Saturday, October 24, 2009

7 Come And 7 Go And 7 Still Remain

So Windows 7 was officially released on Thursday.
I wasn’t sure, initially, if I was going to buy it, at least not right away.
However, when I bought my new laptop back around the end of June – did I ever mention that I bought a new laptop? I don’t think I did. In any case, I bought a new laptop back in June. – I bought it during the period in which buying a new computer would qualify you for a free Windows 7 upgrade once it was released.
Because it was free, I figured I might as well upgrade the laptop, so Wednesday night I filled out the online order form for it, with no idea when I’ll actually get the DVD in the mail.
On Thursday I was reading the reviews and checking out pricing and found that Microsoft was selling a “Family Pack” of the Home Premium edition of 7, which allows you to install it on 3 computers, for only $149.
Considering that buying the upgrade to Home Premium solo was something like $119, that was really a hell of a deal, and I was sorely tempted, especially knowing that it was a limited-time offer.
I also liked the idea of having a “spare” license on hand, since I only have three computers and I was already getting the free upgrade for the laptop.
There was one thing that was making me hesitate, though. While upgrading my secondary computer (Munin) and my laptop (Gungnir) to Windows 7 Home Premium was fine, given that they were currently running Vista Home Premium, that wouldn’t really work out so well on Hugin, my main system.
Why is that? Because on Hugin I was running Vista Ultimate, and in order to do an “in-place” upgrade from Vista to 7 – meaning that all of your files, settings, and applications are carried over to the new OS – you have to either go to a version that’s either the same or a higher edition.
So you can upgrade from Vista Home Premium up to 7 Home Premium, 7 Professional, or 7 Ultimate, but you can’t go from Vista Ultimate to a “lower” version without doing the “custom” install, which means that Windows is put into an entirely new directory and your settings and applications don’t automatically transfer over, which means having to go through the hassles of installing Windows and then re-installing all of your applications and re-customizing it.
Not an impossible task, obviously, but still a pain in the ass, and a hardship that I underwent not so long ago when I moved from 32-bit Vista to 64-bit.
Still, it was a very good price, by most accounts Windows 7 is a very good OS, and if I was going to run it on one of my computers I might as well have it on all of them, particularly since there are some cool 7-specific home networking features that make file-sharing a lot simpler.
Beyond that, the “extra” features of Vista Ultimate had never really been something I’d used, so I certainly didn’t need to have the Ultimate version of 7.
Still, the thought of all the work involved in doing the custom install and reinstalling all of my applications was a daunting one.
However, towards the end of the day Scott sent me a text letting me know that Costco had the “Family Pack” for an even better price: $125.
So that made up my mind for me.
We’d rescheduled Riff Trax night for Thursday this week, so after meeting up with Scott at my house we headed over to Costco for me to pick it up.
Though it was nearly my bedtime when Scott left, I decided I couldn’t wait any longer and that I would do the (relatively) simple “in-place” upgrade on Munin.
The install went fairly smoothly – at one point it came up with an error message, but once I clicked “OK” it went away and the install proceeded with no apparent issues – though it did take quite a while, and it was after midnight by the time it finished.
Back when I made the switch to Vista, I had to ditch my existing antivirus software because it wasn’t compatible – which is pretty common – so, for the hell of it, I decided to try the new antivirus software direct from Microsoft: Windows Live OneCare.
I actually really liked it, as it did a lot more than antivirus stuff; you could designate a computer as a “hub” that controlled different functions on other computers in your “OneCare Circle,” and it handled stuff like back-ups, optimizing, printer sharing, and so forth.
A while back MS decided to drop OneCare, with plans to stop supporting it entirely in 2010.
When running the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor I learned that it was incompatible with 7, so I ended up trying out the new, free antivirus program from MS, Microsoft Security Essentials. It seems pretty good, and I read a lot of good reviews of it, but I miss those extra functions that OneCare performed.
In any case, I made sure to install that before finally retiring for the night on Thursday.
On Friday I was (not) looking forward to a weekend of reinstalling all of my apps, but then I found a program online that, for 20 bucks, will actually transfer all of your apps over once you make the upgrade. It grabs all of the .dll files and the Registry entries and loads them up for you.
I’ve just finished upgrading to Windows 7 on Hugin, so I’ll be back with part two later on tomorrow (well, today).

(Oh, and the title of this post comes from the Danzig song 777)

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