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    • CommentTimeJan 18th 2010
    @Paul Duffield

    That's exactly right. MS tends to fail a little at ease-of-use and user interfaces, but their recent operating systems are really rather solid. (Mind you, I avoid Vista like the plague, but that's mostly cause I'm quite content with XP, and have an if-it-ain't-broke-don't-fix-it attitude about changing my computing habits).

    For any tech-nerds, I highly recommend Raymond Chen's blog, in which he details a lot of what went in to Windows XP (If you're not a Windows programmer the blog probably doesn't have much to offer you, though). The biggest lesson I've taken away from reading his accounts of the birth of the operating system is just how far MS went to ensure compatibility with existing (and often badly written) software.

    As he puts it (and as evidenced by this thread, I think), when a program crashes, people blame the OS. 98% of the time, it's just a badly-written program.

    Hmmm... Never thought I'd be an MS apologist. I have a lot against them, as a company, really. But they take a lot of flak for problems that aren't their fault.
    • CommentAuthorbriantm
    • CommentTimeJan 18th 2010
    Linux Mint might be a better one for new Linux users. Has codecs for playing flash and dvds preinstalled.

    @Audley Strange: No, but at least they embrace open source.

    @Paul Duffield: I don't know how accurate that is, as Macs are now built on an intel architecture also. And MacOS is a unix based operating system, as is Linux. They have a huge amount in common behind the scenes.
  1.  (123.23)
    I don't know how accurate that is, as Macs are now built on an intel architecture also.

    Macs are built on a very tightly controlled intel architecture. Use RAM that’s a little out of spec and you’ll be lucky if you Mac finishes booting and logging in before it kernel panics. Mac OS is like a thoroughbred racehorse; it seems really amazing until it hits a patch of rough ground and its ankle explodes. It’s possible to custom build a PC that’s up to spec to run Mac OS, but it’s nothing like Windows or Linux where you can boot it up on any piece of shit from Shenzen and have it running like clockwork in under an hour.
  2.  (123.24)
    My attitude to Windows and Macs and so on... an analogy. I used to know a guy who was really into hi-fi, spent several thousand quid building a hi-fi system, which certainly sounded better than my system, that I'd spent maybe a couple of hundred quid on. But it didn't sound ten times better.
  3.  (123.25)
    From a personal experience, I would NOT recommending jumping from XP to Windows 7 just yet. I did it and while it looks pretty and is actually pretty solid, Windows 7 has shit backward compatibility. A lot of peripherals don't work with it and I think a lot of manufacturers would rather you go out and buy something new then spend money making sure your old thing continues to work on a new system.

    Actually I should say that Windows 7 does have a way of running them, but it requires paying to upgrade to 7 Ultimate, then downloading some programs that will let XP drivers work. That's essentially the big catch of the system.

    I've also had some problems with software too. Thankfully, God Mode and being able to run things in XP mode has helped with some of that.

    But still, if you thinking of getting a new system with Windows 7 and think you'll just be able to install all your old programs that you have registered (legit or otherwise) you'll be in for a big surprise.
    • CommentAuthorJoe B
    • CommentTimeJan 24th 2010
    And Google is starting to move into the realm of operating systems.
    listed here and here.
    • CommentTimeJan 24th 2010
    Just a quick note that if anyone is interested in enabling "GodMode" in Windows 7, you could do worse than check here for how to do it and a load of other hacks which make accessing the Windows control panels that much simpler. Start > Control Panel also works for most of the features too.

    Ray Chen's stuff about the genesis of WIndows that @RadioGuy pointed is really good btw. It's a small thing but he had an online crusade going to find all the Win9x UI elements still in Vista and get them fixed in WIn7. Which he did.

    Personally I really like Win7 and would heartily recommend it. I didn't have the peripheral issues that @JamieCoville had though which probably helped. I have managed to run every old program not Win7 compatible inside its Windows XP Mode virtual machine though. 500MB is a big download but it's worth it to not need a dual-boot with XP or a second machine for backwards compatibility.
    • CommentAuthorJessicaD
    • CommentTimeJan 26th 2010

    Prior to migrating to Windows 7 it would be best to download and run the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor.

    The Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor will determine if your current computer configuration will be compatible with Windows 7, for further information as well as a link for download please go here:

    Another resource to verify compatibility is available at the Microsoft Windows 7 Compatibility Center located at the following link:

    Also, please note that when migrating from Windows XP to Windows 7 you will not have an "in place upgrade" option. You will however have the option to select "custom" install when prompted. The Windows 7 install process will then copy all of your data in "My Documents" over to a Windows.old folder within Windows 7 itself. All applications and documents stored in other locations will have to be reinstalled / transferred manually.

    For more information on the Windows 7 Upgrade, please go here:

    For additional assistance with the migration of Windows XP to Windows 7, please go here:

    Microsoft Windows Client Team
    • CommentTimeJan 28th 2010
    The first personal space craft will probably run fucking COBOL.