I did a great deal of learning yesterday. As noted earlier, I did an upgrade in place from Vista to Windows 7 rather than a clean install. My logic was to give it a shot and then, if it didn’t work out, do the clean install.
It was a rocky start but with a lot of persistence and deletion of programs, it seems to have become a pretty stable system. With my slash and burn technique, I may have inadvertently clobbered some programs that didn’t need to be clobbered but they can always be re-installed. My first attempt at optimization came when my Comodo firewall started learning my habits again. That seemed kind of weird and so I started poking around in the Control Panel in a section called “Review Your System Status”. Now, I had installed the third party firewall because of some system projects that I had been involved with before and disabled the Windows Firewall to try and make the old Vista system more secure. With the upgrade, it looks like the settings for the Comodo firewall had been reset and it was learning how I use a computer all over again.
By default Windows 7 turned on its own firewall and I was counselled about the evils of having two firewalls on a system. It’s good advice; which one to disable? Microsoft had taken such bad press with its Vista firewall that I’m thinking that that this new one has to be engineered differently. I hadn’t read about any concerns with Windows 7 firewall. The topper though, came when it was reported that I had two anti-virus programs active. I had the desired NOD32 product but the system also reported that Comodo had an anti-virus running as well. A little poking around and I noted that the Comodo security package gives you 30 days of its anti-virus when you install the firewall. That made the decision easier – for this moment in time I removed it.
While looking around at NOD32, I determined that version 3 is not supported on Windows 7 – but there is a version 4. I’m good with that so version 3 removed and version 4 put into place. That seemed to go well. We’re still reporting that both NOD32 and Windows defender are keeping guard against malware. This time, I’m not taking the Windows route – defender takes a back seat on this one. This isn’t a state of the art computer but a “Windows Experience” of 5.0 is making things pretty snappy at this point. I was only 4.2 with Vista. Have the rules changed or is Windows 7 that much more optimized?
One of the things that I really do like about the configuration section is the ability to find out details about what all of these things mean. “How does a firewall protect my computer?” While those of us who have been around the block for a few laps understand, it’s great learning for a new person if they care to take the time to look at it. There’s even a helper session that I hope I never need – “Run programs built for previous versions of Windows”. I’m assuming that it’s a nice interface to take you into compatibility mode. The good news is that I haven’t had to run it yet. My computing habits are such that I’m typically using recent titles and they are designed for Windows 7. The real challenge will be digging into some of the older educational titles. That’s where it could get ugly. After all, we manage to get 130ish titles working under Windows XP. It’s going to be a pretty significant project to check them all out as we move forward. The biggest challenge has always been keeping all of the applications happy with older versions of Quicktime. My thoughts about those programs as we move into 2010 will come as a separate entity. Windows 7 could mark the end of “drill and kill”.
I haven’t noticed any comments along this line with the research I’d been doing in preparation for my upgrade but I really struggled to get the 16GB that Windows 7 wanted for the upgrade. After the upgrade, and with my paring, it seemed to have generously offered me some new storage space. I’m currently quite happy to report that I’ve got over 30GB free space. I’m very happy with that. Will I be able to sustain that? Hmmm.
So, Day 2 was way better than Day 1. Things are running snappier and smoother. Only one hard boot was required. A major player in the way that I work, Seesmic Desktop, has never run so well. At this point, I’m a pretty happy camper. However, as my friend Ron is quick to point out, I’m on record as being a fickle computer user and being in maintenance / setup mode is killing me.
On to Day 3…