Proving Ground

Windows 7: After one week (or so)

Long time since my last update about moving to Windows 7.  Partially because I’ve been busy at work, partially because I’m torn on what to write.

I’ve had some stumbling points with the new laptop, and most of them are the typical growing pains associated with a fresh image.  Including but not limited to:

  • Some of the applications that were installed for me needed to be reinstalled to work correctly
  • All of my pinned files in Excel need to be found and re-pinned (though I have a screenshot of what I used to have)
  • In the migration of my data, IT missed my Data Sources (though I doubt many people in sales keep a folder full of data connections…)
  • I was given my original image back on a different machine to cope with the above issues as I resolved them (and I hope to be rid of the extra box soon!)

I’ve also had a handful of issues come up with the new OS.  Nothing is necessarily a deal breaker, but some of these old habits die really hard.

  • I thought I’d try to use the windows start menu launher in place of my old standby Launchy.  Ugh…after a few days of fighting it, I reverted (with pride)
  • Alt-Tab should not be as difficult as it now seems to be.  I was a whiz in going between 10+ open windows, but I’m regularly getting lost in the glass-window style application changing.  Lord help me if I’m holding the mouse at the same time (big mistake)
  • I have yet to understand the method that was used when “My Documents” were migrated from XP to Windows 7.  The structure is fundamentally different, and it’s been a struggle to know how to reset my directory structure.
  • I was used to plugging into my docking station and having the speaker jack work.  Apparently with a Dell D630, Windows 7, and the standard docking station, you need to manually plug in the speakers to the jack on the side of the computer.  Pathetic.

All that said, I’ve been quite pleased with the overall performance and reliability of Windows 7 compared to XP.

  • I haven’t had my system lock up when re-docking.  Maybe it was the speakers that caused all of my lock-up issues?
  • After the first 24 hours, I haven’t had to restart my computer because of sluggish performance (though I have had to disable a few add-ons)
  • The search (and search indexing) of my files blows away my experience in XP.   Haven’t had to install Xobni yet.

We’ll see how things continue…


Now Testing: Handbrake

After six weeks of iPhone use, I’ve found myself wanting to have more video loaded in the (unlikely) case that I find myself with some downtime.  You know, load on a few episodes of Arrested Development and MacGyver.

Yep, the logo is a flaming drink and pineapple...

Yep, the logo is a flaming drink and pineapple...

I’ve been a long time user of DVDFab for ripping my DVDs onto my computer, and I’m quite happy with the overall experience…that is…until I tried transcoding to a format that works on the iPhone.  Yuck.  Time to try something else.

After some online research, Handbrake rose to the top of my list.

I installed the Windows GUI and took my first crack at it last week.  The interface was intuitive enough, though as is the case for most video conversion applications, it’s pretty easy to get lost in all of the different options.  For now, I’ve stuck with the basics.

More to come as I play with things a bit more.

**Note: Anyone reading this hoping they may have found a good DVD ripper, you’ll want to look elsewhere.  Handbrake is not your answer.  It’s doesn’t break copy protection, and doesn’t try to…so if that’s your goal, don’t waste your time here.

iPhone Apps

I take great pride in keeping my computers clutter-free; challenging myself to think and rethink any questionable install.

Enter the iTunes App store, a Mecca of cool little installable gadgets just waiting to be downloaded. Many if which seem to be quite useful, while scores more are simply a bad idea.

Talk about testing my resolve…

Here’s what I’ve installed so far:

  • Google Mobile
  • Evernote
  • WordPress
  • Flixster
  • Pandora
  • DropBox
  • Gorillacam
  • FlyCast
  • Shazam
  • ESG
  • Facebook

…so that makes it quite a few. It’s taken all of my resolve not to install a bunch more.

I’ll see how these serve me.

**note, this post was entirely crafted in the iPhone wordpress app and I hope it comes out looking okay.