Windows 7 Upgrade Comments

Last July, in preparation for going back to school, I bought a new HP laptop to replace an old Dell laptop which was just about on its last legs.  Of course, the HP came with Vista Home Premium, but had a free upgrade to Windows 7 Home Premium.

Well, I updated Vista to Windows 7 just before Thanksgiving, and in some respects, I was mildly disappointed.  Some of the features that the original Vista provided changed with the new installation.  For instance:

1)  Windows sidebar no longer has a paging or float function.  For example – I run the laptop with an external 22” display, which is larger than the laptop’s 16” screen.  If I have 6 or 7 gadgets on the 22” display, and then use the laptop’s display (which only can handle 5), the gadgets overlap.  With Vista, the gadgets go to a second page accessed by arrows.  I understand that this can be corrected by a third-party workaround, but it’s still annoying.

2)  Gadgets also have another annoying “feature” when moving from the laptop screen to the external display.  Normally, gadgets are displayed on the right-hand side of the screen.  When connecting a larger external display after using the smaller laptop display, the gadgets appear in the middle of the screen, forcing me to move them manually.  Again, this is supposed to be corrected by the aforementioned workaround.

3)  The version of Vista that came with the laptop would allow automated backups over a network connection, either internet or a local file server.  Windows 7 Home Premium will only allow automated backups to a local drive (USB, Firewire, or eSATA connected drive).  Again, this can be corrected with third party software, and that’s extra money unless you can find a freebee.  Of course, the next level of Windows 7, Professional, includes this feature.  Grrrrrr…..

Upgrading from Vista to Windows 7 was relatively painless, but long.  The initial setup to start the installation process was about 20 minutes, but the actual installation / updating took a mind-numbing 8 hours!!  Of course, this was an upgrade while keeping existing programs and files, not a clean install that would wipe everything off the hard drive.  I would expect that a clean install of the operating system would take less time, but to install programs and restore data could make up the rest of the time.

Thus far, Windows 7 appears to be stable.  I haven’t had the system freeze up with a blue screen of death, but it was several weeks before that happened to me with Vista.  Windows 7 also appears to boot and run slightly faster, and uses less memory.

Anyone else out there have a similar experience?

The Unknown Thanksgiving Story

I have heard of this story for several years, and thought this would be an appropriate time to post about it.  From the isi forum:

What modern history texts also omit is that the contract the Pilgrims brokered with their merchant-sponsors in London specified that everything they produce go into a common store, with each member entitled to one common share. In addition, all the land they cleared and the structures they built belonged to the community.

William Bradford, Governor of the new colony, realized the futility of collectivism and abandoned the practice. Instead, Bradford assigned a plot of land to each family and permitted them to market their own crops and other products, thereby unleashing the power of free enterprise. What Bradford had wisely realized was that these industrious people had no reason to work any harder than anyone else without the motivation of personal incentive.

Thus, what can only be called the Pilgrims’ attempt at socialism ended like all other attempts at socialism — in failure. What Bradford subsequently wrote about the experiment should be in every American history textbook. The lesson provided therein is invaluable.

"The experience that was had in this common course and condition, tried sundry years and that amongst godly and sober men, may well evince the vanity of that conceit of Plato’s and other ancients applauded by some of later times; that the taking away of property and bringing in community into a commonwealth would make them happy and flourishing; as if they were wiser than God. For this community (so far as it was) was found to breed much confusion and discontent and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort. For the young men, that were most able and fit for labour and service, did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men’s wives and children without any recompense."

And what happened after collectivism was replaced by capitalism and the concept of private property?

"This had very good success, for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been by any means the Governor or any other could use, and saved him a great deal of trouble, and gave far better content."

The Pilgrims soon found they had more food than they could eat, so they set up trading posts and exchanged goods with the Indians. The profits they realized allowed them to pay off their debts to the merchants in London. The success and prosperity of the original Plymouth settlement attracted more European settlers, setting off what came to be known as the "Great Puritan Migration."

Considering that in this year our government is seeking to provide health care reform and to put all of us (the politicians, of course, will be excluded) in the same common pool, I thought that this story is worth telling.  This is nothing but a man-made disaster waiting for us and our children.  If not, then I will be extremely surprised since this would be the first government run social program that works without fail.

But everyone, really, have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Good News, Bad News

First, the good news – I passed my exam!!  After four hours of testing, I am now a certified Project Management Professional (aka, PMP).  Nice having a title – hope it opens some doors to employment.  But my brain hurts…

Now the bad news – My mother went into the hospital over the weekend.  She has a degenerative disease of the lungs, and it doesn’t look good.  My father and I do expect her to recover from this latest bout and leave the hospital in a couple of weeks, but neither one of us thinks that she will last through the winter.  Best I go down to see her while the weather is still decent (they live 9 hours away).

I’m not looking forward to this – I’m going to hate seeing my mom like this…