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#1 Mr. Selvetarm

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Posted 01 January 2009 - 04:12 PM

I'm using a pre-beta copy my fiend got at the last Dev. conference. Installed it on my old Inspiron 8200 and it runs considerably faster then even XP. Anyone else have access to it yet?

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#2 Frigidman™

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Posted 01 January 2009 - 05:07 PM

View PostMr. Selvetarm, on January 1st 2009, 05:12 PM, said:

I'm using a pre-beta copy my fiend got at the last Dev. conference. Installed it on my old Inspiron 8200 and it runs considerably faster then even XP. Anyone else have access to it yet?
Windows 7 isn't really a new OS, its just a "Fixed Vista"... or, "What Vista should have been". Either way, it will be a decent windows when it becomes release worthy.

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#3 J'nathus

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Posted 01 January 2009 - 05:12 PM

Windows 7 also isn't really available in a 'legitimate' sense to people yet.  I've read that there's a new build out there on the torrents, but I'm waiting for the official public beta before I try it.

#4 teflon

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Posted 01 January 2009 - 06:12 PM

ditto and ditto.

Vista was quite simply an OS that shouldnt have been let out of the door. RAM hungry, not scalable enough, ginormous, slow etc. etc. etc. But on the whole was a solid addition after SP1. Windows 7 is actually a lie, anyway. Its not number 7, even going on Microsoft's counting mechanism (where 2000 was 5, XP was 5.5 and Vista was 6) Going on that scale, this is Windows 6.1.
so yeah, what Vista should have been.

I quite look forward to seeing the public beta and being able to ditch XP and get a 21st century OS in which to play my games.
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#5 Dark_Archon

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Posted 01 January 2009 - 07:38 PM

While at this point, it isn't worth buying Vista, but on modern hardware (less than 2 years old), I've found that Vista has worked more reliably and is more stable. While it is true that Vista was very RAM hungry out the door, the current higher RAM usage is attributable to how it more generously allocates RAM compared to XP. This has the benefit of reducing the instances where it goes to swap. Compared to OS X, it still isn't teh snappy, but it seems like a decent step up from XP for general use (assuming you have more than a gig of RAM). Add to that the fact that the 64 bit version is stable and well supported. Microsoft really made the right decision to require hardware manufactures to include 64 bit drivers if they want their part certified for Vista.

In my opinion, the most promising sign for Windows 7 is that they are forcing UI changes on users without a "classic" option. It shows that they are confident that the new way is better. The Vista UI seemed like it was just an XP theme change, there were very few (read: no) fundamental changes other than the new start menu, which I happen to like more.

I'm still concerned that the changes in the UI aren't radical enough, and I still can't stand the "the window is the application" concept. I love how OS X treats the windows as elements of application and find Mac Office 2004 much more usable than Office 2003 because it allows things such as the ability of having multiple powerpoint presentations up at any given time(in Windows Office 2003, unlike word and excel, only one instance of powerpoint is allowed at a given time, and all windows are confined by the powerpoint backdrop/window) and having palettes that aren't anchored to the document's window.

In the age of large (and even multiple) displays, there is a better way to handle documents. The Windows way of working doesn't make sense any more once you have a display with a resolution above 1024x768.
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#6 J'nathus

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Posted 01 January 2009 - 07:45 PM

View Postteflon, on January 1st 2009, 08:12 PM, said:

ditto and ditto.

Vista was quite simply an OS that shouldnt have been let out of the door. RAM hungry, not scalable enough, ginormous, slow etc. etc. etc. But on the whole was a solid addition after SP1. Windows 7 is actually a lie, anyway. Its not number 7, even going on Microsoft's counting mechanism (where 2000 was 5, XP was 5.5 and Vista was 6) Going on that scale, this is Windows 6.1.
so yeah, what Vista should have been.

I quite look forward to seeing the public beta and being able to ditch XP and get a 21st century OS in which to play my games.
Just a small correction.  XP was 5.1 . . . at least at release, that's what it was.  I beta tested it from the Whistler days and I had a friend back then that insisted on calling it NT 5.1.  

While I agree with your appraisal 'in theory,' all of the naming and numbering conventions are all really abstract and not really a version history per se.  I think Microsoft knows as well as we do that Vista needs to be buried and forgotten, so not linking Windows 7 to Vista's NT 6.0 kernel by name and numbering is their way of making that point a reality.  

I'm excited to try Windows 7...  have a 2nd drive installed and waiting for my copy to come along.  :)  Meanwhile, I'm still running Vista Ultimate SP1.

#7 Mr. Selvetarm

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Posted 01 January 2009 - 07:50 PM

If XP is 5.1 and 7 is 6.1 then isn't 7 the spiritual successor to XP?

Gosh it's been a while... Sold the Green Monster and the iPad for a truly amazing new beast.

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#8 teflon

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Posted 02 January 2009 - 03:51 AM

View PostJ, on January 2nd 2009, 01:45 AM, said:

Just a small correction.  XP was 5.1 . . . at least at release, that's what it was.  I beta tested it from the Whistler days and I had a friend back then that insisted on calling it NT 5.1.  

While I agree with your appraisal 'in theory,' all of the naming and numbering conventions are all really abstract and not really a version history per se.

yup, sorry, I meant to write 5.1, but forgot to correct myself.
As to agreeing with my appraisal, who cares! it was MS themselves who used this system to come up with the name themselves, using all the convoluted "95=4 and 98=4.1, while ME=4.9" nonsense so that they could call it 7. They dismiss the 6.1 talk by saying that 7 is a big step over from Vista anyway. yet they had just condemned themselves out of their own mouths seconds before.

It would be interesting to see them apply the same naming convention rules in 20 years time and see if they arrive at Windows 12 (or whatever itll be by then) or Windows 15.

I agree with you that 7 is shaping up to be the first Windows that I might actually look forward to trying out...
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#9 jackdawsson

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Posted 02 January 2009 - 07:32 AM

Notwithstanding that even Microsoft surely couldn't make a bigger mess of an OS than Vista was in the first few months, there appear to be enough positives about WS 7 for me to seriously consider it as an option.  Particularly so since Macs have gone all glossy & I need my laptops with matte.

#10 teflon

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 05:28 AM

Well, its public beta time!
and the leaked version of W7 is exactly the same version that is released as of yesterday.

Microsoft are having trouble with their servers for the download and activation key distribution, but I DL'd it last night with no problems at all. Of course, I was using the direct link to the DL and not going via MS's site (because it wouldnt load).
Either way, you get to trial W7 for at least 30 days, 120 if you use the Vista trial length extension trick, and till early august if you get one of the 2.5 million keys.

So anyway, there are two versions of the beta, 32-bit and 64-bit.

I grabbed the 64-bit version, and plan on stuffing it onto Boot Camp when I get a chance.
In the mean time, I decided to put it onto VMWare Fusion. And I must say it runs pretty nicely. Theres a rather humorous bit of resolution freak out when booting up, but it then settles into whatever it was you had previously, and runs quite nicely. Its slightly heavier than XP in Fusion, but thats because XP doesnt do anything when Idling, and its a touch slower opening a new window. But both of those are down to running in a virtual machine which, obviously, doesnt have a real GPU in there.
Even so, this not fully enabled version is alright, and I imagine could be quite nicely optimised by MS to run on a netbook.
I can also see how it would be able to live up to the claims of running faster than XP in almost every way.

On the downsides, the install footprint is much bigger than XP, quite understandably, Alerts, though reportedly less frequent, still hijack the screen in a rather brash way, and distract you, whilst in OSX you can ignore them quite happily, and trying to run Solitaire (MSs single greatest gaming achievement) will crash the OS hard (its probably been upgraded to DX10). Oh, and theyve completely ripped off the dock in the new taskbar. Also, I dont like the new Start Menu format, its too small and constricting. Equally I cant find a way to uninstall IE8.

Overall, though, I think Im quite looking forward to trying it out in boot camp.
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#11 charmin

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 05:42 AM

For some of us, Windows 7 is just another version of Windows that burdens our lives because we *HAVE* to learn it, and not something to waste valuable seconds on until the features are final :(
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#12 teflon

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 06:38 AM

but these features are final.
At Beta its 99% feature complete and theyre working on bug fixes and optimisations to the code.

Of course, based on feedback, there may well be a bunch of feature tweaks, but everything from "drag a window to the top of the screen to maximise" to "active downloads in IE8 have a little green progress bar working across the logo in the dock taskbar".

The tweaks and fixes Im talking about, incidentally, are things like the start menu being resizable (something they need to add/make more obvious) and have the pop up window selections from the dock taskbar not be as flaky when you want to close a window. That kind of thing.

To all intents and purposes this is Windows 7 and its not going to change for anything.
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#13 jackdawsson

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 07:02 AM

View Postteflon, on January 10th 2009, 11:28 AM, said:

Overall, though, I think Im quite looking forward to trying it out in boot camp.

Look forward to reading your 1st impressions, if you can (I don't know if you use Vista) any comparisons with Vista, what's worse, what's better - ditto comparisons with OS X.

#14 Kaoro

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 11:12 AM

I'm all for them ripping off OS X for their Windows UI. Just makes it easier for me to use & easier for people to switch ;).

I plan on buying Windows 7 for bootcamp when it comes out... if my school sells it for a nice price at least. There's just a lot of PC games I want to play.
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#15 Magnum

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 07:46 PM

I'm downloading the 64-bit version right now, will update later.
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#16 J'nathus

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 08:45 PM

I've been playing with Windows 7 (64 bit version) for the last few hours and I'm finding it fairly good so far.  

I didn't migrate my data to Windows 7, but the common folders (Music, Video, Pictures) are virtual and you can easily add another folder to those folders that you'd like included in that list and remove others that you don't.  I haven't experimented with doing this over a network, and I'm not certain I'd want to.  

It's incredibly snappy when compared to Vista.  I haven't turned off the damned UAC yet, mainly because it comes up so fast, it's not as much of a bother.  

IE 8 is much faster than 7 and is almost usable to a point that I'm waiting a bit before installing Firefox.

The new taskbar is not as Dock-centric as I had been told. You can pin types of programs to it, not unlike the dock, but unlike the dock, the icons become your master way of accessing your open windows . . .  so if you have multiple IE windows open or multiple explorer windows open, you'll still only have one button. That also means that maximizing a single window is 2 clicks away instead of 1, but the flipped side is that the taskbar stays very uncluttered.  

The sidebar's changes puzzle me.  The widgets can now be anywhere, but they easily lock to the right or left side of the window.  I use the sidebar to a small extent, and this usage hasn't changed in Windows 7.  I think I have some things to figure out here.

I've been ripping and re-ripping movies with Handbrake in OS X and in Windows. Lately I've been using the "universal" setting for Handbrake and getting a movie of better quality than an iTunes purchase and also one that is usually a lower filesize, as well as indistinguishable from the DVD (for the most part).  To my surprise, Windows 7 plays most of these files natively.  I'm not sure what the difference is between the movies it will and will not play, as all the extensions are either .m4p or .m4v.   In either case, I've gotten the klite codec pack, so no issues with formats any longer . . . aside from my 5 DRM protected iTunes pieces (and my couple o' seasons of Battlestar Galactica and House that are from iTunes and DRM protected).

Talking about playing media, this is a mixed bag.  I am a big 'I orgranize my music the way I want' kind of guy, so I have genres, albums, or subject matter (all Bond movies) grouped into folders of my chosing.  Setting the Music folder to "menu" mode should allow me to access them by right clicking a folder and selecting play or "play in Windows Media Player."  Windows 7 is aware those folders hold music, but it's not taking that extra step.  

Windows Media player appears lighter than previous versions, and I like the change.  The design isn't as intuitive as Mac offerings, but it has a polish all its own.  Like in Vista it still automatically reads and indexes the contents of your "music" folder into its own library.  This is all well and good, but my folder hierarchy is defeated by this and I don't like this that much.  I sort of prefer the way I've gotten iTunes to work for me, but iTunes in OS X or Windows is not nearly as fast as Windows Media Player's current version.  Perhaps at some point I'll figure out a way to leverage WMP better, but at this point, I still see it as a 'player of convenience,' sort of like QuickView in OS X....   It'll launch the file right away, but ultimately it may not be what I use.

I've run 2 games so far, URU Ages Beyond Myst and Rainbow Six: Vegas.  URU ran fine with no issues.  RSV has some sound issues...  certain videos playing as part of the story have no sound.  I'm not sure where the problem is there.  As BioShock is on the same / similar engine, I'll be installing that one and giving it a go to se how it runs.  The games aren't my main focus with Windows 7 at the moment.

I just finished a Windows update that included a video driver update and there wasn't a need to restart.

That's all of my impressions so far.

#17 Magnum

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 09:30 PM

Sounding good so far, I'll be playin with it after I finish burning the dvd (18 more mins D:)
[Edit] Bah I won't be installing this until I format my partition into NTFS, how ever I'll do that I'm not sure.
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#18 Dark_Archon

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 10:45 AM

I was able to get a license key for the 64-bit version, but when I try to boot from the CD, I get:
1.
	   2.
Select CD-ROM Boot Type :

I tried doing an update from Vista x64 SP1 installation, but it bluescreened then reverted to Vista when I rebooted.
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#19 J'nathus

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 12:00 PM

View PostMagnum, on January 10th 2009, 11:30 PM, said:

Sounding good so far, I'll be playin with it after I finish burning the dvd (18 more mins D:) [Edit] Bah I won't be installing this until I format my partition into NTFS, how ever I'll do that I'm not sure.
If you can get into the Windows 7 installer, there's a way to format an intended volume from in there.

#20 teflon

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 12:07 PM

if youre running FAT in XP, then there is an app which will convert it to NTFS without requiring that you start afresh.
just see here for more details.

EDIT:
Bah!
I finally got round to trying to install it, and surprise surprise, I get the exact same problem as Dark Archon. A text screen saying pick one or two. At which point I cant do anything. It doesnt register the built in keyboard (because it hasnt been loaded yet) and the same goes for my alu apple keyboard. Ive got another keyboard which should work better, and Ill give that a go tomorrow, but for tonight, I cant be bothered now.
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and a beautiful HP LP2475w 24" H-IPS monitor