Back from being gone

I'm a bit of a failure as a geek. I'm never up to speed with the latest technologies, and I'm never one to install a new version of a software just to get the additional features. So, because my PC had been running along happily since two or three years ago I've never updated most of the software on my PC since then. Switching to a new OS basically forced me to update all my drivers, and I figured it was finally time to ditch some of the other software that I've grown too comfortable with as well. (cough NotAgain cough).

So here's a summary of things that surprised me , both pleasantly and less pleasantly. I'll start with the good stuff.

  • New CrystalFontz LCD software! The tiny LCD can now display visualizations from Foobar as well as awesome racing game-related stuff, like RPM, gears and other info. Brililant! (I haven't tried it yet though o_0)
  • System color configuration. I'm not sure if this is a plus or a minus, but after switching to Win7 I noticed that some of my edited photos look horrible. Back in WinXP I couldn't distinguish between some of the darker black colors, so this time I took the effort of setting up the screen properly.
  • Picasa has face detection! We are living in the future!
  • Desktop gadgets FTW. Hard disks and free space, CPU temperature, torrents currently being downloaded, network traffic. All the stuff you never really cared about can now be monitored instantly :D
  • Docking windows to the left or right side of the screen. This is perhaps the best feature ever for people with widescreen screen screens.
  • GMail notifier on the start bar is quite nice. I no longer have to keep a Chrome window open all the time to see if I have new messages (at least when combined with the Google Talk app so you can still chat to people).

It's not all good though.

  • New version of Office: what a failure. Not easy to use at all. I prefer OpenOffice. Oh, and thank you Microsoft Office for restarting my PC without my consent while I was taking a pee, thereby breaking the backup that I was making at that moment. Not very nice.
  • Some software simply doesn't work on WIn7 x64. No big losses, but one program I will really miss: GBTimelapse. It doesn't even start, even in compatibility mode. I'll have to rely on my WinXP laptop to make time lapse videos..
  • No working printer driver. Thank you Lexmark for the great support. (No)
  • I'm experiencing a general discomfort with new versions of program placing the buttons somewhere else, or hiding areas of their program behind menus that were not there before. I'm like the grandpa who suddenly finds his home town changed while he got old. I must be getting senile...

Unrelated to all of this, what's with all the damn quick start applications hogging up memory? If you install your default applications like you would normally do then you'll get a whole bunch of services running at startup that will help you start your applications faster. To name a few: Adobe Reader, OpenOffice, Java, Quicktime, Logitech Gaming Software, Steam, and finally a bunch of Google stuff . All of these apps install something to make themselves start quicker or to check for updates. Quite annoying if you ask me. If I want to read a PDF I'll wait one more second for the damn reader to start, but I don't want the thing to pollute my memory with something that I will almost never use.

/Rant! :D

Posted in Tech | Tagged