I put the Bill-gasam of pictures up there because it makes me smile. Nothing to do with the story, but man, look at that nerd go.. Top left is “yeah, we’re really gonna screw ‘em”.
Anyway, if, like me, you’ve downloaded the Windows 7 RC and have been happily using it for several months as your primary operating system, there is something I’d like to draw attention to.
I’m sorry if this sounds like on of 14 life lessons from He-Man, but I had a conversation with a colleague today at work which made me realise that it might be a good idea to point out the obvious, so here it is: No one should be relying on Windows 7 right now.
Please remember that your installation of Windows 7 is a temporary demonstration of a fixed point in the incomplete development of what is still not quite yet, the final version of Windows 7. Because it absolutely smacks of finish and stability, it’s easy to forget that you are using an evaluation tool, not a real operating system. What do I mean by this? Well, consider what you have done in Windows 7 since you installed it and (I assume) used it as your primary operating system. I would guess that you installed iTunes, updated all your podcasts and transferred your library (oh yeah, and how painfully convoluted is that Steve? I’ll write about that fucking adventure some other time).
What I’m getting at, is that the more time you invest in your primary operating system, the harder it becomes to revert back to Vista. In my Windows 7 RC getting started guide, I did make the point of saying that it was important to boot in to Vista regularly to maintain basic OS requirements such as Windows updates, anti-virus and spyware scans, but even if you only do this, it still doesn’t address the little apps you install, the independent software updates you receive (such as VLC and horridly, iTunes) which you would have got over time, had you actually used the system.
It’s important to realise that although there is every indication that the Windows 7 RC is probably a very final version of what will ship in October (which you can currently pre-order Windows 7 though), Microsoft still have not confirmed that it will be possible to upgrade from the Windows 7 RC to the final version. In any event, I would never recommend an “in-place” upgrade. Far too many people are building infrastructure on a sinking barge and suffice to say, at some point before bonfire night, you’ll probably be wiping out your current installation in order to install the new version, or else be going back to Vista.
Personally I’ll be doing both. I dual boot, but I make a point of going in to Vista for a couple of days once a month and actually using it for a bit. If you really want to go about the whole “beta programme” correctly, this is exactly the sort of thing you should be doing. I still do all my work in the Windows 7 RC, but for me, Vista is the nerd equivalent of a long distance girlfriend who gets shag once a month. Lovely.
The Average Windows Nerd
I’ve been around PCs all my life and I’m an avid Windows enthusiast. I used to work in IT, but now simply enjoy it as a hobby; however I do still take an interest in the industry. I’m a compulsive tinkerer and have probably re-installed my machine more times than many normal people have switched theirs on. I’m a novice XBOX 360 gamer, mostly playing a mixture of driving and platform games, which I mostly suck at, possibly with the exception of Ridge Racer 6, which I simply don’t have the time to play enough of. I enjoy all things tech and am a big fan of Leo Laporte and his “TWIT” network. I have a soft spot for high-tech in small packages and still miss the MiniDisc, just because it was so damn cool. I’m also a bit of a retro/nostalgia junkie and still have 20-year-old copies of C+VG magazine which I thumb through from time to time. Outside of technology, I like scuba diving and playing the didgeridoo (no, not at the same time) and I run a didgeridoo club with my dad.