Friday Random Thoughts

November 13, 2009

Friday night has officially become random thought night where I spill my guts on the random things I’m thinking about. It may seem jumbled, it may seem worthless but you know that it is random.

Tomorrow is Saturday. That means for most red blooded American men that we are going to wake up to a full day of college football. For us in Ohio there are two possible outcomes. 1. We can mourn or celebrate a Cincinnati win or loss to West Virginia or, 2. We can prepare for the game that will determine whether the Buckeyes (OH!) are going to the Rose Bowl for the first time in Jim Tressel’s tenure (I-O!). Since I couldn’t give a darn about cincy, it’s all about the Buckeyes baby. My prediction is that the Buckeyes D will show up AGAIN and our O will get it rolling. We’ll be heading to the Rose Bowl by 6:00 P.M. with a 31-10 win.

Politics can be a depressing issue. However it is one that I follow and cover with gusto since it affects the lives of millions of Americans everyday. The latest tidbit is that Janet Napolitano is pushing amnesty again over the objections of the American people. She has declared victory over illegal immigration and states that now is the time to push comprehensive immigration reform. Ultimately there could be a bill by 2010.

I cannot understand guys who think they look good in long hair. Where do they get these notions? The only guys that look good with long hair are Guy Penrod from The Gaithers and… well if I think of any more I’ll let you know.

Technology certainly has progressed since even three years ago. Windows 7 is the best thing my 3 year old laptop has seen. It is stable, fast, responsive, compatible and aesthetically pleasing. While my PC ran okay with Vista, it screams with 7. The networking is easier, the programs are more responsive and Lord knows the UAC is better. My vote is that this is the best Windows version in a very long time. Maybe tied with XP and WORLDS better than Vista.

On a more somber note, we are now finding more and more that ties Nidal Hassan to terrorism and terrorists. Most recently we found out that his business cards were emblazoned with the initials SoA. This stands for nothing but Soldier of Allah. The military didn’t catch it. The FBI didn’t catch it. Do you know why? Because we live in such a PC country that you can’t ask questions about someone’s religion without bringing the wrath of the ACLU on your head. We need to get back to common sense instead of this political correctness baloney. If they would just have looked into him and his religion a little more, thirteen people would still be alive.

Lastly, it seems the last bastions of journalism are increasingly limited to people like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh. (Not to mention An Informed Mind) No one seems to notice that Hassan was a radical MUSLIM and they are afraid to mention his religion. Americans know that there are a lot of good Muslims out there. But we also want to know that this evil we are fighting is Islamic Jihad, Islamofascism. All the 9/11 hijackers were Muslim, Hassan is Muslim and everyone that carried out the London, Madrid and Bombay bombings were Muslim. Until we open our eyes and realize that we are fighting radicalized Islam, we are going to continue to suffer these attacks.

There are my random thoughts. Feel free to comment and give me some of your own randomness. God Bless you all and GO BUCKEYES!!!


Windows 7 Impressions

October 28, 2009

Well my friends, my computer now has an operating system. And what a glorious one it is. Less than two hours after starting the Windows 7 upgrade process that would transform my computer from a Vista dog to a 7 champ, I am done and most of my pictures, media, documents and favorites are back in place. And my impressions…

Stunned! Not at all in a bad way though as every good experience I have had with 7 is blown away be even more good ones. Granted, this is probably just the first impressions and I will probably find something wrong with the OS as everyone inevitably does. But at this moment Windows 7 is the best OS in a LONG time.

SPEED: The sheer speed of the OS is amazing. I can’t count how many times I sat and twiddled my thumbs while Vista did something SLOWLY. With 7 it boots faster, shuts down faster, resumes from sleep faster, transfers files faster and plays media faster. Everything that Vista did wrong in terms of speed and responsiveness 7 does right. Switching between tabs on Firefox has no hiccups like Vista did. Opening programs and the media player is faster. More things can be done with less processor usage.

LOOK: Basically the same as Vista which is good if you’ve been using Vista for years and need to keep the basic feel of the UI memorized. The new taskbar takes some times getting used to but I’m already finding it to be helpful and easy to use. The start menu looks exactly the same with the sole difference being the return of the word based icons for shutdown-sleep-etc. The icons and notifications bar on the bottom right hand side of the screen isn’t cluttered and the new functionality is impressive.

COMPATIBILITY: I was worried about my sound card being unrecognized after the Release Client couldn’t install my sound driver. But as soon as the setup process was done the familiar and somewhat irritating Windows bootup sound sprang from my speakers to a chorus of ‘Hallelujahs’. My antivirus program works well with an update coming tonight. Windows Update is already finding a few even newer drivers for my modem and wireless card, though they already work flawlessly. The real test comes when I try to install all my programs. We’ll soon see more about that.

FEATURES: There is no more movie maker, photo gallery or other of the sometimes maligned Vista programs. For the most part the Windows Live Essentials do a good job of replacing their Vista counterparts. Live Writer is one of the best new programs and I have written several of my blog postings with that tool. Live Movie Maker is kind of watered down but it’ll work if you need it to.

All in all, 7 is a HUGE improvement over Vista and I am now starting to kind of like the media player I mentioned in my other Windows 7 postings. Hopefully this OS will be a turning point for MS to make better and better OSes in the future.

Windows 7 Released

October 21, 2009

Tomorrow Windows 7, the replacement for the much maligned Windows Vista will be released to the general public. It is expected to wash away the public’s very negative view of Windows Vista, which was plagued early on with slow performance, driver issues and buggy hardware. Windows XP which was released 8 years ago in 2001 continues to be the most widely used version of Windows at over 65% of all computers in use. XP has remained popular due to the early reviews of Vista.

Vista has, to give it it’s credit, gotten much better with the advent of Service Packs 1 & 2. However, performance remains below XP on similar and even at times, better hardware. Driver issues still plague Vista systems for legacy software and hardware. Windows 7 is receiving much better reviews and certain versions, 7 Professional, Enterprise and Ultimate all include Windows XP Mode. XP Mode is a virtualized client that runs inside of 7 with a licensed version of XP Pro SP3. This is for professionals who rely on legacy applications that won’t run under the new Windows 7 core. New tech allows apps and software that runs inside XP Mode to integrate seamlessly with 7.

Windows 7 also has a notable feel of increased performance over it’s bloated and buggy predecessor. I personally have used both the Ultimate Release Client as both a virtualized machine and as my main OS and it has been excellent, booting and shutting down noticeably faster than Vista.

Now here is where the bad things come in. I’ll give my take on what I don’t like in Windows 7. First off the taskbar. Actually this falls in the so-so category. I like the jump lists and ability to pin things to the taskbar. But I don’t like the appearance and the larger buttons. To be fair, one can shrink them to Vista size, but it takes getting used to the new look and feel of them. The second thing I don’t like is the positioning of the ‘show desktop’ button. When you are used to the button being in one place since Windows 98, it is disconcerting to find it all the way on the other side of the screen. Lastly, the Windows Media Player 12 is somewhat of a nuisance. While it is a good thing that it supports more codecs than ever in the past, I actually like the ability to do a lot with my media right from the library tab.

Aside from that, Windows 7 is all things that Vista should have been. While I will miss Vista’s quirky tools like Movie Maker, Photo Gallery, Windows Mail and Meeting Space, I will be upgrading my system to Windows 7 in the weeks after tomorrow. Windows 7 is a large improvement in performance, aesthetics and overall just allowing me to do what I need to do without the incessant lockups and UAC prompts.