Posts Tagged ‘Windows 7’

Windows 7 Themes

I’ve installed the Windows 7 Release Candidate on all my machines.  It’s running on a custom-built Intel Core 2 Duo desktop, a HP Mini 1000 Netbook, and a 15 inch Macbook Pro running Boot Camp.  They are all running very well.  The only “problem” is I can’t get the microphone in the HP Mini 1000 to work but I haven’t spent time trying to fix that yet.  The other machines are running great and the only times I have needed to reboot have been when Windows Update sent some test patches through the system.

Best of all, sleep mode finally WORKS!  On my Macbook Pro it was > 70% chance that if I closed the lid or otherwise put the machine to sleep, it would hang and need to be powered off without the proper shutdown procedure.  Now I snap the lid shut and it goes to sleep like a little baby that has drunk Nyquil.

Anyway, a great personalization feature of Windows 7 is themes.  There are some included by default that are beautiful.  Architecture, Characters, and Scenes are the ones I like the most.

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This entry from the “Engineering Windows 7 Blog” explains how to create, save, and share Windows 7 themes.

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HP Mini 1000 & Windows 7

I’ve had the HP Mini 1000 netbook for a month now and have been happy with it as a lightweight portable machine.

The out-of-the-box specs of the machine I have are:

  • 1.6 ghz Intel Atom processor
  • 1 gigabyte of memory
  • 60 gigabyte hard drive
  • 10.2 inch display
  • Windows XP Home

The machine ran great using XP Home – however I’m used to running Windows Vista (I know – a collective gasp from folks out there cursing Vista… I honestly like it and feel that if you have the right hardware, Vista is definitely a worthy upgrade to XP) and wanted a few of the features in Vista that are missing from XP Home.  Especially remote desktop.  While the 10.2 inch display is comfortable enough to use when I’m mobile, at home I like being able to remote desktop into the laptop so that I can utilize a larger monitor and ergonomic keyboard.

I decided to test out the Windows 7 Beta and see how it runs on the HP Mini 1000.  I did a clean install of Win7 (formatted the HP and installed Win 7 off a USB thumbdrive).  The installation finished in about 20 minutes, no issues.  Very positive start!

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The only functionality I have lost, which I assume is a missing driver, is the HP Mini 1000’s special vertical scrollbar feature that is part of its trackpad.  Actually I feel this is a blessing as I wasn’t used to the feature, and when I was swiping my finger across the trackpad mouse, I would end up making the screen look like it was having epileptic fits.

Here are the Windows Experience Index scores for Windows 7 Beta on the HP Mini 1000:

Processor: 2.2
Memory (RAM): 4.4
Graphics: 2.2
Gaming graphics: 3.0
Primary hard disk: 2.9

While I won’t be playing any first-person shooters on this machine, it is running fine for e-mail, web browsing, and general productivity activities.  The applications I’m regularly running (simultaneously) on the machine are:

Office 2007 (primarily Outlook), Office Communicator, Internet Explorer 8, Windows Live Messenger, Live Writer, Live Mesh

On first load after a start-up, Outlook will be sluggish, but after a couple minutes (perhaps once things are loaded into memory or cached?) it performs reasonably.  If you use additional memory (USB thumbdrive, SD card, etc.) for ReadyBoost that helps.  I’ve got a 4 gb USB key being used for ReadyBoost, and when that is plugged in toggling between applications takes less than 1 second.  Without the ReadyBoost, toggling between Outlook and IE may take 3 or 4 seconds.

As a test I took it to work with me and used it as my main machine.  No issues. Walked all around Raffles Place with it in my bag and the lighter weight of it is great.

The best feature… compared to my work laptop (which is a Macbook Pro running Vista 64-bit via Boot Camp) is that the Sleep functions properly.  I close the lid of the HP Mini 1000, it goes to sleep, and when I open it hours later, it spins up and everything resumes as normal. When I attempt to use Sleep on my Macbook Pro, 75% of the time it hangs after I close the lid and the only thing I can do is shut it off improperly.  There is something great about being able to snap a laptop shut and just go without worrying that it’s somehow staying on, draining the battery, and overheating in your bag.

Oh – and I haven’t had a crash on the Mini 1000 and Windows 7 this whole time.  Awesome!

(Written on the aforementioned HP Mini 1000 using Windows Live Writer and also running Outlook 2007 which I keep flipping to in order to see a work e-mail which I should respond to but instead decided to write this entry instead)

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