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Windows 7: Windows 7 almost a year old

21 Oct 2010   #21

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 (2)

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by prospero View Post
I'm a 100% 7 fan.
By far the best Microsoft OS to date IMO.
I'm in total agreement. I installed it as an "experimental" second OS on one of my WinXP Pro machines last December, and within a month had done the same on my second WinXP Pro machine.

Haven't reinstalled Win7 on either machine since, which is kind of a first. I always used to find some justification for reinstalling Win98 or WinXP every 6 months or so, as some kind of oddity or anomaly had somehow crept in (often ascribed to "registry corruption") that just would not be resolved other than with a fresh install from scratch (of not only WinXP itself, but also of each of my many dozens of 3rd-party application products). But in the case of Win7, it's now coming up on 11 months and they both are still working seemingly flawlessly.

I sometimes use XP Pro in Virtual Emulation mode (to use old but trusted software) and am reminded just how slow XP used to be.
That may be the 32-bit vs. 64-bit result more than anything. My WinXP was x86 and my Win7 is X64, and I too see striking performance improvements on the very same 4GB machines with 3.0GB dual-core Intel CPUs running both OS's.

I took a different approach when running into the final handful of old legacy programs that would not install on Win7 or if they would install would not run properly because of Registry or security issues (probably regarding old fashioned CFG or INI files stored in the program directory). Where possible, I decided to investigate alternative "modern" replacements and actually did transition to something "new" (and x64/Win7-compatible) where it made sense.

I had my SCSI tape backup hardware/software as one example, coming from about 15 years of using a Seagate->Adaptec->Sonic->Roxio product (Backup MYPC) that had served me (with several evolutionary versions) starting from Win95 and running through WinXP. Finally wouldn't work on Win7. I ended up going with Novastor's NovaBACKUP. I would rate it a bit less sophisticated than Roxio's long-evolved product but it's perfectly adequate. Mostly, it supports my latest HP internal SCSI DDS5 and DDS6 tape drives and that's what's critical, so I now use the Novastor product.

Also, I'd been using an old Address Book component from Corel's Word Perfect 7, seemingly forever. Turns out the Address Book functionality just wouldn't behave properly under Win7, rendering it worthless. Again, I decided to investigate an alternative and found StatTrak Address Manager (Business Edition) from AllPro Software. Actually, this turns out to be an excellent alternative, though its GUI interface is a bit dated and restrictive and could definitely use improvement (which will probably never come). Took me about a week to export my old Address Book and get it imported and cleaned up successfully into the new product. But now I love it.

I still use CapDVHS (along with corresponding firewire drivers to support this type of streaming) on one of my machines (with video and TV tuner hardware in it) to create hard drive copies of HD video from a DVHS VCR via firewire, and this runs only under WinXP. There is no current Win7 or x64 alternative for CapDVHS, nor for the requisite x86-only firewire drivers. So I still retain a WinXP boot capability on that machine, for just that one single application... as rare as I need it.

Also, HP never came out with a Win7/x64 version of their HP Toolbox product which got delivered along with the 2605dn color laserjet printer I bought 4 years ago. It only installs and runs on WinXP. And there is one specific function (special type of "cleaning") that for some reason can only be initiated from the "Troubleshooting" menu within that HP Toolbox software, and nowhere else (e.g. not even manually initiated from the front panel of the printer). On occasion, this cleaning function is useful and necessary... but it requires the HP Toolbox software. So on that particular machine to which the printer is USB-connected, I also retain WinXP boot capability, just to be able to run HP Toolbox once a year or so.

So for me, I was lucky. No absolutely 100% mandatory software really existed that I could not find a suitable (or functionally acceptable) replacement or workaround for, that might have required me to implement to "virtual WinXP-emulation" machine capability. If I want WinXP, for now are only two remaining extremely rare and isolated needs... I boot to WinXP itself.

I'll probably retain (but never reinstall) those two WinXP partitions as long as I retain the same two physical machines (and which still allow WinXP itself to be installed on them, fully supporting all imbedded and added hardware). Down the road a few years, who knows? Maybe a new printer is the right solution to the HP Toolbox problem, and then that one's gone. CapDVHS and 32-bit firewire driver problem? Maybe that one will be eventually solved as well.

In the meantime, Win7 is a 100% absolute winner for me, and I love it. Gorgeous to look at, fast, reliable... thumbs up all the way.

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 Windows 7 almost a year old

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