Saturday, January 10, 2009

Windows 7 - okay, I'm a sucker

Okay, call me an idiot, but I just downloaded the Windows 7 beta, which is available to the first 2.5 million interested parties.

Actually, I did this twice: once for the 64-bit version (for youngest son) and once for the 32-bit version (for me). We're both planning on installing on spare hard drives - him on his faster-than-shit gaming box, and me with my old(er) Athlon 2800 box (I do have a faster machine, but it's a Linux box and shall stay that way).

First thing I noticed was that you had to download with IE so you could use some Microsoft download manager ActiveX components. I was tempted to try going in with Firefox and Linux but I decided I was more interested in just getting on with it. You also need to have registered with Microsoft (which I'd already done).

Once you've satisfied their insatiable curiosity (thank god there is not an ActiveX component that does anal probes) you choose whether you want the 32-bit or 64-bit version, and are taken to a page where you get a product key. Youngest son says the 32-bit key will work for the 64-bit version and vice versa (how very Microsoft).

Then on to the ActiveX download manager and hours of waiting.

The 64-bit version is around 3.1 GB, while the 32-bit version is a more modest 2.4 GB. I managed to average around 300KB/sec on my DSL connection, which meant around 3 hours for the larger file and 2 and a half for the smaller.

The system requirements call for a 1Ghz processor, 1 GB ram, and a 128MB video card (to run Aero), along with 16 GB of hard drive space. My old Athlon will barely sneak past the memory and video requirements. Youngest son will breeze past all that.

So...tomorrow I'll undoubtably go through the fun of installation and troubleshooting.

This is a beta, after all. Stay tuned...


The Whited Sepulchre said...

Do you honestly believe that if you'd been home-schooled, you'd be having this problem?

Nick said...

I was tempted but quite frankly... I couldn't be arsed. Win 7 will arrive (no doubt) eventually for me but I'm not about to go ape for it...

As I type I have left my wife's Sempron 3000 (!) re-installing XP. If I had my way it would be back to DOS 5 and the CLI and fuck Aero...

And shame on you Dr Ralph for letting your son have a faster machine. For shame. Hang your head. You want a snorting monster of a machine. C'mon Dr burn that 'tricity!

WV: kraphloc

Dr Ralph said...

WS - If I'd been home-schooled I wouldn't be having this problem since both of my parents can barely program a VCR; nope -- no downloading beta problems for me!

NickM - I refused to go the Vista route, but I my curiosity was piqued about Win7; I'll be posting some reactions before long. I must say, it runs respectably on my Athlon 2800 -- no Aero, but I'm not easily impressed by eye candy.

I'm pretty agnostic regarding operating systems - my household has WinXP, Mac OSX and Ubuntu all in active use. If need be, I could easily exist in a CLI version of Linux if I had to, though it would mean giving up YouTube and Colbert online.

What can I say about the youngster's machine? He's a gamer. Used to be he got my cast-offs; now I get his. He's taller than me now too...