Friday, 26 February 2010

Windows 7 - First Impressions

I have the privilege to now have a Windows 7 desktop at work. I want to find out whether it runs all my development software etc. Anyway, a guy here installed Windows 7 Professional on this new Dell Optiplex 780 (Core 2 duo 3GHz 3.25 Gb usable RAM) and installed Visual Studio 2005, 2008 and SQL Server 2005. He setup the domain configuration etc and then gave it to me to finish off. So far I have tried to copy files from my old PC to my new one via a network share, install MS Office and carry out Windows Update. Here are my results (not great I'm afraid).
I have had lots of problems with the network. This machine has an Intel Gb card connected to a 100Mb hub on my desk into the network. It basically works but it seems when I am doing a lot of network intensive stuff (windows update and copying files) the network fails, the copying fails and the only thing I can do is reboot to fix it. I tried logging off and on and then the system froze on login.
A second problem was related to using VMWare Client which for whatever reason doesn't currently support Windows 7. I found a workaround that required modifying a config file under program files. I have admin access to the whole PC so I clicked Open With on the file, opened it in Wordpad and then tried to save it. "Access Denied". I tried tacking ownership and all sorts of things. "Access Denied". I have full access to the directory and can create/delete/copy things but cannot modify the file. There is no option to "Open with .. as administrator". Another x for MS, they still haven't got this security thing worked out. Anyway, I worked around it by copying the config into Documents, editing it and then copying it back. How ironic that I cannot save the file but simply move it elsewhere and do the same thing (this is not obvious). After doing this, I created a batch file as per the original workaround and tried it out, no probs. I then rebooted and tried to link my desktop shortcut (to the original exe) to the new batch file and lo and behold, it had been removed by the system. Again, a poorly thought out security system that simply doesn't work. What am I supposed to do? Some horrible hack? Turn off the security to make it work? Spend hours trying to fix it? NONE of this is intuitive.
The other thing and it exists on other software is the Knight Rider progress bars. Windows Update has one. The point of a progress bar is...to show progress, not to swish from side to side which means nothing whatsoever (it doesn't mean anything is actually happening, just that Windows hasn't locked up). Come on MS, a download progress bar is easy.....
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