time to buy a domain name and start using to host my email.

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First Impressions of Windows 7

September 3, 2009 Leave a comment

I got Windows 7 installed on my primary work computer yesterday. While there are the new GUI features, which I’m sure everyone will notice, there are three things about it which I consider to be regressions from Vista. By that I mean it took me less than an hour of using Windows 7 before I started missing them.

First: In Vista in Explorer you can choose how to group any window. In Windows 7, you can’t. In Windows 7 if the directory you’re viewing is over the network, then there is no grouping. If it’s on your local computer it’ll group for you, how it wants to group. Now while everyone I’ve talked to so far says they haven’t noticed because they never used it, I used that quite a bit in my daily tasks.

Second: The tree view in Explorer doesn’t drill down through single item folders. In Vista if you were navigating the tree view of a directory, and the sub directory only had one directory underneath it, the three view would automatically open the single sub directory. Again, anyone I’ve talked to about this has said, “I never noticed that Vista did that, that’s awesome.” Again, something I used frequently and will miss.

Third: Gadgets don’t move desktop icons: In Vista there’s a sidebar where gadgets live. I like having the sidebar on the left of the screen because that’s where I like my start menu. When the sidebar is over on the left it pushes icons over to make room for it. Now I usually have only three or four icons on my desktop, so it’s kind of nice to be able to access them. So in Windows 7 they got rid of the sidebar and now the gadgets float over the entire desktop. Neat idea, but it falls apart when the gadgets are on the left side of the desktop (where I placed them) and then new shortcuts are showing up underneath them. Since the gadgets float on top of the icons, instead of next to them, new icons can’t be accessed, and the gadgets look funny.

Having used Windows 7 for just one day, those have been my impressions so far. I sure hope more people have a better experience. One nice thing I noticed was Media Player 12. It has network discovery like iTunes has had for years. I do like that.

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